The most famous plant that is found in almost every home is aloe treeMany people know its caustic-bitter healing juice, which is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry and in folk medicine.
The Karoo Desert is widespread in southern Africa. The hot reddish soil appears to be a sturdy concrete pavement. It is hard to believe that any plant is capable of breaking through this insurmountable obstacle. Well, and even if something alive happens to get to the surface, it seems that it will not last here even for several hours. But no! In some places, lonely bizarre plants loom against the reddish background of the desert landscape. Reaching a height of 10-15 m and up to 2 m in trunk diameter, they grow in this hell for decades. Their branches are bare, leafless, unbranched. Only their ends are decorated with bunches of long, narrow, but surprisingly fleshy and juicy leaves.
It is difficult to establish who and when first brought to us a reddish-gray leaf of an inhabitant of sultry Africa. Here, of course, they look more modest than at home - small houseplants with a fleshy green stem and thick, long, thorny leaves. But this is still the same brave desert conqueror, who took on the additional role of a home doctor.
As a medicine, aloe was known to the ancient Greeks 2.5 thousand years ago. For a long time they paid an exorbitant price for it. The great philosopher Aristotle came to the rescue. On his advice, Alexander the Great organized a military campaign and conquered the island of Socotra, where this plant was grown. To maintain and develop aloe culture, the island was settled by Greeks, and the natives were turned into slaves. Since then, aloe has been gradually spreading in Europe. Aloe has long been worshiped in Egypt, China, India. This plant was especially highly appreciated by the Arabs, who considered it (because of its ability to remain without water for a long time) a symbol of patience.
The main value of aloe is the thickened and hardened juice of its leaves - sabur (from the Arabic "sabr", which means "patience, endurance"). Sabur is known in medical practice as a laxative used in infusions, extracts, pills. In small doses, it is used to stimulate appetite and to improve digestion. In our medical institutions, aloe is also used in the treatment of burns, ulcers and wounds that do not heal for a long time, and eye diseases. In its homeland, the aloe tree blooms annually with orange-reddish flowers, collected in beautiful compact panicles. Given the structure of the flower, botanists attributed aloe to the lily family. Its flowers smell strongly and, after pollination, form small black-brown fruits with large, maple-like lionfish. Desert winds pick up the seeds and carry them away from the mother trees.
Aloe seeds are quite unpretentious (otherwise they would not have sprouted in desert conditions). But the prudent hermit dweller also reproduces well vegetatively by lateral shoots and cuttings, branches or even leaves. However, at home, the plant rarely blooms, sometimes once every hundred years, and does not form fruit at all. This is where its second name comes from - the agave. In the humid subtropics of Adjara, aloe can also be found in the open field on plantations of medicinal plants. 5-15 tons of fresh healing leaves are harvested here annually from one hectare.
For thousands of years, aloe has been used in medicine, and, nevertheless, relatively recently, a new therapeutic agent was obtained from aloe at the All-Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - aloe emulsion. It helps well in a number of diseases and, first of all, in the prevention and treatment of radiation damage to the skin. The drug completely relieves pain from skin areas that have been exposed to excessive X-rays and other radiation.
The genus of aloe has about 350 species. It is most abundantly represented in the Cape region, where various species of this large and widely known genus grow from the coastal strip to an altitude of 2500 meters. In many places in Kapa, they form succulent deserts and semi-deserts, being the only landscape plants.
Among them, perennial grasses predominate, tree and shrub forms, and sometimes lianas, are often found. Aloe leaves are usually succulent, thick, fleshy, very juicy. Rarely are hard or leathery. They are located in rosettes: in common forms, basal, in tree-like ones - apical. In different species, the leaves are very diverse: xiphoid, deltoid, lanceolate, linear. Peduncles grow from the axils of the leaves, often reaching 2-3 m in height. Large aloe flowers (up to 5 cm in diameter) are usually pollinated by birds - nectaries, smaller ones - by bees, and very small - by day, or even by night butterflies.
The largest and tallest of the tree-like forms in the Cape Floristic Kingdom is the Baynes aloe, which grows in dense shrubs or low forests on the slopes of mountains and hills. Its "trees" reach 10-18 m in height with a trunk thickness near the soil up to 2-3 m in diameter. Their trunks are smooth, branched. At the tops of the branches, rosettes of leaves up to 60-90 cm long are formed. Dense brushes of pink flowers appear in the rosettes every year, up to 50 brushes on the peduncle. The plant is very decorative, it is often bred in parks. This aloe resembles a palm tree. It grows both in humid coastal areas and in dry inland areas on rocky slopes up to 2000 m above sea level. The flowers, depending on the varieties, can be yellow, salmon pink, red or orange. There are natural hybrids. In culture in Europe since the beginning of the XVIII century, a medicinal plant.
Aloe cap-shaped is a perennial herb with creeping stems 1-2 m in length. Leaves are ovate-lanceolate, succulent, bluish-gray or green, about 20 cm long, 10 cm wide, on the underside with a small keel on which there are 4-6 spines, leaf margins with white or yellow teeth. Peduncle 50 cm in height, flowers 4-5 cm in length, dark scarlet. Homeland - South Africa, where aloe grows in arid regions with winter precipitation, on rocky soils, on granite rocks at an altitude of 1300 m above sea level. The rosette of leaves can reach a diameter of 70 cm in nature. The species is variable, there are several varieties. In culture, as the stem lodges, its decorative effect is lost. In this case, the upper part of the shoot must be cut off and re-rooted.
Aloe is pretty - a perennial herb with a root rosette of narrow dark green leaves 10-13 cm long, 10 mm wide, both surfaces of which have small warts, which gives them roughness, and small white spots. The edges of the leaf have tiny thorns. Peduncles up to 60 cm tall, with beautiful bell-shaped flowers of coral color, 13 mm long. Homeland - Central Madagascar. This species was discovered in 1949 by Professor D. Millo, and then described by Dr. E. Reynolds in 1956.
Aloe Marlota is a 4m tall tree plant from South Africa. Leaves up to 50 cm long, broadly lanceolate with thorns along the edges. They rarely watered (with drying of the earthen coma), not only in winter, but also in summer.
Aloe soap is a species with succulent leaves originating from the dry subtropical regions of South Africa (Cape province). The stem is thick, up to 50 cm in height, branched, with rosettes of leaves at the ends of the shoots. Leaves up to 30 cm long, 8-12 cm wide, lanceolate, dark green with white spots, merging into indistinct rows. Edges with brown spines. Peduncle 40-60 cm in height, flowers 3-3.5 cm in length, bright pink. One of the most widespread and variable species in nature.
Aloe squat is a perennial herb that forms dense groups due to abundant branching, leaves are linear-lanceolate, 10 cm long, 12-15 cm wide, gray-green, edges with denticles, and the lower surface with numerous white spiny papillae. Peduncle 30 cm in height, flowers 3-3.5 cm in length, coral red, sometimes orange. The culture is unpretentious.
Arranged aloe is a perennial herb. The stem is erect at first, then bends and spreads along the ground, giving numerous shoots and reaching 2-3 m in length. The leaves are broadly ovate, 8-9 cm long, 5-6 cm wide, bluish-green, with yellowish thorns 3-4 mm long at the edges. Flowers up to 4 cm long, dark scarlet.
Aloe dichotomous - a tree-like plant 6-9 m in height with a thick trunk up to 1 m in diameter and a profusely branching crown. Leaves are linear-lanceolate, 30 cm long, 5 cm wide, bluish-green at the edges with tiny thorns. Peduncle more than 30 cm in height, flowers 3 cm in length, light canary yellow. Homeland - South and Southwest Africa - rocky hot deserts, where it lives in places almost completely devoid of vegetation. They are kept very dry not only in winter, but also in summer. It grows very slowly.
Aloe spinous is a perennial stemless herb. Leaves are numerous, 100-150 pcs., Narrow-linear, 8-10 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide, gray-green with white dots. The edges of the leaf have small white thorns, the end has a long white awn. Peduncle up to 50 cm in height, flowers 4 cm in length, orange-yellow. Homeland - South Africa. A compact plant, often cultivated in rooms. Water abundantly in summer, moderate in winter. With prolonged overdrying of the earthen coma, the roots die off, and the leaves lose their turgor.
Aloe variegated - a perennial herb with a low (30-40 cm) stem, abundantly branching from the base. In nature, it forms large groups. The leaves are densely arranged on the stem in three rows. They are triangular in cross-section, 12 cm long, 4-6 cm wide, green with white spots. Edges with small cartilaginous teeth. Peduncle 30 cm in height, cinnabar-red flowers. One of the most decorative types. The soil for variegated aloe should be more fertile than for other species.
Aloe havortia is a perennial herbaceous stemless plant. Leaves are numerous (up to 100 pcs.), 3-4 cm long and about 6 mm wide, gray-green with white papillae, collected in a dense basal rosette with a diameter of 4-5 cm; leaf edges with white spines and hairs. Peduncle 30 cm in height, flowers are white or light pink, 6-8 mm in length.
Black thorny aloe is a perennial stemless herb. Can reach 50 cm in height. Deltoid-lanceolate leaves, up to 20 cm long, 4 cm wide, dark green. The reverse side has a keel, on which there are thorns, lighter at the base of the leaf and almost black at its apex. Peduncle up to 1 m height, flowers 4-5 cm long, scarlet-red. Water is moderately watered in summer, rarely in winter.
Aloe treelike - shrub or treelike abundantly branching plant 2-4 m in height. Leaves up to 60 cm long, 6 cm wide, juicy, xiphoid, with denticles along the edges. Peduncle about 80 cm in height, flowers 4 cm in length, scarlet, in dense conical racemes up to 40 cm in length. Old specimens of the agave bloom beautifully in greenhouses in December-January, there are frequent cases of its flowering in rooms. Known in Europe since 1700. Heat-loving plant, at +1 ...- 3 ° С dies. Reproduces vegetatively by rooting children, tops of shoots.
Indoors, you can collect raw materials in the winter. Fresh leaves and children are processed into juice no later than a day after their collection. Leaves containing anthracene derivatives are used: emodin, aloin, barbaloin, aloesin; resinous substances; traces of essential oils; polysaccharides; succinic acid. The leaves contain the entire periodic table.
In domestic medicine, aloe liniment is used for burns and skin treatment, with radiation therapy. Aloe juice is recommended in the treatment of gastric diseases (gastritis, enterocolitis, gastroenteritis), as well as as an anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of purulent wounds, burns, and inflammatory skin diseases. Aloe syrup with iron - ferro-aloe - is used for hypochromic anemia. Liquid aloe extract and liquid aloe extract for injection are used to treat eye diseases (conjunctivitis, keratitis, opacity of the vitreous humor, progressive myopia), as well as for gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, bronchial asthma.
In traditional medicine, freshly squeezed aloe juice is also used internally for pulmonary tuberculosis, bronchial asthma, gastritis, chronic constipation, to improve appetite, externally for burns, long-term non-healing old wounds and ulcers, purulent inflammation of the eyes. The juice is used for application on wounds, burns and insect bites. It is also used in the complex treatment of fungal diseases, with inflammatory processes in the oral cavity. Ointment: the juice is mixed with fat (1: 5), stored in a clean container in the cold and applied in the same way as fresh leaves. Tincture: prepared from fresh leaves and 40% ethyl alcohol (1: 5). Apply 15-20 drops to improve appetite, as well as for constipation. Aloe tree juice is used as a root stimulator when rooting cuttings. To do this, tear off 2-3 leaves and put them in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Then the juice is squeezed out and, diluting it by half with snow water, the seeds are kept in it for 6 hours at a temperature of 20-22 ° C.
And now in more detail about the cultivation of the "queen of aloe". It is necessary to place the plant in a sunny place in the summer; if it is outdoors, it must be protected from rain. In winter, place the aloe in a bright, cool place with a temperature of 5-10 ° C.
Plants are watered in moderation - in winter it is necessary to water rarely in the pan, just so that the roots do not dry out. Under no circumstances should the water stagnate. Do not pour water on the sockets. I fertilize once a month in the summer with a non-concentrated fertilizer. When I propagate aloe, I dry the cuttings of the shoots for 2-3 days, and then plant them in sandy soil, water them and cover them with a jar or bag, it is better to do this in the spring. I transplant it once every two years, with each transplant I take a pot more than it was, by 1 cm (in diameter). I make the substrate from sod, leafy soil, humus and coarse sand (1: 1: 1: 1). I rejuvenate old specimens with torn leaves - I cut off the top and root.
V. Ivanov, florist
It is necessary to properly care for this culture so that it feels good and grows actively. It is worth considering in more detail how to do this. In principle, the flower is unpretentious, the main thing is to create optimal conditions for its existence.
It is required to carefully approach the planting of this plant. This is how the process looks like:
The young plant must be replanted annually. However, for five and seven-year-old specimens, the interval between transplants increases to 2 - 3 years. In this case, it is necessary to adhere to a number of rules. So, the new pot should be slightly larger than the previous one. With each transplant, its diameter increases by about 3 cm. It is also required to provide for the presence of drainage, since the roots of Aloe do not like a lot of moisture and immediately begin to rot.
The transplant takes place according to the following scheme:
It is important not to water the crop too much. Because otherwise the roots will rot.
Here's how often to do it:
Top dressing occurs in liquid form in one of the following ways:
The latter is the least preferred method. Because Aloe absorbs nutrients best from its roots.
Taking care of aloe is easy, but you need to consider the following:
These are the basic requirements for a healthy plant with strong immunity.
Harmful insects rarely attack Aloe. They can be easily dealt with using industrial poisons.
However, sometimes such traces of diseases appear on the plant:
Thus, most problems tend to result from improper watering.
We somehow got used to the fact that our houses are usually decorated with aloe tree (Aloe arborescens Mill.) Is a perennial leaf succulent of the deserts of Eastern and Southern Africa, an indispensable tool for colds and non-healing wounds. Other types of aloe are perceived by us as succulents, performing mainly decorative functions in combination with extraordinary unpretentiousness, according to the principle - went on vacation and forgot. But certain species can be used in the same way as aloe tree, as a home healer. And some of them are the main ones in the world in the production of drugs from this plant and are widely cultivated in many countries of the world where the climate permits.
In general, the genus of aloe (Aloe) quite diverse. According to various literary sources, there are about 250 or 350 species in the world. These are perennial herbaceous, shrubby or tree-like succulents from the Xantorrhoeaceae family (Xanthorrhoeaceae). In the old classification, they belong to the lily family (Liliaceae)... Their appearance is very diverse, from graceful ornamental plants to huge trees. Aloe has succulent xiphoid leaves, set along the edge with sharp thorns, the color of which can have various shades of green. The leaves extend from the stem, which serves as the central base for them, from which a long peduncle grows two or three times a year. The flowers are red, orange, yellow or white, collected in a dense multi-flowered raceme. The fruit is a cylindrical capsule.
Separately, I would like to dwell on the unusual structure of the aloe leaf, which includes a gel-like gelatinous, transparent core (pulp) surrounded by a thin layer of yellow liquid or juice, all this is protected by a thin, but strong, and even covered on top to reduce evaporation, green skin. The fleshy leaves of these plants are capable of storing large amounts of water, and can grow significantly in size. To retain moisture, the plant closes its pores, slowly using up its water reserves when there is insufficient moisture supply, then the leaves decrease in size and consistency, and some, mainly the lower leaves, can be shed to preserve the life of the entire plant.
The layer under the skin is yellowish in color and contains specific substances from the group of anthraquinones called Aloin. It is a bitter product that has been used for centuries as a mild laxative.
But the second inner layer - gelatinous pulp, which is liquid fibers located in the inner part of the sheet, is a separate product and is called Aloe gel.
Therefore, there are three types of raw materials from this plant in the world: Whole Aloe Leaf, Aloin and Aloe Gel, which are used in completely different ways.
Aloin contains anthraquinones (anthracene derivatives), and Aloe Gel is free of them, therefore it does not have stomach irritating properties, does not have a very bitter taste and is recommended for preparing drinks, juices and adding to other food products.
To obtain the gel, the aloe leaves are cut by hand and removed mechanically, while simultaneously separating the yellow liquid - Aloin. They try to get Aloe Gel fast enough to prevent oxidation. It is stabilized immediately after the start of the extraction. It is widely used as a tonic and nutritious product that promotes the regeneration of body tissues. It is non-toxic and has no contraindications. In recent years, a lot of food products with Aloe Gel have appeared: juices, yoghurts, desserts, confectionery, which are not only healthy, but also very tasty.
Aloin, unlike Gel, has a different use - it is a good laxative. However, long-term internal use of pure Aloin or preparations from Whole Aloe Leaf can lead to chronic autointoxication and contribute to the development of hemorrhoids and hemorrhagic inflammatory processes in the lower small intestine and in the large intestine. This is due to the content of the anthraquinone complex, which has a mild laxative effect due to its irritating effect. Aloin acts on intestinal motility, interacts with the enzyme system in the intestinal wall, which is responsible for the absorption of water and nutrients. Therefore, Aloin is contraindicated in pregnancy (risk of miscarriage), menstruation, cystitis, hemorrhoids.
Of the whole variety of aloe species, only about 15 varieties are used for medicinal purposes. Naturally, the most important from a medical point of view will be mentioned. The first, of course, should be called aloe real (Aloe vera).
This species was first described by K. Linnaeus as Aloe perfoliata var. vera in 1753. In 1768 N. Burman singled it out as a separate species. But in the same year F. Miller renamed it aloe real, instead of the Barbados aloe described in 1620 by K. Baugin. Now these two names are taken as synonyms by most botanists. Although some authors believe that these are two morphological types of the same species with flowers of different color - in the first - orange, in the second - yellow.
Aloe, or barbadian (Aloe vera Tourn. ex L., synonyms: Aloe barbadensis Miller., Aloe perfoliata var. vera L., Aloe elongata Murry, Aloe vulgaris Lamarck, Aloe flava Pers.) Is widely used all over the world. The word "vera" has a Latin origin, and in translation means real, that is, really healing aloe. The native land of the plant is the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Canary Islands. Present aloe has very powerful fleshy leaves, reaching 80-100 cm in length and 15 cm in width. Some authors describe two varieties of it - green and blue. The green variety can only be used at the age of 4-5 years, the blue one grows faster, reaching harvest at the end of the third year. Both varieties have the same medical uses. And the most important thing that unites them is very fleshy leaves, from which a lot of gel is obtained.
Currently titled Aloe vera combine several varieties cultivated on plantations in America and East Asia. And it is this species that is very widely exported to all countries of the world by China. By the way, large plantations are located on the island of Hainan, well known to Russian tourists.
Scarlet tree (Aloe arborescens Mill.) Is a wild African species of aloe, widely used and cultivated in Russia, where it has been thoroughly studied. We are familiar with him as a small and unpretentious houseplant, which blooms very rarely and whose height reaches no more than 1 meter. But in its homeland of South and East Africa, it is a magnificent, powerful tree. During the Soviet era, aloe tree was cultivated in the open ground of humid subtropical zones in the coastal part of Adjara, on plantations near Kobuleti, as well as in the Odessa region. This allowed the USSR not to depend on imported raw materials, and the subject of import was only dried aloe juice - sabur. Received three types of raw materials: fresh leaf - Folium Aloes arborescentis recens, dry leaf - Folium Aloes arborescentis siccum and fresh lateral shoot - Cormus lateralis Aloes arborescentis recens.
Currently, some farms continue to grow this type of aloe in greenhouses, for example, in Poland.
Aloe sokotrinskoe (Aloe soccotrina Lam.) Is native to the island of Socotra in the south of Yemen. Since the time of Alexander the Great, it has been heavily supplanted by the species mentioned above, but it still has a certain local significance. It is sometimes seen as synonymous with aloe vera.
Aloe awesome (Aloe ferox) is distributed in Lesotho and South Africa (in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces and Kwa Zulu-Natal). Its life form is closer to trees, height - up to 3, very rarely up to 5 m. Leaves up to 1 m long, dull green, sometimes with a reddish tinge, along the edge have long reddish teeth at a distance of 10-20 mm from each other. One sheet can weigh 1.5-2 kg. The peduncle is highly branched, up to 80 cm high. The flowers are very numerous, orange.
It was first described in 1768 by Philip Miller. Linnaeus mentions him in his "Species Plantarum " as Aloe perfoliata var. γ and Aloe perfoliata var. ε. Aloe ferox. The species turned out to be very polymorphic and now there are several synonyms and taxa in the rank of subspecies: Aloe ferox var. subferox (Spreng.) Baker (1880), Aloe ferox var. incurva Baker (1880), Aloe ferox var. hanburyi Baker (1880), Aloe ferox var. galpinii (Baker) Reynolds (1937), Aloe ferox var. erythrocarpa A.Berger (1908) and so on.
Currently, it is an official species from which juice is pressed, which is a dried pharmaceutical raw material. It is widely grown in South Africa for the production of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
They are used, although not as often as the previous types, Scarlet soap (Aloe saponaria (Ait.) Haw.) This species is characterized by the presence of adorable specks on the leaves and also has very fleshy leaves that are easy to gel.
Some houseplants are similar to aloe in appearance or medicinal properties. External similarity is observed in the following plants:
According to its medicinal properties, aloe can be replaced by the following representatives of the flora: