Vera: The ancient Afrikan medicine plant
succulent leaves of the Aloe Vera plant are one of the miracles
If you break off a leave from the fleshy
stem, the plant will quickly heal itself to seal in the vital
juices. If you cut a segment off one of the leaves, the cut
end will heal over where it is sliced to remain plump and green
for several days. Aloe Vera will keep for weeks in a refrigerator.
Aloe Vera linne or Aloe Barbadensis Miller is a succulent plant
from the Aloe family of over 400 different species originating from
the continent of African. Its thick leaves contain the water supply
necessary for the plant to survive long periods of drought. These
leaves have a high capacity of retaining the water in very warm
and dry climates ensuring that the plant can survive very harsh
conditions where most other vegetation disappears.
The transparent naturally occurring gel, obtained
from a freshly cut leaf, helps the healing of cuts and burns. It
is used commercially in Shampoo, sunburn lotion, burn ointment and
it is reputed to be the most effective cure for radiation burns
caused by x-ray and exposure to atomic radiation.
Called by a variety of names, the curative properties
of Aloe Vera have been well known for many thousands of years by
Africans, and transmitted to many cultures across the globe. Its
use is just as wide spread. It is called Medicine Plant, Burn Plant,
First-aid plant, and miracle plant, single bible, quinine leaf.
Unlike many other long-forgotten natural remedies, Aloe Vera has
retained a respected place in the medical arsenal of many ordinary
Over the last 50 years it has attracted the attention
of the scientific community and research programs abound in both
Europe and America to study and document the properties of Aloe
Vera. It is in fact a multimillion-dollar industry and growing fast
attracting considerable attention within the network-marketing sector.
During the end of the seventies, Aloe Vera gel became
very popular in the USA as a moisturising ingredient in cosmetics.
Its popularity has grown to such an unprecedented extent, that it
is now the most widely used ingredient in skin care products and
can be found on the ingredient list of virtually all-cosmetic products.
Even dog or cat creams contain Aloe and you can now buy tissues
impregnated with Aloe.
It is used extensively throughout the African world
for medicinal and cosmetic purposes and is known around the world
by different names. Historical documents of Egypt and the rest of
North Africa, Rome, Greece, India, and China report its use
for both medicinal and cosmetics applications.
The fact is, Aloe Vera is another of Africas
many treasures that give life and vitality to the world but is now
regarded as part of world culture and heritage.
History - Origins Legends
Mankind's use of Aloe Vera dates back to the misty
time of unrecorded history, during the beginnings of human civilisation
along the valley of the River Nile in the north east corner of Africa.
Aloe taken internally has proven beneficial to many
who suffer from a myriad of illnesses both minor and life threatening.
The healing power of Aloe Vera is recorded in every phase of history.
The earliest written record is in Kemetic (Egyptian)
literature dating back to the early dynastic periods, of around
3500BCE, widely acclaiming its medicinal value and ancient use for
centuries before that time. The many uses of Aloe Vera recorded
in those early periods included applications for wounds, insomnia,
stomach disorder, pain, constipation, haemorrhoids, itching, headache,
hair loss, mouth and gum disease, kidney ailments, blistering, skin
care, sunburn, blemishes etc.
Both Cleopatra and Nefertiti are said to have attributed
their beauty to the use of Aloe Gel. They are reputed to have enforced
a strict regime of beauty and health care in a time and place where
health and beauty were recognised as being one and the same.
Other ancient records describe its uses for skin
care, protection against the sun, wind, fire and cold, healing of
small wounds, relieving insect stings and bites, scratches, scalds,
bruises, cuts, abrasions, urticaria, acne, poison ivy, blemishes,
allergic conditions, welts, fistula, ulcerated skin, legions, eczema
and generally damaged skin.
It is a matter of historical records, that Aristotle
persuaded his mentor, Alexander the (so-called great) Greek, to
conquer the island of Socroto off the East Coast of Africa, for
the sole purpose of obtaining sufficient amount of Aloe to maintain
his army medical stores. This was the primary medicine used to heal
the wounds of his soldiers.
The diaries documenting the work of the missionaries
who followed Columbus to the New World are filled with many references
to the healing properties of Aloe Vera. Those same records document
the widespread use of Aloe by the ancient peoples of Mexico, Central
and South America both for its medicinal properties and in association
with fertility and longevity.
As western civilisation became more dominant with
their centre of civilisation in the temperate zones, Aloe Vera,
like other tropical medicinal plants fell into disuse in orthodox
medicine. Since the tropical plant could not survive the cold temperatures
other remedies from the western temperate cultures were substituted.
During the nineteenth century the Aloe Vera plant
was brought from Africa to other tropical climates for cultivation.
Throughout African and the African Diaspora, Aloe
Vera remains an important part of traditional medicine and is widely
cultivated as a landscape plant. Its properties are widely understood
and appreciated and it uses widespread.
Modern Day Use
While the use of Aloe Vera remained prominent among
ordinary folks and particularly within non-Western/non-European
cultures it is only recently that it has started to come back into
popular use within western/European society.
With the invention of x-ray and the atomic bomb,
radiation burn caused skin ulceration, which were almost incurable.
In desperation, doctors, prepared to try anything that worked, soon
began to take note of the old folks remedy of Aloe Vera and
found that it worked better than anything else did.
As there were no known techniques at the time for
preserving the gel, preventing it from spoiling, the leaves had
to be shipped from the tropics.
Since then, there has been an explosive increase
in the use of Aloe Vera and there has been a proliferation of research
programs in numerous countries.
However, most of these researches have only served
to confirm what has been known from ancient times starting with
the ancient Africans of Kemet. Recent experience and research has
confirmed Aloe Vera as a tried, tested, extremely safe and non-toxic
Copyright (c) 1998 - World Is