Friday, April 20, 2012

Aloe Vera

I think that Aloe Vera is a plant that is recognised , grown and used around the world.  Although it is a  native of the dry climate of North-East Africa and the Middle East, it grows easily in tropical gardens as well.  Even the most anti-herbal remedy person is usually willing to concede that Aloe Vera has its medicinal use.

The Aloe Vera in my garden is grown in containers as well as in the ground.  Aloe Vera looks lovely in the used clay pots that I pick up for cheap at garage sales.  These can be taken indoors for a hardy indoor plant in a well lighted room.



The Aloe Vera that I have growing in the ground got there as a last resort.  I had a hot, dry, sandy area of garden that left any other plant I tried there dead.  So I broke off a few of the very big Aloe Vera plants from the containers and planted them out in the problem area.  With an occasional watering, they have taken off and now have babies growing up from the stems so that they are on the way to being a hardy ground cover.  The Aloe Vera has the advantage of being a little bit poky so it keeps the wild chickens from scratching in the area.

As the baby Aloe Vera plants grow bigger, I harvest a few and plant them in 6" pots for a gift or for selling.  These transplanted babies can turn rotten and die if they get too much water before their roots grow so keep them fairly dry and under watered.



Aloe Vera is, of course, well known as a herbal remedy for healing burns.  Cut a large leaf of the plant, peel off the skin and smear the cool, soothing inner gel over the burnt area.  It is good when you get a hot fat or water burn in the kitchen and it is wonderful to smear over sun burnt shoulders.  It is also used as a healing agent for cuts and lesions of the skin.

I have also heard claims that Aloe Vera is very good for the digestive system and is helpful for stomach ulcers and inflammation of the bowel.  I do notice that Aloe Vera juice in cold drinks is becoming main stream now and not just in health food stores.  Several  brands of Aloe Vera drinks can be bought  now at our local supermarket as well as at the gas station store.  If you are thinking of trying it out, one can easily add fresh Aloe Vera into a fruit smoothie at home for much less cost.  Just add about a 3" piece of a peeled leaf to the blended juice.  When I have tried it there is very little Aloe Vera flavor beyond that of the blended fruit.  I like it in a mix of papaya, ice water and a bit of lemon juice.

Aloha

4 comments:

  1. I recently tried aloe vera gel too and was amazed that there really was no taste. I have heard the bitterness is in the latex just under the skin.

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  2. Yes, if you lick your fingers after just cutting the skin off the leaves you will get quite a bitter flavor but the clear inner jell of the leaf is fine.

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  3. My grandma used to grow these in pots in her garden back in Nu'uanu. She used it as a salve for cuts and burns.

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  4. Hi Nate....welcome to my garden.

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