From Cleopatra’s Garden

aloe vera

Aloe Vera has been used by mankind for several thousand years. Over the centuries there have been references to Aloe Vera from the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, as well as in Indian and Chinese literature. Famous physicians of the past – including Galen, the father of modern medicine – used Aloe Vera as part of their treatment. It is said that the queens of ancient Egypt used it for its beautifying properties.

Alexander the Great was facing a problem. His armies were marching ahead conquering lands and defeating kingdoms. No force could stand their might except one: the force of sickness and disease. His army was passing through swampy marshals, deserts, forests and tropical lands. The men were suffering with sunburn, itching, insect bites and stings, stomach aches and fevers. Medical supplies were sparse and medicine men were difficult to find. To resolve the problem, as always, he went on to seek the counsel of his mentor, Aristotle.

“Alex, send your men to the island of Socorro in the Indian Ocean. There they will find a green cactus-like plant, succulent with jelly. This jelly has wonderful healing properties; the inhabitants of the island are well aware of them. In this plant, your men will find the solution to most of their health problems,” advised Aristotle to Alexander.

The island of Socorro was invaded and Alexander’s me carried the magical Aloe Vera plant on their conquests of distant lands.

What is this multi-purpose gel?

Aloe Vera has been used by medicine men for a very long time. Its healing properties were mentioned in Rig Veda, on ancient Sumerian clay tablets, and in Greek medical texts. Aloe Vera is cactus-like in appearance but actually belongs to the lily family. Today it is a subject of intense research.  Rich in vitamin A, B, E and 18 amino acids, it contains over 75 known substances. It is so complex that its exact composition is not fully analysed even today.

It is a sturdy survivor and can be grown in most weather conditions. That’s why man has been able to carry it from one country to another. Aloe Vera gel greatly helps in the healing of ulcers, burns, herpes, itching associated with insect bites and stings. It prevents scarring, cleanses and improves the appearance of skin, protects against sunburn, heals wounds and prevents infection. It’s an amazing natural moisturizer and heals many skin problems like eczema and acne. Taken orally under the guidance of herbalist it can boost the immune system and treat the digestive system.

It is said that this lily had a prominent place in the royal gardens of Cleopatra.

This magical plant grows everywhere and is easily available to unleash its magic on our bodies. Enjoy this wonderful gift of nature.

Preparing Aloe Vera gel

You can but this gel from any herbal store or prepare it at home. The gel is found within the leaf of the plant. Cut the leaf lengthwise, peel its outer green skin and stake out the clear pulp. This pulp is Aloe Vera gel.

For healing or screening

In case of skin irritation, itching or burns, take a handful of gel and mix with two drops of lavender oil. Apply it liberally over the affected skin area. It can also work as a sunscreen lotion.

A moisturizer that suits your skin

Most commercial moisturizers laced with chemicals irritate the facial skin and damage it. Different essential oils can be mixed for different skin types to prepare a natural moisturizer.

Take a tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel and mix with:

1 drop of bergamot oil for normal skin

1 drop of rose oil for dry skin

1 drop of sandalwood oil for oily skin

1 drop of oil lemon oil for blemished skin and acne.

Face mask for skin irritated by harsh sun and pollution

Put 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel in a clean bowl and cover the gel with boiling water.

Use a fork to mash the gel thoroughly into the water.

Continue mixing and add rice flour until you get a thick paste.

Apply this paste all over your face, avoiding the area around the eyes.

Let it dry for 20 minutes.

Wash off the mask with lots of clean water.

The same mix can be used all over the body for a very smooth and refreshed skin.

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