Aloe is a genus containing over 500 species of flowering succulent plants. Although it is part of the lily family, this succulent plant resembles a cactus in appearance and habit. It has fat leaves, spiky at the edges and can be dappled. These leaves are arranged in basal rosettes. Under ideal circumstances, the plant produces yellow, tubular flowers in the summertime. The plants themselves vary in colour from grey to bright green. Aloe originated in Africa but has spread throughout the world. The first written record of the use of aloe vera dates back to 2200 B.C.E. and a clay tablet from Sumeria.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans used Aloe vera to treat wounds.The Egyptians referred to aloe as the plant of immortality and it was included in funerary offerings. It was also considered the plant of eternal youth and Queen Cleopatra is said to have used it as a daily beauty product. In the Middle Ages, the yellowish liquid found inside the leaves was favored as a purgative. Some species, particularly Aloe vera, are used in alternative medicine and first aid. Both the translucent inner pulp and the resinous yellow aloin from wounding the aloe plant are used externally for skin discomforts. As an herbal medicine, Aloe vera juice is commonly used internally for digestive discomfort. Aloe juice is sometimes sold in health food stores, but the risks of diarrhea, cramping, and female problems are greater than the benefits of drinking this juice on a regular basis. The plants can also be made into types of special soaps or used in other skin care products.
Magickally Position an aloe plant on a windowsill at the front of your house to dispel negative energy and attract good luck. If you live in a place where aloe can grow outside, plant it near your front door or set a potted plant outside for the summer.It is used as an amulet against accidents and misfortunes, especially around the home. It is also used for love and beauty and all spells related to lunar energies. For protection, break off the end of a leaf and dab a little of the gel over each exterior doorway. In Africa, leaves have traditionally been hung in doorways to attract luck and protect from evil influences For healing spells, place a little of the gel at the base of a green candle. A potted aloe plant growing in the workplace is believed to bring good luck.
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