There are several variations of the aloe plant, but only one variety has a legendary medicinal reputation dating back thousands of years: the Aloe Vera. Vera, which means true in Latin, was added to the appellation of this particular specimen in order to distinguish its primacy among the aloe plants.
Aloe vera is considered by many to be a member of the cactus family. In reality, it is a member of the lily family. There are over 200 species of the aloe plant, but only one true Aloe Vera. Only the authentic Aloe Vera provides the potent therapeutic effects which nature has built in it.
It is only recently that Aloe Vera has been "re-discovered" and has come back into general use. Ironically enough, it was the invention of the X-ray and the atom bomb which again focused attention upon the plant. It was found early in the search for protection against radiation burns that the best treatment was Aloe Vera gel. As chemical, medical and physical scientific research as progressed, many old remedies have been found to be worthless because they were based upon faulty information and reasoning. Some, however, have been discovered to be infinitely superior to many synthetics.
Aloe Vera is one of the old natural remedies that have come into their own in the Space Age as one of the modern "miracle" drugs.