Aloe Vera's 4000 Year History

Aloe Vera's 4,000 Year History

Aloe vera has been used for many purposes throughout history. As recently as this century, published studies show its use for arthritis, high cholesterol, interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome, nonbacterial prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain, radiation burns, heart disease, diabetes, and immune system disorders. In fact, if you are a diabetic, you should monitor your blood sugar closely when taking concentrated forms of aloe vera. It can noticeably reduce your need for insulin.


Medical uses of aloe vera have been reported in medical literature for over 50 years, although it has been reported in the botanical and naturopathic literature for many more years. Scientific studies exist that support the antibacterial and antifungal effect of substances in aloe vera. Studies and case reports provide support for the use of aloe vera in the treatment of radiation ulcers and stasis ulcers in humans, and burn and frostbite injuries in experimental animals. Modern clinical medical use of aloe began in the 1930s with reports of successful treatment of X-ray and radium burns.


Native Americans recognized aloe vera as the "burn plant", "medicine plant", and "the mystery plant". Indian medicine men jealously guarded their knowledge of its uses. Aristotle persuaded Alexander the Great to conquer the island of Socotra to secure the aloe grown there for his wounded soldiers. Medical healers of past civilizations prescribed aloe vera for a large variety of illnesses and ailments. In about 1750 BC, Sumerian clay tablets depicted the use of aloe vera for medical purposes. Even earlier, perhaps as early as 4000 BC, drawings of the aloe plant were found on temple walls in the tombs of the Pharaohs. The Egyptians called it the "Plant of Immortality". By 1500 BC, aloe is mentioned in Egypt's Papyrus Embers where formulas containing aloe are described for a variety of illnesses, both external and internal. By 600 BC, the use of aloe appears in the Persian Empire, then throughout the Arab world and into India. 

In history Aloe vera has been used to treat human and medical problems from A to Z, and many more uses for the leaf have been suggested in contemporary literature:


A — allergies, abscesses, abrasions, asthma, acne, acid indigestion, allergic reactions, anemia, arterial insufficiency, arthritis, athlete's foot, AIDS

B — bad breath, burns, boils, bursitis, baldness, blisters/blistering, bruises, bronchitis, bowel regularity, bloody scours in calves, body cleanser, bladder infections, blood pressure

C — cancer, Candida, corneal ulcers, contusions, canker sores, cold sores, cuts, cataracts, chapped/ chafed skin and lips, cholesterol (high), coughs, colds, colitis, carbuncles, colic, cradle cap, cystitis, chemotherapy, constipation

D — dermatitis, dandruff, dry skin, denture (gum) sores, diaper rash, dishpan hands, dysentery, diabetes, depression

E– F — edema, erysipelas, epidermitis, Epstein-Barr virus, exanthema, eczema, enteritis in fowl, eyes, earache, fibromyalgia, feline leukemia (FeLV), favus, fissured nipples, fever blisters, fungus

G — genital herpes, gingivitis, glaucoma, gangrene

H — heat rash/prickly heat, headache of all kinds, hemorrhoid, heartburn, high blood pressure, herpes zoster/simplex

I — impetigo, inflamed joints, insomnia, ingrown toenails, infertility due to anovulatory cycles, indigestion, insect bites, interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome

J – K — jaundice, joints, keratosis follicularis, kidney infections

L — laxation, leprosy, laryngitis, lupus, liver ailments, leukemia

M — multiple sclerosis, mastitis in cattle, mouth irritations, muscle cramps/strains, moles

N — nausea of all kinds

O — onycholysis, odor control of chronic ulcers, oral disorders

P — pelvic pain, pinworms, psoriasis, prostatitis, poison ivy/oak, pancreas

R — razor burn, radiation burns, radiation dermatitis, rashes

S — stings, styes, sprains, senile moles, sores of all kinds, seborrhea, stretch marks, sore throat, shingles, staph infections, sunburns, sciatic nerve, sickle-cell disease, silicon toxicity

T — tonsillitis, tendinitis, trachoma, tuberculosis, tumors

U — ulcerations of all kinds, urticaria, ulcers (peptic and duodenal)

V — vaginitis, venereal sores, venous stasis, varicose veins

W — wind burn, wheal, wounds of all kinds, warts

X – Y – Z — X-ray burns, yeast infections, zoster (shingles)