Uses for Homegrown Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the easiest plants you can grow in your house - it is low maintenance and has many uses! Unlike other house plants, aloe provides fruit for your labor (although, not literal fruit) that ranges from medical uses to juice.
First let's go over how to keep your aloe plant happy and healthy. Because aloe vera is a succulent, it requires very little water. The plant should never be sitting in wet soil for long, which is why watering once a week is the best way to nurture it. A tip is to put an ice cube (or a few, depending on how big the pot is) on the soil surface once a week so it melts slowly and distributes the water in increments. It's best to let the aloe completely dry out before watering again.
Like other succulents, aloe vera thrives well in bright areas that aren't in direct sunlight. Placing the plant by a windowsill, rather than on a windowsill, ensures that it gets a good mix of sun and shade. It also can be placed in your bedroom, because unlike many other plants, it produces oxygen during the nighttime which is beneficial to your sleep patterns.
Now for the best part--how to use it! You can either cut off the tip of the leaf to use a small amount or you can cleanly remove the entire leaf. Once removed, take a paring knife and cut it in half lengthwise to reveal the flesh of the plant, which you can scoop out with a spoon.
Heal wounds & burns Simply rub the aloe gel on the problem areas to instantly cool down the pain from sunburns and to speed up the scabbing process of cuts.
Make biodegradable toothpaste Mix the aloe gel with some finely chopped mint and a few tsp. of baking soda to make a toothpaste that's safe for the environment and your smile! (disclaimer: this can be a fun experiment, but we're not dentists so you may want to continue using dentist-approved paste).
Make juice Use 1 cup of liquid for every 2 tbsps. of aloe flesh and blend into a vitamin rich juice that helps flush toxins from the body and promotes digestive health. You can make plain aloe juice or add other fruits to brighten the flavor.
Keep produce fresh A Cambridge University study from 2014 found that coating produce in a thin layer of aloe gel prevents the growth of harmful bacteria, so your tomatoes and apples can last longer.
Skincare Applying aloe gel to your face at night has been shown to reduce acne and act as a natural moisturizer to give you a dewy look in the morning. It can also be blended with water to create a refreshing and nourishing face mist.
Infuse water Aloe gel pairs well with water rich produce, such as cucumber or watermelon. Adding this to a cold glass of water (or coconut water for extra flavor) creates a perfect refreshing drink.
Post author: Sarah Rizvi