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BASICS
INDEX


Why Aloe?
What is Aloe?
History
Nutrients Common Uses

History

History from 4000BC to 2011AD
The virtues of Aloe vera have been recorded for thousands of years by many ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Persia, Greece, India and Africa.

The name was derived from the Arabic alloeh meaning 'bitter' because of the bitter liquid found in the leaves. It is also known as 'lily of the desert', the 'plant of immortality', and the 'medicine plant'.

In 1500 B.C. Egyptians recorded use of the herbal plant in treating

  • Burns
  • Infections
  • Parasites

Aloe was used by the Ancient Greeks, Arabs and Spaniards and is still used by hunters in Africa to reduce perspiration and body scent. The Spanish carried Aloe from Europe to the New World in South America and the Caribbean. Aloe Barbadensis was introduced to the West Indies at the beginning of the 16th century. Spanish missionaries in the west always planted Aloe around their settlements and carried it on their journeys to aid the sick. Aloe was used extensively by American herbalists in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Cultures as far back as the first great civilization of Egypt have recorded in writing the benefits of the aloe vera plant. The Roman, Indian and Chinese empires all used the medicinal properties of the aloe plant for healing. A Sumerian tablet dated 2100BC is the earliest written record of aloe. In an Egyptian papyrus dated 1550BC the writings tell of the Queens use to enhance her beauty. The Greek physicians used the plant to great success in treating their patients. In the Philippines aloe is mixed with milk to eradicate infections.

The story of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony is steeped in aloe as the queen would beautify her skin with aloe in preparation for her lovers return.

Aloe is referred to in the Bible five times and is said to have been used to embalm the body of Christ.

  • Numbers 24:6
  • Psalms 45:8
  • Proverbs 7:17
  • Song of Solomon 4:14
  • John 19:39

In Japan Aloe Vera is used as an ingredient in yogurt. The people of Tamil Nadu in India use aloe in a curry which is eaten with bread or rice.

Today aloe is being used topically and internally to treat everything from burns to AIDS. Studies continue, and tests are showing promising results for treating a wide variety of illnesses and injuries.