Egypt – Cleopatra’s Ancient Beauty Secrets

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Queen Cleopatra was the most famous of all history’s great seducers, a nubile beauty who tempted two of the most powerful men of the Ancient Roman Empire to risk all in order to possess her. Her appearance is left to the imagination and the secrets of her seductive charm are lost to the dustbin of history, but there is one beauty tip that we can be certain of: Aloe Vera Barbadensis. This ancient cure-all grew very well in the arid deserts of Egypt and was much-prized by Cleopatra for its beneficial effects on the appearance of skin. She is reported to have bathed in a great vat of Aloe Vera when preparing to meet Mark Anthony for the first time and regularly applied the gel to her skin. As was common practice in Ancient Egypt, evidenced by inscription on ancient tombs, she would have also drunk Aloe Vera juice as a tonic.

The use of Aloe Vera as medicine is as old as taxes. An ancient tablet of the Sumerians, using the earliest forms of writing, records the uses of Aloe Vera and has been dated to around 2100 B.C. E. The use of the  plant as a medicine is also common to the historical records of India and China, as well as Egypt and Greece.  Effective as a laxative and digestive aid, it was also used to soothe bums, heal rashes and fight infections. Modern science has dissected the compounds that make up this miracle plant, but the ancients knew nothing of amino acids and adaptogenics The evidence of their own experience would have been enough to convince them of the plant’s miraculous powers.

Women and men in Cleopatra’s era might have been just as concerned with aesthetics as internal health and the enhancing affect of Aloe Vera on their physical beauty was manifold. Keeping their skin soft and supple, the gel of the Aloe Vera would have also cleared up any acne blemishes and prevented the appearance of wrinkles. Used in a shampoo of milk and wheat germ oil, the high enzyme content of Aloe Vera would have kept their  scalps healthy and free from dandruff, while strengthening hair strands and promoting hair growth.

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