It’s officially summer, and if you are anything like us, you celebrated this by running outside as soon as you could to drink in the gorgeous rays of the sun. And, if you were like us, you let your normal caution slip under the sheer excitement of feeling the heat on your skin, and as a result, you went from looking like one of those translucent-white deep-sea fish to looking like a cooked lobster. Ouch.
Sun. Burn. It happens every summer, it seems, despite our best attempts to slather on the SPF every morning, like we always intend to. But luckily, this year, we have a secret weapon at the ready to combat our inadvertent Oompa Loompa costume – Aloe vera.
Yes, we know, that’s not a new remedy at all. You can buy it in big tubes at the store for exactly this purpose, what’s the big idea? Well, this year, after worrying about how much aloe vera was actually in those mystery tubes (some of them seem to be a whole lotta chemicals and not a whole lotta aloe), we tried something new – we bought an aloe vera plant.
For about the same price as a tub of the gooey clear stuff, we got a nifty and attractive plant, which is almost impossible to kill (which is a necessity for any plant in our care, alas). And, best of all, when we need to soothe a burn or a scratch, we can just cut off a leaf, cut it open, and put it right on the injury. We know that it’s 100% pure and fresh, and the results speak for themselves – this plant is not messing around (and hasn’t been for a while – Aloe is mentioned as a healing plant on Sumerian tablets from 2200BC, and appears in the bible). Aloe is credited with helping skin heal, both from burns and small injuries, blisters, open wounds, and with conditions such as psoriasis and excema. Plus, when taken internally (you can buy aloe juice in many forms, or simply taking a leaf of your aloe, allowing the yellow sap to drain out (you’ll definitely want to do this – it is stinky), then cutting the leaf open and scraping out all the clear gel, which you can add in a blender to water or juice), it can have incredible benefits to the digestive tract, and help with indigestion and more serious diseases like Crohn’s disease.
So do yourself a favor – next time you pass the crazy green spikes of an aloe plant, buy one. You, your skin, and your stomach will thank you.