Aloe: Wanna meet your child’s best friend?

Growing and Using Aloe

Wanna meet your kid’s new best friend?
09.21.2009

Submitted by alara on Mon, 09/21/2009 – 12:00am.

The Bite:
Introducing aloe vera. Try growing aloe at home and use it to treat minor cuts, bites, and burns. The plant’s easy to grow and use, cheap, and effective, so next time your kid scrapes a knee…hello quick cure, goodbye synthetic creams.

The Benefits:
Naming better ingredients. OTC aloe vera creams and gels contain synthetic citric acid and sometimes inert aloe extracts – the plant’s healing properties start vanishing an hour after it’s picked, or if it’s too diluted by other ingredients.
Welcoming plants. Aloe vera’s natural gel and pulp contains anti-inflammatory enzymes, antioxidants, and massive amounts of vitamins and minerals. With a plant in the house, you’ll reap the goods.

Not inviting more packaging waste, which makes up half of all U.S. municipal solid waste by volume. The plant keeps on giving without a bottle or tube.
Making itself at home. The aloe vera plant is a succulent, like cacti, so caring for it requires very little attention or watering.

Wanna Try:
Small Aloe Vera Plant – when you pot it, make sure all roots and 1 inch of the plant are under the soil; instructions included ($25).

Large Aloe Vera Leaf – or pot a fresh cutting from a grown plant, which will sprout in about 4 weeks and mature in 12-18 months; instructions included ($10). What to Treat and HowTo use, split an aloe leaf (make sure to remove the outside thorns) and apply directly to the affected area, or squeeze the gel from leaf and apply with your fingers. It’ll feel sticky at first, but dries smooth and washes off easily with water. The key? Reapply regularly for quick healing. Works best on:

Sunburns – the fresh gel immediately relieves the heat and burn.
Cuts – let the cut dry for a few hours or a day (the gel won’t stick to or penetrate wet/moist skin) then apply aloe.

Bug bites and bee stings – aloe takes away the initial pain and itch.
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