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Special - Aloe Vera Book by Piet Viljoen

Special - Aloe Vera Book by Piet Viljoen

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Can Aloe vera help with ailments as diverse as arthritis, acne, burns, eczema, periodontal diseases, digestive conditions, and more? Why is it commonly utilized in the cosmetic, complementary medi...
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Can Aloe vera help with ailments as diverse as arthritis, acne, burns, eczema, periodontal diseases, digestive conditions, and more?

Why is it commonly utilized in the cosmetic, complementary medicine, and food and beverage industries?

What do you need to know when buying products containing aloe vera?

Nature’s Ally to Health and Healing answers these questions and much more. We explain the history of Aloe vera, guide you through the process of cultivation all the way through to the end products, and explain the extraordinary symphony of more than 75 bioactive ingredients that brings the power of this amazing plant into clarity. Accompanied by impressive and informative photos, this book is detailed enough to give you the knowledge you need in order to make the best decisions when growing the plant yourself, or simply buying Aloe vera products. It also includes many practical tips and a few recipes to try at home. Piet Viljoen, scientist, formulator and managing director Aloway Natural Health Products understands that nature provides people with what is needed for health and healing. But it is up to us to take those gifts and utilize them in the best way possible. This book allows you to understand and appreciate why Aloe vera is one such gift!

The Origin of Aloe Vera

There are nearly 360 different Aloe species. As of 2016 and with recent DNA comparison puts the Aloe in the order of Asphodelacea family in the order of Apsaragales. Previously it was associated with the Xanthorrhoeaceae, which was used for the family in the APG classification system as well as the Liliaceae family.

Among all the various Aloe species, only one variety has a legendary medical reputation dating back thousands of years, to the times of Ancient Civilization: the famous Aloe Vera plant. The proper scientific name is Aloe Vera (L.) Burm.f, but the synonyms Aloe barbadensis or Aloe barbadensis Miller are frequently referred to as aloe vera.

However, most botanists agree, and historical evidence suggests, that the Aloe Vera plant originated in the warm, dry climates of Africa. However, because the plant is readily adaptable, and because man has been so eager to carry it and bring its benefits with him from place to place, it now can be found in many warm lands.

Etymology

Aloe Vera is derived from the Arabic word Alloeh meaning bitter because of the bitter liquid found in the leaves. Vera, which means true in Latin, was added to this particular species to distinguish its primacy among the other Aloe plants.

Other common names are: Chinese aloe, Indian aloe, true aloe, Barbados aloe, sávila, Curaçao aloe, burn aloe, first aid plant etc.

Ancient Use

The virtues of the plant have been recorded by many great civilizations, from Persia and Egypt in the Middle East, to Greece and Italy in Europe, and India and the African continent.

The plant is widely known in Asia and the Pacific, is found in Japanese, Filipino, and Hawaiian folklore. The Spanish used Aloe, and carried it to their new world colonies in South America and the Caribbean.

Many believe that a Sumerian clay tablet, found in the city of Nippur, written around B.C.E. 2200, was the first document to include Aloe Vera among plants of great healing power. Two of the oldest and most profound medical documents known to civilization—the Ebers Papyrus and the Edwin Smith Papyrus (ca. 1552 BCE)—recorded ancient Egyptian medical men using Aloe Vera.

The first Western benchmark in man’s understanding of Aloe Vera is the Greek Dioscorides (41 A.D.-68 A.D.). This master of pharmacology gave the first detailed description of Aloe Vera, and attributed to its juices the power to loosen the belly and cleanse the stomach. He further added that this bitter Aloe (the sap) eased haemorrhoids; that it aided in healing bruises; that it was good for the tonsils, the gums, and all general mouth irritations; and that it worked as a medicine for the eyes. Dioscorides further observed that the whole leaf, when pulverized, could stop the bleeding of many wounds.

Is it magic?

The ancients certainly seemed to think so. The Egyptians called it the plant of immortality. The Bible mentions Christ being removed from the cross and his body being wrapped in aloe and myrrh. The women of the East placed great value on aloe vera as an aid to enhance the beauty of their skin. But, despite the profound faith of the ancients, modern sciences tells us that there is no magic as the term is popularly known and understood in aloe vera. It is a plant with a deeply intriguing chemical and nutritional composition that has set up and propagated its legacy over the years.

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