Aloe vera, a must in every garden

ALOE vera is a tropical plant I have always wanted to have in my garden. As I study more about medicinal plants, I learned that this versatile crop is not only good for hair loss, but for many more uses as well. I rub it on my finger when I get burned while cooking.

I think I got my planting material from a place I visited where it is grown abundantly. When I wondered why I could not obtain as much suckers as I should have, I realized maybe it is because of lack of sunlight as it is situated under some taller plants. I am now growing it in another area of our garden to make it produce more suckers. It is the exposure to sunlight that makes the difference.

Now, what are the other uses of this wonderful plant whose scientific name is really Aloe vera. It is a succulent crop and is a tropical plant that has been used for centuries to heal both externally and internally. Aloes are resistant to drought, taking in water very easily and losing moisture very slowly.

Aloe vera has four properties that makes it one of the most versatile crops in our garden. It is soothing, cooling, antiseptic, and antifungal. That is why it is very good for burns and eczema. To enumerate: it is applied to burns, sunburn, ringworm, infected cuts, acne, shingles, eczema, wrinkles, and areas of dry, itchy skin. It is also used as mouthwash for sore gums, and as internal medicine for candidiasis (thrush). I hope my friend who experiences this last ailment will be able to make use of this plant now since she uses a different medication for her thrush.

Aloes are easily grown as house plant. Cut the leaf and apply the gel directly to the skin, or take one tablespoon, twice daily, as an internal medicine. The cut leaves will keep and can be used again. There are many excellent preparations of aloe in the stores – follow the instructions on the packet.

The fresh aloe is unsurpassed for burns, irritable rashes, and sunburn. Keep some in the freezer for immediate use.

Just a caution. The gel is safe, but preparations of the whole leaf are strongly laxative and should not be used for long periods or in pregnancy.

In case you’re interested with this aloe gel recipe, here it goes: Wash the leaves. Cut into two inches (5cm) lengths. Slice each piece in half, to expose the largest amount of gel. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and date. To use: remove plastic and apply the gel side of the leaf to the skin; smear over the affected area, or hold in place with a bandage.
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