Also known as the “Lily of the Desert” Aloe Vera is native to northern Africa. More closely resembling a cactus in appearance, Aloe Vera is actually a part of the lily family. It is one of the oldest mentioned plants on record and is one of the most studied herbs in history with records going back to 2200 BCE. Considered by the Egyptians as the plant of eternal youth they referred to Aloe Vera as the plant of immortality. Queen Cleopatra is said to have used it as a daily beauty product.
Due to its highly medicinal properties and health benefits Aloe Vera has traditionally been used for a variety of internal and external purposes including:
- Poison Oak
- Poison Ivy
- Diaper rash
- Ring worm
- Any minor cut or abrasion
- Digestive disorders
The Aloe Vera plant can be grown outdoors if you live in warmer climates and it will survive freezing temperatures as long as the ground does not freeze. It can also be easily grown indoors with little care. Having an Aloe Vera plant in your home is believed to bring good luck into your life and prevent accidents. Grow in clay pots in a sunny location near a window in your house. Mix a little sand with your potting soil for the plant. Water about once a week. Allow the soil to dry between watering’s and don’t over water. The leaves of this edible plant are very bitter but it is more mild if you fillet the outer skin and use only the inner gel.
Article by Brian Hetrich, Greenhouse Manager