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by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
Aloe Vera or as we Jamaicans call it Sinkle Bible, is one of Jamaica’s most precious plants and can be found in almost every backyard in Jamaica. But where did it come from and how did it get to our island? Are there any benefits and what do we use the plant for here in Jamaica?
It is believed that the origin of this super plant goes back to a time before civilization even knew how to record or write anything. That means it was around before the “BC” era. There are carvings found in Egypt that are dated at over 6000 years old of the Aloe Vera plant. Have you ever thought of giving someone an Aloe Vera plant or product as a gift? Well, back then it was gifted to deceased pharaohs or given as a burial offering, and remains of the plant were found in their tombs.
Because of its numerous health benefits, it was considered a miracle plant and was highly sought after by medical practitioners. There were even Sumerian hieroglyphic tablets found that dated back to the Mesopotamian civilization. This is believed to be the first written written record of the Aloe Vera’s medical use, stating that it was used then as a form of laxative.
Aloe Vera has a bitter taste and is slimy in texture. This combination makes it very unpalatable for some people, which I must admit I quite understand (I am one of them after all). Jamaicans have found a away to make it a little less of a dreaded experience to have. Usually it is mixed with honey to lessen the taste or blended with fruits to hide the slimy texture. You can always choose to have some fun and come up with new ways to have Aloe Vera to make it more tasteful to you.
Because of trading Aloe Vera plant was carried from places like the Middle East, Mediterranean regions and coastal Africa to places like India and other Asian countries. This made it rather difficult to track down its true origins.
It was thought to have originated in either Sudan or the Arabian Peninsula at first, but in 2015 a group of international scientists were able to confirm that the plants true origins were the Arabian Peninsula.
So how did it end up in Jamaica? For that, we’ll have go back a little bit. Remember, the plant found its way to Africa. It is believed to have been transported to Jamaica along with captured Africans who were enslaved in the Caribbean. That’s all it took as the tropical conditions of the island were the perfect breeding ground for the plant.
The plant has since then been highly regarded and appreciated by Jamaicans and its use in Jamaican homemade remedies have been praised and sworn by many. This, even though there is no substantial evidence back these claims.
You see, one of the reasons the "Sinkle Bible" plant is considered as the body’s bible, by so many, is because it has proved to be a good treatment or cure for many ailments. The plant consists of possibly 75 or even more active components. Here are a few:
With all these benefits to using Aloe Vera, I think you can now see why it is such a popular plant here on the island. But what exactly do we use Aloe Vera For?
More than likely you have used Aloe Vera at some point, right? Maybe as a treatment for sunburn or as a form of laxative. Here are some of the most common uses for Aloe Vera or Sinkle Bible as we call it here:
Aloe Vera is one of the most used plants in the hair and skin care world. And it has been reported that even Egyptian Queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra used Aloe Vera in their skin care routines. Today, there are multiple products to help with, spots, blemishes and hair growth including:
There are different drink options that include Aloe Vera that are quite popular in Jamaica.
Just in case you don’t know how, here are some of the common ways of preparing Aloe Vera in Jamaica:
So you see, there are multiple uses for Aloe Vera in Jamaica that I'm pretty sure will be helpful to you at some point too.
You will also find these pages quite helpful as well: