Aloe vera, Aloe spp.
MEDICINAL: The gel of the inner part of an aloe leaf is used to treat burns, skin rashes, and insect bites, as well as chafed nipples from breastfeeding, when applied to the affected area externally. Internally it can be used to keep the bowels functioning smoothly, or when there is an impaction, although it can cause intestinal cramping when taken internally, and there are other herbs that do this job better. It aids in healing wounds by drawing out infection, and preventing infection from starting. The fresh gel is best to use, rather than "stabilized" gels found in the stores. The fresh gel was used by Cleopatra to keep her skin soft and young.
RELIGIOUS: Growing an aloe vera plant in the kitchen will help prevent burns and mishaps while cooking. It will also prevent household accidents, and guard against evil. It is reported that aloe was used to embalm the body of Christ.
GROWING: Best grown indoors in pots. Those living in the deep South, as in southern Texas or southern Florida, can grow aloe outdoors. Remember that Aloe is a succulent, not a cactus, so it needs water to keep the leaves fleshy and juicy.
See the article about Aloe Vera in the Articles section of this site.