Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera

by Jeannine Tidwell

The medicinal uses of aloe vera are amazing, as the benefits of aloe vera remedies are truly significant. Aloe vera is well-loved by many, and a famed household plant. This plant is incredibly diverse in its uses. I invite you to come find out why you should consider having this wonderful, succulent plant in your home too.

Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera

What is the aloe vera plant?

Aloe vera is a succulent and mucilaginous plant that can grow up to 40 inches in height. Without a stem, its green leaves resemble blades or a sword coming out from a central point. These thick and heavy leaves contain the precious healing gel that provides the medicinal uses of aloe vera. The leaves are notched with small white points. Their orange flowers bloom in the summertime.

If you want to grow the plant for making aloe vera remedies then put your plant in a hot dry location in your home. It thrives on lots of sunlight. You'll know this plant is doing well because over time the parent plant will produce many little offspring plants from the pot which you can lovingly separate and plant into other pots. It's important not to crowd too many aloes in one pot and give them room to grow big. In doing so, you'll get more available aloe vera gel over time.

Amazing benefits of aloe vera

I remember it well. There I was, walking out of a coffee shop in Ashland, Oregon so many years ago on a crisp fall morning with a very hot cup of tea in my hand. It was my right hand and I am right hand dominant. I stopped to look up at the azure sky, gazing at the clouds for a moment. In that moment as I saw clouds turn into soft creatures and I imagined myself floating along with them a skate boarder skidded right into me.

It threw me off balance and my very hot cup of tea splashed all over my hand. I could feel the first few layers of my skin sting immediately. I had just gotten a second degree burn. To this day, I still have the faintest light brown color on my right hand from this burn. If it weren't for the medicinal uses of aloe vera to soothe my skin immediately (from inside the coffee shop!), it could've been much worse.

There are as many benefits as there are medicinal uses of aloe vera. The gel that is found on the inside of this plant is cooling and soothing for all sorts of things from burns, cuts, stings, bruises and rashes to welts, itching, blisters, infections, and abrasions. Here are some other incredible benefits and medicinal uses of aloe vera:

  • Aloe vera is good for irritated or inflamed skin.
  • Aloe vera helps repair your skin from the most tender of wounds.
  • Aloe vera helps speed the process of healing to burns and other wounds.
  • Aloe vera is hydrating, rejuvenating and toning for your skin.
  • Aloe vera moisturizes and softens your skin.

Imagine never having to go to the grocery store to buy aloe vera remedies when you can grow it as a house plant and get it fresh anytime you need it! You end up saving money, time, reduce packaging and resources, and you get this direct and immediate connection with the aloe vera plant right at your fingertips. Often there are commercial products available in grocery stores and other places with aloe vera in it. The disadvantage to using products like these is that there are often artificial additives that aren't needed. All you need is the plant itself to receive the benefits of the medicinal uses of aloe vera.

There's something else that's missing here. It's connection. By having aloe vera available right on hand to use when you need it for immediate relief or for making your own goods, you create an important and necessary connection. Having aloe vera right on hand calls you forward into having a greater awareness of taking care of yourself and knowing how to respond to your health needs. I think of aloe vera like one of my most prized allies. I not only get companionship, beauty and aesthetics right around me from the aloe, I get medicinal uses of aloe vera anytime I need them.

A friend of mine once gave me an aloe vera plant and said to me, "Jeannine, you just never know when you'll need to use it." She was right. And one day my toddler son just barely touched our wood stove with the tips of his little fingers and got a really bad burn. Aloe vera remedies came to the rescue. After applying aloe vera directly and then making an aloe vera wash as well, his fingertips cooled down quickly, the healing began, and it helped him to calm down.

Lastly, you get to be up close and personal with the aloe vera plant knowing that it's a fairly easy plant to grow and take care of. You get the satisfaction of learning how to bring immediate relief in painful moments like getting a burn and you also get the total fulfillment of learning how to use aloe vera in everyday life to nourish and support your health and well-being in many different ways. All this from the incredible medicinal uses of aloe vera!

Medicinal uses of aloe vera

Aloe vera is very versatile. It's your immediate assistant for relieving burns from sun exposure, chemical burns, or burns from a fire. It's even used in the burn units of some hospitals! However, beyond the emergencies and immediate medicinal uses of aloe vera, it can be added to other ingredients to make soap, facial toners, facial scrubs and masks, after shave, mists, lip balm, salve, tinctures, washes, creams and astringents. One of my favorite ways to use aloe vera is to drink its juice. It's incredibly cleansing and has a really tasty punchy flavor!

Want to soften and condition your hair and get it clean without stripping it of its protective oils? Aloe vera remedies come in the form of shampoos that make your hair naturally sparkle. When combined with other plants and oils for this particular use, the medicinal uses of aloe vera truly shine (no pun intended)! Aloe vera gel has a 4.3 pH that makes it wonderful for shampoos and lotions.

One of the other medicinal uses of aloe vera is that it contains aloin, the brown gel which is focused near the blades of the leaf. Aloin is a natural sunscreen protectant from sun exposure. Speaking of skin, there are many aloe vera remedies that are good for all skin types from oily to dry.

Medicinal Uses of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera remedies

Here are some knock out aloe vera remedies that are quite simple to craft and make. You can use the aloe vera fresh from a plant. All you need to do is cut up a leaf from the plant and scoop out the gel for your recipe. Here is a helpful tip: When you remove a leaf, make sure to separate the leaf right at the base of the leaf itself, at the point where it connects to the rest of the plant. This will help insure that the plant heals quickly. Wherever you slice a leaf off from the plant the aloe will naturally heal itself in that area within a few hours. Whatever gel you don't use from the leaf, refrigerate for later use.

Aloe to the Rescue

This recipe is specifically good for burns. Put ice directly onto your burn to immediately cool your burn. I suggest a minimum of 20 - 30 minutes. Next scoop out the gel from the inside of an aloe leaf and apply promptly onto your burn or blistering skin. Now give a big sigh of relief. You can repeatedly apply aloe vera gel to your burn or blister as it heals. You can lay a fresh aloe leaf onto your wound and then wrap a bandage around the leaf as well. If it's a burn you have, lathering fresh aloe onto your burn will help prevent it from blistering and is one of the best aloe vera remedies I know of. As far as medicinal uses of aloe vera go, do not apply creams or lotions to your burn even if there is aloe vera in it. This can actually worsen your injury and is the exact opposite of medicine for your burn. Just use straight aloe vera.

Aloe, Lavender and Mint Facial Toner

  • 6 tsp. aloe vera gel
  • 5 Tbsp. spearmint or chamomile infusion
  • 2 tsp. glycerin
  • 5 - 7 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 oz. boiling water
  • 6 oz. spray bottle

To make the infusion, pour boiling water over fresh or dried spearmint or chamomile herbs. Let steep for 30 - 60 minutes. Strain herbs from liquid and let infusion cool completely. Pour all ingredients into spray bottle and securely close. Shake well. Refrigerate and watch for bacteria forming inside. You can try different herbs as your infusion to combine with the aloe vera for your toner. Spearmint is cooling while chamomile is gently relaxing for the skin. Both are an excellent complement to the medicinal uses of aloe vera. Enjoy!

Aloe Vera and Triple Herb Shampoo

  • 6 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
  • 2 tsp. fresh or dried spearmint leaves
  • 2 tsp. fresh or dried nettle leaves
  • 2 tsp. fresh or dried calendula flowers
  • 20 oz. boiling water
  • 8 oz. castile soap
  • 5 - 10 drops lavender essential oil

Pour boiling water over herbs and let steep 30 - 60 minutes. Strain herbs and let cool completely. Pour all ingredients together into a squeeze bottle or recycled shampoo bottle. Close lid tightly. Shake well and shake before using. This recipe makes approximately 20 oz. of shampoo. This is one of my favorite every day aloe vera remedies!

Aloe Calendula and Lavender Mist

  • 6 tsp. aloe vera gel
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh or dried calendula flowers
  • 2 tsp. glycerin
  • 7 - 10 drops essential oil
  • 4 oz. boiling water
  • 6 oz. spray bottle

Pour boiling water over calendula flowers. Steep 30 - 60 minutes. Strain flowers and let cool completely. Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well. You can begin using immediately. This mist is great for your face, neck and the nape of your neck. Makes approximately 4 oz. This mister is revivifying and helps restore your overworked skin. It's sort of like putting a massage into a spray bottle - only much less expensive!

Additional Resources

There is still much to learn about the medicinal uses of aloe vera and aloe vera remedies. Books are a great resource for such learning. Here are three books that can help you continue discovering the medicinal uses of aloe vera and aloe vera remedies. I hope they further support your connection with the aloe vera plant!

  • Aloe Vera Handbook: The Ancient Egyptian Medicine Plant by Max B. Skousen
  • Aloe Vera: Nature's Soothing Healer by Diane Gage
  • Aloe Vera by Julia Lawless

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