Many different civilizations dating to ancient times have known about aloe vera's health benefits. Aloe vera is still widely and effectively used for a variety of medicinal and supplemental purposes and as an ingredient in skin care products.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is easy to grow at home since it takes very little maintenance to thrive. Because it needs very little water to flourish, it can grow in arid climates. The use of aloe vera for medicinal and healing purposes can be traced back 6,000 years to the ancient Egyptians.
Aloe gel, extracted from the plant's leaves, is a natural moisturizer and conditioner for the skin. Place the gel directly on your skin or use a topical ointment, cream or cleanser that contains aloe. Although aloe vera does not provide protection from the sun, it can enhance the use of sunscreen lotion. Additionally, you can use aloe to get relief from insect bites, itches, rashes and acne.
Treatment for Burns
Aloe is one of the best first-aid treatments you can use to treat sunburn as well as burns from scalding liquid, irons or other hot surfaces. Aloe works on the burned skin by reducing inflammation, killing bacteria and promoting healthy tissue growth. Aloe also provides immediate pain relief by substantially cooling the burned area and preventing the skin from blistering.
Aloe Vera and Acne
Because of its ability to help burns and skin abrasions heal rapidly, aloe is also effective in treating acne and acne scars. Many soaps and facial cleansing products have aloe as an active ingredient. Although aloe has not been proven to cure acne, it can assist in preventing future breakouts and provide healthier and firmer-looking skin. Aloe's regenerative properties also can help lessen the appearance of acne scars.
Growing Aloe Vera Plants
Keeping aloe vera plants in your home or garden is not only aesthetically pleasing, but will give you instant first-aid and skin care treatment without having to buy expensive lotions or creams. If you are growing your plant indoors, give it plenty of warmth and light. Keep the plant watered, but make sure it is not overly wet. Outdoor conditions call for a sunny location and dry soil.