Have you ever had a sunburn, or any type of burn really? The first thing that most people recommend is to get some Aloe Vera, right? What makes that simple plant so extraordinary that before science the ancient ones often called it MAGIC? The plant of immortality is what the Egyptians called it while Native Americans thought it to be a wand from heaven. This green little plant even got a mention in the bible as anointing the wounds of Christ when they wrapped his body. The legend continued as the women of the East used Aloe Vera to increase the beauty of their skin.
Then along came science and claimed that there was no magic but instead a complex combination of nutrients that makes Aloe barbadensis Miller so special. But wait I am getting ahead of myself!
Where did that name Aloe b. Miller come from?
I asked my friend Google who told me that Aloe comes from an Arabic word Alloeh, which means “shining bitter substance.” Well that’s definitely on point, because bitter is a kind word for the slippery little filet that is covered by the green cactus like skin. Contrary to popular belief the “gel” of an Aloe Vera is not green, it is in fact clear like a jellyfish. My friend G says Vera is Latin, which means “true.” A bit more research and yet another possibility for the origin of the word Aloe reveals that it is from the old English term “alewe.” Maybe some Greek influence and some Hebrew roots, down the rabbit hole I go!
This genus plant with spikey flowers and bitter juice has been called a lot of things! Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, true Aloe, savilla, Curacao Aloe, burn Aloe, first aid plant, these and many more are names we know Aloe Vera by.
Who knew there was so much in a name!