Back in June of this year a reader of this website named Karen left this comment: “I used to suffer from HORRIBLE hives (brought on by work stress) and it took 2 years of expensive medication, creams, lotions, quitting my job, etc…to finally discover relief: ALOE VERA! That’s right, the stuff used for burn relief has so many other uses and because it is not as popular as it was 30 years ago, it’s time to make it popular again.
Some of it’s uses are identified by TLC (see”40 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera”) and as they state “… it doesn’t hurt that aloe vera produces at least six 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.”
Aloe Vera was my skin saver and it would make a great future post/topic.”
I completely agree Karen! So I’ve been researching this “miracle plant” to discover what OTHER things it can do. It turns out, the aloe vera plant that has been around for over 4,000 years can do a heck of a lot MORE than soothe minor burns! Let’s explore some of them shall we???
Karen mentioned this article at How Stuff Works – “40 Amazing Uses For Aloe Vera” – and it’s definitely a good place to start.
Here are my favorites from that list:
- Slice aloe leaves lengthwise and use the inner sides as a biodegradable body scrub in the shower.
- Treat burns from minor mishaps in the kitchen — from grease splatters or hot utensils — with a mix of aloe gel and vitamin E oil.
- Soothe and heal sunburns. Aloe contains cooling properties similar to menthol.
- Take the sting or itch out of insect bites.
- For soft feet make an exfoliating foot mask by mixing together a half cup of oatmeal, a half cup of corn meal, four tbsp. of aloe vera gel and a half cup of unscented body lotion.
- Swab over blisters for quick relief.
- Replace creams and lotions as a general moisturizer for dry skin. Aloe is fast absorbing!
- Reverse signs of aging skin and wrinkles. Cleopatra did!
- Make skin new again with an exfoliating, organic sugar scrub by mixing together 2 tbsp. of aloe vera, 2 tbsp. of organic brown sugar and 1 tsp. of organic lemon juice.
- For rougher patches of skin, mix together an organic salt scrub using two cups of sea salt, one cup of aloe vera, one cup of organic coconut oil and two tbsp. of local, organic honey.
- Boil leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapor to alleviate asthma.
Pretty impressive list huh? That’s just the BEGINNING of the things this humble (dare I say, homely?) plant can do!
Here are some more amazing uses for this indispensable household ally!
Reduces Eye Puffiness
Put a little under your eyes after a long night. Takes the puffiness right away! Cotton balls soaked in refrigerated Aloe Vera Gel also provides a great compress for tired, puffy eyes.
Intestinal Problems Remedy
Taken internally, it heals stomach ulcers and heartburn, and in general soothes the digestive tract. Adverse effects reported from ingesting Aloe Vera include diarrhea and kidney trouble.
Studies have shown that drinking aloe vera juice can safely lower cholesterol over time.
Prevent/Fade Stretch Marks, Age Spots, Freckles
Begin massaging aloe vera on your stomach twice a day and continue throughout your pregnancy and after delivery for a few months until any stretch marks fade.
Skin & Sunburn Soothe
Acne, eczema, and skin irritation respond well to the natural antiseptics in Aloe. Apply gel 2-3 times a day to the area until it is healed. Aloe also contains cooling properties similar to menthol which makes it a great way to sooth sunburns. It acts as a protective layer on the skin and helps replenish its moisture. When the skin is hydrated, then it will recover faster from the sunburn.
The very same anti-inflammatory constituents that reduce blistering and inflammation in burns also help reduce the irritation of hemorrhoids. Break off a piece of the aloe vera leaf and apply only the clear gel to the hemorrhoids.
Strengthen Weak Nails
Gently massage aloe on your nail beds every day for a few weeks and watch them gain their former luster.
Soothe Razor Burn.
Rub onto razor burns for some much-needed relief!
Safely removes eye makeup and is gentle on the delicate skin around your eyes.
Natural Shaving Gel and Aftershave
Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory thanks to its enzymes and with its high water content, it is very hydrating. It provides a smooth surface on your skin giving you a very close shave. Aloe also can be used as an aftershave to prevent razor burn.
Skin loves Vitamins C and E which are present in Aloe, helping to improve skins firmness and keep it hydrated. Combining virgin coconut oil can make a creamier way to supplement nutrients, essential fats and moisture. Aloe Vera gel penetrates skin almost four times faster than water, and its super emollient qualities help it moisturize the under layers of skin.
Cold and Flu
Aloe Vera boosts the immune system. It contains a long list of Phytonutrients. It contains Vitamin A, B, C, E. It contains a long list of minerals, plant sterols and enzymes.
Aloe vera gel and black pepper: Take a spoon of the gel with a pinch of pepper three times a day till you get relief.
Vitamin B12 for Vegans
The main medicinal use of aloe vera is to support and improve bacteria flora. In addition aloe vera contains the correct combinations of minerals that the bacteria needs to produce Vitamin B12.
Another medicinal use of aloe vera is boosting energy levels. This is due to the vitamin b complexes and other nutrients that aid in converting a higher percentage of the food in your stomach to energy.
Aloe vera gel fights frizz in hair and is a great replacement for expensive styling products.
Natural Hand Sanitizer
Combine 5-10 drops lavender essential oil; 30 drops tea tree essential oil; 1 Tablespoon witch hazel; 8 ounces 100% pure aloe vera gel. Add several drops of Vitamin E oil as a natural preservative to increase shelf life of this product. (It will also help soften hands!)
Leave-in Conditioner/Scalp Soother
Mix aloe vera gel with a little rosemary essential oil and a few drops of Vitamin E oil, squirt on scalp and ends of hair. Do not rinse, and this mixture soothes an itchy scalp and softens hair.
Make a homemade aloe vera mouthwash by mixing 2 ounces of Aloe Vera Gel; 3 teaspoons of baking soda; 1 ounce of water, preferably room temperature; 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 5 – 10 drops peppermint essential oil. Rinse..and repeat!
Aloe vera juice can be effective in aiding digestion, soothing an upset stomach, and providing relief for heartburn.
Aloe Vera gel softens and soothes this painful and itchy skin condition. Just apply the gel directly on the skin three times a day for about a month. Studies show an almost 85 percent effective rate of this disease.
A few drops of aloe vera juice can bring a good amount of relief if you are having ear pain.
Shingles which is the adult version of chickenpox, usually occurs in adults with a low immune system. Aloe Vera can be used on painful shingles caused by the herpes virus. By applying aloe directly on the open sores it dilates the blood vessels, which aids in healing the wounds.
Sheep Artificial Insemination (you can’t make this stuff up!)
Aloe vera gel can be used to dilute sheep semen for artificial insemination.
Aloe Vera protects against both types of ultraviolet rays that cause premature aging and that cause sunburn and skin darkening of the sun.
A daily intake of 2-3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel will act like a general tonic and as a mild regulator of the bowels.
Aloe Vera works as an excellent personal lubricant. Not only does it soothe and heal the delicate areas around the sexual and reproductive organs in both men and women but also provides great natural moisturizing.
Deodorizing Body Spray
Make a refreshing deodorizing spray from aloe and citrus. Combine 7 oz distilled water; 1 oz aloe vera gel; 60 drops mandarin essential oil (or sweet orange). Spray onto hands and/or feet as needed to remove sweat or stickiness. Let dry naturally.
Dyed Hair Treatment
Use aloe after dying your hair. It moisturizes and gives it a brilliant and healthy look without the greasy feel of other balms.
Mix one teaspoon of aloe vera gel with a couple drops of glycerin and grapefruit oil, half a teaspoon of grapeseed extract and eight ounces of clean water. Keep this solution in a spray bottle, spraying lightly while in the shower. Keep in mind that citrus oils are sensitive to sun rays, so use caution before heavy sun exposure.
Eliminating Canker Sores
Aloe vera contains vitamins as well as amino acids that help repair damaged tissues. Research has found that canker sore sufferers who applied aloe vera gel healed about 50 per cent faster than those who didn’t.
Vaginal Yeast Infections
You can treat a vaginal infection by applying Aloe externally and by drinking the gel for its anti-fungal properties. Four to six ounces aloe vera gel daily can help manage Candida colonies in the body naturally and to help keep Candida in check. Moreover, continued use may prevent further infections from occurring.
Hunters in Africa routinely rub their bodies with aloe to reduce sweating and mask their natural odor from animals.
Aloe vera gel makes a great cleaner for your dog’s ears. It cleans, deodorizes and acidifies your pup’s ears so they stay healthier. Place a small amount of pure aloe vera gel in your pet’s ears. Allow your dog to shake head and dab any excess away with a cotton ball. Use once a week and after swimming. Use aloe gel to treat your pet’s flaking, itching skin or to soothe poison ivy and poison oak rashes. Aloe vera juice has been used internally to treat arthritis in older dogs.
Researchers have found that drinking aloe vera juice lowers blood sugar, a positive effect for those with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Scientists believe that by keeping blood sugar low, you’ll lose weight.
Rub some aloe vera gel under your arms to get rid of dark skin under the armpits.
Brush a child’s fingernails with aloe vera juice, which has a very bitter taste to discourage nail biting.
Reduce Pore Size
Remove the peel from one cucumber and chop the cucumber roughly. Combine the cucumber, 50 grams of aloe vera gel and 50 milliliters (a little more than 1.5 ounces) of water in a blender. Mix until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Smooth the aloe vera cream mixture over your face. Do not rinse it off. Keep the cream on your face overnight. Rinse the cream off of your face in the morning. Wash your face and apply a toner to remove any leftover residue. Let the toner dry and apply a moisturizer as the last step.
Relieving Arthritis Pain
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties you can reduce the inflammation of the joints and the resulting pain by applying aloe vera gel to the area where you are experiencing the pain.
Aloe Vera clears acne by removing the dead cells, thus opening the skin pores and removal of the blocked oil. Apply directly on the outbreak. Scars that have been left by acne can also be treated with aloe.
Using aloe vera promotes the production of more red blood cells in your body and fight off anemia.
And last but by no means LEAST……….
Do-It-Yourself Body Glitter
Just put a few ounces of the gel into a clean cosmetics jar, and mix in ultra fine cosmetic glitter until you get the desired consistency and sparkle!
A word of caution….. If you don’t grow your own aloe vera (which is VERY easy to do!), make sure you buy pure, organic aloe vera gel without added dyes or fragrances. Read labels before buying products that contain aloe. Some products contain harmful additives and chemicals.
So how’s THAT for a comprehensive list of the MANY, MANY uses for this Elixir of Longevity?
What are YOUR favorite aloe vera uses?