Concise history of aloe vera

In the olden days people only had the option to use aloe vera plants ‘as a whole’, hence the many references to a purgative effect (from Middles Ages to the height of fashion in Victorian times). Nowadays in producing a food supplement from aloe vera, all manufacturers have the choice for instance to remove the purgatives and preserve other food molecules. We take this very seriously indeed, firmly putting our objective of achieving unparalelled Quality Control before anything else.

Throughout the ages some foods have been considered more helpful than others. Helpful for their aroma, for their taste or their function. The earliest documented use of aloe vera goes back to 2100 BC Sumaria (Nippur clay tablets demonstrated that Sumerian physicians relied heavily on botanical sources and that aloe vera was among them) and 1552 BC Egypt (Ebers papyrus is amongst the most important medical papyri of Ancient Egypt and gave detailed discussion of aloe vera’s food value).

The development of pharmacology in the Graeco-Roman world saw the number of medicinal plants recorded almost trebled between 400 BC (the Hippocratic writings) and AD 250 as the Greeks and Romans discovered more about the regions beyond the Mediterranean: Aulus Cornelius Celsus (25BC – AD25) wrote De Medicina (the first systematic treatise on medicine) which mentions aloe vera. Roman army surgeon Pedanius Dioscorides (AD40 – 90) wrote the Codex Vindobonensis Medicus Graecus (oldest and most valuable work in the history of botany and pharmacology) in which he gave detailed description of aloe vera in respect of digestion (mouth irritations, laxative, haemorrhoids) and skin (boils, healing of bruises and wounds). Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD23-79), author of Historia Naturalis, physician, philosopher and army commander repeated the findings of Dioscorides that aloe vera was used for inflammation/fever (checks perspiration) and wound healing (heals leprous sores).

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