Aloe vera may be one of the most widely used and cultivated herbal remedies, thanks to it’s many healing properties, and the usage dates back for centuries.
Aloe vera refers to a family of more than 500 species of aloe plants, spread over Africa, the Middle East and various Indian Ocean islands. Aloe vera (botanical name is Aloe barbadensis miller) is a succulent plant, growing in subtropical climate, and contains many important active substances.
To go back to the beginning, the name Aloe vera derives from the arabic word Alloeh meaning shining bitter substance, while Vera stems from Latin mening real. Research suggests that Aloe vera could have originated in Arabian peninsula. According to a study from the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Aloe vera was called “the plant of immortality” in ancient Egypt.
Aloe vera has been used for centuries and the earliest record of a human use for Aloe vera comes from the Ebers Papyrus (an Egyptian medical record), and the plant has been used therapeutically in Greece, Egypt, India and China to mention a few. The Egyptian queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra was two of many adherents of the mystic but yet so famous plant.
The leaves of the plant contains a gel-like substance that contains most of the bioactive compounds in the plant, including vitamins (A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12), minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.
Usage of Aloe vera may:
Support gut health (gastrointestinal health)
Maintain a balanced immune system
Maintain healthy skin
Aloe vera is best known for treating skin injuries, but also has several other beneficial effects on health.
Be aware that there’s not enough definitive evidence to support all the purported benefits of aloe vera, though it’s safe when used on the skin.