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The word Aloe in Sanskrit means Goddess.

Also known as “miracle plant” or “Plant of immortality”, Aloe Vera and related species are well loved and widely used around the world.

Originally a native of South and East Africa, this member of the Liliacea family flourishes in warm, dry climates such as the Mediterranean. There are approximately 400 species of Aloe Vera, but it is the Aloe Barbadensis Miller, or “true aloe,” referred to as Aloe Vera, that possesses the most remarkable rejuvenating properties.

In Ayurvedic medicine Aloe Vera gel is considered to possess estrogenic properties, and this may be one of the reasons the plant was so highly esteemed by Indian, Arab, Egyptian and Mediterranean women. Aloe Vera was known and widely used in Asia, and is found in the folklore of the Japanese, Filipinos and Hawaiians. Its name is derived from the Arabic word alloeh, meaning bitter, most likely due to the bitter liquid found in the leaves.

A Sumerian clay tablet found in the city of Nippur, written around 2,200 B.C., documents the first recorded use of Aloe Vera as a laxative. A detailed account of Aloe Vera’s medicinal value is found in the Egyptian Papyrus Ebers, dated about 1,550 B.C. This document records twelve formulas combining Aloe Vera with other substances for the treatment of both internal and external ills.

The New Testament (John 19:38-40) tells us that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus brought linen dipped in a mixture of myrrh and Aloe Vera to wrap the body of Jesus Christ as was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

The master of Roman pharmacology, Dioscorides, 41 A.D.-68 A.D., whilst travelling with the Roman army, studied the astounding healing properties of the plant that could stop the bleeding of wounds, cleanse the stomach and treat bruises as well as dry skin conditions. By the year 200 A.D. Aloe Vera had become an essential and vital part of Roman medicine.

The plant was brought to the New World by the Spanish in the 1600s. It was planted in gardens and used extensively by the missionaries as well as by the indigenous people as a universal healing agent. Aloe Vera was officially listed as a skin protector by the United States pharmacopoeia in 1820.

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