Aloe Vera, the Potted Physician
Great Deal of Relief
The first time I came across an aloe vera plant was when a boyfriend offered it as a treatment for my sunburn. He was very sweet since he did spend the whole day with me at the lake and felt responsible for my painful state. In all, I felt a great deal of relief and loved the attention I was getting from my boyfriend. My interest was piqued, and I researched and discovered aloe vera is not just for sunburns. The unassuming plant is a natural healing agent and has a lengthy list of historical references for medicinal purposes.
For eras, herbal doctors and medical practitioners have considered aloe vera as a medicinal plant or "the potted physician". Corresponding medical journals report the plant has noticeably reduced surgery convalescent time, efficiently treated intestinal health problems and inhibited and relieved arthritis.
Alexander the Great overpowered many parts of Africa in order to retain the aloe plant to mend his injured men.
In 1935, the aloe plant was extremely victorious in remedying skin lesions produced by X-rays.
Gel From The Plant
The genuine aloe vera plant exclusively presents potent restorative effects built naturally, as healing should be. The green daggered-shaped leaves are teeming with a clear gel. The gel contains 96% water and 4% comprising of 75 known ingredients that heal the body. Smeared onto wounds, aloe gel is a temperate analgesic that alleviates itching as well as swelling and soreness. It is even an antiseptic while increasing the blood flow to injured areas so they can heal. The medicinal plant also promotes fibroblasts because of an enzyme in the plant. Fibroblasts are skin cells in charge of healing wounds. The enzyme discovered in aloe vera gel is deemed as a crucial component in charge of the gel’s capacity to heal burns.
The gel that is taken straight from the daggered-shape leaf is the best aloe gel for treating injuries. Any unused portion keeps in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Make an effort to avoid processed gel in containers that claim a percentage of aloe vera as an alternative to the genuine aloe vera.
Growing Aloe Vera Plant
Maintaining a healthy aloe vera plant is definitely as crucial as your aloe vera plant maintaining your health. Aloe vera flourishes on lack of attention, but the tropical or subtropical indigenous cannot endure temperatures plentiful below 40 degrees F. Even the lightest of frost reduces the green plant to a blackened, discharge of dead flesh.
For the most part, the reports I have read say the plant thrives in a bright area without direct sunlight. It should rest in soil that is well-drained and porous—a sandy but coarse soil that’s not overly rich.
Recommendations are to water the plant two times a month and once a week when the climate is warmer. Keep in mind, poor drainage or overwatering is its worse enemies.
Aloe vera is not a succulent or cactus, but part of the lily family. Aloe vera flowers are so vibrant and a surprising addition to the foliage. In March and April, you will see yellow flowers. Some even are known to sprout shades of orange, pink, red, gray, and white. The buds begin as a spike and progressively they get larger and lastly open. The blooms last a good, long time. The beauty of the flowers is a wonder to witness.
The flowers are favorites of hummingbirds. If the plant is outside, listen and watch for the buzz of those lovely creatures. Simply keep in mind that aloe vera is not a difficult plant to grow, and follow these basic rules.
- Make available plenty of area for the plant’s root ball to grow. Aloes are limitless growers, and having a large area growth is essential. When repotting the plant, keep this rule in mind. The plant needs a growth area so the root ball can extend three to five times its size.
- Use well-drained soil that is porous.
- Most aloe vera plants grow between April and October, accordingly water consistently with that in mind. Water when the soil is dry. If in doubt, it is best not to water.
- Fertilize the plants two times a month from April until the end of September, using a low-nitrogen fertilizer that is heavily watered down.
- Various aloe vera plants propagate by producing offshoots from the side of the plant. They are called “pups.” Once a pup is completely developed, carefully separate it from its parent plant. Give the plant some time to callous over for a couple of days in a dry area that is cool, not hot. Place the new plant in a pot with plenty of area in the pot to grow. Sometimes the plant will grow roots right away. If that is the case pot the plant as an adult. If there are no roots, avoid watering until the roots form. Misting every couple of days is fine. After the plant’s roots emerge, which takes about a month, and the plant has grown some, you can water it.
Take Care of Your Plant
There are limited plants like the aloe vera that are easy to grow and easy to use for medicinal functions. Just keep in mind, if you take care of your plant, it will help take care of you.
© 2018 Kenna McHugh