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Nº 3. Monday, September 13, 2010

Aloe vera - Medicinal Plant

Aloe, Aloe vera or medicinal aloe is a perennial, succulent, stemless plant native to Africa. The mucilaginous (sticky) sap present inside its meaty leaves has been used in herbal medicine since a long time ago.

Medicinal aloe. Young Aloe vera plant.

Aloe can be used as a juice or as a paste. The juice is obtained by cutting transversely the leaves and letting them drip over a container. The paste is obtained by crushing, grinding, grating or blending the leaves' pulp until the product is homogeneous.

The juice is used as a drink; it can be drunk as is or in combination with other ingredients. The paste is ideal for external use as a dressing, pad or compress over burns, ulcers, injuries, hives, etc.

This plant does not exist in the wild, although in northern Africa there exist wild populations of species that are closely related to it. This has led some scholars to theorize that Aloe vera could be a plant of hybrid origin (this means that it could be the result of a natural cross breeding between 2 related wild species).

Its scientific name is Aloe vera L.