What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera (syn. A. barbadensis Mill., A. vulgaris Lam.) is a species of Aloe, native to northern Africa.
It is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 80-100 cm tall, spreading by offsets and root sprouts. The leaves are lanceolate (long, wider in the middle), thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with a serrated margin. The flowers are produced on a spike up to 90 cm tall, each flower pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2-3 cm long.
American consumers are most familiar with aloe's use in skin-care products, but aloe can also be used as a beverage. Aloe products for internal use have been promoted for constipation, coughs, wounds, ulcers, diabetes, cancer, headaches, arthritis, immune-system deficiencies, and many other conditions.