Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis), is an easy to grow indoor plant that is beautiful and provides many benefits. It has been a popular plant for thousands of years and is valued for its multitude of medicinal uses.
Aloe vera can be purchased in many different forms for medicinal uses: gel, powder, capsule, and juice forms are available, but there’s nothing like the benefits provided by a live indoor plant.
Benefits of Keeping Aloe Vera Plants in Your Homes
Read on to discover some of the many benefits of aloe vera plants and tips for successfully growing your own attractive and useful plant.
Aloe vera is also known as the ‘burn plant’ because of its soothing gel that promotes fast healing of minor burns. The gel inside plant leaves provides instant cooling and moisture to burned skin. Keep a plant growing in your kitchen for easy access when the inevitable burn occurs while cooking.
Aloe vera gel also helps prevent infection to the burn site by providing a protective coating over the burn to keep germs and bacteria from entering the wound.
To apply the fresh gel to a minor burn, snip off an outer leaf from the plant near the bottom of the plant. Press the gel from the leaf by squeezing from leaf tip down towards the cut end. Gently apply the gel over burned skin. Re-apply as needed to soothe and promote healing.
This is an ideal treatment for sunburn, and it will speed up the healing process, minimize peeling and scarring.
Related Read: 7 Indoor Medicinal Plants to Keep You Healthy
Cleaner Indoor Air
As a living plant, aloe vera will help clean the indoor air. Toxins from carpeting, furniture, paint, and indoor appliances fill indoor air and diminish air quality. An aloe vera plant absorbs many of these toxins and releases fresh, clean oxygen that will improve indoor air quality.
Having an aloe vera plant in every room of your home can help you breathe easier and reduce the number of allergic flare-ups caused by allergies and asthma.
This plant works in an unusual way to clean indoor air – it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. This is just the opposite of most other plants. Place an aloe vera indoor plant in every bedroom so you can breathe better at night and wake refreshed in the morning.
Related Read: Best Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Studies have shown that having living houseplants in your environment will reduce stress. Growing aloe vera indoor will also make you feel more energetic and increase productivity, making it an ideal plant to grow in your work environment.
Place one near the location where children do their homework to help them get more work done during study time.
Taking care of a living plant also reduces stress, combats loneliness and depression. Watching the aloe vera plant grow, and being able to use it for health benefits, will also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Keep wrinkles at bay and have more youthful-looking skin by using aloe vera gel as a natural moisturizer.
Use the gel squeezed directly from the plant or mix with other natural ingredients as part of your daily anti-wrinkle beauty routine. To derive the anti-wrinkle benefit from an indoor aloe vera plant, mix one-half teaspoon of fresh gel into one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Spread an even layer on the face in the morning and/or at night. Leftover moisturizers can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for five days.
Most make-up removing products contain an astringent, which is drying to the skin. To prevent drying the skin (which leads to wrinkles) place a pea-sized dab of aloe gel on a cotton pad and use to remove make-up.
This will gently cleanse and moisturize the skin at the same time. It will also improve skin texture over time.
Keep Germs Off Hands
Bottles of hand sanitizer can be found in almost all public places and have become an accepted way to keep germs off of hands and help prevent the spread of viral infections. While effective in the job, commercial hand sanitizer is very drying to the skin.
A homemade hand sanitizer created from one-half cup fresh aloe vera gel, one-fourth cup rubbing alcohol and 15 drops of your favorite essential oil will kill germs without drying skin.
The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties in aloe will promote healing and prevent infections from any minor cuts or abrasions on your hands, and the fragrance from the essential oil can improve your mood.
Treat Skin Irritations
Minor skin irritation and rashes can be treated with the gel from one of the plant leaves. The burning, itching, and redness caused by contact dermatitis can be soothed with an application of aloe gel.
Some people find relief from the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis as one of the many benefits of aloe vera indoor plant. The gel from a plant leaf hydrates soothes and moisturizes the skin which will calm the skin and reduce the itching.
Eczema can also cause the skin to crack and bleed, making the development of a skin infection much more likely. The antimicrobial and antibacterial effects of aloe vera may prevent infection while it’s helping to heal the skin irritation.
To treat minor skin irritations or to stop the itch of chronic skin conditions, gently wash the area with unscented soap and warm water, then pat skin dry. Apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel immediately before skin dries out. Re-apply as needed.
Use as Shaving Gel
The gel from an aloe vera leaf makes an ideal shaving gel for people with sensitive skin or those prone to develop painful bumps after shaving.
The gel makes skin slick so the razor can glide effortlessly over the skin, the instant cooling and soothing effect prevent skin from becoming inflamed.
If the skin is nicked by the razor blade the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties will promote healing and prevent infection.
Improves Oral Health
Aloe vera gel will improve oral health by stopping bad breath and helping to prevent tooth decay.
Mixing a quarter cup of aloe gel in water and swishing it around in your mouth for 60 seconds will kill harmful bacteria that cause mouth odor and tooth decay. A dab of gel can be placed on toothbrush along with regular toothpaste to improve oral health also.
Doing this each morning will also help prevent gum disease which is caused by bacteria.
Speeds Healing for Canker Sores
Mouth ulcers, fever blisters, canker sores or whatever other names they go by, are painful sores that occur inside the mouth or outside on the lip. These open sores make eating, drinking and talking painful and they can last for up to two weeks.
Speed up the healing process of painful mouth sores by applying fresh aloe vera gel to the sores several times during the day. The gel keeps the sore soothed and moisturized while the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties work to promote healing.
Use As Food
The plant gel can be cut into small chunks and added to salads. Soak a plant leaf overnight in water and drink the water the following morning for a healthy, fat-free breakfast juice. Squeeze the gel from the leaf into the water for an extra boost of flavor and health benefits.
The mild flavor of the gel also lends itself well to cooked recipes. Gently poach cubed gel in your favorite spices for a tasty, healthy side dish.
Note: Aloe Vera plant is not safe for dogs and cats!
Aloe gel soothes internal issues just like is soothes skin issues. Digestive symptoms caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ulcers and H. Pylori bacteria can be significantly reduced by consuming the gel from the plant.
Another benefit of aloe vera is that provides overnight relief from constipation.
Heals Anal Fissures
Small, painful tears can occur around the anal opening when a person is dealing with constipation issues, and nothing works better than soothing, cooling fresh aloe gel to heal them.
Apply a dab of fresh gel to fissures three times a day to promote healing, relieve pain and stop bleeding.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Studies have shown that extract from this common houseplant improves insulin sensitivity and lowers blood sugar level.
It can be used as a safe and natural way to manage blood sugar levels and reduce the dependency on pills and injections.
Antioxidants fight free radicals that are in our bodies and help us stay healthy. Many foods contain powerful antioxidants, aloe vera is one of them.
While not considered as a food source first and foremost, the plant is a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants belong to a large family of health benefiting substances known as polyphenols. Aloe vera contains polyphenols that can help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and reduce the risk of certain types of infections in the body.
Is Aloe Vera Safe to Use?
As with any product, there is always a potential for an allergic reaction or interaction with other medications. Pay attention to how your body responds to after using the product. If you experience any adverse effects, discontinue usage immediately.
Talking to your doctor is always advisable before using any substance to treat a condition, including fresh gel from an aloe vera houseplant.
If you are allergic to onions, garlic or tulips, avoid using aloe vera in any form.
How to Care for an Aloe Vera Indoor Plant
A potted aloe plant can be found at any garden center, floral shop or your local supermarket. Make sure the container has a bottom drainage hole that will allow excess water to drain out. If not, re-pot the plant immediately after bringing it home.
Place the Aloe Vera plant in a sunny location inside your home where the plant will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
Water only when the top of the soil is dry. Aloe is a succulent and stores moisture in its thick leaves, therefore it needs very little water. The plant will only need watering once every 7-10 days.
Aloe vera plants do not need to be fed, but a yearly feeding in spring won’t hurt the plant.
Use a water-soluble, phosphorus-heavy fertilizer mixed at half strength to feed.
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