Aloe Vera

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Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) has been cultivated and used for its healing properties for around 5000 years. The first written record of its use was 1500 B.C. in an ancient medical text known as the Papyrus Ebers. The Aloe is a member of the lily family and there are over 200 species of Aloe all having some degree of healing properties.

The Aloe plants have the ability to close off their cells to retain fluid. This happens almost immediately after the leaf has been cut. This is what makes the gel so useful to seal off burns and cuts in humans and animals.

Aloe can be grown in pots outside or in sunny garden beds free from frosts. They need a very open potting mix and can take plenty of water during the warm weather. During winter, very little water is required unless you decide to grow it on a sunny windowsill. This ensures it is close at hand to treat cuts and burns. The fresh leaves can be split and the leaf gel rubbed on to treat minor burns, sunburn, wrinkles, insect bites, minor cuts, scratches and skin irritations. The juice may be used internally for a variety of uses. A portion of the leaf sealed in plastic will keep in the refrigerator for a week or so and sections may be cut off as required.