Plant of the month: Aloe vera

  • Aloe vera is a plant that stands out for its many therapeutic and cosmetic benefits.
  • Marketed worldwide, it is used for making cosmetics and other similar products.
  • We bring you the lowdown on this curative plant — including a face mask recipe — so that you can make the most of its numerous benefits.

The genus Aloe includes many different species, the most widespread being Aloe vera or Aloe Barbadensis Miller, an evergreen, perennial plant belonging to the family Liliaceae.

Easily recognisable by its distinctive morphology, it is a very short-stemmed plant with fleshy, green leaves, often with white dots, that grow from the root system developing spiny margins.

Hardy and really low-maintenance, growing Aloe vera is within the reach of every one. Native to the island of Socotra, in northeast Africa, it thrives in warm weather, at temperatures between 16º C and 26º C, so it needs to be kept indoors over winter.

Aloe vera leaves contain large amounts of water, which the plant stores as gel. This is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants that have great therapeutic value, and is widely used in the pharmaceutical and the cosmetic industries.

Benefits of Aloe vera

  • Antioxidant and antibacterial properties

In today's fast-paced society, stress levels have increased exponentially. Stress is actually one of the major causes of premature ageing, and this is why the antioxidants found in Aloe vera, known as polyphenols, are a highly valued resource. Studies suggest that polyphenols can also help prevent heart disease and, when combined with other substances found in the plant, can help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.

  • Skin regeneration

Aloe vera is most commonly used as a rub-on gel. Its soothing and healing properties accelerate skin regeneration after burns and make it the perfect after sun lotion.

Also, thanks to its high protein content, Aloe vera aids the formation of fibro-elastic tissue, preventing and reducing wrinkles and improving skin condition.

  • Reduces constipation

Highly laxative, Aloe vera contributes to normal bowel function as well as to a clean colon, allowing to treat constipation.

  • Relieves arthritis and rheumatism pain

Aloe vera is rich in acetylsalicylic acid, a substance that can help reduce pain and swelling. When rubbed onto the skin in the affected area, Aloe vera gel can help reduce pain from arthritis and rheumatism.

  • A remedy for sore throat

The bactericidal properties of Aloe vera juice can help inhibit the growth of certain microorganisms that cause throat pain and throat infections including tonsillitis.

 Face mask with Aloe vera

Aloe Vera mask is really easy to make at home and, when applied at night, helps repair skin during sleep. You just have to mix your Aloe vera gel - you can extract it from the leaves or simply buy it from a herbal or cosmetic shop that sells organic products - with 3-4 drops of rosehip oil, which is also great for skin regeneration, and apply it to your skin after your night-time cleansing routine. Leave it on overnight and rinse it off in the morning.


Comments from our readers

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  1. 5 out of 5
    this is great advice, for even better results use a skincare grade aloe vera like the 10X-D. It has smaller molecules than aloe vera gel so it is able to penetrate the skin.
  2. 5 out of 5
    Very good indeed, but no mention of how it can be of use to plants! I've been using it to fertilize my plants and it does miracles!

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