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The Most Useful Indoor Plant To Grow This Summer

Benefits of Aloe Vera

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably noticed there are a handful of ingredients that show up again and again in recipes for homemade health and beauty products, like witch hazel, coconut oil, and hydrogen peroxide. Now that summer is here, I thought I’d highlight another of my go-to ingredients that will surely come in handy over the next few months: aloe vera.

This spiny succulent may be a popular decorative houseplant, but it also has a lot of great benefits that make it one of the most practical plants you can keep in your home. In addition to going over the various benefits of aloe vera, I’ll also be sharing my favorite DIYs and natural remedies you can make with aloe so that you can experience those benefits for yourself!

Benefits of Aloe Vera

What Is Aloe Vera?

Aloe vera is a spiny-leafed succulent plant that typically grows in dry, tropical climates. While it is usually referred to by its scientific name Aloe vera, its more exotic monikers include the “lily of the desert” and “elephant’s gall.”

Humans have been using aloe vera for many different purposes for at least 4,000 years. (One of the earliest recorded mentions of the plant comes from a Sumerian clay tablet dated to 2,100 BC!) Today, we still use aloe vera in several ways, most notably as a topical treatment for burns.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

What Are The Benefits Of Aloe Vera?

Aloe vera offers a variety of benefits depending on how you use it. I’ll start by sharing some of benefits associated with using aloe vera externally by applying it on the skin, then we’ll shift our focus to benefits of aloe from internal use.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

External Benefits Of Aloe Vera

You’re probably already familiar with aloe vera gel, which is the most popular aloe vera product. Commercial aloe vera gel is a filtered and processed version of the gooey stuff contained in the center of the plant’s spiny leaves.

Bottled aloe vera gels are convenient for external applications, but you can also just cut open a leaf from the actual plant, squeeze the contents out, and use that the same way. (Like I said, having an aloe vera plant in your home is just as useful as it is decorative!)

Benefits of Aloe Vera

There are 4 main benefits to using aloe vera externally:

  1. Treats minor burns like sunburns, as well as other minor wounds like cuts and scrapes
  2. Soothes and heals skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, and cold sores
  3. Reduces signs of inflammation like puffy eyes and redness
  4. Treats scalp conditions like dryness and dandruff
Benefits of Aloe Vera

Internal Benefits Of Aloe Vera

In addition to aloe vera gels, many stores also offer aloe vera juice as an option. The solid and fibrous bits of the plant are filtered out during processing, but the remaining digestible juice retains plenty of beneficial vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A, C, and E, folic acid, iron, calcium, and potassium.

You can find bottled aloe vera juice in many health food stores—just look for 100% pure aloe vera juice that is intended for consumption. If you’d prefer not to drink it, you can also find aloe vera in capsule form.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

Here are 5 benefits associated with taking aloe vera internally:

  1. Balances stomach acid
  2. Curbs indigestion and heartburn
  3. Boosts the immune system
  4. Reduces inflammation
  5. Supports joint health
Benefits of Aloe Vera

More Ways To Use Aloe Vera

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How do you use aloe vera at home?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I was just wondering if anyone had ever tried Aloe Vera juice in a drinkable form. I have a co-worker who drinks it and also a few of our regular customers at my work swear by it.

  • I need another aloe plant. Years ago I burned my thumb pretty badly. I had accidentally turned on the heat on a burner & put a large pot lid on it. Went to pick up the lid & REALLY burned my thumb on the side. Did the usual cold water, etc. It immediately started to blister. I was going to a movie with a friend, so I cut a piece of aloe leaf, cut a slit in the side & put the side of my thumb into it. I left it on my thumb for about half the movie, then turned the leaf around & let the get on the other end continue to soothe it. I knew that it had stopped hurting. I got home & removed the leaf & moved into the light to look at the burn…and there was no sign of it. No blister (and it had already raised by the time I got the aloe on it…worst burn I have ever had). No pain, nothing. I washed my hands & went to bed. My husband asked me the next morning how my burn was & I showed him, called my friend & told her how it came out! I LOVE the stuff.

    • Most likely, brown tips mean that the plant is a little dry. Set the plant in a sink or tub, and water until water runs freely out the drainage holes. The plant might need more humidity, in which case you should spray the plant with a mister every couple days.

      The last possible issue might be a buildup of salts – either from too much fertilizer or from softened water. Be careful not to overfertilize, and buy distilled water for your plants if you have softened water at home. :-)

  • I love aloe and use it a lot. One great use is I put it on my hair (the top of my head) to tame “flyaways.” I also put aloe from my own plants into a weight-loss smoothie I discovered. Aloe is also a forgiving houseplant and long-living. I have a bunch of these plants.

  • Living in Arizona I’ve got a whole plot of aloe vera. When I thin it out I fill a whole wheel barrel that unfortunately just gets thrown out. Wish I could give it to someone v

  • Aloe leaves contain a yellowish sap, called aloin, which can be very bitter and cause stomach upset in some individuals. After you harvest an aloe vera plant, hold the cut end down so the aloin can run out. This will keep the gel from tasting so bitter. Wash the leaf then lay it flat on the table and cut off the serrated edges. Start on one side and filet off the skin, much like you take the skin off a fish. Continue removing the skin on all sides, including the yellowish layer, until a clear to white, translucent flesh is exposed. This is the good stuff and is ready to use after a quick rinse.

    Read more at Gardening Know How: Tips On Picking Aloe Vera: How To Harvest Aloe Vera Leaves https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/aloe-vera/harvest-aloe-vera-leaves.htm

  • I’d heard that too. WE had an aloe plant years ago and my mom would cut I think it a certain way. This is great information. I’ve talked to people in the store I work at – who say drinking the aloe juice has benefits.

  • I’m almost positive you have to be careful about the way you cut into the aloe vera. Could you maybe comment on that? Unfortunately I can’t remember the specifics but it was pretty important.

    • There is a layer of yellow stuff that’s found right beneath the aloe leaf’s surface, called aloe latex. This latex contains a natural chemical called aloin. People who are allergic to latex may also have a problem with aloe latex. So, if cutting a aloe leaf, try to avoid the latex layer.

      Also, anyone with pets should also be careful as aloe is listed as toxic to both dogs and cats and its the latex that causes the biggest problem

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