18 ways to use an aloe vera plant after summer
aloe's not just for summer sunburns!
Published Sep 26, 2016 5:00 AM
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Harvesting Fresh Aloe
First things first – you must know how to correctly harvest fresh aloe from your plant. Always remove larger, mature leaves from the base of the plant, and never remove too many at once – this can harm or kill your aloe vera. And, did you know that you can also buy fresh aloe leaves from specialty grocery and health food markets? This can be a great solution if your plant isn’t quite large enough to harvest just yet.
Make Your Own Gel
With enough fresh leaves, you can easily make your own aloe vera gel at home – the key component in practically every DIY aloe remedy. Place the leaves on a cutting board and (with a very sharp knife) remove the skin. Discard the skin, and place all of the gooey, clear pulp into a blender and mix until the liquid is well combined and frothy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight, and then your homemade aloe gel will be ready to use. Gel stays fresh for up to a week.
Make Your Own Soap
Everyone knows aloe for its skin-soothing properties in cooling sunburns, but it’s also recognized for treating dry skin, eczema, and even acne. So, what better ingredient for homemade herbal soap? Six simple ingredients come together to create your own natural soap that’s super moisturizing. (Note: Some people are allergic to aloe, so always test on a small area of skin first, and never on children under 6.)
Make A Soothing Face Wash
Unlike bar soap, this recipe is designed specifically for cleansing the face with ingredients like white clay and lavender oil that both exfoliate and soothe the skin.
Make Your Own Aloe Juice
Aloe is the latest superfood to appear on the scene with a long list of benefits that many swear by. Rather than sourcing yours from the health food store, make your own by squeezing it straight from the plant. Regular drinkers warn that the flavor can be quite strong, so they suggest blending it into your favorite beverage or smoothie.
Try Aloe Water
This ‘recipe’ is as simple as mixing fresh aloe into water for a refreshing and hydrating drink. Two tablespoons of fresh aloe gel to one cup of water creates a single serving that’s low on calories and high on healthy goodness. For added flavor, a squeeze of lime juice adds just the right amount of zest.
Lower Your Blood Sugar
Believe it or not, studies have shown that ingesting two tablespoons of aloe vera juice per day can reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Proof that aloe is way more than your average desk plant.
Stimulate Hair Growth
A simple combination of equal parts water and aloe gel creates a natural conditioner that stimulates the growth of hair, moisturizes, and smooths strands. Experts also believe that aloe can help to maintain the pH balance of the hair and calm an itchy scalp. For added moisture, add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
Adding aloe to alcohol kills germs while also soothing skin. To create your own hand sanitizer, mix ½ cup of aloe vera gel, ¼ cup of alcohol, and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.
Create A Soothing Face Mask
Matcha and aloe vera join forces to create a natural face mask for hydrating dry skin. Feel free to use this recipe as a base, and mix in additional ingredients based on your skin’s needs – like coffee grounds for exfoliation.
Use Aloe To Remove Makeup
A small amount of aloe vera gel on a cotton ball will remove eye makeup without the sometimes harsh side effects of traditional store-bought removers. Who knew?
Create A Soothing Face Cream
As the weather turns colder, we reach for thicker, more hydrating creams for soothing dry skin. This recipe combines aloe gel with coconut oil to create an all-natural cream that mimics the effects of your favorite top-dollar moisturizer.
Use Aloe As Shaving Cream
Yes, you can make your own shaving cream at home. The addition of aloe vera gel with its natural antibacterial properties is ideal for the occasional nick. This cream is also seriously hydrating, too.
Make These Vegan Aloe Brownies
Can you believe this recipe only calls for 4 ingredients, and it’s no-bake? All of the ingredients can be found at your local health food store, and the recipe is as simple as mixing everything up in the blender and forming into squares. Did we mention they’re also vegan?
Yes, this wonder plant can even treat heartburn, too. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera juice can soothe heartburn and GERD. Keep reading for a tasty way to disguise the taste of natural aloe with a delicious smoothie!
De-Bloat With A Smoothie
Full of delicious fruit flavors, this smoothie is packed with ingredients designed to de-bloat during a season of overeating. Balance the holidays with the flavors of aloe, pineapple, mint, ginger, and turmeric – all great for aiding digestion and soothing gastrointestinal discomfort after a supersized holiday meal.
Purify Your Air
Studies have shown that aloe can purify the air of benzene and formaldehyde – two potentially hazardous airborne toxins. It’s no wonder that the health benefits of this wonder plant date back to the Egyptians who revered aloe for its many medicinal properties.
Aloe Is Pretty Year-Round, Too
If nothing else, also is always a pretty addition to your interior space. Because they’re basically succulents, aloe plants are super easy to care for, require little water, and are very forgiving in the hands of not-so-green thumbs.