The aloe vera plant is amazing for treating rashes, burns, acne, and more. Here’s how you can get the most out of every drop.
In a perfect world, everyone’s skin would be lusciously smooth and blemish free, but unfortunately, it’s not. Life happens and along with that comes acne, sunburns, dermatitis and other annoying skin conditions.
So the questions becomes: How do you address these issues while staying true to your passion for everything natural?
One option is aloe vera. It’s a multipurpose plant found in backyard gardens everywhere. When it comes to skin treatments, it’s about as natural as it gets.
Aloe varieties can be found in nearly every region of the world, but it’s actually of subtropical origin. Known as the lily of the desert and plant of immortality, this grey-green succulent has been used in medicine for thousands of years.
A valuable player in ancient Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, it’s a highly effective treatment for wounds – especially burns, giving it the nickname “burn plant.”
Besides wound care, this plant has a natural laxative effect and has even been used to restore hair loss and soothe hemorrhoids.
Aloe vera is a natural moisturizer with an emollient effect on the skin (meaning it softens skin by locking in moisture). For this reason, it’s a popular ingredient in lotions and creams. A potent source of antioxidants, it can actually help counteract the effects of aging free radicals in the body.
Rich in B vitamins as well as vitamins A, E and C, aloe also contains crucial enzymes. Some of these include:
- Alkaline phosphatase
As if the antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes weren’t enough, this plant is also home to nutritive minerals such as chromium, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Thanks to an abundance of fatty acids and hormones, it serves as an anti-inflammatory as well.
Research shows that all of these elements combined work to accelerate the healing process of chronic wounds and reduce the severity of pain.
With its nutrient-dense profile, it’s easy to see the potential uses for aloe.
According to a study conducted by Sweden’s Department of Clinical Physiology, its gel is a powerful treatment for psoriasis and similar skin rashes. In fact, the case saw a cure rate of 83% in chronic psoriasis patients. Talk about effective!
Likewise, using aloe for acne is growing in popularity. A rich source of saponin (a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal) makes it a formidable foe against this teenage nightmare.
Possessing active compounds that stimulate skin repair, aloe vera gel is also used to treat minor burns. While the benefits of the juice lend themselves primarily to the skin, it also works to:
- Heal damaged hair
- Calm redness
- Lower cholesterol
- Reduce blood sugar
- Ease acid reflux
- Slow signs of aging
- Relieve muscular pain
- Alleviate arthritis
- Treat frostbite
The good news? Aloe is readily available and fairly inexpensive. You can usually find it at your local health food store as well as online.
When shopping, be sure you’re buying from a trusted supplier. With aloe growing more popular, suppliers try to save a buck by diluting the juice with water or even harmful chemicals.
Being a plant, it’s recommended to buy organic to protect against dangerous herbicides. Aloe is available in many forms, including:
- Actual plant
- Cream, lotion, etc
With how useful this plant is, why not keep one at home so you can use it whenever you need it?
The best way to use aloe vera is to apply it directly to the skin. Although it has a reputation in traditional medicine as a laxative and is sometimes used orally, some reports have indicated liver toxicity and other side effects when ingested. It’s advised to consult your physician before consuming.
For topical use, you can apply it directly to the affected area, avoiding severe, open wounds. Ever wondered how to make aloe vera products? It’s easy!
Just squeeze the gel from an aloe vera leaf and run it through a blender. Add ½ cup organic coconut oil and blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator and use like any other moisturizer or cream.
If you want to try it in a cream packed with other skincare superfoods check out Elixir. It’s unique 16-in-1 formula does wonders for the skin, and even works in synergy with aloe to boosts it’s benefits!
Whether in the form of juice, gel or extract, aloe vera is an excellent choice for many skin conditions. Readily available and inexpensive, it also lends itself to DIY preparations and can be grown by the average gardener.
If you live in a warm climate and have a green thumb, why not grow one of nature’s most potent healing ointments right in your backyard? If not, thankfully there are reputable, organic skincare companies to help you score your perfect product.
Have you experienced the power of aloe vera? Let us know how you used it!