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Aloe Vera

The botanical that needs so little but gives so much.

aloe, aloe vera, aloe cayman, aloe vera cayman, health cayman, wellness cayman, lifestyle cayman, natural remedies cayman, organic remedies, cayman, cayman islands, wellness cayman islands, reallife, reallife caribbean, reallife cayman, reallife magazine, real life, real life caribbean, real life cayman, real life magzine, magazine, lifestyle, flavour, flavor, property, real estate, design, home, garden, home garden magazine, home garden cayman, lifestyle cayman, health cayman, aloe caymanA spiky succulent, aloe vera is one of those wonder-plants that has so many healing properties it has spawned a whole industry of aloe-based health and beauty products.

As well as compounds like vitamins C and E that brighten and plump the skin, the potent, clear gel inside the leaves has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial components, all of which help heal wounds and soothe irritated and sunburned skin.

The power of aloe is not a recent discovery: Ancient Egyptians used the preservative gel as an embalming fluid, whilst their ruler, Cleopatra, applied it to her famously-beautiful face to keep her skin soft and supple.

To this day, aloe vera remains a popular ingredient in burn relief products but is also, increasingly, added to soaps, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, aftershaves and even juice drinks.

GROW YOUR OWN

Manufactured products may be labelled ‘aloe vera’ yet contain only 0.5% of actual aloe vera gel. Rather than splash out on dubious processed products, why not grow your own at home?

Also known as the lily of the desert, aloe vera thrives in dry, tropical climates, making it an ideal indoor plant for this part  of the world. It’s a plant every household could benefit from having at hand and, as it requires little care other than occasional watering, even the least green-fingered person  can keep one of these alive.

EXTRACTING THE GEL

Select a plump outer leaf and cut it off at the base. Stand upright for 20 minutes to drain out the dark yellow latex. Cut off the serrated, spiky edges, then slice off the outer skin, until you have a strip of clear gel. Whizz this up in the blender until it liquefies and store in the fridge.

USES FOR THE GEL

Apply gel directly to:

• Soothe sunburn/minor burns
• Disinfect and soothe abrasions
• Calm rashes
• Relieve psoriasis
• Cure cold sores
• Moisturise the skin
• Remove make up
• As a mouthwash to prevent plaque build up

MAKE YOUR OWN ALOE VERA PRODUCTS

If you have some extra gel, try making all-natural, chemical-free skin products at home. This soothing shaving cream is great for both ladies and gentlemen.

• 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
• 1/4 cup Castile soap or hand soap
• 1 tbsp almond oil

Mix all the ingredients in a jar or soap dispenser and refrigerate for up to 6 months.


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