Before my family moved to St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands, I had never heard of aloe. Some of the older teens I had befriended there were Rastafari and aloe was what they used to wash their dreadlocks. Two years after, I started seeing commercials advertising shampoos and skincare products that contained aloe, and it would be my first time hearing the “vera” part of its name (to the best of my memory, nobody said “aloe vera” in the Virgin Islands at the time). But there is one particular incident that turned me off to this wonderful, healing plant. Hair and skin weren’t the only things people in the V.I. used aloe for.
My stepfather came down with a really bad cold and my mother told him that she could fix him right up with aloe. They were in the kitchen and I was in the living room when I heard my stepdad exclaim “OH MY GOD”. I ran into the kitchen to find out what had happened and that’s when the smell hit me. My stepdad told my mom “I am not eating that! You must be out of your mind!” There on the kitchen counter was a large aloe leaf neatly sliced open down the middle. Its translucent innards were oozing out of the leaf, exuding a stench the likes of which I had never before experienced. Somehow, though, my mother convinced my stepdad to eat that wretched leaf snot. Did it work? I don’t remember, possibly because I was so traumatized by the event.
When I got older, I learned that aloe has a long history of being used for a variety of things. Its history stretches back to the time of the pharaohs of Egypt and the Sumerians. Originally from the Arabian Peninsula, aloe eventually found its way to other parts of the world; Africa, Asia, and (of course) the Caribbean. While there are no scientific data supporting claims that it helps fight colds or resolve digestive issues, its skin-healing properties are undeniable. It’s one of the reasons why I use Gleem products and speak highly of them.
Most skincare products have water as their base, Gleem uses aloe vera as its base. What does that mean? It means that you’re not getting a watered-down product like all of the other skincare creams and the aloe vera (and other natural ingredients) can do its job unimpeded. In your daily diet, you want to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients your body requires to function optimally. Right? Well, your skin requires nutrients for its health as well. Gleem provides your skin with an all-natural diet of goodness to ensure that you’re always looking your best.
For more on the benefits of aloe, see Gleem founder Marlene Wallach’s article on the subject.