A native of the African continent, Aloe vera was most likely a key contributor to Cleopatra’s legendary beauty. It’s known by many names around the world, including “lily of the desert”, “plant of immortality” and the “medicine or burn plant.” The first mention of Aloe in recorded history was on a Sumerian clay tablet, found in the city of Nippur in ancient Iraq around 2200 B.C. Around 1550 B.C., Aloe’s medicinal importance was documented on a Papyrus scroll, which gave 12 formulas for mixing Aloe with other agents to treat both internal and external health issues.
Early Spanish explorers brought Aloe with them to the Caribbean, and introduced its many health-giving properties to the New World. In the early 1900s, Sir George Watts wrote a series of annual works entitled A Dictionary of Economic Products of India. In it, he credited Aloe vera with no less than 43 different uses, including superior external moisturizing. Research on Aloe’s many wound-healing properties began in earnest in the 1930s, and by 1935 it was routinely used to treat x-ray burns.
Today, Aloe’s many benefits are chronicled in nearly 700 published scientific and clinical studies and it consistently ranks among the top 20 most widely used botanical ingredients all around the world.