Aloe Vera Barbadensis
Common Name: Aloe Vera
The Aloe Vera Barbadensis plant has been used for thousands of years to heal a variety of conditions, including wounds, skin irritations, and constipation. Originally Aloe Vera is native to arid regions of north-eastern and southern parts of Africa and Madagascar. Aloe is a member of the Lily family often referred to as “the desert Lilly”. The plant stores the limited rainwater it gets in its leaves and forms a gel. The Gel is used both internally and externally on humans, and is claimed to have some medicinal effects. For that reason it is grown commercially in the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico. There are around two hundred and forty species growing in other dry regions around the world, but only a few are recognized as being of value to humans and animals. Aloe barbadensis is significantly at the top of the aloe species. The earliest reference to its use can be found in the famous Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, which dates back to 1500 BC and is widely regarded as one of the earliest documents, the western Materia Medica. The Egyptians referred to it as “the plant of immortality”. However, it is more than likely its been commonly used for centuries before it was recorded. There is reference made to it in the New Testament, when Nicodemus comes by night and brings a mixture of Myrrh and Aloe to embalm the body of Jesus. If you believe in Christianity this is the first documented use of Aloe vera. Galen was a physician to a Roman emperor (AD 131-201), he used Aloe vera as a healing agent and authored over 100 books on conventional and herbal medicine. He gained his knowledge from doctoring the Roman gladiators. Galen was a follower of the works of Hippocrates and Aristotle. Also Christopher Colombus had documented the medical use and value of the plant on his ship logs, many believe he introduced it to the “New World”. World War II military manuals suggested that servicemen could use it as a remedy for burns,...
Bibliography: * "The Garden Helper." How to grow and care for Aloe Vera plants. N.p., 24 2012. Web. 30 Nov 2012. <http://www.thegardenhelper.com/aloe~vera.html>.
* Earth, Sacred. "Sacred Earth." Sacred Earth. n. page. Print.<http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/plantprofiles/aloe.php>.
* "National center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines." NCCAM. NCCAM, 23 2012. Web. 30 Nov 2012. <http://nccam.nih.gov/health/aloevera>.
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