- 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
- Aloe is grown largely in South Texas, USA, Mexico, India,
South America, Central America, Australia and Africa.
COMMONLY CALLED AS
- Miracle plant, Healing plant, Plant of immortality, Fountain
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
- Aloe Vera can be cultivated on any soil for 'dry
land management', sandy loamy soil is the best suited for
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.