How To Grow Aloe Vera + Amazing Health Benefits of Them!

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Ever wish you could ditch all those toxic sprays and creams created by man to aid in burns, wounds, and other irritating health conditions? How about replacing them with a living organism that will consistently regrow and produce an endless, money saving supply of nature’s medicine?

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A must have in every home, especially if you have children or you are very accident prone (like me), is the beautiful succulent, Aloe barbadensis miller, or Aloe Vera. It is incredibly easy to grow Aloe Vera. It originates from the Arabian Peninsula and grows wild in tropical and arid climates. It is not too picky outside of temperature and grows great as a house plant!

Aloe vera has been used for millennia in cultures such as Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan and China. From a regular beauty regime used by Egyptian queens such as Cleopatra, to Alexander the Great and Christopher Columbus treating wounded soldiers. Its medical properties have been proven time and time again to be an incredible asset in the natural remedies world.

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a very versatile plant that holds a large number of beneficial compounds for many systems in the body.

Soothing Burns

One of the most well-known uses of aloe vera is for treating burns. The gel from the plant’s leaves contains the compounds aloin and sterols that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and help in collagen production. These two properties can help soothe and heal burned skin.

My daughter, at just three years old, got a little too excited for a second helping of steak one time and decided to smack the side of the grill in her anticipation. She suffered severe second-degree burns on both palms of her hands. Application of aloe vera gel was able to quickly stop the pain. With frequent application, along with lavender essential oil and calendula infused gel, we were able to heal her skin within a week with absolutely NO SCARRING!

aloe vera benefits

Amazing Skin Benefits

Another beneficial use for Aloe vera is for improving skin health. The plant’s gel contains compounds that can help to hydrate the skin, reduce redness and inflammation, and improve the appearance of acne, wrinkles, and other skin conditions. Aloe vera gel can also be used as a moisturizer, as it can help to retain water and keep the skin hydrated.

Aloe vera gel can also be used to treat cuts and scrapes, as it can help to reduce pain and inflammation, and promote healing.

Check out our Sunburn Relief Lotion Recipe or our versatile Aloe Vera Salve Recipe!

Digestive Aid

aloe benefits

In addition to its topical uses, Aloe vera has also been used as a dietary supplement. Studies have shown that consuming Aloe vera gel can help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and improve heart health by reducing cholesterol levels.

Aloe vera also contains many properties that have been shown to aid with digestion. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, drinking Aloe vera juice can help soothe and relax the GI tract by decreasing the inflammation that is caused by a majority of health conditions. It can also help heal the lining of a damaged intestinal tract and aid in helping heal leaky gut.

Aloe vera juice is also extremely helpful in regulating bowel movements and relieving constipation due to its laxative properties. It is able to increase intestinal water content, stimulate mucus secretion and contains enzymes that help break down food. Aloe vera is also a prebiotic that helps build good gut bacteria.

It’s important to note that aloe vera juice should not be consumed in excess, as it can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea. It also should not be consumed if you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding and a healthcare provider should be consulted if you take any medications.

Growing Aloe Vera

Growing Aloe vera is relatively easy, as the plant is very hardy and tolerant of a wide range of conditions.

Preferred Soil and Water

Aloe vera plants prefer well-drained, sandy soil. A loose cacti mix or potting soil with added perlite is the preferred mix for this succulent. They are extremely drought-tolerant and require infrequent watering due to their extremely high water content within the leaves. The soil should be allowed to completely dry out between watering. Growing you Aloe vera indoors, in a terracotta pot, is ideal. A terracotta pot is very porous and allows excess moisture to escape the soil, leaving a perfect growing medium for your Aloe.

Light and Location

grow aloe vera

Full sun is ideal but Aloe vera can also tolerate partial shade and LED bulbs in the house. Many people will tell you that a bathroom location is not ideal due to the moisture and light. However, this is where I personally keep most of my Aloe plants and they really enjoy it. Experiment with the perfect location for your house plant and pay attention to unhappy cues such as discolored leaves.

Feeding

Aloe vera does not require much in the way of fertilization. The added nutrients in the potting mix is enough to get the plant through at least a few years before anything else is needed. You can either add a top layer of fresh potting mix, being careful not to bury the plants base too much, or you can add just a bit of a half strength phosphorus-heavy, water-based fertilizer.

grow aloe

How To Get An Abundance Of Aloe

Most Aloe vera plants you find at your local box stores or nurseries are going to be little, first year plants. They usually have a good root system established but are not yet big enough to harvest anything more than a small clipping for a minor burn or rash. Once in awhile, you may find a very large plant that appears to have smaller plants around the edge. If you happen to come across any of these, GET THEM! The large plant is what they call a ‘mother’, while the smaller plants are considered her ‘pups’.

Not only can you harvest a great deal of leaves from the mother, but the small pups are going to become new plants for your collection and the mother will continue to produce babies as long as you keep her alive and happy! The fresh pups can be easily snapped off without disturbing the mother roots and then placed in a pot of their own to grow. The baby plant might need a bit of support from some stakes until the roots are established.

Aloe vera is an extremely beneficial, easy to care for, and is an endless supply of living medicine. It is an absolute MUST in our household for both our external and internal care.

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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