About Aloe

Natures Best kept Secret – the views of Dr Caroline Shreeve MB BS (Lond.)

A Brief Biography

Dr Caroline Shreeve is a qualified doctor working in hospital medicine. Since qualifying in the seventies, she has pursued several successful parallel careers in general medicine, psychology, complementary therapies and health journalism and is specially interested in herbal treatments, nutrition and dietary supplements.

Dr Shreeve has written regularly for the women's press, national and regional newspapers, medical journals and trade magazine, appeared on Pebble Mill, the Gloria Hunniford Show, TV-AM and most UK regional radio stations. Her twelve books include titles on depression, the premenstrual syndrome, the menopause, and the 'Alternative Dictionary of Symptoms and Cures', which was a runner-up for the 1987 Booker Health prize.


Aloe Vera plant

Dr Caroline Shreeve says

Aloe Vera is a plant of many surprises. It looks like a cactus, grows in dry surroundings, but belongs to the lily family. It stays moist and cool where other plants wilt, shutting down its pores to prevent water loss. When cut or damaged, its healing powers come to light, forming a protective covering, to ensure that the plant continues to thrive. It grows naturally in Africa, America, Europe and Asia where there are over 200 varieties of the plant, but it is the Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) variety which has the best medicinal properties.

Aloe Vera - history and legend

Most importantly, Aloe Vera has a long history as a safe, effective medicine and skin care aid. For over 6,000 years, people have benefited from the remarkable relief that the plant can bring to a wide range of ailments. The ancient Egyptians used Aloe to heal battle wounds and cure infections. Writings of the early Greeks show how they value it for relieving blisters, burns and leg ulcers as well as bowel and stomach disorders.

Legend has it that Aristotle persuaded Alexander the Great to conquer the isle of Socroto, to secure enough Aloe Vera to heal his soldiers' wounds. Cleopatra relied on it for her unlined, youthful complexion, whilst the Chinese hailed Aloe as an elixir of youth. Aloe is also listed in St. John's gospel as an anointing ingredient for the body of Christ.

Aloe Vera rediscovered

Doctors rediscovered Aloe Vera in the 1930s, when it was found to heal radiation burns due to x-rays, where other methods had met with little success. It did the same for atomic fallout victims a decade later, following the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings.

The plant's clear, glassy leaf sap is used today to relieve ailments from insect bites, stings and sunburn.

Aloe Vera's healing actions

Traditional remedies are often founded on firm scientific fact. Studies have confirmed Aloe Vera as a rich source of healing ingredients which work synergistically, enhancing one anothers effects. These ingredients include vitamins, minerals proteins, enzymes and amino acids.

Aloe Vera extract acts in three main ways:

  • as an anti-inflammatory agent
  • a wound healer
  • an antioxidant

one or all of which may contribute to relieving a particular ailment.

Aloe Vera - the choice

Aloe Vera gel is primarily used externally for skin conditions. The pure gel is clear, non-sticky, odourless, easily absorbed and can be used as often as required.

Medical Advice

Consult your doctor for disorders that do not improve or which you suspect might be serious.

Aloe Vera Limited and De Vere Aloe Vera are trading styles of Scandinavia Direct Limited