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Aloe Ferox: The Medicinal Benefits Behind GLOW’s Inspo Plant

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Did you know the original GLOW range AfreeClipse was inspired by the indigenous South African Aloe Ferox? Inherently and modernly African, the bold print was modelled off the branching geometry of the hardy plant which forms such a centerpiece for landscapes across Southern Africa.

Photo Credits: Brittany Raine

Think about the rolling hills of the Transkei, the dusty backroads of the Western Cape, the Kwazulu Natal coastline. The flaming candlestick flowers and branching, spiny leaves of the tree-like Aloes dot the landscape pretty much anywhere you go. With thicker, spiker leaves than it’s famous sister plant Aloe Vera, the Ferox is hardy and robust - and it’s for just that reason you’ll find it practically wherever you go.

But they’re so much more than an addition to a picturesque vista. Aloe Ferox boasts a wealth of medicinal, cosmetic and nutritional benefits to assist in bringing you into your prime health and wellness as you stretch those legs in a pretty pair of GLOW.

Detoxifying, wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial Aloe Ferox is an age-old traditional medicinal remedy, which has been found to accelerate healing in numerous ways. It has been used in Xhosa culture to treat skin ailments, the Zulu’s have used it to assist with roundworm, and within Pedi culture they traditionally mix the juice and water for a cleansing body wash. In more recent years South African cosmetic companies have identified the use of Ferox in their skincare products for hydration and an increase in production of collagen-producing cells. Perfect for that healthy glow, girl!

And there’s more. Knowing how to spot and use Aloe Ferox if you’re out and about on the move can be a lifesaver. The perfect adventurer’s companion. It’s taller than your average aloe. The thicker, greyish leaves have small spines intermittently dispersed all over as well as a sharp serrated edge. In flower, tall flaming blooms push up above the leaves.

Photo credits: Brittany Raine

Now how to use it?

Aloe is my go-to after sunburn, bites, scratches and general burns. Ferox also has the added benefit of being particularly hydrating due to the abundance of gel-like flesh in each leaf. Keep a knife handy - you don’t want to tear the leaves off, it’ll damage the plant - and harvest a leaf or two as you need. Ferox is typically tougher and more spiny than Aloe Vera so take care. Remove the skin (and keep it aside) before applying the gel to your burns, blisters, or scratches.

Next, give the rest of the flesh a rinse and blend it up with some water and mint for a refreshing, hydrating shot. Aloe Ferox is packed full of vitamins and minerals to keep your brain and digestive system running optimally after a mission up that mountain.

It’s also one of the few natural remedies for tummy trouble - and when you need to get those pipes working, opt for some bitter aloe crystals. Derived from the sticky red Ferox sap, the resinous crystals have a natural laxative effect and can be found in most pharmacies. If you’ve only got fresh aloe on hand, slice along the skin until the reddish sap seeps out and give it a lick. It’s bitter as heck but trust me, it works!

There is a phrase from my very first herbalism course which has always stuck with me: the remedy for any ailment should be within walking distance. And never has this been more true when it comes to the abundant accessibility and benefits of Aloe Ferox for people on the move. Use it, it’s here to help you.

Like Aloe Ferox, a girl who dons GLOW is resilient, fiery and hardy - and as much at home in our African scenery as the plants themselves are.

Photo credits: Skye Mallac

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