The other week I spilled a hot bowl of soup over my hand and after an hour of burning pain, I remembered the four Aloe Vera plants I keep in the house specifically for these situations – I can only assume the pain had dulled the functioning of my brain!
A few chopped leaves and squeezed Aloe Vera gel later and within half an hour, you would never have know there had been a burn on my hand at all: all the redness, heat and pain had completely gone! And so you understand the reason for me wanting to appreciate and shout about the benefits of having an Aloe Vera plant or two in the house! All you do is chop a leaf as near the base as possible, split it lengthwise and you’ll find the gooey, wonder gel inside!
It is widely known that Aloe Vera gel can be used on sunburn with cooling properties similar to menthol but a team of plastic surgeons trialled Aloe Vera gel in the treatment of second-degree burn wounds. They reported in the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association that the burn wounds among the patients treated with Aloe Vera healed significantly quicker and patients experienced significantly more and earlier pain relief than those in the control group.
You can use Aloe Vera gel to keep your skin hydrated. The plant’s leaves store up to 95% water. Little wonder that the Ancient Egyptians called Aloe Vera, the “plant of immortality.”
It is thought that Aloe Vera gel be used in everything from banishing black and blue bruises to taking the sting out of an insect bite, from fighting athlete’s foot to shrinking warts. Aloe Vera produces at least six natural antiseptics and researchers are just beginning to unlock the benefits of this universal plant and its many by products. As with all natural remedies, do your own research before applying topically or ingesting orally. Aloe Vera is an alternative treatment so there are no approved guidelines about strength or dosage.
To keep your plant in top condition as a houseplant, keep it near a bright, sunny spot and water sparingly – do not let it stand in water. The most common way to kill the plant is to over-water it: you’ll know you’ve done this as the leaves will go all mushy! Apart from that, Aloe Vera is a pretty low maintenance houseguest who brings the added benefits of helping to clear formaldehyde and benzene from your home. What’s not to love?