Aloe

Aloe spp.

Folk names: Burn Plant, Sea Houseleek, First aid Plant

Warning: Ingestion

Aloe can be helpful for internal issues, HOWEVER it can cause interactions with medications, lowered potassium due to diarrhetic nature of the latex part of the plant. It can cause blood sugar changes that can be dangerous for diabetic users. And it is LIKELY to reduce the efficacy of steroids. AS WITH ALL ADDITIONS to your health and internal function regimes: ASK YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER BEFORE ADDING ANY INGESTIONS. Aloe is unlikely to cause skin irritations but should be sampled on a small swath of skin before incorporating regular use. The Witchlist is NOT a medical source and simply compiles historical and reference materials on the uses.

Banish Loneliness, Cultivate Aloe

Aloe is one of the easiest plants to grow and propagate. They are typically inexpensive, and as succulents, require little attention. Care for your plant and it will ward away loneliness and bring you protection!

Planet: Venus, Moon
Element: Water
Gender: Feminine
Sacred among:

  • Ancient Sumerian Deities

  • Ancient Egyptian deities

  • St. Hildegard of Bingen (Benedictine Catholic)

Native to: Eastern and Southern Africa

Middle-Modern Eras of Aloe

Among Sorcerers in Europe up through the Renaissance period with a halt around age of enlightenment (ironically), there were a few who have persisted through the ages - all male - whoddathunkit?

That said, here are few more of aloes historic uses in magic:

  • ​Abraham the Jew of 14th-15th century Germany was an alchemist, magician, and philosopher used aloe was burned for the perfume as a part of his magical practice. 

  • Éliphias Lévi a 19th c. French occultists, used Aloe perfumes during Monday rituals for the Day of the Moon. For shadow magic, a black robe leaden cap inscribed with the signs of the Moon, Venus, and Saturn were worn. The vervain and cypress wreaths were hung, and aloes, camphor, and storax were burned for perfume.

  • The 19th Century American-born British Father of the Major and Minor Arcanas of Tarot A. E. Waite made a perfume aloe along with sandalwood, amber, camphor, and pulverized cucumber seeds to be burned alongside stalks of mugwort, moonwort, and ranunculus. for consecrating a Talisman of the Moon.

Aloe and Zombies

Haitian Vodou is another that gives aloe a critical role in ritual. This African diasporic religion. (meaning a religion cobbled back together during/after genocide, displacement, enslavement, etc. and typically intertwines multiple aspects of various faiths as a result of their upheaval). While Haiti may not be the ideal climate for aloe, colonizers introduced aloe very early in their squatting. In Vodou (heavily influenced by Fon and Mahi peoples of old Dahomey/modern-day Benin, Yòrubá of Nigeria, Kongo people of Angola and Zaire with Christian aspects), aloe is used as part of the antidote for zombification. The word zombie comes from the Kongo word 'nzombie' meaning 'Spirit of the Dead'. And appears nothing as the popular culture interpretation. In fact, that interpretation is from one of the original pieces of cinematography on the subject "White Zombie" in which a white woman is possessed by an evil voodoo master. Hollywood demonizing folx of color much?

​Magical Uses

  • Attraction (Love)

  • Banishing Loneliness

  • Beauty

  • Blessings of the Home

  • Cleansing

  • Exorcism

  • Healing

  • Luck

  • Protection

  • Rejuvenation (feminine)

  • Relief from Loneliness

  • Settle Restless Ghosts or bring peace to the deceased

  • Truth

Medicinal Uses

(This information has been collected from Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine as well as The Herbal Academy of New England, it has NOT been confirmed by Licensed Herbalist)

  • Analgesic

  • Antiviral

  • Bitter

  • Cathartic

  • Demulcent

  • Antibacterial

  • Anti-Inflammatory

  • Emmenagogue

  • Emollient

  • Laxative

  • Stomachic

  • Vulnerary

WARNING: Talk to your Doctor/Medical Professional before adding any Supplements, herbal teas, Infusions, etc. ​

Part of the reason that we list Medical Jargin is because many plants can interfere with or even counteract 

medications we already take or it can exacerbate ailments we already have. 

When talking to your Medical Professional, we suggest asking what "actions" an herb might do to interfere with your health, either positive of negative. For example, if you suffer from heartburn, a Cholagogue which creates more bile may not be advantagous. Too much of a good thing, eh?

Ancient History/Geography of Aloe Medicinal and Mystical

Ancient Egypt

Nefertiti and Cleopatra are said to have used Aloe as a part of their skin care routine! We bet hair was a part of that - it is nourishing for all hair types but especially curly, natural hair. It was used as an antifungal and antibacterial in embalming processes.

Ancient Mesopotamia

Earliest documentation comes from here about 2200 BCE.A Still used today, aloe juice was drunk to cleanse the intestines.

 

Ancient Greece

Alexander the Great was the first master indoor gardener. He travelled with his troops pushing a wagon of live aloe plants from battle to battle. The juice was an integral part of healing the wounds of his soldiers. Legend has it, Aristotle convinced him to take the Island Socotra (part of modern-day Yemen) because of the sacred aloe groves that grew there.

Africa 

The aloe plant is used in Traditional African Medicine HOWEVER there are some species native to Africa that are poisonous and can even be deadly. Among the Tswana religion of Botswana used aloe as part of a curse's cleanser.

 

Ancient Semites

Kabbalah is a mystical Judaism with ancient origins. Many know it as the home of Lilith, the first wife of Adam. It also is one of the original users of aloe for magical purposes. Aloe was one of five plants smoked in consecreation rituals for the symbol of the Pentagram.

 

Ancient India

Ayurvedic Medicine is still practiced today and persists through up to five millenia. Aloe or Ghrita-Kumari in Sanskrit (the sacred language of the vedas) has been used to give youthful rejuvenation to women. It is used to stabilize the cardiovascular system. It is considered the plant of balance between the Doshas or Ayurvedic body types. 

 

Ancient Rome

A doctor under Emperor Nero in 50 BCE travelled throughout Asian territories documenting medicine. Aloe was included as one of his favorites. He recommends it for wounds, belly aches, gingivitis, arthralgia, skin irritations, sunburns, acne, hair loss, and more!