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Tips for Growing and Harvesting Aloe Vera

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

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  • Aloe vera is easy to grow and care for, provided it gets enough sunlight. For medicinal use, select an aloe species with thick, “meaty” leaves, such as Aloe Barbadensis Miller. Many varieties are very thin and long, making them more difficult to use
  • Basic growing and harvesting guidelines are described, along with tips for internal and external usage; contraindications and possible side effects are also reviewed
  • Aloe vera is a succulent plant well-known for its soothing qualities, especially for skin conditions such as burns, rashes, cuts and scrapes, but also for more serious skin conditions such as psoriasis
  • Aloe vera contains about 75 potentially active compounds, including polysaccharides such as mannose, which is great for gut health and has immune-boosting benefits
  • Its wound healing abilities stem from the gel’s disinfectant, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic and antibacterial properties. As an adaptogen, aloe vera gel may also help your body adapt to stress

Aloe vera — of which there are about 450 species — is a succulent plant that thrives in tropical areas of the world and is well-known for its soothing qualities, especially for skin conditions such as burns, rashes, cuts and scrapes, but also for more serious skin conditions such as psoriasis. In one study, aloe vera gel had an overall antipsoriatic activity of nearly 82 percent. Aloe vera has spiky, variegated leaves, made up of:


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