|Aloe on the garden|
How does Aloe Vera grow?
Aloe is a succulent that multiplies by forming small plants called a "pup" at the base of the adult plants. It is easily propagated by digging up a pup and replanting it, that's how I started one in a pot to take with me. Aloe vera prefers shade and moist conditions. At first I assumed that it was a desert plant and I put it in a sunny corner, but it is doing much better now that I’ve added a hessian sack for shade. Occasionally it puts up a bright orange flower.
What’s Aloe Vera good for?
The aloe leaf consists of two parts, the yellow sap and the clear gel in the centre. The sap is astrigent and bitter, so it can be used a laxative. The gel is calming and cooling and has strong healing properties.
Some people eat or juice the aloe gel or the sap, but I haven’t used it for this purpose. I find aloe vera gel particularly effective for skin conditions, it is very calming on burns, insect bites and eczema. I even used it to remove a wart on my finger when I was at school, I just kept putting aloe vera on the wart and covering it with a plaster for weeks and eventually the wart disappeared. It is the aloectin B compound in the gel that stimulates the immune system to accelerate healing.
Aloe vera is also useful for making a brew for the garden. I have been trying to expand my aloe vera patch so that I have excess to use for brewing. There's more information here, I haven't tried it yet to be able to report the results.