Aloe History

Aloe History

The knowledge of the aloes and the aloe goes back to the antiquity. In the most remote times the virtues of the Aloe in East and the Mediterranean were already known.

The attractiveness of Cleopatra is attributed to the use of the gel of Aloe and it also tells that Aristotle advised to Alexander Magno who before initiating the Eastern campaign, conquered the island of Socotra (Sucotra, Socotrina) to provide itself with Aloe with which to cure the wounds of its troops in the combat.

The well-known oldest description is in the Egyptian papyrus of Ebers of the 1,500 to C. in where they are detailed more than 12 remedies with Aloe vera.

The original copies of this document are protected in the University of Leipzig, Germany. These Egyptian documents declare that the curative values of the Aloe were known many centuries ago extensively.

In century I d. C., Dioscórides extensively described in its Greek herbario the Aloe medicinal and cosmetic uses and its qualities. In Chapter 23 of his book III it makes reference to the aloe, and defines the main characteristics.

The Arabs, great consumers, took it to their campaigns and when finalizing they left extensive plantations that were tried to move to the North of Europe where the plant did not resist the cold of the Winter.

The difficulty for the conservation of the plant caused that their virtues forgot and fell in the forgetfulness replaced by others remedies. As of century XVI, the called plant aloe was common to a large extent of Italy, and it was planted in large quantities in the gardens.

In Malaga first and soon in Andalusia, great plantations of aloes in time of the Arabs, enthusiastic propagators of the medicinal use of the aloe existed.

In the Middle Age the use of the Aloe was restricted to the aloe gum dried with great content in Aloin that conferred healing and bactericidal properties to it.

In the Canary Islands the Aloe vera L. (Aloe Barbadensis Miller) is a plant that grows like native, where its ample medicinal phantom is used traditionally from immemorial times.

Cristobal Colon in their trips to the New World sourced the ships of canary Aloe to fight the epidemics.

Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Arab, Indian historical documents and the Chinese informed on their use for curative and cosmetic intentions.

In XX century it became popular again by its effectiveness, although was not until the Fifties that were able to stabilize the juice or gel.