Aloe vera use is widely incorporated into natural skin care. Almost no recipe that has to do with dry, cracked or itchy skin is without this ingredient. Aloe vera soothes, heals, and repairs. It is mild at the same time, so mild that it can be even used in the preparation of natural baby wipes. It can be found anywhere from body scrub recipes, and hydrating facial masks to home remedies for sunburn and cold sores remedy. It is that versatile and efficient. Introducing The Skin Wizard: Aloe Vera
The Arabic word, alloeh which means bitter, lends itself to the naming of the Aloe Vera which is a succulent plant filled with a bitter, watery, gel-like substance.
It is this filling that gives you a world of organic skincare uses from this plant. Aloe Vera has been utilized at least since the ancient Egyptians in 1500 B.C. The father of modern medicine, Galen, was a believer in the skin restorative qualities of Aloe Vera.
These qualities have inspired many nicknames: burn plant, lily of the desert, medicine plant, plant of immortality, plant of life, and wand of heaven. It is also known as The True Aloe because it has more healing qualities than any other variety.
For the organic skin care lover, this plant has it all. The multitude of things offered all come from the use of the gel found within the leaves. For wounds and burns, Aloe Vera has incredible healing powers as well as natural antibacterial properties and chemicals that work with your immune system. There is less scarring with fresh Aloe Vera treatment and burns do not blister as much. Inflammation, irritation, and itching are easily relieved by applying this natural skin care treatment, making it great for acne as well as psoriasis and eczema patients (provided they are not allergic to it; test a small area first). Insect bites are usually very responsive to the healing qualities of the plant and few people show allergies to fresh Aloe Vera gel. Aside from the healing values, you can gain firmness and elasticity through regular use.
You should have your plant because the medicinal values of the plant are better the earlier you utilize it (whether burn, wound, acne, etc). For instance, the application of fresh Aloe Vera gel when you first feel the slight burn and itch of a cold sore coming up often keeps the sore from ever completely forming as long as you reapply as necessary for a day or so. No matter the claims, no store-bought gel compares to the properties of fresh Aloe Vera and it does not work for long after being cut. You may be able to make a cut piece last a day or so by wrapping it well with cellophane and storing it in the refrigerator.
The best way to get one is to get a couple of shoots off of a friend’s plant (a friend who does not use fertilizers or pesticides). If you cannot do that, then you will need to purchase one from a store or nursery. Restore as soon as you get a plant home so that you immediately get it started in an organic state of growth. This is necessary because Aloe Vera growers use commercial fertilizers and pesticides; these substances are drawn into the plant through the roots and will be applied to your skin.
The plant loves warmth and sunlight; it does not make it through cold temperatures well, but still thrives in northern areas as long as it is kept in plenty of warmth and sunshine (inside with southern exposure). It handles drought but needs some water, so planting in sandy soil and good drainage is a must, especially when potting to keep inside. It needs less water in the winter, as it is dormant during this time. Always allow the soil to completely dry before you water, soaking during summer months and only giving it about a cup during winter months.
Use wide, shallow pots are better able to accommodate the plant’s natural root system. Create a mixture of 40% organic humus and 60% sand for potting. This mixture should have an inch or two of gravel beneath it in your pot, which should have a drainage hole in the base. Renew yearly (or as the soil begins to look too light) with a new humus or sand mixture; you will keep a natural fertilizer in the soil. Outside planting is only recommended in places like Southern Florida where frost is not a worry.
The healing properties of Aloe Vera have been the subject of many studies, both for internal use and topical use. Internal use is controversial, but topical use studies in healing the skin from a variety of attacks tend to show comparable results. The topical application seems to aid healing time in skin injuries, irritations, and diseases by anywhere from 35% to 55% faster healing. It should be understood, however, that many false claims about the plant are being proclaimed. This plant does not cure AIDS, nor does it help heal skin disorders due to radiation or chemotherapy for cancer patients.
Disclaimer: This site and links out are for information purposes only and not to be used as medical advice, please follow up with your doctor for medical care. Click on disclaimer for more information.