The eerie lava sculpted landscape of Lanzarote is one of the many natural splendours of the Canary Islands. The black, volcanic soil punctuated with spiky shoots of green, barbadensis miller plant (Canarian aloe vera) provides a riot of surreal Instagrammable shots that make it look like you holidayed on the moon and not off the coast of Africa. When thinking of the Canary Island’s agriculture, one thing springs to mind and that is aloe vera lanzarote. Aloe vera in Lanzarote is considered by many to be one of the best varieties in the world and grows abundantly in this arid atmosphere. Not only does it provide a refreshing way to cool off after a day in the sunshine it also boasts bountiful natural health and beauty benefits.
The History of Aloe Vera in the Canary Islands
The use of the aloe vera plant to cure common ailments has been linked to the Canarian archipelago since pre-Hispanic times. It is believed that in 1492, during Christopher Columbus’ grand voyage to the new world, aloe vera samples were collected from the Canary Islands and brought with him to America. Today, thanks to a growing interest in wellness and natural beauty, aloe farms the islands have flung open the doors of their plantations inviting curious travellers to see first hand the production of this versatile plant.
The soil of the Canary Islands lends itself perfectly to the growth of the Canarian aloe vera plant due to its cool temperature, dryness and ideal level of acidity. These specific conditions mean that the harvests of aloe vera have flourished and the plant has grown to become an iconic symbol of the islands.
Today, Lanzarote’s aloe vera production has experienced a boom thanks to the burgeoning demand for natural alternatives to much loved beauty products. Wellness gurus are listening to the advice our grandma’s once gave us and are turning to nature for the cure to our ailments. Bottles of the precious gel are sold all across the islands and locals in the know have been found to carry a small bottle with them at all times – just in case!
The Benefits of Organic Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera’s healing properties come from the sticky, gel like substance that is extracted from inside the leaves of the plant. The benefits of aloe vera gel for the skin can be enjoyed when applying it directly onto clean skin to provide relief from sunburn, insect bites, psoriasis, dandruff among other common ailments. Scientists have discovered detoxifying, analgesic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties when studying organic aloe vera gel and many people even choose to drink aloe vera juice for upset stomach relief. Some people even choose to use aloe vera oil which is believed to aid hair growth.
In the past, the Egyptians, Arabs and the Greeks all used aloe vera plants to cure a wealth of discomforts. The plant was steeped in mystery and revered by important historical figures like Cleopatra and Hippocrates who discovered that aloe vera is good for curing war wounds, treating skin conditions and to beautify one’s appearance.
Today, the benefits of this wonder plant are widely acknowledged making it worthy of sitting pride of place in our bathroom cabinets. For maximum results, it is important to check the packaging of the aloe vera gel to make sure that it is 100% pure aloe vera and organically farmed so that no chemicals have been mixed with the gel.
Aloe Vera Lanzarote Farms
Due to the blistering hot temperatures, fertile-mineral rich soil and the gentle trade winds that fan the island, Lanzarote is one of the leading locations in Europe for Aloe Vera production. Farmers have worked for decades to grow this barbed succulent and today Lanzarote has over 150 hectares of land dedicated to Aloe Vera plants, ensuring a yield of 6 million kilos a year.
Of course, no travel to Lanzarote is complete without experiencing the magic of aloe vera up close and a number of organic plantations offer free tours of their farms. One such pocket of industry is Lanzaloe who offer a free guided tour in 5 different languages. Located in the northern town of Órzola, the farm blends in harmoniously with the lanzarote vegetation that surrounds it. Upon arrival, visitors are guided through the fields of spear like aloe vera where they are able to witness the cultivation process first hand. Highlights of this tour also include seeing the extraction and packaging process and hearing all the fascinating stories about this legendary plant. Of course, like all good tours, at the very end visitors are left to explore the gift shop which is stocked full of delicious aloe vera themed cosmetics and gifts along with other essential lanzarote souvenirs. Be sure not to miss out on products such as an exquisite Canary Island aloe vera cream or a suitcase sized aloe vera plant from Lanzarote.
Located just 79km off the coast of Africa, Lanzarote is the Canary Island closest to the Sahara desert. Due to its close proximity to the African continent, it enjoys an eternal spring with almost wall to wall sunshine all year long. The best time of year to discover the island is during the spring months when the temperatures are warm but the beaches haven’t reached their full capacity. However, with warm winters and so many hidden places to discover, the island is a fantastic choice for a quick getaway any time of the year.
Lanzarote is an island bursting with natural beauty and aloe vera is a jewel in the crown of this Canarian island. Be sure to experience some of its magic on your next trip to the island.