Aloe vera Facts

Aloe vera Facts
Aloe vera is a type of succulent plant (plant with thick leaves) that originates from Mediterranean region. There are 240 varieties of aloe vera plant that can be found throughout the Europe, Africa, Asia and America. Aloe vera grows in dry and hot climates, on a well drained soil. Aloe vera is popular and often cultivated plant because of its potential medical properties. Nutrients and compounds isolated from aloe vera are widely exploited in cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. Besides that, people often cultivate aloe vera as ornamental plant.
Interesting Aloe vera Facts:
Most types of aloe vera don't have stem. Plant usually grows 24 to 39 inches in height.
Leaves of aloe vera grow upright and form a rosette. They are green or grayish in color. Leaves are long, thick, fleshy and serrated on the edges. They are sometimes covered with white spots.
Yellow flowers appear on long spikes during the spring and summer. Flower contains both male (stamen) and female (stigma) reproductive organs. Pollen is produced and released from the flower before female parts reach maturity, to prevent self-pollination. Typical pollinators of aloe vera flowers are long-beaked birds such as hummingbirds in America and sunbirds in Africa.
Aloe vera lives in symbiosis (mutual beneficial relationship) with fungi. They live inside aloe's root and facilitate extraction of nutrients from the soil. Aloe provides them with food in return.
Aloe vera is also known as burn plant (because it soothes burns on the skin) and lily of the desert (because of the habitat where they can be found).
Aloe vera was known as "plant of immortality" in the ancient Egypt. It has been used as a part of the burial rituals.
Aloe vera is used in food industry for the production of yogurts and different beverages.
Aloe vera is used in cosmetic industry for the manufacture of lotions, shampoos, makeup and soaps.
Seeds of aloe vera can be used as biofuel.
Out of 240 known varieties, 4 types of aloe vera are commercially exploited for the production of gels, capsules and other products used to improve humans health.
Jelly-like substance from the leaves contains 75 different minerals, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes that are beneficial for the human health.
Aloe vera is rich source of saponins, compounds which possess antimicrobial properties (compounds that fight against bacteria, viruses and fungi).
Aloe vera is used in folk medicine as laxative, for treatment of sunburns and as a remedy for diabetes, osteoarthritis, epilepsy and asthma.
Despite its global popularity and widely accepted belief that aloe vera is one of the healthiest plants on the planet, recent medical studies suggest that oral ingestion of aloe vera may induce diarrhea, abdominal cramps and hepatitis in humans.
Aloe vera has long life expectancy. It can survive over 100 years in the wild.

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