Common and folk names
- • Bitter Aloe
- • Red Aloe
- • Tap Aloe
Parts of Plants Used
Dark green= the most popular and common use
The Cape Aloe is a common species in the family Xanthorrhoeaceae, growing on semi-arid plains and rocky mountain slopes in Southern Africa. The plant is a single-stemmed aloe, which usually grows up to 2 metres or taller. The stem is covered in dry leaves and the crown is a dense rosette of dull green to reddish brown succulent ones. Each leaf can be up to 1 metre long, with dark brown spines along the margins and often scattered on the leaf surfaces, especially on the lower surface.
The flowers are bright orange, tubular and about 3 cm long with dark orange stamens protruding from the mouth. The flowers are in up to ten or more cylindrical racemes on a branched panicle.
Cape Aloe is restricted to South Africa and Lesotho. The species is also common in cultivation. Aloe ferox is listed on the CITES Appendix II, which authorises trade by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate.
- Used as a natural detoxifying agent
- Used for enhancing the body's own mechanisms for healing
- Used to relieve skin irritations (sunburn, frostbite, and psoriasis)
- Used to speed up wound healing
- Used as a cleansing agent
- Used for its laxative properties
- Used to treat arthritis
- Used to soothe bowel and stomach disorders
- Used to lower cholesterol
• additive to juices and smoothies
• additive to dairy products
• natural laxative in capsules
• leaf bitter extract
• leaf powder
• dietary supplement in pills
• pain relief salves and ointments
• whole leaf juice
• general skin moisturising products
• cleansing products (creams, gels, foams)
• sun care products (lotions, creams, sprays)
• ingredient in shampoos and hair conditioners
• liquid soaps
• deodorant sticks
- There are over 100 species of aloe in South Africa but Aloe Ferox is the one that was used by the indigenous people long before the arrival of Europeans to what is now the Cape Province.
- Unlike most aloe vera products, aloe ferox never has to be filtered and thus retains all its natural active ingredients.
- The word “Aloe” derives from the Greek word for the dried juice of aloe leaves. “Ferox” means "fierce" or "war-like" referring to the spiny edged leaves.
- The aloe that is mentioned in the Bible is an unrelated fragrant wood used as incense
- Aloe produces two substances, gel and latex, which are used for medicines. Aloe gel is the clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the aloe plant leaf. Aloe latex comes from just under the plant's skin and is coloured yellow.
- Cape Aloe is among the tallest of the more than 400 aloe species and is native to southeastern and western regions of South Africa. Compared to the more widely known Aloe Vera, Aloe Ferox produces 20 times more bitter sap and has higher nutrient concentrations.
- Usually only the leaves are harvested and used, which allows the plants to continue growth after harvesting.
- Aloe ferox is depicted in centuries old rock paintings, found in South Africa
- Aloe ferox crystals were one of the first products to be exported from the Cape in the 17th Century.
- Only in the last 20 years has a significant export market been established for the Cape Aloe.