Throughout the centuries, there have been a thousand and one Aloe Vera uses. Colloquially known as the 'miracle plant', or the 'Wand of Heaven' by Native Americans it has been mentioned in ancient texts as a cure all for anything from constipation to warts, and nowadays it is in a lot more products than you would think. We have all seen it in our shampoos and conditioners, hand creams and make-up removers.
Here are a few more unusual uses we have found for this soothing gel:
1. Headache medicine
In Arabian medicine, cooling Aloe Vera gel is rubbed on the forehead to cure headaches or fevers. It's not as crazy as it sounds, because this healing plant contains salicylic acid, which is also the main component of aspirin and which has pain-killing properties. Mark Stengler, N.D., a naturopath and author of 'The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies.' recommends drinking Aloe Vera juice which also contains acemannan and glucomannan, anti-inflammatories which can also reduce tension in the muscles of the head which can cause migraines. Be careful if you make your own juice, to only use the inside gel of the leaf, as the yellow latex near the skin of the leaf has strong laxative properties.
2. Razor strips
Most commercial razors have Aloe Vera gel in the little strip to help smooth the razor along and soothe your skin after shaving. This cooling gel is also included in many shaving creams, foams and lotions. It helps to lubricate the skin so you get fewer nicks and cuts, and has moisturising properties too.
African hunters used Aloe Vera as a deodorant. Who would have thought such macho men would have cared about how they smelled coming back from catching a mighty beast for supper? But it seems they knew a thing or two because we are still using it for that purpose today.
4. Baby wipes
These days it can actually be harder to find any kind of wipes without Aloe Vera. The soothing, moisturising and anti-bacterial powers of aloe gel have been long recognised by manufacturers of wipes for babies and for the rest of us too. There are lots of stories of AV gel being used as a cure for nappy rash too.
We all know that horrible feeling when we have a cold when that little bit of skin under your nose gets all red and sore. Well, next time, buy a box of tissues which contains Aloe Vera and you might be surprised how soft and comforting they are.
6. Rubber gloves
Many rubber gloves, for kitchen or even laboratory use contain Aloe Vera to soften the hands and make the gloves easier to get on and off. There are loads of different kinds available.
7. Food preservative
Spanish scientists have discovered that a coating of Aloe Vera gel can increase the shelf life of grapes and keep them fresh for longer. This would be a wonderful way of reducing the use of more unpleasant chemicals such as sulphites to preserve our fresh foods.
Make the most of the myriad of lovely products we have found which contain the blissful softness of the 'Wand of Heaven', but maybe also grow a few plants of your own and use it fresh.
If you have a plant in your home, don't be afraid to use it. It's not advisable to take it as a medicine without your doctor's advice, but you can keep a leaf in the fridge and use the gel for sunburn, insect bites or other skin rashes. Test on a small piece of healthy skin first to make sure you are not allergic to it. Don't use on open wounds, or broken skin though. If in doubt, ask a medical professional.
We have lots more information about Aloe Vera Uses and Benefits, as well as recipes you can make at home for beauty and first aid.
The pages below will help you. . .
Have a look at this page to find the best Aloe Vera Studies
Read "What is Aloe Vera?"
Read about Aloe Vera Side Effects