5 Ways to Use an Aloe Vera Plant

I recently bought several aloe plants that old my neighbor was selling. I’d always wanted one, but it was my neighbors’ passion for the plants that really catalyzed me to bite the bullet and buy some of my own! After seeing an ad for the plants posted on the bulletin board in my building, I reached out to my neighbor and arranged a meeting to pick up the plants. I was expecting a brief exchange and I’d quickly be on my way. However, little did I know, this woman is serious about her aloe plants.

Upon stepping in her door I was immediately was blown away by the beautiful urban jungle oasis that made for her apartment. There were plants in every room and on every surface. She proceeded to tell me the story of her aloe plants and how they all began with “Mama Aloe” one of the plants I’d decided to purchase. After mentioning I’d never actually owned my own aloe plant before, she simply could not let me out the door without a thorough explanation of how to care for the plants and all of their healing benefits.

So, naturally, she spurred curiosity in me and I decided to do some of my own research on the different uses of aloe plants. Here are 5 benefits of aloe:

  • Helps Sunburns. Many skin-soothing “after sun” products contain aloe, and for good reason! Aloe has anit-inflammatory properties that make it an excellent treatment for healing inflammation caused by the sun, or sunburns. I also use aloe for burns and other skin inflammation. Personally, I love the cooling effect of aloe on sunburns and find that it irritates sunburns less than most moisturizers.
    • DIY: This is pretty simple. Just cut a leaf of aloe and use it as a “stick.” No need to peel the aloe at all, just take the end where the aloe is exposed and rub it on skin where needed!
  • Reduces Stretch Marks. Stretch marks aren’t fun, but many of us have them. Aloe is full of amino acids, iron, calcium, and potassium, and has the ability to help regenerate skin cells and reduce annoying stretch marks.DIY: Use the same way as sunburns (see above).
  • Improves Hair Health. Similar to the way it helps improve skin, aloe can help promote hair growth, condition hair, and improve scalp health. Using a product with aloe in it or even aloe on its own can leave hair shiny and with a healthy look.
  • Reduces Acne + Blemishes. Ayurvedic medicine has been using aloe as a way to treat acne and blemishes for a long time. Some research shows that aloe can help reduce acne and improve blemishes, which can be a good alternative to other harsh acne products out there.
    • DIY: Use the same way as sunburns (see above).
  • Aids in Digestion. Last but not least, aloe has health benefits when consumed through food or drinks! I became more interested in this after traveling Japan and seeing how popular aloe beverages are there (literally in every vending machine on every street corner!
    • DIY: If you have your own aloe plant, you can easily make your own juice! I’ve added it to my smoothies several times and it’s pretty easy. To prepare aloe for use in the kitchen:
      • Cut an aloe leaf off of the plant and make two slits with a knife on either side, then carefully peel the aloe leaf off of each side.
      • Use a large spoon to scoop out the aloe.
      • Rinse aloe under cold water to make sure there is no sap sticking to aloe.
      • Add aloe to blender/food processor.
      • Add other ingredients that you prefer (E.g. water, milk, honey).
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