I love Aloe Vera!
What’s not to love? It is a hearty succulent that needs little to no care!
I have a large pot on my front porch that does well in the Texas heat with little water. I can leave my pot outdoors for 10 months out of the year. If we are expecting a deep or prolonged freeze, I try to remember to bring it indoors. Sometimes I remember..sometimes I don’t.
When it is left outside in freezing temperatures, the inner gel will freeze and the leaves will turn a wilted, mushy brown (those are technical botanical terms, by the way) and not recover. No worries! I just cut those off at the base and Mama Aloe Vera will go to work producing baby Aloe Veras as soon as the wether warms.
I also have some planted outside the fence to our front yard. Those difinately get hit by winter freezes but never fail to reproduce come warmer weather!
Aloe has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries. It has moisturizing, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties which make it a great plant to have handy. It is useful to treat minor burns, scrapes, sunburns, cuts, insect bites and stings. We use it on people and pets!
We have been busy this summer with summer football practice and football camps with my youngest son. One thing I have learned about quarterbacks…. they DO NOT LIKE SUNSCREEN while playing football!! With heavy sweating, sunscreen can get on the hands and in the eyes and quarterbacks want to avoid stinging eyes and slippery hands AT ALL COSTS!!!!! So when my QB’s nose and arms get a little pink… Aloe Vera to the rescue.
All I do is cut a stalk of Aloe from the plant at the base.
Take a sharp kitchen paring knife and cut off the spine of small thorns down each side of the stalk.
Carefully slice the stalk down the middle to reveal the moist, cool, goo ( another technical botanical term).
Then I just rub this on the sunburn or scrape or cut or whatever the ailment might be.
Keeping a stalk in the fridge in the summer means the goo will be cool and soothing when it is needed.
Aloe is also a nice beauty treatment. A couple of tablespoons of goo mixed with a tablespoon of sugar is a wonderful body scrub to use in the shower. Just mix, scrub and rinse!
Aloe plants are sold in most nurseries and garden centers. If you don’t have a pot of Aloe Vera on your porch… you need one!!