Friday, 3 December 2010

Aloe Vera


Aloe vera plants are very handy little critters to have
around the home, especially if you're trying to cut down on
the amount of chemicals and toxins you are exposed to and
live more naturally.

In Great Britain, aloe vera plants are going to be found
inside your home rather than out in your garden (unless you
have a hothouse) as they are desert plants and, as you have
probably noticed, England isn't one. Aloe vera plants like a
nice, sunny position and well-drained soil, but they hate
frost.  They don't need an awful lot of feeding and
shouldn't be over-watered.  They can be treated like any
other indoor cactus or succulent... which is what they are.
Aloe vera plants also have the agreeable habit of spawning
lots of little aloe vera plants, and if you have plenty of
pots, some good potting mix and a vigorous mother plant, you
could probably come up with a few little aloe vera plants for
sale.

Unless you want to keep the little baby aloe vera plants.
Keeping them is a good idea, because once you have
discovered the uses of aloe vera, you will be using it all
the time. How do you use aloe vera? In general, what you use
is the gel.  Getting the gel is easy. Simply snap off one of
the big outside leaves or part of the leaves (OK, if you
want to be scientific and technical, what you'll be snapping
off is the stems; the actual leaves are the little spiky bits
along the edges).  Inside the leaf (we'll call it that for
convenience), you'll find a clear, clumpy pulp. Squish this
pulp up with a fingernail or a teaspoon and it will turn to
a clear gel.  This is what you will use.

What do you use aloe vera for? Occasionally, you will find
bottles and drinks at your local health food shop that
contain aloe vera and recommend it as a digestive aid and
detoxifying agent. You can use it like this, but it tastes
horribly bitter and it has a laxative effect (in fact, aloe
vera was a popular laxative or purge used in the Middle
Ages). You have been warned.

Aloe vera gel is best used externally, as it is excellent
for the skin. For everyday use, it can be used as a light
moisturiser, and it can also make a great hair gel. You
won't be able to spike a punk hairdo with aloe vera gel, but
you will be able to set curls, control a few flyaway hairs
and give a short hairdo a bit of lift. Aloe vera gel can
also be used as a sunscreen. It isn't SPF 30 or anything
like that, but it does give a little bit of protection
against excess sun exposure. Aloe vera can also be used on
the skin to help heal burns of various kinds, including
sunburn. After you have done the usual first aid treatment
for a burn (running it under cold water for 10 minutes),
then apply a thin coating of aloe vera gel.    Aloe vera is
also considered to be a good remedy for rashes, dry skin,
bruises, fungal infections and other general skin ailments.
While it may not be an absolute cure-all, it certainly won't
hurt and it will do some good for most conditions. Some
writers suggest that it should not be used on open cuts and
wounds, as it may slow the healing process - but it is fine
to use on scrapes and chapped skin.

About the Author:

Nick Vassilev founded Anyclean, his London based domestic
cleaning company, back in 1998. Nick is an expert on
cleaning and loves to help people with his cleaning tips,
articles and  knowledge.
If you would like to know more about his cleaning company,
please visit:
http://www.anyclean.co.uk .