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What is Aloe Vera?

Aloe vera, sometimes described as a "wonder plant", is a short-stemmed shrub that only occurs in cultivation - it cannot be found in the wild. Some related Aloes occur naturally in North Africa. An Aloe is a genus containing more than 500 species of flowering succulent plants.

The Aloe vera leaves are succulent, erect and form a dense rosette. Many uses are made from the gel obtained from the plant's leaves

Aloe vera has been the subject of scientific study for the last few years, along with other members of the Aloe genus regarding several claimed therapeutic properties.

According to Kew Gardens, England's royal botanical center of excellence, Aloe vera has been used for centuries and is currently more popular than ever. It is cultivated worldwide, primarily as a crop for "Aloe gel", which comes from the leaf.

Aloe vera is widely used today in:

  • Food - it is approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) as a natural flavoring
  • Cosmetics
  • Food supplements
  • Herbal remedies