Many of the tourist I meet have only heard of Aloe Vera, which is used in hand creams and other products. Aloe Vera comes from Northern Africa. We have lots of different Aloes in South Africa, of which Aloe Ferox is the main one to be used in beauty product.
Aloe Ferox is a traditional laxative is also used as a drug called “Cape Aloes”. Research is being done into using Aloes for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, as well as for lung cancer prevention and the soothing of ulcers.
Aloes are very common in KwaZulu Natal and around May and June they brighten up the country side with their bright orange, almost red flowers. And I remember laughing at the words in “The complete field guide to trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei”, by Elsa Pooley, where the Aloe Ferox’s nectar is said to “attract many birds, children, baboons,…”
African Insight Freelance Guide