From ancient China, Greece and Rome to modern-day India, aloe vera has been used through the centuries as an extremely effective healing plant. The beauty of this plant is that you can just break off a piece and rub the gel right onto your skin – ideal for a hard-working gardener’s hands! In folklore tradition, it protects the home against accidents and wards off evil influences.
The leaf is made up of several layers: the outer rind, a thin inner layer of yellow sap and a large inner section of gel and mucilage. This inner thick, soothing and cooling section of the leaf heals burns, stings, rashes, wounds and sunburn. It is an excellent moisturiser, especially for sensitive skin, and reduces scarring. It also effectively treats fungal infections. Taken internally, the bitter gel stimulates bile, aiding digestion and stimulating the appetite and the liver. The yellow sap from the leaves can be taken internally to treat constipation.