Medicinal Plants

Aloe vera


  • Aloe vera belongs to the family Liliacae and is mainly cultivated for its thick fleshy leaves from which the yellow resinous latex or yellow sap or anthraquinones (the bitter yellow liquid between the leaf rind and gel) exudes and can be used as a laxative or purgative. If it is not processed properly it turned out to be poisonous. Nearly there are about 150 species in Aloe vera and these species belong to the succulent family like any other lilies or onions. In India Aloe Vera has been referred to as "kumari’ in Ayurvedic treatments where it was popularly used to treat the sore eyes, abrasions and wounds.


  • African Continent


  • Aloe is grown largely in South Texas, USA, Mexico, India, South America, Central America, Australia and Africa.


  • Liliaceae


  • Miracle plant, Healing plant, Plant of immortality, Fountain of youth.


    1.   Aloe Barbadensis Miller,
    2.   Aloe Saponaria,
    3.   Aloe Chinensis,
    4.   Aloe Variegata,
    5.   Aloe Forex,
    6.   Aloe Lalifolia and
    7.   Curacao Aloe

  • Of these the most popular is Aloe Barbadensis Miller which has most therapeutic value and referred to as ‘True Aloe’. After all the research, it has been accepted that Aloe Barbadensis Miller is the best, as it is the most consistent of all varieties.


  • Aloe is grown in warm tropical areas and cannot survive freezing temperatures.

Cultivation Process


  • Aloe Vera can be cultivated on any soil for 'dry land management', sandy loamy soil is the best suited for it.


  • Aloe Vera is generally propagated by root suckers by carefully digging out without damaging the parent plant and planting it in the main field. It can also be propagated through rhizome cuttings by digging out the rhizomes after the harvest of the crop and making them into 5-6 cm length cuttings with a minimum of 2-3 nodes on them. Then they are rooted in specially prepared sand beds or containers.
  • The plant is ready for transplanting after the appearance of the first sprouts. The process of cultivating Aloe Vera involves the following process:
  • The ground is to be carefully prepared to keep free from weeds and the soil is ideally kept ideally slightly acidic. The soil should be supplied supplement in the form of ammonium nitrate every year.
  • The plants are set spaced out by 31 inches in rows and between the rows. At that rate, about 5,000 plants are set per acre. An 8 - 12 inch aloe pop would take about 18 - 24 months to fully mature.
  • The plants, in a year's time, would bear flowers that are bright yellow in colour. The leaves are 1 to 2 feet long and are cut without causing damage to the plant, so that it lasts for several years.
  • The crop can be harvested 4 times a year. At the rate of 3 leaves cut from each plant, about 12 leaves are the harvest per plant per year. On an average, the yield per acre annually is about 60,000 kg.
  • The leaves cut off close to the plant are placed immediately, with the cut end downwards, in a V-shaped wooden trough of about 4 feet long and 12 to 18 inches deep.
  • The wooden trough is set on a sharp incline so that the juice, which trickles from the leaves very rapidly, flows down its sides, and finally escapes by a hole at its lower end into a vessel placed beneath.
  • It takes about a quarter of an hour to cut leaves enough to fill a trough. The troughs are so distributed as to be easily accessible to the cutters.
  • The leaves are neither infused nor boiled, nor is any use afterwards made of them except for manure. When the vessels receiving the juice become filled, the latter is removed to a cask or reserved for evaporation. This may be done at once, or it may be delayed for weeks or even months.
  • The evaporation is generally conducted in a copper vessel; at the bottom of this is a large ladle, into which the impurities sink, and are from time to time removed as the boiling goes on.
  • As soon as the inspissation has reached the proper point, which is determined solely by the experienced eye of the workman, the thickened juice is poured into large gourds or into boxes, and allowed to harden.


    1.   Its thick leaves contain the water supply for the plant to survive long periods of drought.
    2.   These leaves have a high capacity of retaining the water.
    3.   When a leaf is cut, a orange yellow sap drips from the open end which has a very strong laxative effect. When the green skin of a leaf is removed a clear mucilaginous substance appears that contain fibers, water and the ingredients to retain the water in the leaf. These ingredients give this "gel" its special qualities as they are known now for many centuries. Among the uses for this gel are acceleration of wound healing, use on skin burns, moisturizing dry skin and it is taken internally for peptic ulcers or gastritis.


    1.   Aloe vera helps heal wounds,
    2.   Aloe vera gel soothes burns,
    3.   Aloe vera minimizes frostbite damage,
    4.   Aloe vera screens out radiation,
    5.   Aloe vera protects from lung cancer,
    6.   Aloe vera eases intestinal problems,
    7.   Aloe vera reduces blood sugar in diabetes


  • International Aloe Science Council (IASC) is the certifying body of the Aloe industry


  • Aloe Vera is among the few medicinal plants by virtue of their extensive medicinal, nutraceutical and other uses enjoy a major chunk of the market across the globe. The major markets for Aloe Vera and its extracts are Australia, US and the entire Europe. Despite the ideal climatic conditions for the cultivation of Aloe Vera, we have not been able to exploit the excellent potential of the miraculous medicinal plant. The reasons are simple : lack of cultivation and processing know-how.
  • Given the exponentially growing demand for it in the international market, Aloe Vera presents the finest commercial opportunity among the various medicinal plants. Also, India is among the few countries gifted with the unique geographical features essential for cultivation of Aloe Vera and other high potential medicinal plants. Yet, the country has not realized and reaped the full potential of such plants. The reason is simple: lack of the requisite expertise. Fortunately, the technology is now accessible to individual and corporate entrepreneurs to make the most of Aloe through mainstream cultivation.


    1.   Over dose of Aloe can cause diarrhea and kidney damage.
    2.   People who are on steroids, pills for irregular heart beat, diuretics, digoxin should not use Aloe.
    3.   People with intestinal disorders, pregnant and nursing mothers and children below 12 years should not  use Aloe / Aloe latex.