ALOE VERA: A LONG HISTORY OF BENEFICIAL USE
Often called “the miracle plant”, aloe vera is a plant of many surprises because of its broad spectrum of benefits. It flourishes in warm and dry climates where many people mistake aloe vera for a cactus. Although aloe vera does closely resemble a cactus, it is really classified as a succulent which belongs to the Lily family.
Ancient records show that the spectacular health benefits of Aloe vera have been known for centuries and have been used by many different cultures. The use of aloe for its premier health advantages have survived for thousands of years. Fifteen centuries before the birth of Christ, Egyptian writings acclaimed the benefits of the amazing aloe plant, even referring to it as a “sanctuary plant of immortality.”
The earliest reference to Aloe vera and its use was found in 2200 BCE on a Sumerian clay tablet. Cleopatra, Alexander the Great and Aristotle were fans of this unusual succulent and prized it for its soothing ability. Alexander the Great used aloe vera to support his troops. Cleopatra relied on its skin-soothing emollients to help preserve her legendary beauty. Indians in Central and South America also commonly used it.
SPECIAL PROPERTIES OF ALOE
More than 200 species of Aloe vera exist, but only one particular species, Aloe barbadensis Miller, is the most renowned for its general health-promoting properties. However, consumers should be cautious about aloe products that contain the wrong or ineffective species of aloe. The expansive benefits of aloe vera have been described in numerous scientific journals and reveal that aloe vera contains naturally occurring essential nutrients including a whole array of natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein and amino acids.
However, it is not just the number of nutrients in a plant, but also the photonic light that naturally radiates from this plant that really counts. Aloe vera gel (the inner leaf jelly) has a diverse mixture of complex phytonutrients that deliver the reputation of this remarkable plant. Backed by worldwide scientific research, aloe vera is used by millions of people around the world.
UNLOCKING ALOE’S SECRETS
For many centuries, aloe vera was used by kings to paupers for its spectacular effects. Even the Bible mentions the use of aloe. But to receive all of aloe’s benefits, manufacturing at the premier level is essential as we do at Premier Research Labs (PRL).
Aloe vera leaves are generally ready for harvest after 3 years of age. Proper harvesting is a labor-intensive process and should take place as soon as possible due to the highly perishable nature of the juice, ideally within 36 hours of harvesting the leaves. Leaves that show signs of tip necrosis should not be harvested, as these may provide entry points for microbial contamination. After the thick leaves are hand-filleted to scoop out the precious mucilaginous gel, it should either be used within a short time or preserved. If not, an enzyme in aloe can degrade its beneficial properties. To avoid this degradation, a special processing method is used.