Aloe barbadensis miller, a.k.a. Aloe Vera is dubbed by the ancient Egyptians as the plant of ‘Immortality’ because of its medicinal properties and therapeutic advantages. Aloe Vera has been recorded since 2100 BC on a Sumerian Tablet. Its health benefits have been known for centuries. It has been widely used in alternative medicines, cosmetics, beauty and skin care products including soaps (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org)
Aloe Vera produces two substances: the Gel and the Latex. The Aloe Gel is the clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the leaf while the Aloe Latex comes from just under the plant skin, yellow in color (www.livestrong.com). The Aloe Gel contains at least 75 nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids including 8 essential amino acids which the human body cannot produce, and 200 active enzymes. The Aloe Gel also contains Glycoproteins which helps reduce inflammation and in stopping pain. It also contains Polysaccahrides which help with skin growth and repair. Additionally, Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties containing substances such as salicylic acid, saponins and sterols (Source: www.globalhealingcenter.com).
How to cut Aloe Vera.
- Break a leaf that is close to the stem (lower leaf) or cut it with a sharp knife. The older the leaf, the better nutrients it has.
- Wash the leaf and cut the pointy edges.
- Cut the part that you would want to use and keep the rest in the refrigerator. I usually wrap it in a small ziplock bag before keeping it in the refrigerator. I keep it only for three days.
- Remove the top skin layer of the aloe with a sharp knife and use the gel. Or cut it into half and use the gel on both cut parts.
How to use Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera has many uses. In here, I will only share how we actually use it, i.e., base on my experiences.
- Best Remedy for Burns. I use it for minor skin burns. I tried Aloe Vera on many occasions when I get burned by cooking oil and hot water (hot bag flipped open and the hot water was all over me). It does work for me. What I do is that when I get burned, I make sure not to pour cold water on the burned area but rather I put fresh aloe vera gel immediately – when the aloe gets dry, I rub a piece of gel again until the burn sensation subsides and eventually burn heals.
- Face Moisturizer and Shaving Gel. My hubby uses this on his face after shaving to heal small nicks and razor cuts. He also uses it to moisturize his face after his morning shower. He usually applies the gel on his face, leaves it for 30 minutes, and rinse with cold water.
- Hair and scalp Treatment. Considering that I have fine hair, I use Aloe Gel on my scalp to prevent dandruff and also to promote hair growth. I learned this from my late grandmother whom I had seen using this mixed with pure coconut milk and basil leaves.
- Body Moisturizer. I have not tried using fresh ones for my skin but I bought a few bottles of Aloe Vera Gel in South Korea which I use for my skin. I use it after a long day at the beach instead of the usual body lotion.