Amazing Aloe vera

There are few plants as useful as the Aloe vera. This large succulent boasts a myriad of health benefits thanks to the well-known aloe vera gel it produces within its long leaves. Some benefits of aloe vera gel include:

  • The ability to treat burns, from sunburn to second-degree burns.
  • The soothing effects of aloe vera gel can provide relief against insect bites.
  • The antibacterial property of aloe vera gel is great for treating small nicks and cuts.
  • You can also make your own hand sanitiswr by mixing pure aloe vera gel with vitamin E oil and your favourite essential oils.

Not only are Aloe veras incredibly handy to grow in the garden or even in your home, but they are also hardy, low maintenance plants that are easy to grow:

  • These sun-loving plants grow best in the sun so do not place them in a shady area.
  • Use well-draining potting mix or soil to allow for easy draining and prevent the roots from possibly rotting.
  • These water-wise plants require minimum watering but in drier or drought-stricken areas they may benefit from being watered every two to three weeks.

Once your Aloe vera is growing well you can pick leaves as needed and extract the gel to treat minor nicks, cuts, burns or even moisturise your skin. To extract the gel, follow these easy steps:

  • Cut a large Aloe vera leaf close to the stem of the plant.
  • Place the leaf into a bowl cut side down so that the aloe latex (which looks like yellow sap) runs out.
  • Rinse the leaf in clean water to get rid of excess sap and dust.
  • Use a fruit peeler to peel away the skin of the leaf, this will also help to remove any additional aloe latex from the gel.
  • Discard the skin and give the gel a good rinse before placing into a blender.
  • Once blended, store the aloe vera gel in an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within a month. For longer-lasting aloe vera gel, store it in the freezer.

Visit your local GCA Garden Centre for more information on Aloe vera’s and its benefits, find your nearest GCA here: 

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