Aloe

The aloe vera plant is similar to your laid-back friend. We’ll call her Sally. Sally is cool and calm. Sally’s feelings don’t get hurt if you forget to text her back. Sally is low maintenance (her hair always looks great between washings, and her face is only adorned with lotion and lip gloss) and she’s incredibly reliable. Aloe is just like Sally! Aloe doesn’t require a lot of attention. All aloe needs is a sunny spot and drink of water every so often.

The succulent plant also is incredibly useful. For example: it’s 2 p.m. on a sunny Saturday. You’re boiling a pot of water to cook some whole grain pasta. You quickly reach for the pot, sans a heat pad, and ouch. Ouch, darn, oh-my-gosh-ouch. Yeah, you burned you hand (a common cook injury). Luckily, you have an aloe vera plant residing in your sunroom, which is a mere 15 feet away from the kitchen. Just cut a 1-2 inch piece of the aloe leaf, slice the leaf vertically, and apply the plant’s juice to the burn. Cover the burn loosely with gauze, and you’re good to go!

While aloe can increase blood flow to burned tissue, help relieve pain and reduce inflammation, and prevent infection (it has antibacterial and antifungal properties), there are many other uses for aloe, too:

Soak up the moisture: add fresh aloe to your favorite moisturizer – the plant gives any moisturizer a boost. Battling summer skin irritation and flaky dry patches? Place aloe juice directly on your skin for relief.

An aloe drink!?: aloe can cool your body from the inside out, too. Add a few capfuls of health food store-bought aloe vera in a glass of water. Drink, and chill out!

Ease digestion: aloe also is said to improve digestion. Give it a shot by steeping cut aloe foliage in water, or by chewing pieces of the plant’s leaf.

Resources:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Healthy-People-Healthy-Planet/Use-Aloe-as-a-Natural-Burn-Treatment.aspx

http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/benefits-of-aloe-vera-zmaz11zhar.aspx

Image: odetothebigsea