Aloe vera, A. spp.
Used for: Burns, constipation, cancer, skin irritations
The aloes of biblical times are very different from the aloe vera you keep on your kitchen counter. One variety of aloe (A. succotrina) produced an aromatic juice used in embalming in ancient Egypt. Aloe juice was included in incense, perfume, lotion and scented powder.
From biblical times to the present, aloes have been giants among herbs and herbal medicine. People commonly keep an aloe vera plant in their home for the instant and effective treatment of burns. Fresh aloe vera juice taken internally purges the stomach and lower intestines and relieves fevers. Externally, aloe juice, in gels with or without lanolin, treats abrasions, burns and skin irritations. When applied to open sores, aloe vera extract aids in healing, exhibiting anesthetic and antibacterial action, and increasing blood or lymph flow in the small vessels in the area.
Adapted with permission fromHerbs of the Bible: 2,000 Years of Plant Medicineby James A. Duke, Ph.D.