Video: Tree Aloe, Cultivation, Types, Medicinal Properties
The most famous plant that can be found in almost every home is aloe tree, many 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 even a few hours here. 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 as far back as 2,500 years ago. For a long time they paid a fabulous 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 the culture of aloe, 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, long-term healing of ulcers and wounds, 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 strong 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 a desert). 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. Hence its second name - 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 in the All-Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, a new therapeutic agent was obtained from aloe - 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-like 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 daytime, 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 bushes 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. Rosettes of leaves up to 60-90 cm long are formed at the tops of the branches. Dense brushes of pink flowers appear in the outlets every year, up to 50 brushes on the peduncle. The plant is very decorative and is often planted 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 variety, can be yellow, salmon pink, red or orange. There are natural hybrids. In culture in Europe since the beginning of the 18th century, a medicinal plant.
Aloe cap-shaped is a perennial herb with creeping stems 1-2 m in length. The 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 edges 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 should 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 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.
Aloe spaced 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. Leaves are broadly ovate, 8-9 cm long, 5-6 cm wide, bluish-green, along the edges with yellowish thorns 3-4 mm long. 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 drying 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 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 in height, flowers 4-5 cm in length, 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, succulent, xiphoid, with denticles along the edges. Peduncle about 80 cm in height, flowers 4 cm in length, scarlet, in dense tapered 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 dies at + 1 … -3 ° С. Reproduces vegetatively by rooting children, the tops of the 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), and also 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, in inflammatory processes in the oral cavity. Ointment: the juice is mixed with fat (1: 5), stored in a clean container in the cold and used 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 stimulant when rooting cuttings. To do this, tear off 2-3 leaves and put them in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Then squeeze out the juice and, diluting it by half with snow water, keep the seeds in it for 6 hours at a temperature of 20-22 ° C.
And now in more detail about growing 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 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 turf, leafy soil, humus and coarse sand (1: 1: 1: 1). I rejuvenate old specimens with torn leaves - I cut off the top and root.