aloes

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aloes

(ăl`ōz), drug obtained from the aloealoe
[Gr.], any species of the genus Aloe, succulent perennials of the family Lilaceae (lily family), native chiefly to the warm dry areas of S Africa and also to tropical Africa, but cultivated elsewhere. The juice of aloe leaves contains the purgative aloin.
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; also a biblical name for an aromatic substance of various uses, mentioned in connection with myrrh and spices and thought to be the fragrant wood of the modern aloeswood (also called eaglewood, agalloch, or agilawood), an Aquilaria native to Asia. In the East the aloeswood has been valued for medicinal purposes, as an incense, and for the beautiful grain of its wood, which takes a high polish and was used for setting precious stones. The tree lignaloes mentioned in the Book of Numbers, sometimes thought to be the aloeswood, may have been a different plant. The aloe and the American aloe, or agave (see amaryllisamaryllis
, common name for some members of the Amaryllidaceae, a family of mostly perennial plants with narrow, flat leaves and with lilylike flowers borne on separate, leafless stalks.
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), are not to be confused with the aloes of the Scriptures.