The first historical reference to the therapeutic properties of aloe is found on pottery drawings dating back to the Sumerian king Akkad. Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical papyrus of herbal knowledge dating to circa 1550 BC and named after George Ebers who discovered it, contains references to the therapeutic properties of aloe, which indicates that such properties have been known for more than 3000 years.
In Egypt, aloe was the plant whose “blood” offered beauty, health and eternity. The Pharaohs believed that aloe was a longevity elixir and, when burying their dead, they offered a leaf of aloe as a symbol of eternal life.
Apart from aloe’s therapeutic properties, Egyptians had also discovered its cosmetic value as well. According to the myth, Cleopatra and Nefertiti – queens of Egypt – had intertwined the use of aloe with natural beauty. The beautiful Cleopatra used aloe in all her lotions, while Nefertiti took daily baths in aloe juice.
In ancient Greece, aloe symbolized beauty, patience, luck and health. More specifically, the first reference to aloe in western medicine is found in the work of Hippocrates (460-376 BC), who describes some of its many therapeutic properties.
In his book titled On Medical Material, Dioscorides makes detailed and enthusiastic reference to the therapeutic properties of aloe juice. Pliny confirmed the conclusions of Dioscorides in this Natural History.
Βασιλάκη Μαρία & Τζεκάκη Βασιλική (2014). Φυσικά συστατικά στην αισθητική και κοσμητολογία – Αλόη Βέρα.