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It is found in many consumer products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, or ointments for minor burns and sunburns. There is little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extracts for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes. Studies finding positive evidence are frequently contradicted by other studies. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on their upper and lower stem surfaces. Spotted forms of Aloe vera, also named Aloe vera var.
The species has a number of synonyms: A. Aloe indica Royle, Aloe perfoliata L. Common names include Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, First Aid Plant. Techniques based on DNA comparison suggest Aloe vera is relatively closely related to Aloe perryi, a species endemic to Yemen.
The species was introduced to China and various parts of southern Europe in the 17th century. It is widely naturalized elsewhere, occurring in temperate and tropical regions of Australia, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and southeastern US states. Aloe vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant. The species is popular with modern gardeners as a putatively medicinal plant and for its interesting flowers, form, and succulence. This succulence enables the species to survive in areas of low natural rainfall, making it ideal for rockeries and other low water-use gardens.
In pots, the species requires well-drained, sandy potting soil and bright, sunny conditions. Aloe plants can burn under too much sun or shrivel when the pot does not drain water. The use of a good-quality commercial propagation mix or packaged «cacti and succulent mix» is recommended, as they allow good drainage. Terra cotta pots are preferable as they are porous.