Aloe Vera lies at the crossroads of spiritual and scientific significance and we love having it as a key ingredient in Hinoki products. It’s no secret that Aloe Vera is high on the list of miraculous multitasking ingredients. Aloe Vera is most commonly known as a household remedy for quickly and effectively treating burns. While the plant itself is mostly water, its remaining 5% is packed with polyphenol antioxidants that help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Scientifically speaking, Aloe Vera has also been shown to increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity; in short, effective as an anti-aging treatment. Despite this more recent quantitative research, the miracle of Aloe Vera as a universal healer is no new news. So what about the historical and cultural use of Aloe Vera as a daily dose of “immortality” as opposed to simply a targeted medicinal response?
Aloe Vera is a cactus (Liliaceae) and naturally grows in desert areas in Africa and India where people have been acutely aware of its power for internal and external use for literal centuries.
- Aloe Vera was termed the “plant of immortality” by Ancient Egyptians as far as 6,000 years ago and was used by Cleopatra and Nofretete as part of their daily skincare routines.
- Ancient Egyptians would even use aloe to help enbalm the deceased due to its antifungal properties.
- In Ancient Greece Alexander the Great used aloe juice to heal the wounds of his warriors and even required transportable carts of aloe plants in order to keep a constant fresh supply.
- There is even a tale that says that Aristotle convinced Alexander the Great to capture Socotra simply in order to gain possession of aloe groves and acquire enough medication to heal the wounds of his entire army.
- Aloe Vera was listed as one of 16 holy plants in 16th Century India and worshiped with godlike status.
- It was used as an insect repellent for trudging through mosquito filled-swamps
- Aloe was known as Ghrita-Kumari, a plant that supplied youthful energy to women.
- In Ayurveda, Aloe is considered one of the few plants of balance between the natures of Pitta (Fire), Kapha (Earth), and Vata (air) energies.
- Japanese samurais considered aloe as the royal plant
- Mayan people called aloe juice the “fountain of youth”.
If it was good enough for Cleopatra’s morning routine, for Alexander the Great’s army, for Japanese samurai, perhaps some of the most influential influencers of all time, then sure enough, it’s good enough for a modern daily dose of healing and protection. Using the the trusted juice of ancient peoples from all over the world is all the more significant in a modern context, connecting us to their stories, their battles, and their oh so relatable desire for health, healing, and wellness.