Aloe vera is one of the most versatile and wholly useful medicinal plants known to man. The helpful properties of aloe vera are numerous, both when used topically and within our bodies.
It is easy to find various forms of aloe in natural medicine stores, pharmacies, and even in supermarkets, but more and more these are hydrating and repair creams that only include aloe as one of their ingredients.
In this article, however, we are going to look at ways to directly use the gel from this plant, so that we can fully avail ourselves of the helpful properties of aloe vera.
Extracting Aloe Vera Gel
For extracting the gel from the leaves of aloe vera, it is recommended that the plant be from 3-5 years old. Wait until the plant has not been watered for two or three days, so that the gel is more concentrated. Start by cutting the largest and outermost leaves, always close to the base of the plant, and with the cleanest cut possible. Then cut a slice of approximately 5 centimeters, or 2 inches, then cut that in half, and apply directly to the area we want to treat with the gel.
The leftover piece can be saved in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap so it can be used later. It’s important to remember, however, that the properties of the gel diminish over time, and that at the most it can be conserved for 20 days.
Properties of Aloe Vera Gel
- Antiseptic: forms a protective barrier over wounds to prevent germs from entering.
- Aid to skin regeneration.
Thanks to these properties, we can use aloe vera gel for a wide variety of external purposes.
Uses for Aloe Vera Gel
- Cuts, wounds, and other minor skin injuries: besides helping these to heal, aloe reduces scarring. To make a scar disappear, apply aloe vera gel twice a day for a number of days, since this is a slow yet effective treatment.
- Burns: Not only does aloe work as a pain reducer, it also prevents infection and the appearance of scarring.
- Insect bites: If we apply aloe vera directly to the area around the bite, we reduce pain and will have faster healing.
- Psoriasis: Apply the gel directly onto each outbreak, twice a day for 30 days, and you will see the flakes of skin diminish as well as the irritation.
- Acne: Continued use of aloe vera gel will help acne disappear and prevent pimples from leaving permanent scars.
- Treatment of topical infections: useful for treating hordeola (styes), herpes, athlete’s foot, etc.
Another use for aloe vera gel is for after hair removal, especially on the face. It can be directly applied to the skin to treat and prevent skin imperfections, such as dark spots.