All About the SA Cape Karoo Aloe

by Danielle Brill— 2018-08-15

As a country rich in biodiversity, South Africa is home to over 155 species of Aloe ferox. So ubiquitous is the Aloe that locals and tourists alike would be hard-pressed not to have noticed colourful, Aloe-laden hills at some or other time. The SA Cape Karoo Aloe, specifically, has its roots in the semi-arid regions of The Great Karoo. The abundant natural beauty of this plant is matched only by its plenteous health benefits. Read on to learn more about the extraordinary SA Cape Karoo Aloe!


The SA Cape Karoo Aloe is a succulent plant with a single, robust wooden stem and thick, fleshy leaves which are arranged in neat ascending rosettes. Their leaves, which are lined with reddish-brown pointy spikes, are usually light green or greyish green in colour. Aloes also feature tall attractive branches with flowers in stunning shades of red, orange and yellow.


In order to protect the conservation of the plant, there are specific parameters in place to guide the harvesting of SA Cape Karoo Aloe. For starters, plants must be at least 1m high before leaves are harvested, and then only 8-12 leaves per plant can be harvested at a time. Furthermore, plants are usually harvested in the winter in 18-26-month intervals to allow sufficient recovery time.

Health Benefits

Aloe ferox has been used for medicinal purposes in parts of South Africa for more than two centuries. Not only is it high in vitamins and minerals, but it also contains an impressive range of fatty acids as well as seven amino acids which are essential to the human body. Some of the 20 minerals contained in Aloe ferox include calcium, iron, phosphorous, copper, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, and sodium. The SA Cape Karoo Aloe also boasts high levels of Vitamins A, C, E and Vitamin B12.

Parts of the Aloe ferox leaf are traditionally used to treat stomach concerns such as constipation - especially the yellow-brown sap which contains aloin, a chemical compound with strong laxative properties. The sap may also however be used to treat arthritis, conjunctivitis and sinusitis, and may be applied directly to the skin to soothe irritations and burns. It is a true gift from nature with powerful antioxidant, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.

The juice extracted from Aloe leaves is also the main ingredient within natural detoxifier and antioxidant, Prosit. The aloe is blended with natural herbs including cayenne pepper, garlic, liquorice and ginger to make a highly effective detoxifier and antioxidant which may be used to treat various physical ailments. Click here for more information on Prosit and its all-natural ingredients.

Here are six more interesting facts about the SA Cape Karoo Aloe!

  • They are remarkably adaptive to their surroundings and can therefore survive and thrive in both dry and damp environments as well as open and bushy areas.
  • There are over 400 Aloe species and Aloe ferox is one of the tallest – they can grow as tall as three metres.
  • There are usually 50-60 leaves and five to eight inflorescences per plant.
  • From seed, it can take four to five years for a plant to reach its first harvest.
  • At the time of harvest, each leaf can weigh between 1.5-2kgs.
  • Their scientific name refers to their spiky leaves – “ferox” means fierce in Latin.


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