Aloe vera

Family: Asphodelaceae

Countries: Africa

Aloe vera is a really interesting, evergreen, tender succulent.  This is a plant species that has many uses, Aloe vera is an attractive, rosette forming, decorative, tender succulent, which is a popular houseplant, and it’s also a useful plant for a medical garden, in tropical climates.  There are a great many claims made about the properties and compounds found within this intriguing plant.  Aloe vera is often used in skincare products, it is frequently found in soothing products, which are designed to ease sunburn, burns, or irritation.  Aloe vera can also be purchased in drinks, foods, and tablet form.  Although, it is worth noting that Aloe vera does have some toxicity – please only ingest plants, foods, and medicines that you know are safe, please check with your doctor or medical professional if you’re in any way uncertain.

Horticultural Scientists from the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew are currently undertaking a pioneering and important study of the Aloe genus, using DNA sequencing to discover more about the medical properties of the different species within this genus, their relationships to each other and the differences between them.  By investigating different Aloe species DNA sequences, the scientists at Kew hope to reveal how Aloe vera compares to the many lesser known, wild species within this fascinating genus.  This study of the DNA sequences of the many known Aloe species, will reveal whether Aloe vera provides the most healing and soothing compounds of the known species within this genus of interesting plants, or whether there are other Aloe species with even greater healing qualities.

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