Just last week, I was boiling some water on the stove in preparation for dinner. At least, I thought I was boiling water. I accidentally turned the wrong knob, so the burner next to my pot was heating up rapidly, and the handle to the pot was hovering over said burner. I mistakenly reached for the handle and…you guessed it. A fiery sensation ran up my fingers, and I jumped away from the stove holding my sad, injured hand.
Now, what’s a woman to do? It wasn’t serious enough to rush to a hospital, but it would likely become raw and painful if it wasn’t treated soon enough. I quickly sifted through any knowledge I had of home remedies. Then it dawned on me, bright as the morning sun: my aloe vera plant!
I purchased Aloe Vera Wang (namesake: @verawang) precisely because I had heard some of the limitless benefits of owning an aloe plant. Plus, I love natural and organic beauty regimens and health remedies, so buying a baby aloe for just $3 from Walmart was a no-brainer.
Aloe vera plants are most commonly known to treat and relieve burns. I carefully sliced off one of Aloe Vera Wang’s elegant shoots and peeled back the skin to reveal the jiggly, clear gel inside. There was no ceremony, no “recipe” to follow; I just scooped out the gel with a spoon and plopped it right where it hurt. I worked the gel in for several minutes and rinsed it off. The next morning, the pain was gone, and there were no marks to be seen.
I learned over the last few years from many friends that relieving burns is just one of several natural healing properties of aloe vera. The list is so extensive that I found myself shocked that there was not one of these splendid doctor plants in every home. I highly encourage you to go on an aloe-research expedition via your favorite internet browser, but in the meantime, here are some of the most beneficial uses for an aloe vera plant that I have found during my research:
• Toothpaste: Studies have shown that aloe vera in tooth gels is just as effective as a commercial brand of toothpaste. Likewise, when used as a mouthwash, aloe reduces dental plaque to the same degree that chlorhexidine (the main ingredient in mouthwash) does. Bonus—it is gentle for those with sensitive teeth.
• Canker Sores: Remember those pesky canker sores and the dragged-out days of pain that they ravaged in your mouth? Aloe vera treats them too! An aloe patch can reduce the size and suffering, and even shorten the healing time.
• Skincare: As a young woman to whom skincare is vital, this particular benefit is undoubtedly appealing to me. When used as a topical treatment, aloe gel can “increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity”. Hello, fresh and youthful skin!
• Internal Health: When taken orally, aloe vera can help with ulcers, constipation, and even diabetes. Managed carefully, aloe can lower blood sugar. (For more information about safe ways to ingest aloe vera gel, check out this guide by Naturalhealers).
• Rashes and Dryness: Just as aloe is sought out for burn treatment, it also offers relief to those who have psoriasis by “reducing rashes, dryness, and itchiness.” Because of its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties, it works well as a soothing salve for distressed skin.
Those are just a few of the holistic benefits of aloe vera, and there are still several more that I haven’t mentioned! Even if you initially host an aloe plant in your home solely for aesthetics, it’s reassuring to know that the bright green succulent nestled on the windowsill serves a greater purpose
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