Aloe Vera

Health Power

Health benefits come from phytonutrients not vitamins and minerals, which are in trace amounts except for vitamin K. Nutrient quantity low if eating only a few sprouts in salads or sandwiches. More concentrated dose comes from juicing. Phytonutrients include an amino acid derivative, canavanine, plant estrogens and saponins. Early studies of canavanine suggest it may help fight leukemia and cancers of the colon and pancreas. Abundant plant estrogens may support bone formation and inhibit deterioration. May also protect against many cancers (ex. breast, bowel and prostate). Saponins lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and help stimulate parts of immune system.

Health Power

Used for centuries as a medical treatment. Juice from broken leaves soothes wounds, rejuvenates burns and treats rare skin conditions. Benefits of drinking juice less well known. Great for digestive tract. Helps maintain healthy tissues and promotes slower, more controlled absorption of food. Good source of essential amino acids that help replenish and build enzymes crucial to functions throughout the body. High volume of phytonutrients and vitamins. Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties help protect immune system and major organs from cellular damage. Increases blood circulation, metabolism and detoxification of blood stream.

Vitamin and Mineral Content

Vitamins – A, B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B6 (Pyridoxine), B9 (Folate), B12 (Cobalamin), C and E
Minerals – Iron, Copper, Manganese, Calcium, Chromium, Potassium and Magnesium

Treatment and Disease Prevention

Excellent for skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. May help prevent colon and colorectal cancer, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and constipation. Juice may help reduce symptoms of joint disorders like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Alkaline nature soothes acid indigestion.

How to Grow

Popular succulent is great to have during hot, sunny weather. Prefers warm climates and full sun. Choose plant with erect, healthy leaves. In mild climate, plant in a pot and bring inside to the warmest sunny spot indoors or in greenhouse. In warm, sunny weather put outside to help dry up excess moisture. Outdoors, it prefers great drainage and full sun. Amend planting soil with pebbles, compost/planting mix and sand. If soil naturally lacks good drainage, put in a raised bed. In a pot, must have 18 inches minimum depth. Water plants weekly, depending on soil moisture. Water less in humid or moist weather, more in warm, dry spells. Native to warm, dry areas. Tolerates dry weather well. Never over water, which causes root rot. Let soil dry out to 3-4 inches deep where soil begins to pull away from the sides before watering. Remove weeds to maintain proper pH and nutrient availability. Plant is good at foliar feeding. Apply foliar spray several times during growing season to maintain rigidity and spur healthy growth. When harvesting leaf for medicinal use, trim mature exterior leaves at the base. Leaves will not grow back following harvest. After some growth, plant produces baby plants around base. Pluck these out to replant or share with friends.

Insect Control

Extremely hardy. No known pests pose serious threat.

Tips

Avoid letting suckers (new shoots around the base) establish. They suck the life from the mother plant. Cut them at 3-4 inches in height, repot and water well to spur root growth. Makes a nice gift.

Comments are closed.