From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aloe, also written Aloë, is a genus containing about four hundred species of flowering succulent plants. The most common and well known of these is Aloe vera, or "true aloe".
The genus is native to Africa, and is common in South Africa's Cape Province, the mountains of tropical Africa, and neighboring areas such as Madagascar, the Arabian peninsula, and the islands of Africa.
The APG II system (2003) placed the genus in the family Asphodelaceae. In the past it has also been assigned to families Aloaceae and Liliaceae or lily family. Members of the closely allied genera Gasteria, Haworthia and Kniphofia, which have a similar mode of growth, are also popularly known as aloes. Note that the plant sometimes called American aloe (Agave americana) belongs to Agavaceae, a different family.
Most Aloe species have a rosette of large, thick, fleshy leaves. The leaves are often lance-shaped with a sharp apex and a spiny margin. Aloe flowers are tubular, frequently yellow, pink or red and are borne on densely clustered, simple or branched leafless stems.
Many species of Aloe appear to be stemless, with the rosette growing directly at ground level; other varieties may have a branched or unbranched stem from which the fleshy leaves spring. They vary in color from grey to bright-green and are sometimes striped or mottled. Some Aloes native to South Africa are arborescent.
* 1 Uses
o 1.1 Historical uses
* 2 Aloin in OTC laxative products
o 2.1 Chemical properties
* 3 Popular culture
* 4 Species
* 5 Trivia
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
* 9 Images
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Aloe species are frequently cultivated as ornamental plants both in gardens and in pots. Many Aloe species are highly decorative and are valued by collectors of succulents. Aloe vera is used both internally and externally on humans, and is claimed to have some medicinal effects, which have been supported by scientific and medical research. The gel in the leaves can be made into a smooth type of cream that can heal burns such as sunburn. They can also be made into types of special soaps.
 Historical uses
Historical use of various Aloe species by humans is well documented. Documentation of the clinical effectiveness is available, although relatively limited.
Of the 299 species of Aloe, only a few were used traditionally as a herbal medicine, aloe vera again being the most commonly used version of aloe in herbal medicine. Also included are Aloe perryi (found in northeastern Africa) and Aloe ferox (found in South Africa). The Greeks and Romans used aloe vera to treat wounds. In the Middle Ages, the yellowish liquid found inside the leaves was favored as a purgative. Processed aloe that contains aloin is generally used as a laxative, whereas processed aloe vera juice does not usually contain significant aloin.
Some species, particularly Aloe vera are used in alternative medicine and in the home first aids. Both the translucent inner pulp and the resinous yellow aloin from wounding the Aloe plant are used externally to relieve skin discomforts. As an herbal medicine, aloe vera juice is commonly used internally to relieve digestive discomfort "aloe for heartburn". Better Nutrition. 2007. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FKA/is_4_69/ai_n18791510. "aloe alt med". http://altmedicine.about.com/od/therapiesfrometol/a/heartburn.htm. "Aloe IBS study". http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/546327. . Some modern research suggests Aloe vera can significantly slow wound healing compared to normal protocols of treatment. Other reviews of randomised and controlled clinical trials have provided no evidence that Aloe vera has a strong medicinal effect.
Today, aloe vera is used both internally and externally on humans. The gel found in the leaves is used for soothing minor burns, wounds, and various skin conditions like eczema and ringworm. The extracted aloe vera juice aloe vera plant is used internally to treat a variety of digestive conditions. The use of this herbal medicine was popularized in the 1950s in many Western countries. The gel's effect is nearly immediate; it also applies a layer over wounds that is said to reduce the chance of any infection.
There have been relatively few studies about possible benefits of Aloe gel taken internally. Components of Aloe may inhibit tumor growth. There have been some studies in animal models which indicate that extracts of Aloe have a significant anti-hyperglycemic effect, and may be useful in treating Type II diabetes. These studies have not been confirmed in humans.
 Aloin in OTC laxative products
On May 9, 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule banning the use of aloin, the yellow sap of the aloe plant for use as laxative ingredient in over-the-counter drug products. Most aloe juices today do not contain significant aloin.
 Chemical properties
According to W. A. Shenstone, two classes of aloins are to be recognized: (1) nataloins, which yield picric and oxalic acids with nitric acid, and do not give a red coloration with nitric acid; and (2) barbaloins, which yield aloetic acid (C7H2N3O5), chrysammic acid (C7H2N2O6), picric and oxalic acids with nitric acid, being reddened by the acid. This second group may be divided into a-barbaloins, obtained from Barbados Aloe, and reddened in the cold, and b-barbaloins, obtained from Socotrine and Zanzibar Aloe, reddened by ordinary nitric acid only when warmed or by fuming acid in the cold. Nataloin (2C17H13O7·H2O) forms bright yellow scales. Barbaloin (C17H18O7) prismatic crystals. Aloe species also contain a trace of volatile oil, to which its odour is due.
 Popular culture
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aloe_vossii_-_plant_%28aka%29.jpg
Aloe rubrolutea occurs as a charge in heraldry, such as in the Civic Heraldry of Namibia.
There are around 400 species in the genus Aloe. For a full list, see List of species of genus Aloe. Species include:
* Aloe vera - used in healthcare & health products
* Aloe arborescens - used in healthcare
* Aloe aristata - Torch Plant, Lace Aloe
* Aloe dichotoma - quiver tree or kokerboom
* Aloe nyeriensis
* Aloe variegata - Partridge-breasted Aloe, Tiger Aloe
* Aloe barbadensis - Barbados Aloe, Common Aloe, Yellow Aloe, Medicinal Aloe. This is an older name for Aloe vera.
* Aloe wildii
An Aloe tree appeared on stamps issued in 1919 by Batum, a semi-autonomous region of Georgia in the South Caucasus region.
1. ^ Images of aloe trees.
2. ^ Reynolds, T (ed) Aloes: The genus Aloe. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-415-30672-0
3. ^ Schmidt JM, Greenspoon JS (1991). "Aloe vera dermal wound gel is associated with a delay in wound healing". Obstet Gynecol 78 (1): 115–7. PMID 2047051.
4. ^ Richardson J, Smith JE, McIntyre M, Thomas R, Pilkington K (2005). "Aloe vera for preventing radiation-induced skin reactions: a systematic literature review". Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 17 (6): 478–84. PMID 16149293.
5. ^ Ernst E, Pittler MH, Stevinson C (2002). "Complementary/alternative medicine in dermatology: evidence-assessed efficacy of two diseases and two treatments". Am J Clin Dermatol 3 (5): 341–8. doi:10.2165/00128071-200203050-00006. PMID 12069640.
6. ^ Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert, Panel (2007). "Final report on the safety assessment of Aloe andongensis extract, Aloe andongensis leaf juice, Aloe arborescens leaf extract, Aloe arborescens leaf juice, Aloe arborescens leaf protoplasts, Aloe barbadensis flower extract, Aloe barbadensis leaf, Aloe barbadensis leaf extract, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Aloe barbadensis leaf polysaccharides, Aloe barbadensis leaf water, Aloe ferox leaf extract, Aloe ferox leaf juice, and Aloe ferox leaf juice extract". Int. J. Toxicol. 26 Suppl 2: 1–50. doi:10.1080/10915810701351186. PMID 17613130.
7. ^ Tanaka M, Misawa E, Ito Y, Habara N, Nomaguchi K, Yamada M, Toida T, Hayasawa H, Takase M, Inagaki M, Higuchi R (2006). "Identification of five phytosterols from Aloe vera gel as anti-diabetic compounds". Biol. Pharm. Bull.=) 29 (7): 1418–22. doi:10.1248/bpb.29.1418. PMID 16819181.
8. ^ Food And Drug Administration,, HHS (2002). "Status of certain additional over-the-counter drug category II and III active ingredients. Final rule". Fed Regist 67 (90): 31125–7. PMID 12001972.
9. ^ "NAMIBIA - WINDHOEK". http://www.ngw.nl/int/afr/windhoek.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-24.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:K%C3%B6cherbaum_K%C3%B6cherbaumwald_01.JPG
Aloe maculata flower
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aloe_saponaria_3.jpgFONTE:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aloe arborescens, commonly known as the Krantz Aloe, belongs to the Aloe genus, which it shares with the well known and studied Aloe vera plant. This species is also relatively popular among gardeners and has recently been studied for possible medical uses. It is the only other member of the Aloe family that is claimed to be as effective as Aloe Vera for medical uses.
* 1 Description
* 2 Distribution
* 3 Uses
o 3.1 Medicinal uses
o 3.2 Gardening
* 4 References
The Aloe arborescens is a large treelike multi-headed shrub and bears its name due to its stem forming habit . Typical height for this species ranges from 2 to3 meters (6-10ft) high. Its leaves are succulent and are green with a slight blue tint. Its leaves are armed with small spikes along its edges and are arranged in rosettes situated at the end of branches . Flowers are arranged in a type inflorescence called a raceme. The racemes are not branched but two to several can sprout from each rosette. Flowers are cylindrical in shape and are a vibrant red/orange color. 
Aloe arborescens is mostly native to the south eastern coast of the African continent. Specifically, this range includes the countries of South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  It has the third largest distribution amongst the aloe genus . Although Aloe arborescens has adapted to many different habitats, its natural habitat usually consists of mountainous areas including rocky outcrops and exposed ridges. Its common name Krantz Aloe refers to the Afrikaans word "krantz", which means a rocky cliff. Its habitat can vary and is one of only a few species of aloe that is found growing from sea level, up to the tops of mountains. 
 Medicinal uses
Aloe arborescens shares similar medicinal properties with the well known Aloe vera and is commonly used to treat burns wounds. In a scientific study conducted by Jia et al., wounds were induced in rat and rabbit test subjects and pulp from Aloe arborescens was applied to the wounds. Results showed that healing rates were improved in wounds addressed with Aloe arborescens. According to the study, applications of the Aloe arborescens extract “tended to significantly reduce the wound severity with respect to that with saline treatment”. In addition to increased healing properties, the study found that Aloe arborescens can be used to reduce microbial growth. The study found that the application had “effectively inhibited the bacterial growth for four bacteria during the observation period of time”. Preliminary results show that Aloe arborescens may be used in the treatment of cancer. Aloe arborescens extract has been found to contain compounds that inhibit cell proliferation 
The Aloe arborescens is a popular plant among gardeners because of its beauty. These plants are known for their succulent green leaves and large vibrantly colored flowers. Its flowers bloom during the winter and is chosen among gardeners to add color to their gardens during the winter season when few other flowers bloom. In addition to their beauty, this species also produces a sweet nectar that attracts birds, butterflies and bees.
In Southern Africa, Aloe arborescens is traditionally planted around kraals (domestic stock enclosures) as a living fence or security hedge. It often happens that the position of old kraals can still be seen many years after they have been abandoned, because the aloes persist.
This aloe is easily propagated by cuttings. 
1. ^ a b c d e Hankey, Andrew, and Alice Notten. "Aloe Arborescens." PlantZAfrica. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantab/aloearbor.htm>.
2. ^ a b "Aloe Arborescens." Aloes of the Huntington Gardens. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.calflora.net/aloesofthehuntingtongardens/aloe_arborescens.html>.
3. ^ a b Jia, Yimei, Guodong Zhao, and Jicheng Jia. "Preliminary evaluation: The effects of Aloe ferox Miller and Aloe arborescens Miller on wound healing." Journal of Ethnopharmacology 120, no. 2 (November 20, 2008): 181-189. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost.
4. ^ BEDINI, C., et al. "Micropropagation of Aloe arborescens Mill: A step towards efficient production of its valuable leaf extracts showing antiproliferative activity on murine myeloma cells." Plant Biosystems 143.2 (2009): 233-240. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Babosa1.jpgFONTE
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aloe vera, also known as the true or medicinal aloe, is a species of succulent plant that probably originated in the southern half of the Arabian peninsula, Northern Africa, the Canary islands and Cape Verde. Aloe vera grows in arid climates and is widely distributed in Africa, India and other arid areas. The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine. Many scientific studies of the use of aloe vera have been undertaken, some of them conflicting. Despite these limitations, there is some preliminary evidence that Aloe vera extracts may be useful in the treatment of wound and burn healing, minor skin infections, Sebaceous cyst, diabetes and elevated blood lipids in humans. These positive effects are thought to be due to the presence of compounds such as polysaccharides, mannans, anthraquinones and lectins.
* 1 Description
* 2 Taxonomy and etymology
* 3 Distribution
o 3.1 Alternative names
* 4 Cultivation
* 5 Uses
o 5.1 Medicinal uses
o 5.2 Commodity uses
o 5.3 Historical uses
o 5.4 Culinary uses
* 6 Biologically active compounds
* 7 Gallery
o 7.1 Products
o 7.2 Cultivated Aloe vera
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 External links
Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 60–100 cm (24–39 in) tall, spreading by offsets. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on the upper and lower stem surfaces. 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 pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) long. Like other Aloe species, Aloe vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis that allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil.
 Taxonomy and etymology
The species has a number of synonyms: A. barbadensis Mill., Aloe indica Royle, Aloe perfoliata L. var. vera and A. vulgaris Lam., and common names including Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, true Aloe, Barbados Aloe, burn Aloe, first aid plant. The species name vera means "true" or "genuine." Some literature identifies the white spotted form of Aloe vera as Aloe vera var. chinensis, however, the species varies widely with regard to leaf spots  and it has been suggested that the spotted form of Aloe vera may be conspecific with A. massawana. The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as Aloe perfoliata var. vera, and was described again in 1768 by Nicolaas Laurens Burman as Aloe vera in Flora Indica on the 6th of April and by Philip Miller as Aloe barbadensis some ten days after Burman in the Gardener's Dictionary.
Techniques based on DNA comparison suggest that Aloe vera is relatively closely related to Aloe perryi, a species that is endemic to Yemen. Similar techniques, using chloroplast DNA sequence comparison and ISSR profiling have also suggested that Aloe vera is closely related to Aloe forbesii, Aloe inermis, Aloe scobinifolia, Aloe sinkatana and Aloe striata. With the exception of South African species, A. striata, these Aloe species are native to Socotra (Yemen), Somalia and Sudan. The lack of obvious natural populations of the species have led some authors to suggest that Aloe vera may be of hybrid origin.
The natural range of Aloe 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. This distribution is somewhat similar to the one of Euphorbia balsamifera, Pistacia atlantica and a few others, suggesting that a dry sclerophyl forest once covered large areas, but has been dramatically reduced due to desertification in the Sahara, leaving these few patches isolated. Several closely related species (or sometimes identical) can be found on the two extreme sides of the Sahara: Dragon trees and Aeonium being some of the most representative examples.
The species was introduced to China and various parts of southern Europe in the 17th century. The species is widely naturalised elsewhere, occurring in temperate and tropical regions of Australia, Barbados, Belize, Nigeria, Paraguay and the US It has been suggested that the actual species' distribution is the result of human cultivation and that the taxonomy could be doubtful too.
 Alternative names
- In India, the plant is known as Korphad in Maharashtra, Ghrtakumari(Hindi/Sanskrit: घृतकुमारी) or Gheekvar (घीक्वार)
and is sometimes used in Ayurvedic healing. In states of Rajasthan and Gujarat it is known as GwarPatha. In Tamilnadu it is known as Katralai (Tamil: கற்றாழை). In Telugu it is known as Kalabanda (కలబంద).
- In Pakistan, the plant is known as Quargandal and is used in Unani (Greek-Islamic) medicine.
- In South America it is known as Sabila.
- In Indonesia, it is known as Lidah Buaya (translation: "Crocodile's Tongue").
- In Thailand, it is known as the "Crocodile Tail" (Thai: ว่านหางจระเข้) plant.
- In Vietnam, it is known as the "Nha Đam" plant
- In many parts of India the plant extract is used as a home remedy for numerous skin allergies, acne, fungus infections and beauty-aid. In the state of Kerala, where it is known as kattar vazha, Aloe Vera is a common household name and for a long time it is being used for Ayurvedic treatment. And in the state of Tamil nadu, Aloe vera is known as katraazhai (Tamil: கற்றாழை) and it has also a pet name kumari. The pulp of the plant is highly regarded for its anti-ageing potential, hence the name kumari. The pulp is used extensively in Siddha medicines for treating constipation, enlargement of spleen, zymotic disease, chengamaari (a type of venereal infection) etc.
-In Mexico and Latin America it is often referred to as either "Savia", "Savila", or "Sabila." It is widely used both by Indigenous Peoples as well as by some Mestizos as a traditional medicine.
Aloe vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant. The species is popular with modern gardeners as a putatively medicinal plant and due to 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. The species is hardy in zones 8–11, although it is intolerant of very heavy frost or snow. The species is relatively resistant to most insect pests, though spider mites, mealy bugs, scale insects and aphid species may cause a decline in plant health. In pots, the species requires well-drained sandy potting soil and bright sunny conditions; however, in very hot and humid tropical or subtropical climates, aloe plants should be protected from direct sun and rain, as they will burn and/or turn mushy easily under these conditions. The use of a good quality commercial propagation mix or pre-packaged "cacti and succulent mix" is recommended as they allow good drainage. Terracotta pots are preferable as they are porous. Potted plants should be allowed to completely dry prior to re-watering. When potted aloes become crowded with "pups" growing from the sides of the "mother plant," they should be divided and re-potted to allow room for further growth and help prevent pest infestations. During winter, A. vera may 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. Large scale agricultural production of Aloe vera is undertaken in Australia, Bangladesh, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, India, Jamaica, Kenya and South Africa, along with the USA to supply the cosmetics industry with Aloe vera gel.
 Medicinal uses
Scientific evidence for the cosmetic and therapeutic effectiveness of Aloe vera is limited and when present is frequently contradictory.  Despite this, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding the soothing, moisturising and healing properties of Aloe vera, especially via Internet advertising. Aloe vera gel is used as an ingredient in commercially available lotion, yogurt, beverages and some desserts. Aloe vera juice is used for consumption and relief of digestive issues such as heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome. It is common practice for cosmetic companies to add sap or other derivatives from Aloe vera to products such as makeup, tissues, moisturizers, soaps, sunscreens, incense, razors and shampoos. Other uses for extracts of Aloe vera include the dilution of semen for the artificial fertilization of sheep, use as fresh food preservative, and use in water conservation in small farms.
Aloe vera has a long association with herbal medicine, although it is not known when its medical applications were first discovered. Early records of Aloe vera use appear in the Ebers Papyrus from 16th century BCE, in both Dioscorides' De Materia Medica and Pliny the Elder's Natural History written in the mid-first century CE along with the Juliana Anicia Codex produced in 512 CE. Aloe vera is non-toxic, with no known side effects, provided the aloin has been removed by processing. Taking Aloe vera that contains aloin in excess amounts has been associated with various side effects. However, the species is used widely in the traditional herbal medicine of China, Japan, Russia, South Africa, the United States, Jamaica and India.
Aloe vera is alleged to be effective in treatment of wounds. Evidence on the effects of Aloe vera sap on wound healing, however, is limited and contradictory. Some studies, for example, show that Aloe vera promotes the rates of healing, while in contrast, other studies show that wounds to which Aloe vera gel was applied were significantly slower to heal than those treated with conventional medical preparations. A more recent review (2007) concludes that the cumulative evidence supports the use of Aloe vera for the healing of first to second degree burns. In addition to topical use in wound or burn healing, internal intake of Aloe vera has been linked with improved blood glucose levels in diabetics, and with lower blood lipids in hyperlipidaemic patients, but also with acute hepatitis (liver disease). In other diseases, preliminary studies have suggested oral Aloe vera gel may reduce symptoms and inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis. Compounds extracted from Aloe vera have been used as an immunostimulant that aids in fighting cancers in cats and dogs; however, this treatment has not been scientifically tested in humans. The injection of Aloe vera extracts to treat cancer has resulted in the deaths of several patients.
Topical application of Aloe vera may be effective for genital herpes and psoriasis. However, it is not effective for the prevention of radiation-induced injuries. Although anecdotally useful, it has not been proven to offer protection from sunburn or suntan. In a double-blind clinical trial both the group using an Aloe vera containing dentifrice and the group using a fluoridated dentifrice had a reduction of gingivitis and plaque but no statistically significant difference was found between the two.
Aloe vera extracts have antibacterial and antifungal activities, which may help in the treatment of minor skin infections, such as boils and benign skin cysts. Aloe vera extracts have been shown to inhibit the growth of fungi that cause tinea; however, evidence for control beneath human skin remains to be established. For its anti-fungal properties, Aloe vera is used as a fish tank water conditioner. For bacteria, inner-leaf gel from Aloe vera was shown to inhibit growth of Streptococcus and Shigella species in vitro. In contrast, Aloe vera extracts failed to show antibiotic properties against Xanthomonas species.
 Commodity uses
Aloe vera is now widely used on face tissues, where it is promoted as a moisturiser and/or anti-irritant to reduce chafing of the nose of users who suffer hay-fever or cold. It has also been suggested that biofuels could be obtained from Aloe vera seeds. It can also be used to retwist dreadlocked hair, a favourite agent for vegans and those who prefer natural products. Aloe Vera is also used for soothing the skin, and keeping the skin moist while eliminating the risk of flaky scalp and skin in harsh and dry weather.
 Historical uses
Aloin was the common ingredient in OTC laxative products in the United States prior to 2003, when the FDA ruled that aloin was a class III ingredient, therefore banning its use. It should be noted that processed aloe that contains aloin is used primarily as a laxative, whereas processed aloe vera juice that does not contain significant amounts of aloin is used as a digestive healer. Manufacturers commonly remove aloin in processing due to the FDA ruling.
 Culinary uses
Aloe is also used as a foodstuff. Some molecular gastronomists have begun to take advantage of its gelling properties. Perhaps most notably among these is Chef Quique Dacosta's "Oysters Guggenheim," created at El Poblet in Spain.
 Biologically active compounds
Aloe vera leaves contain a range of biologically active compounds, the best studied being acetylated mannans, polymannans, anthraquinone C-glycosides, anthrones and anthraquinones and various lectins.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Echte_Aloe_von_oben.JPG
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