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Aloe vera

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aloe vera

Aloe vera plant with flower


detail inset

Scientific classification

Kingdom:

Plantae

Clade:

Angiosperms

Clade:

Monocots

Order:

Asparagales

Family:

Asphodelaceae

Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus:

Aloe

Species:

A. vera

Binomial name
Aloe vera

(L.) Burm.f.

Synonyms[1][2]

Aloe
barbadensis Mill.

Aloe
barbadensis var.chinen
sis Haw.

Aloe chinensis (Haw.)


Baker

Aloe elongata Murray

Aloe flava Pers.

Aloe indica Royle

Aloe lanzae Tod.

Aloe
maculata Forssk.
(illegitimate)

Aloe
perfoliata var. vera L.

Aloe rubescens DC.

Aloe
variegata Forssk.
(illegitimate)

Aloe vera Mill.


(illegitimate)

Aloe
vera var. chinensis (Haw

.) A. Berger

Aloe
vera var. lanzae Baker

Aloe
vera var. littoralis J.Koen
ig ex Baker

Aloe vulgaris Lam.

Aloe vera - MHNT

Aloe vera (/loi/ or /lo/) is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. It grows wild in
tropical climates around the world and is cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses. Aloe also
is used for decorative purposes and grows successfully indoors as a potted plant. [3]
It is found in many consumer products. There is little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or
safety of Aloe vera extracts for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes. Studies finding positive
evidence are frequently contradicted by other studies.
Contents

1Description

2Taxonomy and etymology

3Distribution

4Cultivation

5Uses
o

5.1Research

5.2Dietary supplement

5.3Traditional medicine

5.4Commodities

6Toxicity

7See also

8References

9External links

Description[edit]
Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 60100 cm (2439 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. [4] 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 23 cm (0.81.2 in)
long.[4][5] Like other Aloe species, Aloe vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, asymbiosis that allows
the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil.[6]
Aloe vera leaves contain phytochemicals under study for possible bioactivity, such as
acetylated mannans, polymannans, anthraquinoneC-glycosides, anthrones, other
anthraquinones, such as emodin, and various lectins.[7][8][9]

Aloe vera buds

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

Spotted forms of Aloe vera are sometimes known as Aloe vera var.chinensis

The species has a number of synonyms: A. barbadensis Mill., Aloe indica Royle, Aloe
perfoliata L. var. vera and A. vulgaris Lam.[10][11]Common names include Chinese Aloe, Indian
Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, First Aid Plant.[5][12][13][14][15] The species
epithetvera means "true" or "genuine".[12] Some literature identifies the white-spotted form of Aloe
vera as Aloe vera var. chinensis;[16][17]however, the species varies widely with regard to leaf
spots[18] and it has been suggested that the spotted form of Aloe vera may beconspecific with A.
massawana.[19] The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as Aloe
perfoliata var. vera,[20] and was described again in 1768 by Nicolaas Laurens Burman as Aloe
vera in Flora Indica on 6 April and by Philip Miller as Aloe barbadensis some ten days after
Burman in the Gardener's Dictionary.[21]
Techniques based on DNA comparison suggest Aloe vera is relatively closely related to Aloe
perryi, a species endemic to Yemen.[22]Similar techniques, using chloroplast DNA sequence
comparison and ISSR profiling have also suggested it is closely related to Aloe forbesii, Aloe
inermis, Aloe scobinifolia, Aloe sinkatana, and Aloe striata.[23] With the exception of the South
African species A. striata, these Aloe species are native to Socotra (Yemen), Somalia, and
Sudan.[23] The lack of obvious natural populations of the species has led some authors to
suggest Aloe vera may be of hybrid origin.[24]

Distribution[edit]
The natural range of A. vera is unclear, as the species has been widely cultivated throughout the
world. Naturalised stands of the species occur in the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula,
through North Africa (Morocco, Mauritania, Egypt), as well as Sudan and neighbouring countries,
along with the Canary, Cape Verde, and Madeira Islands. [10] This distribution is somewhat similar
to the one of Euphorbia balsamifera, Pistacia atlantica, and a few others, suggesting that a
dry sclerophyll forest once covered large areas, but has been dramatically reduced due to
desertification in the Sahara, leaving these few patches isolated. Several closely related (or
sometimes identical) species can be found on the two extreme sides of the Sahara: dragon
trees (Dracaena) and Aeonium being two of the most representative examples.
The species was introduced to China and various parts of southern Europe in the 17th century.
[25]
The species is widely naturalised elsewhere, occurring in temperate and tropical regions of
Australia, Barbados, Belize, Curaao, Nigeria, Paraguay, Mexico and the US states
of Florida, Arizona and Texas.[18][26] The actual species' distribution has been suggested to be the
result of human cultivation (anthropogenic).[19][27]

Cultivation[edit]

Aloe vera can be grown as anornamental plant.

Aloe vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant. The species is popular with modern
gardeners as a putatively medicinal plantand for its interesting flowers, form, and succulence.
This succulence enables the species to survive in areas of low natural rainfall, making it ideal for
rockeries and other low water-use gardens.[4] The species is hardy in zones 811, although it is
intolerant of very heavy frost or snow.[5][28] The species is relatively resistant to most insect pests,
though spider mites, mealy bugs, scale insects, and aphidspecies may cause a decline in plant
health.[29][30] This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[31]
In pots, the species requires well-drained, sandy potting soil and bright, sunny conditions;
however, Aloe plants can burn under too much sun or shrivel when the pot does not drain water.
The use of a good-quality commercial propagation mix or packaged "cacti and succulent mix" is
recommended, as they allow good drainage.[32] Terra cotta pots are preferable as they are porous.
[32]
Potted plants should be allowed to completely dry prior to rewatering. When potted, aloes
become crowded with "pups" growing from the sides of the "mother plant", they should be
divided and repotted to allow room for further growth and help prevent pest infestations. During
winter, Aloe veramay become dormant, during which little moisture is required. In areas that
receive frost or snow, the species is best kept indoors or in heated glasshouses. [5]
There is large-scale agricultural production of Aloe vera in Australia,[33] Bangladesh, Cuba,[34] the
Dominican Republic, China, Mexico,[35]India,[36] Jamaica,[37] Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa,
[38]
along with the USA[39] to supply the cosmetics industry.

Aloe vera gel being used to make a dessert

Uses[edit]

Research[edit]
There is little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extracts for either
cosmetic or medicinal purposes. A research study finding positive evidence [7] is frequently
contradicted by other studies.[40][41][42]
Despite this, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding
the soothing, moisturizing, and healing properties of aloe vera.[7][43]
Two 2009 reviews of clinical studies determined that all were too small and faulty to allow strong
conclusions to be drawn, but concluded: "there is some preliminary evidence to suggest that oral
administration of aloe vera might be effective in reducing blood glucose in diabetic patients and
in lowering blood lipid levels in hyperlipidaemia. The topical application of aloe vera does not
seem to prevent radiation-induced skin damage. The evidence regarding wound healing is
contradictory. More and better trial data are needed to define the clinical effectiveness of this
popular herbal remedy more precisely."[42][44] One of the reviews found that Aloe has not been
proven to offer protection for humans from sunburn.[44]
A 2007 review of aloe vera use in burns concluded, "cumulative evidence tends to support that
aloe vera might be an effective intervention used in burn wound healing for rst- to seconddegree burns. Further, well-designed trials with sufficient details of the contents of aloe vera
products should be carried out to determine the effectiveness of aloe vera." [45] Topical application
of aloe vera may also be effective for genital herpes and psoriasis.[42][46] A 2014 Cochrane review
found no strong evidence for the value of topical application of aloe vera to treat or
prevent phlebitis caused by intravenous infusion.[47]
Aloe vera gel is used commercially as an ingredient in yogurts, beverages, and some desserts,[48]
[49][50]
although at certain doses, its toxic properties could be severe whether ingested or topically
applied.[51] The same is true for aloe latex, which was taken orally for conditions ranging
from glaucoma to multiple sclerosis until the FDA required manufacturers to discontinue its use.[52]

Dietary supplement[edit]
Aloin, a compound found in the exudate of some Aloe species, was the common ingredient
in over-the-counter (OTC) laxative products in the United States until 2002 when the Food and
Drug Administration banned it because the companies manufacturing it failed to provide the
necessary safety data.[53][54] Aloe vera has potential toxicity, with side effects occurring at some
dose levels both when ingested or applied topically.[51] Although toxicity may be less when aloin is
removed by processing, Aloe vera that contains aloin in excess amounts may induce side
effects.[7][42][55]
Aloe vera juice is marketed to support the health of the digestive system, but there is neither
scientific evidence nor regulatory approval to support this claim.[56] The extracts and quantities
typically used for such purposes appear to be dose-dependent for toxic effects. [51]

Traditional medicine[edit]
Aloe vera is used in traditional medicine as a multipurpose skin treatment. In Ayurvedic
medicine it is called kathalai, as are extracts from agave.[57]:196 for aloe:117 for agave Early records of Aloe

vera use appear in the Ebers Papyrus from the 16th century BC,[15]:18 and in Dioscorides' De
Materia Medica and Pliny the Elder's Natural History both written in the mid-first century AD.
[15]:20
It is also written of in the Juliana Anicia Codex of 512 AD.[48]:9 The plant is used widely in the
traditional herbal medicine of many countries.

Commodities[edit]
Aloe vera is used on facial tissues where it is promoted as a moisturiser and anti-irritant to
reduce chafing of the nose. Cosmetic companies commonly add sap or other derivatives
from Aloe vera to products such as makeup, tissues, moisturizers, soaps, sunscreens, incense,
shaving cream, or shampoos.[48] A review of academic literature notes that its inclusion in many
hygiene products is due to its "moisturizing emollient effect".[9]
Other potential uses for extracts of Aloe vera include the dilution of semen for the artificial
fertilization of sheep,[58] as a fresh food preservative,[59] or for water conservation in small farms.
[60]
It has also been suggested that biofuels could be obtained from Aloe vera seeds.[61]

Toxicity[edit]
Under the guidelines of California Proposition 65, orally ingested non-decolorized aloe vera leaf
extract has been listed by the OEHHA, along with goldenseal, among "chemicals known to the
state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity".[62]
Use of topical aloe vera is not associated with significant side effects.[53] Oral ingestion of aloe
vera, however, may cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea which in turn can decrease the
absorption of drugs.[53] IARC studies have found ingested non-decolorized liquid aloe vera [63] to be
carcinogenic in animals, and state that it is a possible carcinogen in humans as well. [64]

The miracle skin saver


Your mom was onto something when she snipped off the tip of an aloe leaf and
squeezed it onto your sunburn. The plant has been shown in studies to help heal
minor wounds eight days faster than standard dressing, not to mention its an
antibacterial and contains vitamins and minerals that can ease eczema and psoriasis
flare-ups. But creative and enterprising beauty experts are using it for a lot more
than the occasional cut or rash; theyre using it to get gorgeous, too. (Look more
radiant than everand lose up to 25 pounds in 2 months
with Prevention's new Younger In 8 Weeks plan!)
We collected experts completely natural aloe vera uses in these 10 DIY home recipes.
To avoid added fragrance and dyes, look for 100% pure aloe vera gel. Its available at
most pharmacies and health food stores.

As a makeup remover

You have to get the raccoon eyes off somehow, but many makeup removers contain
harsh chemicals that are very drying to your skin, says Ildi Pekar, founder of an
eponymous skin care line. She recommends you squeeze a dollop of pure aloe gel
onto a cotton ball and swipe away the day for a simple and effective alternative.
(Here are 5 ways to keep raccoon eyes at bay in the first place!)

As a shaving cream
In-the-know beauty buffs swear by pure aloe as the perfect shaving cream: Its
antibacterial, which is great for nicks; its slippery, allowing for a nice close shave;
and it moisturizes, too. You can use it on its own, or combine with other nourishing
ingredients for a more luxe (but still DIY) product.
Erika Katz, author of Bonding Over Beauty, shared this recipe with us: Mix 1/3 cup
aloe vera gel, 1/4 cup castile soap or hand soap, 1 Tbsp almond oil, 1/4 cup distilled
warm water, 1 tsp vitamin E oil, and 5 drops of eucalyptus oil in a foaming bottle or a
clean soap pump dispenser. Shake well before you use, and refrigerate up to six
months.

As a soothing ice cube


Grab an ice cube tray, fill with aloe gel, and freeze. Pop them out and store in a
freezer safe container. These little frosty fellows are great after too much sun
exposure, run-ins with your stove, bug bites, poison ivy, and even psoriasis, says
Corene Hejl, owner of beauty company feedmyskin. At our house we call it the booboo pop! (Check out 9 more completely genius uses for your ice cube tray.)

As a face wash
Is there anything it cant do? Mix 1 Tbsp aloe vera gel with 1 tsp almond milk, and 1
tsp lemon, wash and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Since some minerals
found in aloe are antibacterial, this face wash is ideal for sensitive skin, breakouts,
and rosacea, says Pekar. Need an anti-aging boost? Mix 1 Tbsp aloe with 1 tsp 100%
raw organic coconut oil, massage into hands until the contents are warm, then wash
and rinse.

As an exfoliator
Its not the most pleasant part of grooming, but exfoliation is important if you want
to reveal glowing, fresh skin. Aloe is a great base for a homemade scrub because it
helps soften your skin and supply oxygen to your cells, strengthening the tissue to
create vibrant skin, says Pekar. Mix 1/2 cup of aloe with just enough brown sugar or

baking soda to get a gritty (but not sharp) texture. Then rub it on your elbows, heels,
arms, or wherever else needs softening in the shower.

For bad breath


Come a little closerno, actuallydont. When bad breath hits, drink up to 1/4 cup
pure aloe vera gel dissolved in a 1/2 cup of water or apple juice, suggests herbalist
Letha Hadady, author of Healthy Beauty. Aloe vera contains an anti-inflammatory
compound called B-sitosterol that soothes acid indigestion, a common cause of bad
breath. But resist the urge to chug; in large doses, aloe vera can work like a laxative.

As a night treatment
In a literal twist on getting your beauty sleep, Tammie Umbel, founder of Shea Terra
Organics, likes to blend pure aloe juice with three inches of cucumber and half an egg
white for a hydrating mask you can wear to bed. (Love masks? Here are 5 more DIY
masks for glowing skin!)

As an eyebrow gel
We love a strong brow (step away from those tweezers!) but tidiness is key. Dip a
clean mascara wand in some aloe vera gel and sweep over stray brows for serious
stay-put power without getting hard or sticky.
And if you did go overboard with the tweezing, Hejl swears by this recipe: Mix one
part aloe gel with one part castor oil. It seems to help over-plucked eyebrows grow in
faster.

For dry, cracked feet


Petra Strand, creator of Pixi Beauty, incorporates this ultimate green beauty
ingredient into a foot mask that makes dry, cracked feet baby soft. Mix together 1/2
cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup corn meal, 4 Tbsp aloe vera gel, and 1/2 cup unscented body
lotion and rub all over tired feet until well exfoliated. Sit for 10 minutes, then rinse
with warm water. (Check out more secrets for pretty feet all year round.)

As a personal hand sanitizer


Sick of your hand sanitizer drying out your hands? Mix 1/2 cup aloe vera gel, 1/4 cup
alcohol, and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil and pour into a spritz bottle. The
alcohol fights germs while the aloe soothes your skin, says Katz. To use, spritz once
and rub between hands.

Rosemary
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Rosemary (disambiguation).

Rosmarinus officinalis
Rosemary

Rosemary in flower

Scientific classification
Kingdom:

Plantae

(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order:

Lamiales

Family:

Lamiaceae

Genus:

Rosmarinus

Species:

R. officinali
s

Binomial name
Rosmarinus officinalis

L.[1]

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with


fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the
Mediterranean region.
It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs. The name
"rosemary" derives from the Latin for "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea".[2] The
plant is also sometimes called anthos, from the ancient Greek word , meaning "flower".
[3]
Rosemary has a fibrous root system.

Rosemary
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Rosemary (disambiguation).

Rosmarinus officinalis
Rosemary

Rosemary in flower

Scientific classification
Kingdom:

Plantae

(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order:

Lamiales

Family:

Lamiaceae

Genus:

Rosmarinus

Species:

R. officinali
s

Binomial name
Rosmarinus officinalis
L.[1]

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with


fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the
Mediterranean region.
It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs. The name
"rosemary" derives from the Latin for "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea".[2] The
plant is also sometimes called anthos, from the ancient Greek word , meaning "flower".
[3]
Rosemary has a fibrous root system.