You must be familiar with the green Aloe vera plant which is widely famous for its health and beauty-enhancing properties. All of us have once in our lives used Aloe vera in skincare, right?
But have you heard about its cousin, red aloe vera? This rare and amazing plant has so much to offer for your beauty, health and all skin issues. Its beautiful red-green colour leaves are packed with nutrients and magic gel.
Let us look at some of the best features of this beautiful inside-out plant.
Red Aloe Vera or Aloe Cameronii is a species of the genus Aloe. It is an evergreen succulent plant and is indigenous to Malawi and Zimbabwe in Africa. It is also known as Cameron's Ruwari Aloe.
Aloe Cameronii is regarded as one of the most attractive species of Aloes. It generally grows up to the height of about 1 - 2 feet tall and width of about 2 - 4 feet wide. It is medium in size.
The upright stems are slightly curved towards the outer end. The arrangement of its fleshy stems resembles the visual appearance like that of an open rosette (rose-shaped decoration).
The leaves are sword-shaped and have smooth surfaces armed with thorny edges.
The colour of the leaves ranges from green with reddish tinges to bright red, coppery red, maroon etc depending on the availability of sunlight and water. The colour develops most richly during the summer season.
The flowers bloom during the late fall to early winter months. The flowers are tall and vibrantly coloured in hues of bright red to orange. The flowers attract birds and bees by producing nectar.
Benefits Of Red Aloe Vera
Recently, Red Aloe Vera has been receiving lots of attention for its multiple benefits. Red Aloe Vera is being extensively cultivated and many large scale cosmetic industries are showing interest in this fiery red succulent.
Medical & Health Benefits
Red Aloe Vera is rich in antioxidants. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal.
It contains compounds like phenol, cinnamonic acid and sulfur that eliminate infection-causing microbes.
- Aloe gel has as many as 75 nutrients.
- Aloe gel is used topically for treating ailments like Healing cuts, scratches and wounds, soothing burns, bruises and swellings, curing psoriasis, rashes, itchy skin, healing frostbites, treating genital herpes
- Aloe gel promotes tissue repair by stimulating both collagen and proteoglycan synthesis.
- Aloe gel is consumed internally by oral administration for healing gastric ulcers in diabetic and hyperlipidaemic patients. It also reduces sugar levels in the blood.
- Aloe gel calms the body's nervous system, boosts metabolism and detoxifies the body.
- The leaves of Red Aloe Vera contain the compound called Acemannan which helps in increasing macrophages and forming white blood cells. It boosts the body's natural immune system.
- Aloe latex is used for its laxative effect.
- Aloe extract is being researched for potential benefits in treating cancer and AIDS.
Cosmetic & Beauty Benefits
- Red Aloe Vera gel soothes sunburn.
- It is ideal for both oily and dry skin. It is easily absorbed by the (oily) skin and it hydrates the (dry) skin.
- Aloe gel has amazing moisturizing properties. It makes the skin soft, supple and smooth.
- Aloe gel effectively removes blemishes, dark spots, discolouration and hyperpigmentation.
- Aloe gel is ideal for acne-prone skin. It helps in treating and preventing acne comedones. It also fades away acne marks.
- Aloe's stimulation of collagen synthesis combined with its content of beta-carotene, vitamin A, C and E gives it anti-ageing properties.
- Aloe gel is great for scalp health. It keeps dandruff at bay and increases blood circulation to the scalp.
- Aloe gel conditions and moisturizes the hair making it soft and smooth.
- Aloe gel contains iron and zinc which are excellent for healthy hair.
- Aloe gel strengthens the hair roots thereby reducing hair fall. It also repairs damaged hair strands and promotes new hair growth.
How To Grow And Care For Red Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera grows best in hot and humid climatic regions. Aloe Cameronii can be cultivated easily in areas that are sandy or have gravels and pebbles. They look beautiful in rock gardens, beds and borders.
Red Aloe Vera can be easily propagated by sowing seeds as soon as they are ripe. They can also be propagated using rhizome cuttings or root suckers (creeping, underground rootstalk) from the mother plant.
Make sure that you plant them in a sunny or just slightly shady area in your garden that receives enough sunlight and is well-drained. Sandy soil with compost and organic matter is ideal.
The plant is green during its nursery stage. Aloe Veras are drought-tolerant plants, however, water them occasionally to enhance the foliages' coppery red colour.
Don't overwater it either or the foliage will remain green in colour. Overwatering or waterlogging can also cause rotting or fungal infections resulting in white spots on the leaves.
Protect the plant from aphids ( plant sap-sucking insects) by using raw garlic juice, neem juice, horticultural oils or water mixed with insecticidal soaps.
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