Aloe Vera is the Mediterranean plant par excellence, it contains a soothing gel, which is an ideal remedy for rashes and minor burns.
Botanical name: Aloe barbadenis
Common Name: Aloe vera
Parts used: Leaves
The plant consists of fleshy and jagged leaves. The yellow-orange flowers can grow to a meter high. There are several species of Aloe, a South Africa native plant, widespread in many areas, including the Mediterranean.
The thick and juicy leaves of Aloe vera contain two distinct products. The former is the bitter “milk” produced by specialized cells, which are just below the surface of the leaves: this liquid contains anthraquinones (aloins) with a strong laxative power, irritating to the intestines and whose use is not recommended. The latter one is a gel or mucilage that is obtained from the innermost tissue of the leaves and is mainly made of mucopolysaccharides.
Aloe gel components are able to penetrate through the skin layers and perform an anti-inflammatory and moisturizing function. It is used externally to soothe sunburns, minor burns, abrasions, and to accelerate the healing process. For this purpose, the gel is formulated in lotions/ointments in variable quantities up to 70%. Aloe gel is also used in the preparation of cosmetic products, such as sun lotions, balms, and after-sun shower gels.