Botanical Cure for Burns

Aloe vera, The Burn Plant

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Aloe vera (Liliceae)

Also Known Scientifically as: Aloe barbadensis

Common names: aloe, alo (Sp.) , the burn plant.

Center of Diversity and Cultural Uses

Aloe originated in Africa and the usage spread to the Mediterranean, and then all over the world. The main regions where aloe is grown are the U.S., Central America, South America, China, India, Africa, the Caribbean, and parts of southeast Asia. The part of the plant used is the leaf. The leaves are picked, and skinned and the gel in the leaves is processed for commercial use, or the entire leaf is ground up into "leaf juice". The latex of aloe contains many compounds and is referred to as aloin. The secondary chemical thought to have the greatest healing effect is chrysophanic acid. The leaves may also be sold whole for personal use. The gel is processed for skin care, and the whole-leaf juice is used for digestive health. The use of Aloe vera is popular in Central and South America, India, and most of East Asia, but it is used worldwide. More developed nations use it in cosmetics instead of in raw form as medicine.

History and Current Use of Aloe

Aloe is a folk remedy, and the knowledge of it has been passed around the world since the ancient Egyptians used it. The aloin gel can be used to treat burns (sun, heat, stronger radiation) and minor skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and rashes. Aloe vera is often an ingredient in skin cosmetics, body wash, soap, and shampoo. The juice can be used as a strong laxative. A somewhat recent trend is and aloe juice drink, supposedly effective for staying hydrated and maintaining healthy digestion.


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