Aloe, a member of the lily family, gets its name from the word ‘alloeh’, which is Arabic for bitter, which is a reference to its green outer layer which is indeed very bitter. While there are some 240 different Aloe varietals found growing in all four corners of the world, Aloe barbadensis miller is the one that is grown commercially and incorporated in all the various lotions, creams and shampoos that claim to have some type of aloe in them.
Why is aloe so popular today?
Everywhere you look today there are products that claim to contain aloe, making it one of the most popular additives for bath and beauty products. This is because of Aloe’s purported abilities to help heal and rejuvenate the skin. Aloe’s ability to heal has been known for thousands of years: African hunters used it as a antiperspirant and it was also a ancient beauty secret among the pharaohs. It is even mentioned in the New Testament and cited as an important medicinal plant for purgative purposes by Ancient Greek and Roman Doctors. With high water content along with vitamin E and polysaccharides, aloe has been scientifically proven to be beneficial for many types of skin conditions including eczema, warts and even dandruff. It is also non allergenic, making it an ideal additive to cosmetic products, soaps and lotions.
Even though so many products now love to advertise that they contain, many of these products contain such a miniscule amount of aloe that they can hardly be said to be beneficial. Luckily, aloe vera is an easy plant to grow in your home, requiring only a minimal amount of water and a good light source to thrive. By growing one at home and breaking off a spiky green lancelot and then utilizing the sticky aloe gel that oozes from it, you may find yourself benefitting greatly from the medicinal and cosmetic effects of this miraculous plant without having to spend a small fortune at the local drug store.
On top of its cosmetic benefits, aloe gel is also great for minor burns, cuts and scrapes, and can even be taken internally to help heal mouth sores and even the digestive process. Aloe juice is also great for constipation and research has found that it may also help boost the immune system.