Aloe Vera also known by the names Barbados Aloe, Lily of the Desert, Plant of Immortality, and Medicine Plant.
Aloe vera has been recorded and used for thousands of years by many ancient civilizations including Cleopatra who used aloe to keep her skin soft and young. Aloe was used by the Ancient Greeks, Arabs and Spaniards and is even being used today by hunters in Africa to reduce perspiration and body scent. In 1500 B.C. Egyptians recorded use of the herbal plant in treating burns, infections and parasites. Aloe was introduced to the West Indies at the beginning of the 16th century.
I find it interesting that the Spanish missionaries in the west planted Aloe around their settlements and carried it with them on their journeys to aid the sick. Aloe vera was commonly used by American herbalists in the 18th and 19th centuries as well as today.
Today, I use aloe gel on my skin for beauty, soothing and cooling. I cut a leaf from one of my many aloe plants and filet it (like filleting a fish) then put in jars to keep in fridge for approximately a week. You can also blend it and pour in jars. You will find many recipes on the internet on how to make your own aloe vera gel when you want to store for longer periods of time. I just keep it simple since I have plenty of aloe vera keeping for only a week is not a problem.
The name was derived from the Arabic alloeh meaning “biter” because of the bitter liquid found in the leaves.
Some call it Liquid Gold – The yellowish liquid that comes directly from the plant can be applied topically. The leaves can also be crushed and sued as a salve.
Did you know that aloe contains 18 amino acids? it contains all the vitamins, a person needs on a daily basis except vitamin D. It doesn’t provide vitamins only, it also contains enzymes, minerals, amino acids and sugars that are all beneficial to the human body. Magnesium which many of us are deficient in can be obtained from aloe. Magnesium lactate can serve as a antihistamine which can relieve sinus and chest inflammations caused by allergies.
Aloe can support the natural healing of skin that has been damaged. It is great for sunburns. Some of the main benefits are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and restoration. Some ongoing studies suggest aloe can be beneficial to the heart and can destroy strong bacteria.
Many times I use aloe vera gel in place of a carrier oil when using essential oils. I often make a synergy of aloe gel and lavender for my skin. My skin loves it!
Aloe is also great made into a juice as it is good for digestion, eases muscular conditions and allergies.