Aloe vera plants certainly have a multitude of health benefits due to the medicinal extracts found within, and many people deem them aesthetically pleasing. But they carry their share of problems.
Aloe vera is a "succulent," or water-retaining plant, often used for medicinal purposes and thought to have originated in northern Africa. The plant is grown today both for commercial and personal use, whether in a field or an indoor pot.
Some grow the aloe vera plant for decorative reasons, but it is cultivated mainly to extract the clear fluid retained inside. This fluid, or gel, is used as a medicinal agent to promote cooling, soothing and healing.
One problem that comes from cultivating aloe vera is aloin. The sap-like fluid is found inside of the plant's leaves, along with the clear gel, and it can irritate the skin if contact is made.
Ingesting the plant would cause a person to also ingest aloin. Ingesting aloin can prevent the colon from absorbing water and may create bowel problems and stomach pain.
Aloe vera plants, being succulents, hold a great deal of water and do not need to be watered as often as you might think. Overwatering the plant can lead to bacterial rot. This rotting will cause the leaves of the plant to become mushy or soft.
- Plant Diseases - Aloe Vera
- Guide to Growing Plants- Aloe Vera
aloe vera, aloin, succulent
About this Author
Greg Abazorius is a full-time editor at an independent publishing company in the Boston area. Developing a love for writing in elementary school, he received a Creative Writing degree from Roger Williams University. He has edited and written for over four years professionally, and regularly publishes his work in local community newspapers and features-oriented magazines. Additionally, Greg has published poetry in various collegiate publications.