Aloe Vera from Mallorca - nature's all-rounder
If there were envy in the plant kingdom, the aloe vera would have to keep ”her head down”. Its popularity would not be very high. And this is not related to the cactus-like appearance and beautiful red flower. The desert lily, as one of its many names, is the overachiever of the flora. No other plant combines so much effective power in such a small area. Scientists found incredible 200 (!!) ingredients in the fleshy marrow of the leaves so far. Aloe has positive effects on almost every part of the human body - on the immune system as well as on the intestines, joints and cartilage. And yet the "plant of immortality" - as the early Egyptians called it - stands out particularly in the healing of skin problems. The all-rounder has a cooling, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect and restores urgently needed moisture to the tissue. Extremely dry skin thanks it immediately.
The plant with self-healing properties
There is so much to say and write about aloe vera. In the end, it always comes out a song of praise. The word "amazing" describes the "green pharmacy" only inadequately. Anyone who studies aloe will quickly learn that the plant can go for months without rain. It does contract, its leaves become thinner. Only to sponge them up again the next time it rains. Leaves harvested after a downpour sometimes weigh a kilogram. The liquid is stored in the marrow (also gel). The self-healing powers are also amazing. If you cut a leaf, within moments a thin film will appear over the wound. This sap then turns into a "plaster," a rubbery layer that seals the cut airtight. This stops moisture loss on the one hand and prevents germs from entering on the other.
Aloe helps with acne and sunburn
You have to look for a better transition for a long time - to come to the use of aloe in the cosmetics industry. Aloe can also be understood as a protective film for human tissues. The gel has no irritation potential and can be applied to both irritated and diseased skin: Acne, sunburn and psoriasis - to name just three. It also contains active ingredients that counteract skin defects while stimulating collagen production. Seen in this light, aloe is a "first aid plant".
Perfect skin care
When something sounds so good, surely there is always a catch? The answer is no. At least not in cosmetic use, if laboratory tests have been done beforehand. There is, of course, the use of pure aloe in natural medicine. And here there can be at least one problem. This arises right at the time of harvesting. And applies to the professional aloe farmer just as it does to the enthusiast who allows the "plant of immortality" to thrive in a flower pot at home.
Aloe vera - also a laxative
The leaf of the Aloe Vera consists of three layers: Outside the so-called leaf bark, underneath the leaf juice (contains aloin) and in the core finally the important pith. The latter must be secured - and carefully separated from the bark and sap. This is done by a sharp blade and a practiced hand (yes, harvesting is still manual work for high-quality products) or by a little trick (applies to private growers): With the cut pointing down, the leaf is suspended in a glass of water. After 60 minutes at the latest, the aloin juice will have run out. Why this is so important: The liquid not only tastes very unpleasant, he also has a strong laxative effect. In the past, this knowledge was used by doctors - they prescribed the ingredient in the form of a powder for constipation. According to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, however, there is a risk that aloin is a cancer trigger - but only if the dosage is too high. Why such a valuable plant as the desert lily also has a dangerous side is easy to explain: the juice is a feeding protection against vermin or animals. Unscientifically formulated: The aloe secures its valuable pith between the leaf bark from attackers.
Cleopatra swore by the plant
By the way, this knowledge is not a new one. If you study the history of aloe, you will find the first records from 5000 years ago from Mesopotamia. And almost at the same time from Egypt. There, the plant was considered the "blood of the gods" - and was probably also used by the beautiful Cleopatra for her care. But it was known that the yellowish sap had to be removed first. Who would also have wanted to answer for the fact that the beautiful ruler must complain about strongly reddened skin areas.
From Mexico to Mallorca
Another ruler also swore by the "true aloe": Alexander the Great. He instructed his healers to treat injured soldiers with the plant's gel. Many hundreds of years later, records emerged in Japan that the samurai, the emperor's soldiers, rubbed aloe gel all over their bodies. Their goal was to become invulnerable with it. By the way, it took even longer until the medicinal plant arrived in today's Europe. From Great Britain, aloe was brought to Spain from the 12th century - and from there on to South and Central America. A small irony here is the fact that Mexico has become one of the main cultivation areas today. However, the most potent aloe, on the other hand, comes from Mallorca - the warm summers and low-rainfall winters provide an ideal climate for the plant. Fun fact to finish: Until the present, it is not known where exactly the desert lily originated. Researchers assume that it comes from the Arabian Peninsula, without being able to narrow down the region more precisely. Thus, the aloe is not only an all-rounder, but also a small mystery of botany.