What is aloe vera?

A cactus-like plant of the lily family, aloe vera grows wild in Madagascar and on the African continent. It also is cultivated in Japan, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the United States. People around the world have used its gooey, jelly-like sap for healing and cosmetic purposes.

Aloe extracts can be used to treat digestive problems, including constipation, and aloe oils are used in cosmetic creams to help keep skin soft and to treat minor skin irritations.