Top 5 things you want to know about the Aloe Vera on Aruba
Top 5 things you want to know about the Aloe Vera on Aruba
Aruba is well known for its white sandy beaches, but what might be the island’s best keep secret is the amazing Aruba Aloe Vera products that are being produced right underneath the Aruban sun. What is not a secret is the healing properties that the Aloe Vera plant is known for. This wonder plant has been used over millennia around the world in numerous cultures for medicinal purposes. Nowadays, you can spot many brands tapping into the benefits of the Aloe Vera by including it in a wide range of products. From toilet papers to hair products or even in health supplements.
Most tourist visiting Aruba will at one point or another be recommended to pass by the island’s very own Aloe Vera Factory to either buy sunscreen before hitting the beach, or if it is too late, the after-sun gel care. The soothing, moisturizing, and cooling compound that is found in the Aloe Vera plant has been shown to be beneficial in healing first and second-degree burns. Another reason why you want to use the Aloe Vera after sun gel is to tap into its anti-inflammatory benefits and help prevent your skin from peeling after it is recovering from a sunburn.
Here are five things you want to know of the Aloe Vera on Aruba:
- Introducing Aloe to Aruba
You wouldn’t believe it today when driving around the island but the Aloe vera is not native to Aruba. The plant was introduced to Aruba back in the mid 18-hunderds by Dutch officials. Aruba’s warm and dry dessert climate serves as the perfect condition for the aloe vera to thrive in. It didn’t take long before two thirds of the entire island was covered in Aloe Vera Plantation. Soon Aruba became one of the biggest exporters of the aloe resin, which was used as a natural laxative subsentence by pharmaceutical companies around the world. For an island with limited resources, the aloe vera presented an opportunity to the local population to make a living without having to leave the island.
With time, the popularity of the natural laxative lost to the popularity and cost effectiveness of more synthetic option. For Aruba this meant finding other use for cultivating the plant. It is during this time that the Aruba Aloe Factory started to focus on manufacturing cosmetic products made with the Aloe Vera gel.
All about the aloe plant
The aloe vera plant is just one of at least 560 different aloe species that exists. Original from the Arabian Peninsula but can be found nowadays in many places around the world. The name aloe vera is a combination of Arabic word “Alloeh,” which means “a shining bitter substance” and Latin word “vera” which means “true.” (Laguipo, n.d.) The name refers to the bitter taste of the yellow sap that can be found inside the leaves. This yellow sap can be converted in aloe resin, a solid black rock, by cooking it for several hours until the latex is evaporated.
When you drain the leaves from the yellow latex and fillet the skin off, you are left behind with the aloe gel. Praised for having healing properties, the aloe gel is a translucent and odorless substance that contains mostly water but also different minerals such as amino acids, glucomannans, sterols, lipids, and vitamins.
During the late winter/ early spring the aloe vera will grow its beautiful vibrant yellow flowers. Next to decorating the landscape with its lively color it is a feast for the small local birds on the island. You will surely capture the hummingbird snacking at the flowers.
Like other succulent plant, the aloe vera will reproduce many baby aloes from the root. That is why, in the wild you will spot entire aloe families bunched up.
- Visiting the Aruba Aloe factory
The Aruba Aloe Factory located in the Hato neighborhood, is a short drive from both the hotel area as well as downtown Oranjestad where the cruise port is. The aloe plantation surrounding the factory is one of the first location where the aloe vera was first planted back in 1840. Today it not only serves as the base of all the products being produced, but also a beautiful backdrop for your next insta post.
Guides at the factory are happy to tell you all about the 130-year history of the company and how today the plant is being manually harvest and cleaned before production can begin. During the 30-minute tour you get to see up-close how the wide variety of 128 cosmetic products is being produced for the world. Your guide will also demonstrate how easy it is to get the magical aloe gel out of the leaf. Before you know it, you will become an aloe vera expert!
The best part of your visits may be arguably the shopping part. Enriched with knowledge of the benefits of the products, you might be tempted to stuff your suitcase with Aruba Aloe Vera products. It is also a great place to snap a couple of gifts for friends and family back home. There are ready-combined small gifts in charming Aruba aloe-branded bags in case you have difficulty assembling the perfect gift.
- Aloe in the Aruban culture
Nobody wants bad energy entering their homes or business. Here on Aruba the locals place an aloe vera plant either next to or hanging on top of the main entrance of their home or business to protect their place from any bad energy that others might bring with them. So, for the islanders the aloe vera is more than just a healing plant, but also a spiritual cleansing one.
The prosperity that the aloe brought to the island is so important that it is included in Aruba’s Coat of Arms. Its vibrant yellow flowers are represented in the yellow stripes on the Aruban flag. Nowadays, you can find them decorating many gardens, next to main roads and in people’s offices.
Aloe and Aruba almost goes synonym with each other. It is almost unimaginable to picture the Aruban landscape with the aloe vera in it. Even more incredible is to imagine how a relatively tiny factory on a tiny island in the Caribbean can produce so many top-quality aloe vera products. Therefore, the Aruba Aloe Factory must be one of the places you visit between beach time and happy hour. You can also combine this stop with other key location on the island. Join any of our island tours to visit the Aruba Aloe Factory.