There are many variations of this amazing plant within in the aloe family; I’m going to concentrate solely on Aloe Vera in this article.
I’m sure you’ve come across a beauty product at some point which contains aloe. Or maybe a health drink? There are so many benefits to having one of these plants in your life and below are a few ways of how aloe vera can help you.
**Full Disclosure: This post has been written from my own personal experiences, I have not been paid to write this post**
Natural Air Purifier
Yes, thats right! Aloe ‘cleans’ the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air. Its an ideal house plant for this specific reason, especially if you live in a high rise apartment block where there is no option to open the window.
Your Personal First Aider
This succulent beauty is perfect for small burns caused by hot water or hot oil in the kitchen – lets face it, we’ve all been there! Its also great for sunburn and has been known to speed up the healing process faster than other conventional methods for treating sunburn.
Simply break off a leaf or part of a leaf depending on how big your plant is (preferably from the bottom) and squeeze the gel-like liquid straight onto the skin. You’ll feel instant soothing relief from the burn as the aloe starts working its magic. Have you ever wondered why the sunburn creams that you use after you’ve gotten sun burnt work so well? Read the ingredients next time you see a bottle, aloe is one of the ingredients.
Good for the skin
This is going to sound a little strange but my parents dog has, well, ‘doggy eczema’. She suffers from terrible rashes and broken skin all over her body but mainly on her chest and stomach. I recently went to South Africa to visit and it was while I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm that I decided to conduct a little mini experiment.
I took some aqua cream and some aloe gel fresh from the plant and mixed them together. The ratio was probably 5 parts cream to 1 part aloe gel/liquid. And I applied a thin layer to the dog’s stomach and chest.
Its been very dry in the Western Cape recently with the lack of decent rainfall in recent years so my parents’ dog was really suffering as a result. Hot, dry, humid weather combined with dry gravelly ground that hadn’t had a good rainfall for some time. Her skin was noticeably worse.
I applied the cream to the dog’s stomach and chest for three days; about 3 times on the first day and maybe 4 or 5 times on days 2 and 3. After day 3; her rash was completely gone and the broken skin had healed completely (maybe still a bit tender but definitely no more open wounds). It was incredible!
This cream and aloe gel mix I created was not too potent. I applied it often and over a short space of time and it definitely had some positive results. For humans, I’ve read that it can help with moisturising the skin, helping with acne and even some cases of psoriasis. But please consult your doctor before applying any kind of home made aloe cream to your skin if you have any of the above skin conditions.
So, yes, you can eat aloe or put it in a drink too. It’s pretty tasteless although some parts can be decidedly bitter (I learnt this the hard way). I personally prefer making a detox drink when I want to consume aloe but you could eat the fleshy part just like it is too.
There are many benefits to consuming aloe: it can treat constipation, helps remove toxins that your body can’t eliminate naturally, contains minerals, vitamins and enzymes, helps lower blood sugar levels, has anti-inflammatory properties and helps boost the immune system. (To name but a few).
No Green Thumb? No problem!
Confession: I don’t have a natural talent for keeping plants alive. (May the dear plants that have sadly been lost in the past under my eager supervision rest in peace).
Having said that, I have a Peace Lily that is still going strong and now the latest addition to my indoor plant collection – a baby Aloe Vera plant. So hopefully my luck is changing! I’ve been told that it’s very difficult to kill an aloe plant – this is very comforting news. A little water in winter and more in the summer months and it should be fine.
I’d like to thank my amazing Mom for her help with getting the right consistency for the home made aloe cream to sort out the doggy eczema. I’d like to thank Margaret Fairbrother for the great chat we had (very much overdue!) and for my first taste of aloe juice. I’d also like to thank Ian and Margaret Fairbrother for their warm hospitality; the company, the conversations, the farm – it was all incredible. I never thought I’d experience a holiday within a holiday but for those few days, I definitely did!
With all its healing properties, its easy to see how Aloe Vera can help you add some healthy benefits to your life which, of course will have a positive knock on effect. If you have any thoughts or comments, please leave them below. I’d love to hear from you and any experiences you may have had with this amazing plant.
Much love, health and happiness