If you read We Blog the World often enough, you know that we’re huge fans of sustainable travel, eco-green resorts and being as aware as we can about our environment and how to preserve it.
I personally am a fan of all things natural, whether that be the food that we eat, the products we digest — vitamins and supplements — or the lotions we use that get absorbed into our system. Aloe Vera is one of those natural wonders that can be used for healing — you can eat it, apply it on your skin or drink its natural juices, which not only have great digestive properties but keeps you running smoothly too. Yes, I mean just that. For those of you who have constipation issues and you know who you are, Aloe Vera may just be your ticket to better health.
I learned more about Aloe Vera at the Aloe Vera Plantation in Curaçao recently, where they make natural products under the Curaloe name, ranging from lotions, facial scrubs and masks, to pure juice you can drink.
Something you may not realize is that Aloe Vera comes from the lily family just like onion and garlic. Who knew? It touts so many amazing benefits that its no wonder that Aloe Vera has become the most commercialized aloe species, and processing the leaf pulp has become a worldwide industry.
In the cosmetic industry, it has been used as base material for the production of creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, facial cleansers and other products. In the food and complementary medicinal industry, it has been used as an ingredient in health beverages.
Their plantation is part of something called the Curacao Ecocity Projects NV, where their mission statement centers around using good agricultural and organic farming and state of the art processes to harvest Aloe Vera.
The Curaçao Ecocity Projects plantation covers an area of ten acres, five of which are used to cultivate the more than 100,000 specimens that are growing at their plantation at this moment.
When we arrived, we soon learned just how complex this little plant is. There are apparently more than 400 different kinds of Aloe Vera and it has so many positive sources of pure health in its pulp, that you can live off it and coconut alone if you ever get stranded on a little island. Note to self….
It can be used for so many different things….as a natural antibiotic, to give you a boost of more energy, to ignite your immune system and also acts as an antiseptic for healing if you have a wound. Sun worshippers also know that it is very soothing to the skin after you get a sun burn.
Vera is Latin for the real one. I mentioned earlier that it acts as a laxative however, there’s only one part of it which is used to unblock your system — the very first cut of the plant, which is called Aloe-vina. I also learn that you can use Aloe-vina to color your hair and the result is the similar reddish auburn glow that you get when you use henna, an old time favorite of mine.
And, how’s this for a quirky factoid? People used to put Aloe Vera in their paint to keep the color vibrant for longer. On the island, a very old custom that you rarely see anymore was one of hanging Aloe Vega upside down at the entrance to your house. Why? To keep bats away of course.
Production at the plantation is done 6-7 times a year. They apparently just finished a production shortly before we arrived and the next one will likely be in February 2015. It takes 2 years for an Aloe Vera plant to mature to the point at which it can be harvested. The average time span for harvesting is approximately 10 years, during which they will collect 6 to 8 leaves from the bottom of the plant per harvest.
Since 2004, the plantation has been producing commercially and apparently their annual production level has increased steadily every year. They use specially designed and patented machines which have been developed especially for them and do not damage the active substances in the Aloe Vera gel.
Starting in 2006, they’ve been developing and producing their own products under the name of CurAloe, all of which contain a high concentration of Aloe Vera and other biologically active and natural ingredients.
I bought some juice (let’s just say its working as it should), the facial scrub and a face mask, which I love. For more information on their work and products, you can visit their site for specifics.
+599 9 767 5577
Be sure to check out my other articles on Curaçao from my trip this December.
Photo credits: two small images taken from their website and the two plantation shots of the Aloe Vera plants credit of Renee Blodgett.
Note: my trip to Curaçao was hosted by the Curaçao Tourism Board however I was not asked to write this article or paid to. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.