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10 Uses for Aloe Vera

There are two things I love about our aloe vera plant:  One - I haven't killed it yet., which I often do with houseplants.  And two-  Fresh aloe at my fingertips.  It's free, it's non-toxic, and it's useful.  What's not to love?  

Here are some of my favorite common uses for aloe:  

1)  Treat minor burns.

2)  Help moisturize dry, chapped lips and skin.  When I had a cold last week, I used aloe on my end-of-the-cold under-nostril rash AND on my painfully dry lips.  

3)  Soothe sunburns.

4)  Use instead of hair conditioner.  Mix extra virgin olive oil with equal parts aloe vera gel.    

5)  Boil leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapor when you have a cold.  I hear it also works well for asthma.  

6)  Aloe works as a laxative when ingested.  The Mayo Clinic recommends the following for using aloe vera as a laxative for adults:  "The dose often recommended for constipation is the minimum amount to maintain a soft stool, typically 0.04-0.17 gram of dried juice (corresponds to 10-30 milligrams hydroxyanthraquinones) by mouth. As an alternative, in combination with celandine (300 milligrams) and psyllium (50 milligrams), 150 milligrams of the dried juice per day of aloe has been found effective as a laxative in research."   [source]

7)  Aloe is awesome for skin care and can help clear up acne!  Here are a variety of recipes for aloe-based skin care treatments.

8)  Control your frizzy hair.  Rub a dollop of fresh aloe into your hair.

9)  Make your own shampoo for super dry hair.  All you need is aloe vera gel, castile soap, avocado oil, and vegetable glycerin.  

10)  Girl's night in?  Make a facial mask!  Puree 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with half of a cucumber!  

NOTE:  Keep aloe plants out of the reach of pets.   Ingesting aloe vera can cause ill side effects in pets.