Aloe Vera doesn’t grow in the country I live in which is the UK. This is because it likes hot, dry regions of the world that are rich in minerals. This was one of the reasons why I had not heard of it.
However, all major civilisations have used it – Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, Africans and Central Americans. It would grow wild in these countries.
Its use has been recorded well over 4000 years ago. Christopher Columbus used it and writes: “Four vegetables are indispensable for the wellbeing of man. Wheat, the grape, the olive and the aloe. The first nourishes him, the second raises his spirit, the third brings him harmony and the fourth cures him”. (1451 – 1506)
Mahatma Ghandi, in a letter to his biographer Romain Rolland, wrote:
“You ask me what were the secret forces which sustained me during my long fasts. Well, it was my unshakable faith in God, my simple and frugal life style, and Aloe whose benefits I discovered upon my arrival in South Africa at the end of the 19th century”.
Patrick Holford who is the founder of the Institute of Optimum Nutrition describes Aloe Vera as a ‘Super Food’ in his book The Optimum Nutrition Bible and he also writes:
“Has immune-boosting, anti viral and antiseptic properties. It is a good all round tonic, as well as a booster during any infection”.
There are many myths about Aloe Vera the Egyptian queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti were reputed to have used Aloe Vera to maintain their beauty.
An ancient papyrus in Egypt now called Evers Papyrus, dating from 1553BC to 1552BC includes the use of Aloe Vera in cosmetics and medicines. It has also been found in Egyptian Tombs. Maybe these Queens did use it after all.
Alexander the Great captured the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean. The island was famous for its Aloe Vera Plants and Alexander wanted it to treat his wounded soldiers after conquering Persia in 333BC.
Oh, and Spike a ginger and white tom cat lived to thirty one years old. A spokeswoman for the Guinness Book of Records said that Spike was the oldest cat they were aware of in 1999 and his owner Mo said she fed him on Aloe Vera Gel and put it every day in his food!