Aloe vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. It grows wild in tropical climates around the world and is cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses. Aloe vera also is used for decorative purposes and grows successfully indoors as a potted plant. We bring you forty fabulous uses from this "plant of immortality", as affectionately dubbed by the Egyptians 6,000 years ago.
That's right, the spiky, green gem has a rich history of various cultures and personalities who used the plant's moist middle in a plethora of practical uses. Like Cleopatra who applied the gel to her body as part of her beauty regimen, the ancient Greeks who used it to cure everything from baldness to insomnia to the Native Americans who called Aloe vera the "Wand of the Heaven."
It doesn't hurt that Aloe vera produces at least 6 natural antiseptics, which are able to kill mold, bacteria, funguses and viruses. In fact, the plant is so powerful that researchers and scientists are looking into its potential as an AIDS and cancer-fighter.
From all-around health elixirs to simple beauty aids, learn about the various ways to put your little plant to maximal use after splitting the leaves lengthwise down the middle. For both topical and oral applications, it is always recommended to consult your doctor beforehand.
1. Pamper yourself to a soothing body rub. Slice Aloe vera leaves lengthwise and use the inner sides as a biodegradable body scrub in the shower.
2. Treat burns from minor mishaps in the kitchen, from grease splatters or hot utensils.
3. For more major kitchen mishaps like a scald, mix some Aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil into a little jar for a homemade burn healer.
4. Banish black and blue bruises by swapping on the good goo.
5. Soothe and heal sunburns the feel-good way. Aloe vera contains cooling properties similar to menthol.
6. Take the sting or itch out of insect bites.
7. Reduce tissue damage from frostbite.
8. Alleviate mysterious rashes.
9. Make feet baby soft with an exfoliating foot mask by mixing together a half cup of oatmeal, a half cup of corn meal, 4 tablespoons of Aloe vera gel and a half cup of unscented body lotion.
10. Help heal herpes outbreaks.
11. Fight Athlete's Foot.
12. Swab over blisters for quick relief.
13. Use as an antidote to allergic skin reactions.
14. Replace creams and lotions as a general moisturizer for dry skin. Aloe vera is fast absorbing!
15. Prevent pesky pimples and treat acne.
16. Soothe Psoriasis.
17. Prevent scarring and stretch marks.
18. Help rid of Rosacea.
19. Shrink warts.
20. Reverse signs of aging skin and wrinkles. Cleopatra did!
21. Help eliminate Eczema.
22. Brighten skin. Aloe can decrease pigmentation and dark spots.
23. Make skin new again with an exfoliating, organic sugar scrub by mixing together 2 tablespoons of Aloe vera, 2 tablespoons of organic brown sugar and 1 tablespoons of organic lemon juice.
24. For rougher patches mix together an organic salt skin scrub using 2 cups of sea salt, one cup of Aloe vera, one cup of organic coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of local, organic honey.
25. Speed up hair growth by massaging aloe into the scalp, letting it sit for 30 minutes, and rinsing.
26. Reduce hair dandruff by mixing Aloe vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil. Massage into scalp and rinse.
27. Replace Aloe vera with conditioner for silkier, smoother hair.
28. Remove eye makeup.
29. Treat minor vaginal irritations.
30. Drink Aloe vera juice to relieve gastrointestinal disorders like indigestion.
31. Sip it to aid in elimination. Many times, it is recommended for its laxative effects.
32. Take a swig to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including bloating and discomfort.
33. Take Aloe vera orally to relieve heartburn, arthritis and rheumatism pain.
34. Boil leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapor to alleviate asthma.
35. Drink to lower blood sugar levels, especially for diabetics.
36. Strengthen gums and promote strong, healthy teeth by taking orally or use toothpaste with Aloe vera ingredients.
37. Drink to help ease congestion, stomach ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections and prostate problems.
38. Take orally to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides for a healthy heart.
39. Sip to minimize inflammation and infection of the eye and ear.
40. Toast to its general detoxifier and health boosting qualities!
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