Female hand with fresh aloe leaves on wooden background

Aloe vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. An evergreen perennial, it originates from the Arabian Peninsula, but grows wild in tropical, semi-tropical, and arid climates around the world. It has been cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses.

History of Aloe Vera

The aloe plant probably originated from the semi-arid areas of Africa. It was used by the early Sumerians, Egyptians, and Greeks in the healing of wounds. Alexander that the Great purportedly conquered the Mediterranean island of Socotra so that his troops could have a trusted supply of aloe to use in treating their wounds.

Aloe has been used throughout history in most cultures; in Ayurvedic medicine, conventional Chinese medication, and Native American medication, to name a few. It was brought to the Americas by Spanish missionaries centuries ago, and its use eventually spread across both continents.

The first contemporary scientific paper on aloe from the United States was printed in 1934. It describes using whole aloe vera to successfully cure radiation accidents, burns, and dermatitis in 50 documented instances.

A chemical analysis undertaken in 1978 found a huge array of amino acids, saccharides, sterols ( like cortisone ), salicylic acid ( aspirin-related ), and lupeol ( a painkiller and anti-microbial agent ).

Uses of Aloe Vera

External Use

The first usage of aloe was probably as an external agent in treating wounds and burns. Sap in the leaves or the foliage as a whole may also be used to heal a huge selection of skin ailments: dermatitis, acne, skin allergies, fungus infections, ringworm, herpes, and shingles.

Internal Use

Since ancient times, aloe vera has also been used internally as a diuretic. It was at one time controlled by the FDA as an ingredient in over-the-counter laxative preparations. Their acceptance was stopped in 2002, because of the lack of security data supplied by the manufacturers.

Boiled juice from aloe vera and skin was used to treat ulcers and indigestion, and to reduce excess stomach acid. It has also been used orally to treat asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and osteoarthritis.

Cosmetically Use

Aloe vera gel is the most popular ingredient in skin creams and sunblocks. It has been shown to balance pH levels in the epidermis. However it’s doubtful that it’s anything but a psychological impact, as it’s been demonstrated that a relatively higher concentration of aloe is essential for it to supply any benefit.

In Conclusion

It was discovered that in order for the ingredients in aloe to operate properly, they need to be utilised as found in the plant. The isolated compounds don’t have the identical effect. This synergistic connection between aloe’s various antiseptic and pain-killing ingredients will support the position of traditional herbalists. So far, at least, Mother Nature appears to be better at mixing substances than scientists.