I believe aloe vera plants are amazing and this blog shares why I have come to this conclusion.
A couple of years ago I was lucky to have been given an aloe vera plant by a colleague. However it wasn’t until I started my Master Herbalist course that I began to realise just how amazing this plant actually is. I can’t believe I just left it sat there on my window sill when there was so much more I could do with it.
Uses for Aloe Vera Plant Gel
When I break one of the “meaty” aloe vera plant leaves I see a sticky gel seeping out. This gel has amazing properties to assist the body to heal itself. My experiences of these are;
Last summer during cutting the hedge with our electric trimmer I cut through the lead. Fortunately the trimmer cut out but not before it had left a small contact burn on the inside of my right hand – Ouch!
The burn was only 3 or 4 millimetres round but it was sore. Smearing on antiseptic cream for a couple of days was of no help. Still hurting and continuing to seep the burn did not appear to have any interest in healing.
Then I had a brainwave!
I remembered reading somewhere that aloe vera was good for burns. Therefore I decided to break off part of a leaf from my aloe vera plant and dab the neat gel onto my burn. Immediately the pain ceased and I couldn’t believe it! The seeping also stopped and the burn started to heal at long last.
Amazingly there isn’t even a scar now where the burn once was.
I have also used the neat gel on insect bites. I always swell up very badly when I get bitten and the bites seem to take forever to heal. The gel reduces the pain and redness, and they do not appear to swell up as much.
Bite sites can take well over a year to heal with me. However using the aloe vera gel my bites from last year have already started fading and disappearing.
If your having trouble with bothersome biting insects take a look at my “Natural Mosquito Repellents and Bite Relief” post;
Aloe vera gel is suggested to support the body for all manor of skin problems. I would be very interested to hear if anyone has had any success with using the gel for any skin conditions. Please comment below if you would like to share.
I have very rough heels on my feet but smearing the aloe vera gel onto them does ease this problem.
Growing Aloe Vera Plants
My original aloe vera plant had many offshoots growing which I laughingly call its “little babies.” My pot was getting so full that I decided to replant the offshoots.
I replanted my “babies” by gently pulling their roots away from the mother plant and replanting them in small terracotta pots with potting soil for succulents.
The pots have holes in the bottom to drain away unwanted water which is collected in trays underneath. I wait until the offshoots are at least an inch long before separating them from the mother plant and repotting them.
I must be doing something right because I have already had to replant some of them into larger pots. Here is a photograph of a couple of new “babies” I have replanted.
The importance of pot size
Aloe vera plants are succulents whose roots grow shallowly and horizontally. This means that a shallower pot would be best for an aloe vera plant. Despite this I have found that they tend to be sold in the standardised pots like the one shown below;
With these types of pots aloe vera roots can’t reach the bottom. Therefore I searched for wide and shallow pots for repotting my “babies” as they grew. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find these.
My local garden centres didn’t have any. Therefore I continued my search online and found the following on eBay which were perfect for my needs;
This is a link to the trays I bought to go with them;
I have also found cheap trays in discount shops such as Bargain Buys.
I take special care not to overwater my aloe vera plants. Watering them once a week in spring and summertime but less often in the colder months seems to work well.
Pots with holes at the bottom sitting on trays are ideal. When I water the plants as soon as I see any water seeping onto the tray I stop. Then after a few minutes of allowing the plant to drain I throw the rest of the water sitting in the tray away.
Before I end this post I just want to share another amazing fact about the aloe vera plants. They are also air purifying because they remove formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a by product of chemical-based cleaners.
Recently I sprayed a window frame with mould remover. Afterwards I put one of my aloe vera plants onto the windowsill. A couple of days later looking at my aloe vera plant it looked like it was dying! The plants leaves had gone very grey in colour.
A few days after moving the plant onto another windowsill I saw that the green colour was returning to its leaves. It is now very healthy again and growing new “babies” of its own.
This clearly shows me that aloe vera plants do remove toxins from chemicals in the air because it was clearly taking in the toxins from the mould spray.
These air purifying plants are now all over my house.
Even my beautiful neighbour loves sitting next to the aloe vera plants!
Be aware that you never know if you’re intolerant to something new until you try it for the first time. Therefore only try a tiny amount first and wait a day or two to check there is no adverse reaction.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications, always check with your doctor to ensure that using any suggestions don’t contradict them.
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