Archaeological and historical evidence shows that aloe vera was used in different cultures and civilizations. Some of them refer to aloe vera as the "silent healer". The traditional uses of aloe vera were passed down orally in African countries, from where the plant originally came. It continues to be used in the same ways today. Aloe vera belongs to the Liliaceae family (just like the lily), which explains why it is often called the lily of the desert. Aloe vera (meaning "true aloe") is also called Aloe barbadensis or Aloe vulgaris according to botanists. It is considered to be an adaptogenic, i.e. it helps the body to adapt to and deal with stresses.