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Aloe vera  - Aloe Barbadensis

Aloevera   ( Aloe Barbadensis )

Description
Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that probably originated in northern Africa. The species does not have any naturally occurring populations, although closely related aloes do occur in northern Africa. The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD. Extracts from A. vera are widely used in the cosmetics and alternative medicine industries, being marketed as variously having rejuvenating, healing, or soothing properties. There is, however, little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extracts for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes, and what positive evidence is available is frequently contradicted by other studies.

Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 60–100 cm (24–39 in) tall, spreading by offsets. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on their upper and lower stem surfaces.The margin of the leaf is serrated and has small white teeth. The flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 90 cm (35 in) tall, each flower being pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) long. Like other Aloe species, Aloe vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis that allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil.

Uses
Preparations made from Aloe vera are often referred to as "aloe vera". Scientific evidence for the cosmetic and therapeutic effectiveness of aloe vera is limited and when present is frequently contradictory.Despite this, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding the soothing, moisturizing, and healing properties of aloe vera. Aloe vera gel is used as an ingredient in commercially available lotions, yogurt, beverages, and some desserts,although at certain doses, it has toxic properties when used either for ingested or topical applications.Other uses for extracts of Aloe vera include the dilution of semen for the artificial fertilization of sheep, as a fresh food preservative, or for water conservation in small farms. It has also been suggested that biofuels could be obtained from Aloe vera seeds. Aloe is also used as a food substance, possibly for its gelling properties.


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