Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Natural Sunburn Remedy and How to Grow It!

Needs to be replanted  Has lots of offsets.
Aloe vera.  One of my most favorite plants in the whole wide world.  English ivy is up there, too, but does not possess the same qualities as something like aloe vera does.  At least…  not that I know of yet.

What is aloe vera?  Aloe is a succulent plant that can grow really fast.  It does not need a lot of water, and in fact, does best when you put it into a terra cotta pot and leave it alone, only watering it after it dries out completely.  It does not need direct sunlight, only bright filtered light.  I have mine growing in a garden window that gets indirect sunlight through most of the day, but always stays bright.  I took mine outside this past summer thinking it would do okay outside but under my garden window and…  it didn’t.  It almost killed it in fact.  So, back in the window it went, and it started recovering.  It can get really big if you allow it.  Three feet high and three feet wide is very possible. 

When the plant starts getting too big for its pot, it will start offsets that you just pull out by the roots, stick in a new pot, and continue to let it grow.  If you put it in a bigger pot…  the plant will just get bigger.  

You can find it at almost any store that has living plants.  I found several more that I picked up this week at Walmart for less than $4 each.  I have quite a few plants, but I can’t ever resist a new one.

But what is it GOOD for besides just looking really, REALLY pretty?  Actually, aloe vera is a medicinal plant and it has many great uses such as…

  • Natural Moisturizer
  • Speeds wound healing
  • Reduces inflammation of the stomach
  • Natural Laxative
  • Helps heal sunburns, minor skin irritations, even eczema 
  • Helps soothe skin and heal cracked nipples while breastfeeding
  • Natural anti-inflammatory
  • Natural antibiotic
  • Natural antifungal

There is also the potential for treating diabetes, reducing triglycerides, and reducing blood sugar levels. 

To use the plant, pull off a leaf from the bottom.  Always pull from the bottom, because the new growth is always in the center and you don’t ever want to damage a plant where it regenerates from.  If that were to happen, you would run the risk of killing the whole plant.  So pull from the bottom!  They are bigger anyways.  Take a sharp knife and cut long ways down the leaf, then scoop out the insides.  If you are using it for something on your skin, then just apply it directly.  Save unused parts of leaves in an airtight container and stick it in the fridge. 
The new plants.  Still really small.

Stores actually sell Aloe Gel right next to the Sunscreen in most cases.  If you buy one, try to find one that doesn’t have any artificial preservatives or coloring.  Yeah…  that green color?  It’s not normal.  It may cost you more, but getting away from all that fake stuff is what this blog is all about.  And for whatever reason…  natural costs more.  Blows my mind, too.

To use internally, take 1 tablespoon of juice twice a day.  Or you can buy pills already made.  They can be found in the vitamin and mineral aisle at any drug store. 

On the precautionary side…  don’t take internally if you have an abdominal obstruction or unknown pain.  Don’t take internally if you have things like Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome.  Don’t take internally if you are pregnant, because you shouldn’t take anything that might stimulate contractions and since this is a natural laxative…  that is what could happen.  

And really, it is easy as that!  Grow some aloe vera this summer.  You know at some point in time we are ALL going to get a little sunburned.  And instead of suffering through it, you can do something about it!  Now go get some aloe! 

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