During his long voyages Christopher Columbus made an observation concerning the health of his crew: "four are the foods that are essential to the welfare of man: Wheat, the grape, the olive and aloe." The beneficial properties of the first three have been well documented and generally accepted today. The aloe, however, has had a history more uncertain.
In the fifteenth century the cultivation of aloe vera along the Mediterranean basin showed clear the importance of this ingredient claimed in folk medicine. But with the beginning of the modern pharmacopoeia, the 'pita aloe', along with most of the medicinal plants, was relegated to oblivion.
In the West, the first recognition of the medical community to the plant would not occur until the early twentieth century. And as undeniable proof, not until the end of the Second World War when fully rediscover its therapeutic power. After the devastating effects of the atomic explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those who suffered burns healed faster with aloe and in many cases even without leaving traces or scars.
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