According to Kew Species Profiles[KSP]
Kew Species Profiles
- General Description
Aloe vera is well known for its succulent leaves. The colourless jelly-like leaf parenchyma tissue is used in an extraordinary array of everyday products, from dishwashing liquid to yoghurt.
The species is widely cultivated and, along with other members of the genus Aloe, is also the subject of intense scientific study with regard to the many claimed therapeutic properties.
- Species Profile
Geography and distribution
Aloe vera is cultivated around the world. It has escaped from cultivation and become naturalised in the Mediterranean, north Africa, the Indian subcontinent, South America and the Caribbean.Description
Overview: Aloe vera is a short-stemmed shrubby aloe, frequently suckering and forming dense clumps.
Leaves: The leaves are succulent, erect, forming a dense rosette. The leaves are greyish green, growing to about 50 cm long, with margins that are pinkish with many small spines. The leaf surfaces are sometimes marked with white flecks or spots.
Flowers: The flowers are yellow, tubular, and up to 3 cm long, with anthers and stigma protruding. The flowers are borne in cylindrical racemes on a branched panicle up to 90 cm tall.
Aloe vera was formerly classified as part of the Asphodelaceae family, but this is now included in Xanthorrhoeaceae.
Aloe vera has been used for centuries and it is more popular today than ever. It is cultivated around the world as a crop for its colourless jelly-like leaf parenchyma known as 'aloe gel'. It is used for a variety of purposes in food, food supplements, herbal remedies and cosmetics.
Aloe vera leaf parenchyma (aloe gel) may be effective when used on the skin against psoriasis, burns, frostbite, and sores caused by the Herpes simplex virus. Research has shown that, taken orally, aloe gel can help to lower cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol, and can help to lower blood glucose levels in people with type II diabetes.
The green outer layer of the leaves of Aloe vera yields a bitter, yellow exudate which has very different properties from those of the colourless parenchyma. The bitter leaf exudate has traditionally been used as a laxative. However, research has indicated that the active constituents may have harmful effects and can interact with other medicines and herbal remedies. It should not be given to children or to pregnant or breastfeeding women.Threats and conservation
Aloe vera is naturalised around the world and is common in cultivation. It is not considered to be threatened.
Aloe vera is easy to cultivate, with no special requirements. It should be grown in a well-draining gritty mix. The compost should be soaked when watering during the growing season, and allowed to dry out between waterings. It can be grown in a cool/warm glasshouse and put outside for the summer. Plants can offset profusely, so propagation is by potting up offsets.Aloe vera at Kew
Aloe vera , and other Aloe species, can be seen growing in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
Behind the scenes, scientists in the Herbarium and Jodrell Laboratory at Kew have been carrying out research on Aloe vera and its relatives in the genus Aloe for decades and have published on topics such as the chemistry of the leaves, taxonomy, hybridisation, genetics and leaf surface sculpturing.
- Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen
- Aloe vera is a cultivated plant but naturalised populations occur in dry, often rocky and exposed areas.
- Not considered to be threatened.
The bitter yellow leaf exudate can be harmful and should not be taken by children, or by pregnant or breastfeeding women. The colourless leaf parenchyma (gel) can occasionally cause skin irritation.
According to Project MGU - Useful Plants Project (UPP) database[UPPd]
- Unspecified Food
- Alimento (jugo, yogurt, gelatinas). Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Antiinflamatorio. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Cáncer del estómago. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas Tumores. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Cicatrizante. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas Antiséptico. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas Apostemas o contusiones. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Genitourinary System Disorders
- Cólicos. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Digestive System Disorders
- Colitis. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Como ornamental. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Metabolic System Disorders
- Diabetes. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Dolor de cabeza. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Other Medicinal Disorders
- Dolor de muelas. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas Bienorreas. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Endocrine System Disorders
- Para úlceras en riñones o vejiga. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Respiratory System Disorders
- Problemas respiratorios (bronquitis, tos, catarro, resfriado). Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Skin or Subcutaneous Cellular Tissue Disorders
- Quemaduras por excesiva exposición a rayos 'X' o por radiación atómica. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Sacred Spiritual Plants
- Talismán para alejar a los malos espíritus. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
- Infections & Infestations
- Tisis declarada. Unspecified plant parts - Fichas tecnicas
Saudi Arabia, Yemen
Algeria, Arizona, Aruba, Ascension, Assam, Bahamas, Baleares, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Bolivia, Canary Is., Cape Verde, Cayman Is., China South-Central, Cook Is., Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, East Aegean Is., Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Florida, Galápagos, Greece, Guatemala, Gulf States, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Italy, Jamaica, Juan Fernández Is., Kriti, Leeward Is., Libya, Madeira, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Réunion, Sicilia, Spain, Sri Lanka, St.Helena, Texas, Thailand, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks-Caicos Is., Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Windward Is.
- Aloe vera
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The Aloes of Tropical Africa and Madagascar. Aloes Book Fund, Mbabane.
Reynolds, T. (ed.) (2004). Aloes: the Genus Aloe. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
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-  Fichas tecnicas
Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
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