Fuerteventura has several natural treasures. One of them, considered one of the best in the world, is Aloe Vera. This plant, with multiple health benefits, grows in optimal conditions in arid and semi-arid lands. The volcanic soil of Fuerteventura offers ideal conditions for aloe vera to develop all its properties.
Originated in oriental and southern Africa, The Aloe Vera (Barbadensin Miller) is a Lilac from the onion family, also known as «desert lily». Juicy long leaves (50cm long, 10cm wide and 4cm thick) in the shape of a rosette this plant has always been considered as miraculous from the origins of humanity. Its healing properties have been proved by thousands of cultures: Mayan, Greek, Roman, Hebrew, Assyrian, Chinese, Egyptian… , the latter referring to it, in the old times, as the plant of immortality —maybe because of its healing properties— being included among the funerary gifts buried with pharaohs.
There are historic records that comment on its healing and cosmetic powers. It’s said that Alexander the Great conquered the island of Socotora (in the south of Arabia) because o the quantity of Aloes it contained (to heal his troops), and that Cleopatra used it every day for her body care.
The Aloe was an essential element in popular medicine in Spain, until the generalized use of modern medicine relegated it into oblivion, together with most healing plants.
During WWII, its therapeutic properties were rediscovered. The burns caused in the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — due to atomic explosions — healed up more quickly with aloe and in many cases leaving no signs or scars.
Its properties as a cellular restorer and other healing properties have awakened the interest of a lot of countries in studying and taking advantage of it.
The juice of its leaves is used in medicine, thickened into a very dark bitter and solid dough called bitter aloes. It is used mainly in the shape of gel or cream, or orally as juice or syrup.
Several studies have proven that the aloe has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (it stimulates the production of endorphins, which relieve the pain), in addition to activating and strengthening the epithelial cells, which makes it very useful for gastric and stomach ulcers.
It provides a deep skin cleansing getting rid of bacteria and fatty deposits and, thanks to its restorer properties (older than three-year-old plants), it avoids the appearance of wrinkles and reduces the opened pores (partly due to the vitamins it has; it’s one of the few species that contains vitamin B12, in addition to vitamin A, B1, B2, B6 and C). It heals necrotizing injuries, like burns (also the solar ones), restoring tissues and cicatrizing them, apart from restoring the sensitivity of the affected area.
It also gets rids of poisons and cell waste, restructures and revitalizes the bone marrow, reactivates the immune system (even diminishing the risk of infection by the VIH and stimulating the immune answer against cancer). The gel obtained from the aloe produces six antiseptic agents with a high level of antimicrobial activity, in addition to being anticoagulant and astringent; although consumed in big quantities it can be a perfect natural laxative.
The Aloe Vera is a species capable of adapting and growning in arid and semi-arid areas. The soil must be sandy, although this isn’t an indispensable condition, as it can also grow in volcanic soils under optimum conditions, such is the case of the Canary Islands.
Fuerteventura is the island where this plant develops its best properties, thanks to its soil, its dry weather and constant wind which cleans the atmosphere.