Aloe Vera is more than just a house-plant, it's an all-natural healer as well.
For anyone who has had a bad sunburn, you know that the benefits of aloe vera gel help to soothe your painful skin and start the healing process. The sticky substance found under the skin of the green succulent does a lot more than just fix your sun-exposed skin.
Aloe Vera contains eight different vitamins including A, E, and B12. It is also chock-full of calcium, sodium, iron, magnesium, potassium and copper. Containing over 20 amino acids, seven of which are essential for the body, this plant has more to offer than what most of us think.
There are 450 different types of aloe that date back to 2100 BCE originating in Africa. Alexander the Great's soldiers used to use aloe to heal wounds and the Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra, used aloe as part of her beauty routine. The Greeks later used it to treat wounds as well as hair loss. By the 1930s aloe vera was also used to treat radiation dermatitis.
Since its early uses it has been discovered the juice contains important factors that help to decrease blood lipids and swelling which are common in diabetics.
How to grow it
Aloe vera plants need a full day of sun whether they're being grown indoors or outside in warm climates.
Using only a piece of existing plant you can regrow this succulent by keeping them in the sun and watering them when the soil is completely dried out.
You will want to grow your aloe vera in either the kitchen or backyard so that you can have instant access to all its healing abilities.
When to harvest it
It's best to harvest from a mature plant, preferably planted in he ground. You know the leaf is ready to be harvested when the tip has a rosy tinge to it.
Aloe is a very slow growing plant to avoid harvesting too many leaves at once.
When removing leaves, avoid removing the lower smaller leaves and focus on the larger upper foliage.
Use a knife and cut the leaf as close to the trunk as possible. Unblemished leaves from the plants are the best tasting and contain the most aloe gel.
This houseplant has 8 benefits you will want to start taking advantage of now.
It can be used as a mouth wash
It's totally true! 100 percent pure aloe vera juice can be used as a mouth wash. When used repetitively it can be as effective at reducing plaque as commercial grade mouthwashes.
It helps with hair growth
Speed up hair growth by massaging aloe into your scalp, letting it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
You can also reduce hair dandruff by mixing your aloe vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil, massaging it into your scalp and then rinsing.
It helps your skin
It doesn't only help deal with painful sunburns but it also improves the skin's elasticity and helps to prevent wrinkles as well as moisturizes. If you notice some store brand moisturizers include it, that's why!
As a makeup remover
Skip the harsh chemicals around your eyes and try some from aloe vera from your houseplant instead. Squeeze a dollop of pure aloe gel onto a cotton ball and swipe away your makeup for a simple and effective alternative to store brand remover.
As a shaving cream
Beauty experts know that pure aloe is perfect as shaving cream. It's antibacterial properties are great for nicks, it's slippery for a nice close shave and it moisturizes too! You can combine your aloe with other ingredients or just use it all on its own.
Relieves arthritis pain
Aloe vera contains natural steroids which reduce inflammation. Since it's loaded with vitamins and minerals the gel can help relieve pressure from inflamed joints and knees. Aloe vera contains the same natural compound found in cartilage, called glucosamine, which helps reduce arthritis pain and stiffness.
You can take the aloe vera gel and passage it directly into the joints for relief, or you can ingest pure aloe vera gel three times a day, 30 minutes before meals and before going to bed.
Helps clean the air
Not only does it help the body but it can improve the air quality in your home. This plant can help clear the air of pollutants.
It can help with diabetes
When consumed, aloe vera can help improve blood sugar levels in diabetics, help with poor digestion and help to relieve constipation.
Try to not have too much of it though, consuming an excessive amount can cause stomach cramps, kidney problems and even heart disturbances.