Christopher Columbus considered aloe a medicinal wonder plant and used the pulp to save his crew on the Santa Maria from disease. He called it "the doctor in a pot."
Mahatma Gandhi swore by the secret forces that kept him alive during his fasts.
And it was Cleopatra's secret for her glowing beauty.
Those of us with outdoor gardens in pots have a special medicinal reason for aloe. They use it for cuts and burns. The yellowish sticky stuff that comes from cutting into an aloe leaf is gold -- in more ways than one. It covers more thoroughly than the see-through sap that is more like gel.
Applying aloe to whatever ails you --psoriasis, any skin problem -- is a wondrous miracle in one leaf.
Maybe you think the pot of aloe vera growing on your windowsill is just for burns. Mom and Dad would break off a leaf and use the yellow sap to eliminate the psoriasis you had from up-north yankee winter weather. You've got another think coming.
One neighbor cut a few chunks of aloe into a quart bottle of water and said it made her constitution "regular." So all those famous dead people from long ago didn't let the secret of aloe die.
As they said in the Old Folks home, "It couldn't hoit."