Natural skincare is important to many women, and the aloe vera (Aloe Barbadensis) plant is one of Mother Nature’s great healers. The plant, known as the first-aid plant and famous for its healing properties, is indigenous to North Africa and belongs to the onion and garlic family. There are over 300 species of aloe found around the world. The market is exploding with aloe vera-based products for use both medicinally and cosmetically.
Aloe Vera contains nutrients such as vitamin B12, amino acids, manganese, calcium, iron, zinc, and various enzymes. Aloe Vera juice, taken internally, is said to have the power of binding, inducing sleep, and cleansing the stomach.
The use of aloe vera as a natural skincare remedy has been well documented as far back as ancient Egypt. It is believed that Christopher Columbus took plenty of aloe vera with him on his epic journey across the Atlantic to America; it was especially useful for the sun-ravaged skin of the ship’s crew! The aloes that are now widely grown in the USA probably originally came from the Canary Islands.
Aloe vera has been found to have many medicinal properties*, but skincare and healing rank highest. So, why is aloe vera so beneficial in natural skincare products? The clear sap that runs from a cut leaf can be used as a natural skincare gel, to topically treat a wide variety of skin conditions. One of its most beneficial properties is the incredible moisturizing effect; it is great for use on dry, cracked skin and has been shown to provide relief from insect bites, heat rash, eczema, psoriasis and many other minor skin complaints. It has been used for everything from moisturizers, cleansers, sunburns, acne, and dry skin.
Research is ongoing all over the world, to try to understand more about this amazing natural skincare plant. The research already completed, has lead to a huge variety of natural skincare products on the market. When choosing a natural skincare product with aloe vera, make sure to read the label and check that the product you are considering really is natural skincare and not a chemically manufactured copy. There is no evidence that shows aloe vera is unsafe to use topically, so you can use this natural skincare with confidence.
The aloe is a great plant to have in your home. It can easily be grown in pots in temperate climates, always available should you need to cut off a piece of leaf and apply the gel directly to your skin. Alternatively, you may purchase some high quality aloe gel and keep it handy for emergencies.
*A word of caution: although aloe is also taken internally for many conditions, it can cause uterine contractions and cramps, and should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women. If in doubt, consult your medical practitioner.