Aloe vera comes from the Liliaceae family which also includes the lily, tulip, garlic and onion. Aloe vera is native to Africa and has 500 different species. It is known as a common household plant that has amazing burn healing properties. But did you know just how many other healing properties this common plant has?
- Vulnerary (speeds healing, protects against infections and stimulates cellular renewal)
- Soothes and heals all types of burns including sun burn, kitchen burns, first, second and even third degree burns. Check out the recipe below for a burn soother spray.
- Skin healer and rejuvenator .
- Moisturizes, tones and firms the skin.
- Blisters, rashes, eczema, boils, rough skin, and skin eruptions (as long as no staph infection is present).
- Herpes (cold sores), apply several times a day, pain relieving and helps to dry up the blister.
- Natural sunscreen, blocking 20-30% of uv rays
- Great for acne due to the anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties – use both internally and externally.
- Mild pain reliever
- Cuts, scrapes, wounds and abrasions
- Fresh gel can be used as a natural bandaid, just make sure the wound is clean before applying.
- Nursing mothers can use for sore, cracked, dry, nipples.
- Canker sores and mouth problems, mix gel with an herbal tincture or essential oil and swish around the mouth. Can also apply directly to the sore or gums.
- Insect bites and stings
- Poison ivy, oak and sumac
- Inflammed intestinal wall
- Arthritis and bursitis – taken internally and/or externally as a liniment.
- Perineal Tears – Place gel on a menstrual pad and hold in place, this will relieve the pain as well as heal the tear quickly. Apply a new poultice when the pain returns.
Methods of Use
- Aloe vera comes in many forms, from the gel inside the plant leaves, to commercial gel and even freeze dried powder. When choosing an aloe vera gel, look very closely at ingredients, you want pure aloe vera. Many brands use artificial colors and preservatives so be aware of what you are purchasing. I use Mountain Rose Herbs for my source, they use organically grown plants and I trust their business practices.
- If you have an aloe vera plant, you can cut a leaf off when needed. Only use the clear gel from the leaf, not the leaf itself or brown gel near the leaf. Apply the gel to area of concern or take internally.
- Aloe vera can be infused with herbs, following the instructions for making an herbal tincture.
In the Garden (er House)
- Place in a sunny south-facing window, although it is not fussy.
- Water moderately and keep the soil well drained.
- Cut a leaf off at a time for use. A cut leaf can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.
- The plant will produce offshoots which you can remove and replant when they are a few inches tall.
- Don’t use on staph related infections as the aloe can seal in the bacteria, causing more problems.
- Be careful to not get the leaf part of the plant mixed in your gel if using internally. The leaf has very powerful laxative properties.
- Do not take internally if pregnant or nursing.