Aloe Vera, the ancient Egyptians referred to it as ‘the plant of immortality’ and it’s not hard to see why.
With its antibacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant and antiviral properties, it really is a true wonder plant and has been heralded for assisting with everything from baldness to cancer.
Aloe Vera is in lots of things we buy, to soothe our skin, moisturise, increase our vitamin intake, replenish our bodies and fix what ails us. These products can be quite expensive and most of the time, have some less than desirable stuff in them along with the Aloe Vera, but there is no need to spend your money on these now that we have uncovered so many great ways to use the plant itself.
Firstly, you need to have an Aloe Vera plant growing in your backyard. They are readily available at any local nursery and not at all expensive, probably setting you back about $10 or a little more if you invest in a big plant. They are hardy, grow well in a pot, don’t require a lot of water and are easy to care of, great, if like me you lack a little in the green thumb department.
Next, you need to know how to get the Aloe Vera gel from the plant and this is so simple to do, you just need a sharp knife, chopping board and a bowl to put the gel in, just be sure to remove all the skin and rind, these are not edible. We found this great instructional video that we recommend you watch and learn how to do it for yourself.
Now that you know how to extract the gel from the plant, you are all set to start making all kinds of wonderful things from it to help with your family’s health issues.
We have compiled a list of the best common uses here for you to have a go at.
Solutions for your skin:
1) Body Scrub
To exfoliate and scrub away all that dead skin and brighten and refresh your skin ready for summer, try mixing 2 tbsp Aloe Vera, 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp lemon juice and scrub your body with it.
Acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, cuts, sores, boils, burns, blisters and any other kind of wound or allergic reaction on your skin that shouldn’t be there can be treated with Aloe Vera gel. Apply directly from the plant for quick relief.
3) Skin Damage
Stretch marks and scars can be unsightly and Aloe Vera is believed to help treat these, but it is better to use them during recovery for scars to assist in healing and less scarring, and during pregnancy to help stop stretch marks before they happen.
Cleopatra was such a big fan of Aloe Vera, she used it to fight off and even reverse the signs of aging on places like her face and hands, just by applying the gel itself as a mask and moisturiser.
5) Sun damage
If you’ve got dark spots and freckles from a little too much sun over the years, consistently moisturising with Aloe Vera will brighten your skin, reduce the dark spots and lighten your freckles.
Aloe Vera makes a great all over body moisturiser. You don’t need expensive creams or lotions. Just rub the aloe gel straight onto your skin.
Freeze pure Aloe Vera gel in ice cube trays and when someone gets sunburnt, just rub one of these cubes on the burn. Not only is the cold soothing, but the aloe will begin healing the sunburn immediately. Also great for other burns like the ones from a hot pan or scalding oil, and if you need repeat attention as burns often do, mix some Aloe Vera with some pure vitamin E in a little jar and use as needed to heal and soothe the burnt area.
Conditions like athlete’s foot are easily treated with Aloe Vera.
A topical application of Aloe Vera gel on that nasty bruise will have it cleared up much faster.
Not a common one in Australia, but Aloe Vera applied to frostbite will slow down the damage significantly and assist in healing immediately.
11) Cold Sores
When applied topically at the first sign of a cold sore and for as long as needed, aloe vera can stop it in its tracks and heal it much faster than nasty, expensive creams.
We have all been hiding our feet during winter, and now with summer coming, we want to rediscover soft, supple feet ready for all those stunning open shoes and the good old thongs. Mix together a half cup of oatmeal, a half cup or cornmeal, 4 tbsp Aloe Vera gel and a half cup of unscented body lotion, cake it onto your feet, leave for 15mins then scrub skin with it as you wash off.
Solutions For Your Hair:
Reduce dandruff by mixing Aloe Vera with some coconut oil and wheatgerm oil. Massage into the scalp and leave for a few minutes before rinsing.
14) Thinning Hair
Stimulate and speed up hair growth by massaging Aloe Vera straight into the scalp. Leave for 30 minutes before rinsing, repeat daily and you should start noticing a difference in a couple of weeks.
Replace your conditioner with some Aloe Vera gel. Simply rub it through your hair after washing and leave for a couple of minutes. No need to rinse as the Aloe Vera will absorb quickly, but you can if you want.
Solutions For Within:
16) Tummy Troubles
Drink Aloe Vera juice to help with constipation, indigestion, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and stomach ulcers.
Boil leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapours to help alleviate asthma symptoms.
18) Blood Sugar
Drinking Aloe Vera juice is known to help lower blood sugar levels gently but effectively.
19) Healthy Mouth
Taking Aloe Vera orally or using toothpaste or mouthwash containing Aloe Vera will help strengthen teeth and improve gum health.
20) Healthy Heart
Drinking Aloe Vera juice can help lower cholesterol and improve the heart.
Aloe Vera is great as a regular inclusion in your diet, and it aids in clearing wastes from your body or as a gentle detox.
To make your own Aloe Vera juice, just mix 1.5-2 tbsp Aloe Vera gel in a blender with a glass of your favourite juice, don’t expect it to taste fabulous, it doesn’t, but it isn’t awful either!