Family: Aloe Vera
Common Name: Medicinal Aloe
Aloe vera is a succulent plant and better known as the Medicinal Aloe. The plant is stemless and grows to about 100cm tall. It has grey-green, thick fleshy leaves with white spots when it flowers. Like other Aloe species, A. vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis that allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil.
Aloe vera is used for:
Treatment of wounds
improved blood glucose levels in diabetics,
reduces symptoms and inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis.
The extracts have antibacterial and antifungal activities.
Aloe vera is very bitter, but commercially, the gel is used in beverages, some deserts and yoghurt. The cosmetic industry use Aloe vera as an ingredient in makeup, soaps, incense, shampoos. moisturizers and many other products. It is also used to preserve fresh food and conservation of water on small farms.
A. vera leaves contain a range of biologically active compounds, the best studied being acetylated mannans, polymannans, anthraquinone C-glycosides, anthrones and anthraquinones and various lectins.