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aloe(ăl`ō) [Gr.], any species of the genus Aloe, succulent perennials of the family Lilaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
..... Click the link for more information. family), native chiefly to the warm dry areas of S Africa and also to tropical Africa, but cultivated elsewhere. The juice of aloe leaves contains the purgative aloin. Today the various drug-yielding species, e.g., A. vera and A. chinensis, are still used for their traditional medicinal properties as well as for X-ray-burn treatment, insect repellent, and a transparent pigment used in miniature painting; cords and nets are made from the leaf fiber. In ancient times the juice was used in embalming. A Muslim, on return from the pilgrimage to Mecca, hangs an aloe above the door. The American and false aloes are agaves, amaryllisamaryllis
, common name for some members of the Amaryllidaceae, a family of mostly perennial plants with narrow, flat leaves and with lilylike flowers borne on separate, leafless stalks.
..... Click the link for more information. family group that is the American counterpart in habit and general appearance to the true aloes. There is evolutionary evidence that the aloes and the agaves should be considered a single separate family, the Agavaceae. The Scriptural aloes is unrelated. Aloe is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.
a genus of perennial grasses of the family Liliaceae, belonging to the xerophytic succulents. The leaves are fleshy and in many species have a waxy film and spines along the edges. The flowers are mostly tubular or narrow and bell shaped, and they are usually red, orange, or yellow in color. They are bunched in cluster-like or paniculate racemes. There are about 250 species, which are found in the arid regions of Africa, the Mascarene Islands, Madagascar and nearby islands, and the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. The medicinal preparation known as aloe, which is used as a purgative, is prepared from the leaves of Aloe succotrina, A. vera, A. plicatilis, A. perryi, and other species of this genus. Extracts from preserved aloe leaves are used in the tissue therapy method for certain eye diseases and some other ailments; the juice of aloe leaves is used as an external remedy in treatment of suppurative wounds, burns, and some other skin diseases. It is contraindicated during pregnancy, menstruation, cystitis, and hemorrhoids.
A. arborescens is grown indoors under the name of the century plant. Other species of aloes are often grown indoors and in greenhouses as decorative plants. In subtropical Georgia (USSR) the seedlings and plants grown for their leaves winter in protected soil. The basic method of reproducing the aloe consists in rooting side shoots (the ratoons) which are cut from the adult plant. Rooted shoots are left in hotbeds over the winter, then set out in nurseries for maturing in April or early May. In the spring of the next year the ready seedlings are transplanted in open ground. The aloe requires fertile, low-acid or neutral soil. Leaf yield averages 8–10 tons per hectare; there may be as many as five harvests in a season. The leaves are promptly dispatched to chemical-pharmaceutical plants for processing.
the inspissated juice of the leaves of various plant species of the genus Aloe, which grow in Africa (mainly in the south). Aloe is a bitter solid mass with conchoidal fracture. It is soluble in ethyl alcohol and partially soluble in water. It contains aloin (a mixture of several anthraglycosides), resins, and other substances. Aloe is obtained under laboratory conditions by pressing the leaves and processing the juice. It is used medicinally in dried form as a laxative.