Aloe vera is an incredibly useful plant for your home garden. Here are some tips for growing and using aloe vera.
Aloe vera is highly popular for its healing properties and because it is so easy to grow. Nearly anyone can learn to grow and use aloe in their home. Aloe vera is a succulent and nearly impossible to kill from neglect and can last many years. In warmer climates you will even be treated with yellow tubular flowers. These Tips for Growing and Using Aloe Vera will help you get started.
Tips for Growing and Using Aloe Vera
How to Grow Aloe Vera
Your first aloe vera plant may come from the local farmer's market or a plant loving friend. Once you have an aloe vera plant in hand you can nourish it and grow your collection by propagating offshoots that form along the base of the plant. Gently pull the offshoot from the mother plant and let it dry for 2 days before planting. Be sure to plant it in gritty, free-draining potting soil.
In colder climates your aloe vera will need to remain a potted plant to allow you to bring it indoors during cooler weather. Outdoors, aloe vera does best in indirect sunlight found on the side of the house or under a large tree.
Benefits of Aloe Vera in the Home
Aloe vera is one of the best house plants because of its ability to clean the air. Aloe has been proven to filter formaldehyde and benzene, byproducts of many household chemicals such as paints and cleaners.
How to Harvest Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is easy to harvest and you can easily take what you need without harming the plant. To harvest aloe vera simply cut a piece of a leaf off your plant, taking only what you will need. Do not use young leaves. Leaves of at least 3 years will have the highest concentration of active constituents. Slice the leaf from base to tip and peel open. Scrape the clear jell out of the leaf with the blunt end of your knife.
Aloe Vera for Health and Healing
For years, aloe vera has been used for its herbal medicine qualities. Native Americans called aloe vera “the wand of heaven” and used it to treat sunburn and mild abrasions. To this day, the merits of aloe vera have gone uncontested. Aloe vera soothes burns, reduces inflammation, and encourages the collagen in the broken skin to heal itself. With the use of aloe vera, burns can heal as many as 8 days faster.
The gel of the aloe vera plant can be used for minor cuts, abrasions, eczema, psoriasis, and even ulcers. To use aloe for healing, apply fresh aloe vera gel the affected area 3 times per day. Topical application of this herb is safest and has been found safe for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and infants.
Aloe Vera for Beauty
Aloe vera can also be used for its powerful moisturizing ability perfect for natural beauty. Cleopatra used aloe vera juice to help her preserve her renowned beauty. Aloe vera gel can nourish and hydrate skin while acting as a mild exfoliant that gently removes old dry skin cells encouraging cell regeneration and healing to prevent caring and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.