Aloe Vera: 10 Health benefits and Types. 5 reasons Why you should use It?
Nowadays, every house has an aloe vera plant. Some use it for the hobby of the plantation, some use it as a beauty mantra, and some use it as health benefits.
“In a world full of red roses, be someone’s aloe vera, having 101 qualities of cure.”
Perhaps not 101, It is having more than 101 qualities of cure.
Let’s understand more about this plant, what are the types? and what are the benefits for our health?
About Aloe Vera.
There are over 10,000 known succulents (having thick fleshy leaves or stems adapted to storing water) species around the world. Some we use in our garden, wedding hall, and some use for home decor Like Pincushion cactus, Snake plant, Aloe vera, Zebra plant, Ball cactus, Plush plant, and a lot more.
These plants are known for their low maintenance and long lifespans. So, those who are busy with their work schedule can easily take care of these plants.
Aloe vera plant is one of them, famous for its benefits and effortlessly available in the market. The name Aloe Vera comes from two root words, “aloeh“, which is an Arabic word meaning bitter, and “vera” which is in Latin for “truth”.
Historical Background of Aloe Vera.
Aloe vera has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes, dating back to ancient Egypt. But do you have any idea about the Aloe species, how large and diverse it is? It includes over 500 species indigenous to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where the dry climate and the moderate temperatures support the growth of these beautiful plants. Now, aloe vera is grown in tropical climates worldwide. It was famous for regular beauty regimes for Egyptian queens. Also, the Egyptian and ancient Chinese used aloe vera for curing burns, wounds and reducing fever. That’s why they named it a “Plant of Immortality”.
Types of Aloe Vera plant:-
Aloe vera grows in tropical, semi-tropical, and arid(moistureless) climatic regions. Some aloe vera types have thickset leaves with jagged borders, and some have colorful dots and stripes on the surface of the leaves.
Some of the types given below are available in India. Even aloe vera types have their unique benefits for our body, face, hair, and health.
It is the most common variety of aloe vera. It is available in every house as an indoor plant. It is in demand for its medicinal properties and easy maintenance.
Its gray-green leaves have serrated borders, with white dots at its lower and upper surface.
The green leaves of “ghritkumari(Hindi name of Aloe Vera)” plants grow between 24 inches and 36 inches(60 – 100 cm) high and wide up to 24 inches(60 cm). Usually, the leaves are a gray-green color and have teeth along their edges. If you planted it in your house outdoors and it gets enough sunlight, then the flower comes once a year.https://pixabay.com/photos/flower-aloevera-red-nature-2018342/
2.Tiger Aloe(Gonialoe Variegata)
It is also known as partridge-breasted aloe.
It is quite attractive for its striped leaves and salmon pink flowers.
It resembles the stripes of a tiger because of its white-green blotches. People use it for home decor.
It blooms from July through September. These plants may get 12 inches (30 cm.) high and around 9 inches (22 cm.) wide.
3.Snake Aloe(Aloe Broomii)
It is also known as mountain aloe.
It is a robust and single-stemmed plant. It grows up to 1.5 meters high, including the inflorescence. Leaves are thick, fleshy, and edged with small dark teeth compared to other types of aloe vera. It gives a snake-like appearance, hence its name. To keep your plant looking green, avoid exposing them to direct sun.
This type of succulents need regular watering with minimum water but do remember only when the soil is entirely dry.
Do not do watering during the winter months, and overwatering is the reason aloe plants die. Do not let water stand in the rosettes.
4.Sort Leaf Aloe(Aloe Brevifolia)
It looks like a dwarf aloe. This thick leaf has white teeth along the edges of the blue-grey leaves. It only grows to about 12 inches(30cm) high and 12 inches(30cm)wide. When this type of aloe gets enough sun, its leaves may turn a light yellow-red color. In the late spring, the flower blossoms in red-orange color. It can be toxic to humans and animals. You can plant this type of aloe in rock beds where the soil drains well and gets plenty of sunlight.
5.Sunset Aloe(Aloe Dorothea)
It is also known as crimson aloe. This type is native to Tanzania.
It is an eye-catching plant because of its shiny rosettes and yellowish-green leaves. It grows best in full sun and changes the color from yellowish to orange-red.
It grows up to 12 inches(30cm) high. The leaves are curved, have some white spotting, and feature prominent, sharp teeth alongside the margins. In the late winter, the plant produces a long, unbranched flower spike in salmon-orange color from the center and greenish-yellow at the tips of the petals.
This sunset aloe can tolerate the summer sun like other types of aloe. The water needs of these succulents are low. When you have grown it as a houseplant, watering once a week is enough. If the plant is exposed to the hot summer sun, you may need to water more frequently. In winter, reduce watering to once every two to three weeks, or even once a month. It is not toxic for people and animals.
6.Zebra Aloe(Aloe Saponaria)
This type is great for your indoor garden. It has thick, shaded green leaves with white parallel streaks on the outside of the leaves,
and giving it a zebra effect.
Plant grows up to 5 inches(13cm) high, and rosettes grow up to 8 inches(20cm) wide. These types do not need much effort for watering. It needed medium and low light conditions. If grown outdoors, find a location where your Zebra plant can enjoy at least 4 to 6 hours of bright light but no direct sunlight because it is very sensitive. It has small white or pink flowers that grow on a tall, thin stem.
7.Red Aloe(Aloe Cameronii)
If you are looking to add some color and energy to your garden, we have got a new type of plant on our list. That is red aloe or aloe cameronii. It is very engaging for their red rosettes. The curled leaves of red aloe can range in color from green to a bright, coppery red. Unlike other succulents, these plants are outdoors only,
because it requires a good amount of water and sun.
This type of aloe gives plenty of color to your garden in wintertime.
It grows between 12 inches(30cm) high and 24 inches(60cm)wide and is double in size. The light water gives the copper color to your red aloe plant, if you want green color then you need to overwater it.
8.Tiger tooth aloe(Botanical name-Aloe Juvenna):-
It is an elegant aloe with white spots. It is known for its dense bunch of triangular leaves. The leaves are often a bright green color but may change depending on sun exposure. When grown in incandescent light, the leaves tend to develop reddish or brownish hues. Its leaves have toothy projections that give it its name, but the ridges are soft and flexible and add more charm than defense to this aloe. Its leaves have scary-looking spiky edges, hence their common name ‘tiger tooth’.
But it is not harmful to humans and animals. You can take it as home decor. The plant grows up to 12 inches (30.5 cm) high, Rosettes grow up to 24 inches (61 cm) wide.
9.Coral aloe(Aloe Striata):-
It is beautiful, vigorous, and non-toothed, unlike other aloe types.
It has a smooth pink margin on its edges. Flowering in the late winter and early spring months. The color of the flower is eye-catching coral red. It attracts hungry insects and hummingbirds during a season when food can be scarce. It grows 12 inches to 24 inches high and the same 12 inches to 24 inches wide.
10.Spiral aloe(Botanical name–Aloe Polyphylla):-
It is attractive and rare to find and famous for its stunning spiral shape. It has dense triangular leaves that have tooth borders. It is the most fitting plant for your garden.
The plant leaves form a spiral shape, clockwise or anti-clockwise. They do not begin the spiral until they are between 8 to 12 inches(20-30cm) in diameter. There was an amazing history behind this type of aloe. The Basotho(ethenic group of southern Africa) people believe the direction of the spiral indicates the sex of the plant. Plants have approximately 150 leaves each, which explains the name of Polyphylla, “poly” means many “Phylla” is greek for leaves. plants usually bloom in spring and early summer. This plant needs more care than other aloes and is extremely difficult to grow in cultivation.it needs well-drained soil.it prefers light shade and prefers low temperature. So, it is best as indoor home decor.
Apart from this, there are other types of aloe also available in the market.
Lots of people are familiar with the ubiquitous Aloe Vera plant. The gel from its fleshy leaves is often used for medicinal and cosmetics.
These are some health benefits given below.
Health Benefits of Aloe vera
Aloe vera is an important medicinal plant. Aloe vera contains 75 active ingredients that can benefit our skin and body.
- It can be used as a health drink.
- It acts as a detoxifying agent, and you can say it is an effective cleanser for our body because it stores amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
- It boosts digestion by increasing the levels of good bacteria in the gut and expels harmful parasites from the digestive tract.
- It is used for acne treatment on our faces. The gel from aloe vera helps reduce inflammation, boosts wound healing, has an antiseptic effect and moisturizes dry skin.
- Aloe vera is full of immune-boosting polysaccharides, which help the immune system function properly and support weight loss.
- It gives coolness to your upset stomach. But take it in the required amount.
- Aloe vera gel has laxative and detoxifying capacities. Sipping aloe vera juice regularly may improve bowel movements and reduce the growth of unfriendly bacteria and yeast. It contains plant sterols -fatty acids like HCL cholesterol, B-sitosterol, and Campesterol. HCL cholesterol lowers fat present in the blood, the three sterols decrease allergy indications and acid reflux during digestion.
- It maintains oral hygiene by preventing tooth decay.
- Nowadays, aloe vera can be found in some conditioners, shampoos, and oil to promote hair care.
- It helps you get glowing skin, because of the vitamins and water contained in it.
- It is very useful for constipation.
- it may help for type 2 diabetic patients by improving insulin sensitivity and may help regulate blood sugar levels. But before consuming it consult your doctor for a better result.
How to use Aloe vera For Maximum benefit.
Juice:-It is the easiest way of taking raw aloe vera in the form of juice. Take 2-3 aloe vera leaves and take out the gel from it, grind with water and drink it. You can mix some fruits on it for flavor. You can soak the leaves in the water overnight and have that water the next morning.
Raw Aloe vera:-You can take it as a salad or you can boil it and have the soup or stir-fries.
Aloe Gel-Take out the gel from the leaf and apply directly with your skin and hair or you can add it to your regular mixed face pack.
There is another way to use it for your beauty. You can make it as an ice cube and store it in your freezer for long-term use. You can put those ice cubes into your smoothies.
You can buy Aloe Vera products on Amazon
- It’s not recommended to consume aloe vera daily and it is advisable to speak to a dietitian or a nutrition expert before adding aloe vera to your diet regularly. Because anything in excess is bad. There are chances that aloe vera may not suit your body, skin, or hair, which can further lead to side effects.
- It can cause an allergy to your body. Because aloe vera leaves contain latex, which comes from below the plant’s surface. It can cause stomach issues like irritation, stomach cramps, and low potassium levels. Externally, latex could be safe, if used properly. However, more research is required.
- It is said that pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid drinking aloe vera juice due to its irritant qualities. It may arouse uterine contractions in pregnant women, which may lead to birth complications.
- Most people can be allergic to the aloe vera gel, causing skin allergies, redness in the eyes, skin rashes, irritation, and burning sensation.
- Laxatives are generally used to relieve constipation but do not take more quantity or else it may cause dehydration.
- Elderly and sick people are generally advised to not consume it.
- Aloe vera is native to the southern Africa region.
- Ghritkumari is the most common type of aloe vera, It is a very useful plant for home decor as well as for health benefits. And available in the market easily.
- There are a lot of ways to consume and use it easily. Nowadays it is available in medicine and beauty products.
- Every medicinal plant has some side effects, similarly, Aloe Vera has some.