How to Grow (and use) Aloe Vera in Your Home

If you’re moving towards using more natural products in your home, why not grow your own?

One of the most useful natural products you can grow in your own home is aloe vera. A lush succulent with long, thick branches, aloe vera is known for its many useful properties. 

It also happens to be one of the simplest houseplants to grow. Aloe vera can be found in most garden centres and requires only basic care to thrive indoors. To get started, plant your aloe vera in a pot equipped with a drainage hole and place it in an area that receives partial or indirect sunlight for at least six hours per day. 

Aloe vera plants are accustomed to arid climates, so they require only infrequent watering. However, when the top third of the soil is dry—about every two to three weekswater your plant thoroughly. 

Once your aloe vera plant is mature and thriving, you can harvest branches and use the gel inside for various beauty and medicinal needs. To harvest, simply cut off a branch from the outside of the plant, slicing close to the stem. Next, use a knife (or your fingers) to separate the outer skin and then save the inner gel.

Treat a sunburn

Sunburn treatment is undoubtedly the most common use for aloe vera. The next time you get too much sun, apply the gel from your aloe vera directly to the burn to cool and soothe it. Don’t be afraid to be generous with it!

Clear up acne

Aloe vera gel has been shown to clear up mild to moderate acne by reducing inflammation and hydrating the skin. Application is straightforward—simply smooth the gel directly onto your skin after cleansing.

Clean your teeth

Believe it or not, aloe vera can also make for an effective mouthwash! First, mix the gel with water, then use the solution to rinse your mouth. Because the plant is antibacterial and antiseptic, it has a similar effect to mouthwash. As an added bonus, the anti-inflammatory properties can also soothe inflamed gums.

Wash and condition your hair

If you’re looking to cleanse your hair naturally without stripping its natural oils, aloe vera is your new best friend. Because of its moisturizing properties, it also doubles as a conditioner, making it a stellar 2-in-1 hair care system.

Soothe bug bites

If itchy bites are driving you up the wall, aloe vera will come in handy. Apply liberally to affected areas and enjoy instant relief from your symptoms.

Gel your hair

A dime-sized amount of aloe vera gel can be more than enough to define curls and add volume to any hair texture. Similarly, it can be used as a brow gel to add colour and definition.

Keep produce fresh

Using aloe on fruits and vegetables can help keep them fresh for longer by blocking the growth of bacteria on the surface. Coat the outside of your produce in aloe vera gel to preserve them for longer on the counter or in the fridge.

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