Weak immunity? A mild cold at the wrong time? Peeling skin? Weak and brittle hair? It’s hard to believe, but at first glance the usual aloe plant will cope with all this. It is aloe, thanks to many useful substances, people call “home medicine cabinet”.
The birthplace of this unique plant is Africa, or rather, the hot island of Madagascar. The genus Aloe has more than 300 species worldwide. The word “aloe” itself means a succulent plant, and came to us from the Arabic language. One of the most common indoor plant species is aloe arborescens. Unfortunately, the plant blooms very rarely, being at home. Evergreen aloe belongs to the lily family. Although succulents are not picky in caring, some rules are still worth observing.
Caring for aloe
Care requirements are almost as simple as cactus care. The main need of the plant is sunlight. The surest option is to place aloe on the sunny side of the windowsill, as close as possible to the sun. However, care must be taken that the soil does not dry out in the summer. If the air temperature rises above 30 °F in summer, severe brown burns may appear on the leaves of the aloe. In this case, moistening the air and leaves will help to avoid the negative effects of scorching sunlight.
Air temperature is not the only condition that needs to be controlled in the offseason. Aloe grows at a temperature of 68 °F and above. In the winter season, a comfortable temperature for the plant is 59 °F and above.
The frequency of watering depends on the season. In the summer, the soil can quickly dry out, so watering is necessary 2-3 times a week. But in the winter, aloe slows down its natural processes and retains moisture longer. Thanks to this feature, you need to water only once every 2-3 months. Oddly enough, aloe really loves room temperature water and can even “get sick” if the water is cold. Therefore, it is advisable to insist water for irrigation, or slightly warm up.
Reproduction and transplant of aloe
For aloe, 3 methods of reproduction are characteristic:
• using root shoots (formed at the base of shoots);
• cuttings (single leaves);
• the upper part of the stem (with several leaves);
Sometimes aloe can be propagated using seeds, but this is a laborious process.
- The easiest way is reproduction with the help of young shoots. They are split off from the parent flower and moved into a glass with water so that the process has the opportunity to take its own roots. After about 3-4 weeks, the shoot takes strong roots and can be transplanted into a separate pot.
- Cuttings are a quick method of propagation for many houseplants, including aloe. This method can be used year-round, even in winter. For the successful propagation of aloe, you need to purchase a special primer in a flower shop. The bottom is covered with sand for a better outflow of excess water. Cuttings are planted to a depth of 1 inch in the soil.
- Reproduction by the upper part of the stem is perfect for beginner gardeners. Rooting with this method of reproduction occurs quickly. The top of the stem is cut so that at least 5 leaves are left on it. Then soaked in water for 30 minutes with the addition of growth hormone. After this procedure, aloe is placed in a glass of water at room temperature. As soon as the first roots appear, the plant is ready for transplanting.
A young plant does not need active watering, but it needs sunlight. Aloe is a plant that is not prone to disease, so the lack of flowering should not scare and cause concern. The fleshy leaves of aloe are the main source of useful and healing properties for the human body.
The healing properties of aloe
The healing properties of such an unusual plant became known about 3 thousand years ago. In our time, aloe is inextricably linked with the word “first aid kit”. Aloe leaves contain:
• essential oil,
• choline, carotene, folic acid,
• vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, A, C and E,
• volatile production.
Aloe juice (Sabur) was previously used for stomach problems, constipation. Medicines that use aloe juice:
relieve inflammation and heal wounds;
The substance allantoin is considered one of the valuable components of aloe leaves, because It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. This substance is part of the preparations for local anesthesia. He was also actively added to cosmetics for skin care.
With the active use of cosmetics with allantoin, you can observe:
noticeable narrowing of pores;
the skin remains hydrated longer;
inflammation and swelling of the skin of the face is removed;
enhanced cell regeneration.
Aloe juice has become an indispensable tool for the care of long hair. It helps to cope with such problems:
• hair loss and fragility;
• the presence of dandruff;
• dry scalp;
• hair stiffness and dullness;
• lack of hair nutrition.
Aloe Hair Growth Mask:
1. Mix one tablespoon of castor oil with a spoon of aloe juice;
2. Add one yolk and two tablespoons of nettle broth to the resulting mixture;
3. Massaging movements apply a mask on the scalp and leave for 40 minutes.
Repeat the procedure twice a week for a month.
If the thought of a healthy thick head of hair has not left you for a long time, then aloe masks are especially for you. Even in ancient Egypt, aloe juice was used by one of the most beautiful women in history – Cleopatra.
Archaeologists studying the tombs of the pharaohs found irrefutable evidence that this amazing plant was used in ancient Egypt for medical and cosmetic purposes. This is clearly evidenced by the found drawings of a flowering plant, resembling aloe in appearance.
Aloe, which does not require much care, can be an indispensable tool in your home medicine cabinet.