You probably know about aloe vera from putting on the gel when you have a sunburn or if you burn yourself while cooking. And maybe you have aloe plants in your house (which help promote sleep and keep you cool, btw). But there are so many more amazing benefits that aloe vera plants provide. For instance, the gel has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Aloe’s become my go-to solution of choice for a lot more than sunburns—and it’s about to become yours, too. Here are eight things you may not have known about aloe and its countless uses.
1. Drink It
You may see aloe vera juice at stores more and more often lately, and rightfully so. It’s chock full of vitamins and minerals, including A, B1, B2, B5, B12, C, E, Folic Acid, niacin, amino acids, and plant compounds. Not only has it been proven to help people with various health ailments, states Livestrong, like psoriasis, but also with diabetes and constipation, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Plus, aloe’s good for the heart. And some people even swish it around in their mouth like mouthwash before they drink it, to help prevent oral infections. But if you’re adding the juice as a supplement to your life, be sure to check with a doctor first as it effects some people differently than others—i.e., it could cause gastrointestinal upset and liver problems.
2. Inhale It If You’re Sick (Or Have Asthma)
If you have asthma, or even a sinus or throat infection, you may want to try this. Grab your aloe plant, cut some off, then cut it in half the long way and scrape off a tablespoon of aloe vera gel. Boil it in water and inhale the steam, suggests The Express Tribune. You should be breathing better in no time. Plus, for sore throats, you can add some aloe vera gel to warm water and gargle with it, just as you would salt water. Impressive, huh?
3. Make A Body Scrub
Aloe is an all-natural moisturizer. With just a few ingredients, you can make your own aloe vera scrub—and without chemicals that are added to a lot of store-bought ones. Just squeeze some gel out of your aloe vera plant after you break off the tips of the leaves. Then, you can experiment and combine it with baking soda, or with brown sugar and extra virgin olive oil. There are many possibilities, depending on the kind of scrub you want to make, and We Love Aloe! has some great suggestions.
4. Use It As A Skin Moisturizer And To Clear Up Your Skin (AKA For Rosacea Flare-Ups)
You probably know someone with rosacea—characterized by rosy cheeks and red bumps on the face. The condition ebbs and flows and, as someone with rosacea, when it’s flowing, it’s no fun. Recently, I misplaced my pricey gel from the dermatologist, so I looked into natural methods to help against rosacea and found that aloe vera gel works well—and all I had to do was walk over to my windowsill. Day after day, my face gets less red. HowToRemoveThat recommends applying pure aloe vera gel twice a day onto your clean face, and for at least two months. Even after a few days, I’ve seen a difference. Plus, as I was putting the gel on my face, I’d inevitably get it onto my hands, and it’s helped them stay smooth, too. A friend with eczema swears by aloe, as well, so it’s time to see for yourself.
5. As A Shave Gel (During Or After Shaving)
6. All-Natural Makeup Remover
7. Fight Dandruff
Yep, instead of shelling out extra money on special shampoos, try aloe vera for your dandruff instead. Just rub some into your scalp before you go to bed, then wash out in the morning, GrannyMed.com suggests. Aloe’s anti-inflammatory compounds will stop the itching as well as moisturize your scalp. Can’t beat that!
8. DIY Aloe Shampoo And/Or Conditioner
Who knew you had shampoo and conditioner ingredients right in your house? For shampoo, just mix aloe vera gel with honey and apple cider vinegar. For the conditioner, mix the gel with coconut oil. You can also use aloe to create your own detangler and serum, and can check out all these aloe-based hair recipes here.
Photo by BRFKlätterträdet