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Discovery Magazine 10/1/2013

Hello Aloe!

On day three of the creation week, God caused the dry land to appear out of the water-covered Earth. The Creator of the Universe then richly blessed mankind with many different kinds of vegetation—from grape vines to rosebushes and from banana trees to okra plants.

One remarkable group of plants that God created is known as aloe. There are hundreds of species of aloe plants that grow naturally in warmer countries such as South Africa and Madagascar. Most aloe plants grow without a stem, and their leaves grow directly out of the ground. Some reach only a few inches tall, while others can grow to heights of over 25 feet. They are known as succulents because they store water in their broad, pointed, spiny leaves.

Man has discovered that God’s aloe plants serve a variety of purposes. For example, the fibers in the leaves of certain species of African aloe have been used for making everything from lace to rope to fishing nets. Most people, however, are probably more familiar with the species of aloe known as aloe vera, and its many helpful uses.

Though as of yet we do not know for certain all of the ways that aloe vera may be helpful to mankind, for thousands of years people have used it for various skin problems. An ancient Egyptian document (known as theEbers Papyrus) mentioned aloe vera being used for burns as well as for ulcers and skin disease. Many people today use the amazing gel (harvested from the inside of the thick aloe vera leaves) in their lotions to sooth and moisturize their skin and treat sunburn.

Mike Adams, editor of, insists that “aloe vera is the most impressive herb of them all,” just ahead of garlic. In addition to hydrating and nourishing skin, and accelerating the growth of new skin tissue, Adams is convinced that aloe vera should be used for joint and muscle pain, for boosting immune systems, as well as for many other things.

Likely, we will never know in this life all of the ways that plants such as aloe vera can help us. What we can know is that the God Who created aloe and every other kind of vegetation is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving.

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