Scientific Name: Aloe vera

Common Names: Aloe, cape, barbados

Family: Asphodelaceae

Part Used: Leaves

Habitat: Aloe is native to the Mediterranean. It also grows in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The gel inside of the leaves of the Aloe plant can be used externally to treat minor burns, sun burn, cuts, scrapes and poison ivy. Aloe gel is good for moisturizing the skin and is a main ingredient of many skin care products. Many people use it to reduce acne and treat other skin problems.

CAUTION: Some people have taken Aloe internally as a laxative. The Mayo Clinic website states that this is not safe and can lead to severe cramping, diarrhea and dangerous imbalances of electrolytes even if used infrequently.

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