Aloe Plant Uses and Benefits

Update: This post originally ran on June 21 2012, but we wanted to share it again as summer winds down, and also because aloe is something you can use in your beauty routine all year round!

Aloe plants have a number of uses and benefits, and aloe is definitely something I like having around the house, especially in the summer time months.

It is incredibly soothing to the skin after a day in the sun, even if you aren’t sunburnt, and can also be used on scrapes and minor burns. Somehow I always misplace bottles of aloe though, and often find myself running to the store when I’m at the beach to stock up. It wasn’t until recently that it came up in conversation and someone told me about the aloe plant they have at home, and a lightbulb went off – I ran out to Home Depot and picked up my very own little aloe plant!

aloe plant

aloe plant

I’m terrible at keeping plants alive – I definitely do not have a green thumb, but aloe plants are really easy to maintain. They can be kept indoors and don’t require a ton of sunlight or even water. Plus they tend to live for years, and get pretty large.

The benefits of having an aloe plant at home? Any time I need aloe all I have to do is cut off a branch and get fresh aloe right from the source. You don’t have to worry about hurting the plant either when you cut off a leaf – they are amazing at sealing themselves back up and will continue to grow. Aloe gel is the clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the aloe plant leaf. The plants also produce a material called aloe latex which is just under the plant’s skin and yellow in color.

aloe plant

aloe plant

In addition to its use for sunburn/minor burn relief, aloe gel can also be used on acne, psoriasis, frostbite and cold sores to heal irritated skin. As for its beauty uses – the opportunities are endless! The gel straight from the plant can be rubbed on the scalp to promote healthy hair growth, and putting a little on your hands and running through the hair helps to moisturize dry hair. I’m looking forward to experimenting with making my own shower gel and lotion. If you have any tips, let me know!

aloe plant

aloe plant

Photos by Julia.

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  1. Wow, what a great idea! My grandma has kept aloe plants my whole life, some of them are really old…now I know her secret :) I’ll definitely have to get one of my own!

  2. Yeah, aloe is pretty amazing. Thanks for reminding me about it. My mom used put it on me all the time – sunburns, scraps, rashes. You name it. It was her cure all for any skin related problem. I’m going to go buy one too now. I had kind of forgotten about aloe. They’re pretty nice looking plants to have around even if you’re not using them all the time.

  3. I have to agree, Aloe is an amazing plants with many universal properties! It does work super great for acne (but everyone’s skin is different) and does a very nice job at fading light scarring.

  4. Aloe is wonderful. I keep a plant in my kitchen, and a plant in my studio.
    Don’t take aloe internally for an upset stomach, though, unless you’re buying the juice from the store. As you mentioned, aloe latex is right under the plant’s skin and is released when the leaf is cut. Aloe latex is a very effective laxative, and will most likely make you very uncomfortable. Luckily, commercially sold aloe juice is processed in such a way that the latex does not contaminate the juice, so it’s great for upset stomachs.
    When using herbal remedies it’s important to stay informed about unintended side-effects.

  5. I would like to know the site effects of this great plant.Also you may tell me if there any suppliers for it
    in RHODES or ATHENS GREECE or anywhereelse in Greece.

    Thank you,

  6. I have been growing & propigating many aloe plants,here in S.E Fla. I think this plamt is a great medicine! Mature plants, 3 yrs + are packed with natural skin & hair remedies. Anyone interested 5613506452 chef Georgio

  7. I’m from the caribbean ,so there is plenty of these plants around.In the morning i am eating it with orange juice by using the blender…it makes my skin and hair look very healthy..Try it

  8. I have been keeping an Aloe plant in my kitchen my whole life…my current one stands 4.5 feet tall and has given me 7 baby Aloe plants so far…now here’s an Aloe story happened just yesterday………………………. My neighbour had a small cooking fire yesterday, and when I opened my apt door to see what was up she showed myself and my other neighbour her hand which she had burnt (I believed it was a 3rd degree burn) and immediately told her she needed medical attention…My instinct took over and I went n cut a big piece of my Aloe Vera plant and started smearing her entire hand with the gel…lol it was kinda funny afterwards because this poor lady speaks very little English and didn’t have a clue what the Aloe plant was…however I really didn’t give her much of a chance to say no…I just kept smearing her poor hand with Aloe gel straight from the plant…it was a very bad burn…later after she sought medical attention she came n knocked on my door with her hubby…(he speaks better English) anyway they both where really grateful I had the Aloe and BOTH said the Dr said that the application of the Aloe immediately after the burn was the very best thing anyone could have done for her….it made me very happy to hear traditional medicines are still important today….She (the neighbour) said her burn hardly hurt at all now, and the Dr’s said it was directly because I had applied generous Aloe on the burn….So here’s a lesson for anybody to learn…always keep an Aloe Vera plant somewhere in your kitchen…they can be real help in medical emergencies…and even help with small cuts, scrapes and insect bites…and just general boo boo’s…They are very easy to keep, take very little time to care for (they grow like weeds) produce babies after about a year…and are dirt cheap…GO BUY AN ALOE PLANT TODAY…you may help someone yourself :)

  9. Yesterday, while playing golf, stepped on a fire ant hill. My foot immediately was on fire….30 bites! Tried all kinds of remedies, hometype and medications. Nothing would take itching and pain away. Then went out on my patio and cut a segment of an aloe plant. Squeezed the gel all over my foot. Not instant relief, but in 20 minutes, all pain and itching subsided. I reapply as needed.

  10. Greetings! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Thank you so much!

  11. I’ve also heard it can at least seal small wounds. I wonder if that’s true. Even so, is it really alright to rub it on flesh wounds?

  12. Yesterday I cut several large aloe leaves off the plant. I had a skin condition on my hand I rubbed the gel on it and the condition is now gone.
    My question to you. What can I do with the leaves I cut off? Do they need to be put in water, or will they die if just left lying out in the open?

  13. I too have a brown thumb but have been able to grow aloe. I have always known it was good for burns but recently had multiple mosquito bites and thought to dry aloe on them. The itching was relieved quickly.

  14. To use the clear gel in the center…what is the easiest way to cut the stalk open to get the most use out of it ( length or width wise) and what do you do if you don’t use it all at once? Can you store the leftover gel in frig for a short time or must you use the whole piece that you cut at the time of cutting the plant? And from most of the post…Is it an understanding that the plant can live just fine indoors in little ligthing and outside in morning & afternoon full sun?

  15. Use for nightly instead of soap for preventing wrinkles on face and also puncture a Vit E capsule (d-alpha tocopherol) to use around eyes.

  16. Hey, aloe vera is good for skin it can act as anti-inflammation that’s why aloe gel can remove acne scars although not really removed.

    Aloe gel also can relieve itch sensation, especially caused by acne.

    have you tried aloe vera beverage? it can treat sore throat and the flavor is unique if it’s combined with syrup or sugar and ice :D

  17. In spite of the fact that Aloe is around 99% water, the rest of the 1% is to a great degree capable and it is thought this is on the grounds that the near 100 fixings work to a great degree well together (synergistically). Aloe vera contains numerous minerals key to the development procedure and solid capacity of all the body’s frameworks. The fixings in Aloe can be assembled into the accompanying classifications: Vitamins, Minerals, Sugars, Enzymes, Lignins, Amino Acids, Anthraquinones, Saponins, Fatty Acids, Salicylic Acid.

  18. I had no idea that aloe vera could actually help with acne. I struggle with acne a lot, and I am always looking for natural remedies to help me out. If aloe can really help, I will definitely have to give it a try and see if it helps reduce some of my acne. Thanks for sharing!

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