Aloe Vera it?s role in veterinary practice
Researching into the background of this spiky cactus-like plant. I discovered that the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece and Rome were aware of the healing properties of the plant. The Sumerians way back in 1750 BC reported its pharmaceutical properties, and Aole Vera features in Chinese medicine both ancient and modern.
Aloe Vera arrived in the UK in 1693. By the 1800s it was widely used. Most was imported from Jamaica and known as Cape or Horse Aloes but was deemed too impure to use on humans.
In 1844 the Veterinary Schools were granted a royal charter to become the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. At this time AloeVera was a major player in the treatment of animals so much so that the college chose to depict Aloe Vera in its coat of arms. This shows Centaur, the mythical healer, carrying a shield bearing a picture of Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller. However, the use of Aloe Vera, for both animals and humans fell from favour and it is only in the last twenty years or so that this gift from nature has been acknowledged. In order to gain some insight as to why this may have came about, it helps to take a quick look at the history of veterinary science in conjunction with an overview of the literature.
David |Urch BSc MA VetMB Dip Herb Med MRCVS
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