Aloe vera is also known as lily of the desert, elephant's gall and burn plant. It is used on the skin to heal wounds as well as for a number of skin conditions. It is also taken as a laxative.
Aloe vera is now also being taken internally to treat conditions like asthma, epilepsy, diabetes and osteoarthritis. It is used on the skin for burns, osteoarthritis, psoriasis and sunburn.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its approval for the use of aloe vera as a natural flavoring. It can also be found in the form of a gel in many skin products. There are no known significant side effects to using aloe vera on the skin.
Diabetics who are on glucose-lowering medication should be aware that taking aloe vera orally may lower blood glucose levels.
"Aloe vera’s use can be traced back 6,000 years to early Egypt, where the plant was depicted on stone carvings. Known as the 'plant of immortality', aloe was presented as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs."