For centuries the healing powers of the Aloe Vera plant have been chronicled. Since the very time that the medicinal properties of the aloe plants sticky sap running from any of its broken leaves have been substantiated, numerous herbal healers have gone to great lengths to ensure that every village and town had an adequate supply of aloe pants tended in a communal garden.
Since the plants are amazingly forgiving of even the most inept gardeners, it is not surprising that soon aloe plants could be found across the United States and other areas. Light should be moderate, the soil is preferred sandy but any well draining soil condition will be accepted, and being permitted to completely dry out prior to once again being watered is actually required by the plant for optimum health. Since this plant has the ability to go dormant during the coldest and driest portions of the year, it is perfect to indoor as well as outdoor cultivation.
Herbalists noted the aloe plants saps amazing effect on a variety of skin conditions and irritations, such as cuts, blemishes, and even burns. Even deep cuts benefited from the application of Aloe Vera sap and in the times gone by when professional medical care was infrequent and hard to find, it is not surprising that the plant soon became something of a miracle cure for anything and everything that might ail you. Homeopathically minded individuals even to this very day will prefer to apply the sap of the aloe plant freshly cut directly onto a cut or burn instead of relying on gauze or a Band-Aid to help speed along the healing process.
It was only a matter of time before the beauty industry first picked up on the commercial viability of the aloe sap. Today you will find it in the list of ingredients of anything from sunscreens to lotions, moisturizers, foundation makeup, lipstick and even soap and shampoo! Of note is the fact that thus far there are no conclusive studies that prove beyond doubt the efficacy of aloe derivatives on healthy skin that does not suffer from any burns or blemishes.
In todays highly competitive beauty market there are numerous creams and lotions being peddled, all of which claim to reduce the appearance of even the most serious skin blemishes. Stretch marks are perhaps the most commonly cited skin blemish that consumers would love to eradicate, closely followed by cellulite.
At this point in time there is no proof that the sap of the aloe plant will have any healing effect on the dermis, which is the area of the skin where stretch marks originate, in spite of being able to heal the surface layer of the skin.
Similarly, those beauty supply companies that suggest the ingestion of aloe in order to promote healthy skin from the inside out have precious little with which to back up their claims; granted, in several countries aloe derivatives are actually used in the preparation of foods, yet the only health benefit from the oral administration of aloe at this point in time points to patients suffering from an inflammation of the bowels or colitis. Skin conditions are not reported as being treated with oral supplementation.