The Power of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is an evergreen succulent plant that originates from the Arabian Peninsula. You might have seen a bottle of aloe next to the sunscreen section. Maybe you’ve had an aloe vera beverage or see it on your cosmetic labels, but did you know the aloe vera plant has many uses and is relatively sustainable?
Aloe vera plants are resilient and require very little attention. Just like many succulents, you do not need to water them frequently which makes them a fantastic alternative to seasonal flowers. You can find aloe plants of various sizes. In fact, they can be as small as a cellphone to as large as a laundry basket. The smaller plants make them convenient desk decorations at work or dorm room plants. However, they require a lot of sun so be sure to leave them on a windowsill so they can absorb as much sunshine and warmth as they can.
Aloe vera gel is soothing, moisturizing, and cooling which makes it a great remedy for acne, sunburns, and other mild burns. Aloe can also be found in toothpastes and mouthwashes as a natural alternative to traditional oral hygiene products.
Aloe vera is edible and has many health benefits. Consuming aloe vera may help soothe and cure stomach ailments like irritable bowel syndrome. It also inhibits the growth of H. pylori bacteria which is found in the digestive tract and can lead to ulcers. Aloe vera is a healthier alternative to jellies in drinks due to the lower sugar content.
If you have an aloe plant, you can cut off a piece of it. (Don’t worry! Another leaf will grow back soon!) Before applying the gel to your skin, be sure to let the aloe piece sit for a few minutes because the plant will naturally produce a yellow pigment. Although harmless, the yellow aloe juice may discolor your skin. If you do not own an aloe vera plant, there are many creams and gels on the shelves of your local store.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022
Photo Credits: Medical News Today