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      08.03.2014 13:54
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      Miraculous plant that soothes and heals.

      I began to grow aloe vera myself after a rather horrendous sunburn incident. My holistically minded friend scolded me a little then proceeded to cut one of the fleshy juicy green leafs from the aloe vera plant sitting on her kitchen window. She then gently collected the sticky gel seeping from the end of it.. I tried at this point to tell her that I wasn't too sore as I detest anything sticky and uncomfortable on my skin, however she ignored my protests and rubbed it on my lobster red back and neck, I was in heaven, immediate relief! I was also pleasantly surprised to find that when applied and rubbed in the sticky texture disappeared and I was left feeling only cooled and relieved.

      She sent me home with a number of aloe leaves recommending that I keep them covered and in the fridge and a little aloe plant to grow myself. As I applied the cooling gel from the refrigerated aloe I fell more in love with the plant and recommended my partner try it too. My other half is a chef and his arms are constantly covered in various kinds of burns... steam burns from the oven, oil splatter burns, direct burns from touching sides of pans/hot surfaces etc, he too got great relief from the miraculous gel and now has a plant growing in his place of work. He also came up with the idea of cutting the leaves into 4 bits (depending on the length of the leave) and keeping them in a container in the freezer, this way when anyone in the kitchen burns themselves they have a cooling frozen gel immediately at hand to help ease the pain. The fresh aloe gel not only provides instant relief it also helps the burn to heal promptly and without itching. It also helps to cleanse the wound.

      Aloe is the most effective relief for burns I or my partner have ever used, it is also completely inexpensive. From the plant my friend gave me I have been able to grow two others, when an aloe plant grows it has off shoots that you can replant and which grow into its own plant.
      Caring for the plant is easy, I keep mine on my washroom window and water them only when the soil is dry (approx. every 3 weeks). Aloe plants don't need a lot of water and if you water them too much they become brown and begin to droop a little. If this happens lay off the watering and make sure the plant gets natural light and warmth. Aloe Plants need to be re-potted when their roots start winding round the bottom of the pot (this is usually when the little off shoots start to grow) when this happens simply re-pot the plant in a bigger container.

      Aloe Vera is an ingredient found in lots of moisturizers and other beauty products but these also may contain a whole host of other ingredients including chemicals, parabens and other synthetic substances. Why not go straight to the natural source, it's effective, leaves your skin feeling moisturized, has a faint fresh odour, its instantly cooling giving immediate effective relief from all kinds of burns and its completely inexpensive and the plants will last a lifetime if they are cared for... and they don't even demand a lot of attention just a safe light, warm home and the tri-weekly drink of water.

      I would recommend cutting off the leaves with a sharp knife rather than simply snapping them.

      Recently I started adding the aloe gel to a little of my hair conditioner to create a soothing cool conditioning treatment. After I gave birth to my son I developed an allergy to hair dye... luckily my reaction was localised ..an itchy burny scalp, face and swollen eyelids but I didn't want to take anti histamines due to feeding my son myself and found great relief in applying the gel directly to my scalp. I found adding it to the conditioner soothes my scalp and gives my hair a great shine.

      All in all a truly amazing gift from mother nature.

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        05.02.2014 17:58
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        super plant

        They call Aloe Vera the plant of immortality. It certainly is too because I bought one and then it had babies and now I have about 5 and I have given plenty to friends. Aloe Vera is so easy to look after and it looks pleasant. The best thing about it though is that it has some medicinal purposes. It is a good healthy plant to have in the house and it has a multitude of uses.

        ==Price and availability==

        You can buy a plant for around £1.99 and it will then grow bigger and multiply. The plants can be bought from supermarkets or from garden centres.

        ==Description==

        The plant looks almost cactus like. It has a number of spikes and the leaves are thick and filled with rich juice. It is this juice which is used for its medicinal purposes. The plant contains six natural antiseptics, which are able to kill mould, bacteria, funguses, and viruses. The make-up of the plant is so powerful that researchers and scientists are looking into its potential as an AIDS and cancer-fighter. The plant needs a bit of water and placed in day light. What you need to do is turn the plant around as it will lean towards the sun if not. After a while it will need re-potting as it will grow too big for the small pot.

        ==My experiences==

        There are so many uses for the aloe vera plant, it is even used in some oral medicine but I think you are best buying this from a specialist rather than making it yourself. So what can you use it for, well for starters I always use it on a spot. I cut the leave and squeeze out some of the juice onto a spoon. Using cotton wool I rub it on spots and it helps to take the heat out of them. You can use the juice to sooth burns from scolds to sunburn and not only does this sooth the skin, it is also an anti bacteria.

        ==Overall==

        This is a great product and I think that I will always have a little aloe vera plant knocking around my house. I use the juice regularly, I like how it makes my skin feel and the antiseptics are great for spots and sores! I definitely recommend owning these as they are really easy to care for.

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          02.02.2014 09:43
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          A plant that could sustain you as a food, cleanser and first aid treatment if it had to.

          The Product:

          Aloe Vera in General:

          First of all I keep an Aloe Vera Barbadensis in my kitchen to use the fresh gel on any burns. It is a most effective burn treatment and this is the most attractive and easy way to ensure I always have some to hand.


          About Aloe Vera:

          Aloe Vera is a succulent plant containing a pure inner gel. The gel of the Aloe Vera Barbadensis has been used for centuries to improve and maintain health and beauty. Natural Aloe Vera Gel is a bitter tasting natural gel that can be used both internally and externally in its natural form and is a product in many beauty products. Personally, I use it in soap making, on burns and anywhere healing or cleansing is required.


          Why I Love Aloe Vera:

          A few years ago I was introduced to Forever Living Products. Forever Living is a firm that produces and markets Aloe Vera products on a global scale. Through their introduction package I learnt about the "almost too good to be true" claims and uses of Aloe Vera. What I did discover is that most of the claims are true, well they work for me. Their products are expensive, however, and Aloe Vera products are now widely available from high street and internet outlets. I have for a number of years been seeking out Aloe Vera products whenever I can.

          Aloe Vera Barbadensis is a succulent plant that does slightly look like a cacti, producing long gel filled sometimes spiky fronds filled with the luscious gel. The plant can look a little like an octopus.

          The Aloe Vera plant produces little baby plants that can be potted on and sold in aid of charity.

          The Aloe Vera plant loves sandy soil, just an occasional drink and is not temperamental and is easy to keep.



          Clinically:

          Since the late 1990's Aloe Vera impregnated dressings have been used by UK ambulance services' as an initial treatment to burns. I was a burn patient treated by a motorcycle paramedic with such a dressing. He only had two in his pack and the area's that the gel was used on have healed successfully. A third area that could not be treated, is still scarred. Fortunately, for me not badly, but if I needed proof of the value of the gel that would be all the proof required, however, I was already a fan.


          What I use:

          Aloe Vera Soap (home-made).
          Aloe Vera Gel
          Aloe Vera Cleansing Lotion
          Aloe Vera Shampoo
          Aloe Vera Conditioner
          Aloe Vera Moisturiser
          Aloe Vera Night Cream
          Aloe Vera Hand Wash
          Aloe Vera Lip Salve
          Aloe Vera Eye Gel
          Aloe Vera Eye Cream
          Ale Vera Toilet Roll
          & so on....



          How I Use Aloe Vera Gel:

          I keep a tube of Holland and Barrett Gel in my bedside cabinet and its uses are limitless. Anywhere that needs healing I apply some gel, such as:

          Burns
          Blisters
          Grazes
          Shaving Rash
          Sunburn
          Sore Chapped Lips
          Cuticle Hang Nails
          Shingles Rash
          Rubs

          I also use it for minor ailments on horses, dogs and chickens with fantastic results.

          Due to its bitter taste it works very well as a cure for feather pecking, a vice that hens sometimes develop, especially in the winter when they are cooped up for longer. The gel puts off the biter, whilst actually conditioning the skin and feathers on the bullied chicken. This is a fabulous use that I have discovered and been promoting amongst chicken keepers that is particularly useful for organic flocks where traditional medicines cannot easily be used.

          The products vary and the quality and quantity of aloe Vera content does as well. I have reviewed some of the products I use on Dooyoo where the catalogue allows and would always choose an Aloe Vera product over another.

          To Use the Fresh Plant to Treat Burns:

          Simply break or cut off a piece of a frond and split it with a knife or I use my thumb nail and apply the gel directly to the burn. This is quick, easy and effective. The amount you break off depends on the size of the burnt area, but for burns where you catch your arm when removing food from the oven a chunk about 5cm is adequate - a bit more if it's a thin end of a frond.

          Internally:

          As an internal product Aloe Vera has cleansing and immune boosting properties, it is great for aiding digestion.

          I also, used to take the juice drink as a healthy addition, however, I have not done so for a while, but I can highly recommend that as well if you have a hectic lifestyle and low immune system give it a go. I used the Forever Living Product version with Cranberry which was actually really nice and also tried the Optima version from Holland and Barrett.

          Aloe Vera can also be bought in capsule form as a health supplement.



          Would I Recommend Aloe Vera Products:

          What do you think?! Yes, of course I would, in fact I cannot believe it has taken me so long to write this review! I have used Aloe Vera in various forms for many, many years now. As a natural first aid treatment for minor rubs and scratches it helps fast healing and has proven to me time and time again its worth. As a treatment for burns and scalds I believe it is second to none. If I have sore lips, I apply some at night and in the morning they are fine and healthy to face the day.



          Price and Availability:

          Buy a plant for a few ££s and you will never be short of burn treatment. Make sure you buy the real deal Aloe Vera Barbadensis. I bought mine from a stall raising money for an Air Ambulance! All the other products vary in price and availability. Look for a high content of Aloe Vera ideally organic.


          In Conclusion:

          Like so many natural products there are few trials into the real benefits of Aloe Vera Gel, this is because the big pharmaceutical companies will not spend money on trials for something they cannot own.

          There are no known contraindications.

          Love it - it would be my luxury item on a desert island.

          Forever Living Products are here: www. foreverliving.com/retail/entry/Shop.do? distribID=440000801614&store=GBR

          Forever Living products are very good - But be warned their sales marketing is relentless!

          Thank you for reading my review Aloe Vera.

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            23.03.2012 00:24
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            Aloe Vera is useful for both external and internal use.

            Before using Aloe Vera drinks I was very ill. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acidy stomach, lethargic and exhaustion. Although I am interested in alternative medicine, and I tried many other remedies but my health was not improving. However, one day a business card was posted through my door and what attracted me was the word Aloe Vera. I had a vague idea about Aloe, once in the past I bought and tried it from a health shop; well it did not do its job. I went on my computer and looked at their website. It inspired me to know more, phoned the number, spoke to someone and he invited me to a business presentation; I was not thinking of having a business, I wanted to know more about the product. Anyhow, I was so excited, that there and then registered free and became a distributer. I made my first investment and received my business in a box of Aloe Vera products, and my title Assistant Supervisor. I was told I must use the products to know the benefits, and then recommend them to my family & friends.

            I started with the Pure Aloe Vera Gel drink, 60mls, and by God I was soon emptying the toxin from my colon. Whereas some customers say they do not see any results until three weeks. Thereafter, I drank the drink every day and saw an improvement in my health; blood pressure level was good, also cholesterol. My energy level improved and I was less tired.

            Well let me put you in the picture of how Aloe Vera works in the body.
            When it goes into the mouth, it travels down the throat soothing and repairing the inner body with its rich mixture of nutrients. This is why many of my customers say it helps such problems as bleeding gums, mouth ulcers and sore throats.

            It then flows into the stomach and intestines. Both of these organs are lined with tiny finger like mechanisms which have microscopic fingers attached. They massage and digest food; however, overtime the spaces between the fingers can become blocked with pollutants, toxins, chemicals and additives in food.

            The Aloe Vera Gel, a natural cleanser helps breakdown this `artificial sludge` that water alone cannot eliminate, and boost the body repair of the walls and linings.

            As a final point, Aloe Vera moves into the body where it works to enhance the body own repair system, feeding each and every cell with as many of the nutrients as it can.

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            16.02.2012 10:24
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            In everything

            Aloe Vera is one of those must have products in every womans cosmetics armoury and I have it in a couple of products that I use. In its natural form it is a plant however it can be found in any number of products. Last week I had a heavy cold and it was in the tissue I was using as it has a soothing quality and the amount of nose blowing that was going on I was in danger of getting a very sore nose however the aloe vera in the tissues made them softer and reduced the risk of irritation and soreness.

            The main use I have for aloe vera is as a treatment after sun burn, it does not mask the burn like some after sun products which trap it in under a layer of cream, instead it helps to release the sun burn and cools it down and as such it is an excellent treament for those times when you have taken too much sun and damaged your skin. It is kind to my skin and as well as using it as an after sun treament I have also used it in a mosituriser as well. Certainly when applying it to my skin I can feel the cooling effect that it has, it absorbns into the skin quickly and as souch it has a very soothing efect however it also gives the skin some hydration as well and helps it to look nice and healthy.

            Whether ort not is possesses all of the qualities that are claimed for it is uncertain, for this review I did do a bit of research (ok I looked on wiki but that still counts as research) and there are some disputes that it does all that is claimed for it however what I do know is that for me I find that it does have a calming effect on my skin on those few occasions when I have got sun burnt and certainly a freind who lives in Australia and spend s alot of time working outdoors both in Oz and abroad swears by it as the only treatment they will use for sunburn.

            If you want to read more then here is the wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera

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              13.02.2012 18:44
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              May be worth a try

              ~Get used to Aloe Vera! Its popping up everywhere!~
              ****************************************

              Aloe Vera seems to be included in so many different products these days that we have almost come to expect it to be in wide range of so called health care related products. Yet when thinking about writing this review of Aloe Vera, I was still surprised by the fact that quite number of every day products I have been using recently and over the course of the last few years have had Aloe Vera in them. From products including paper tissues to skin creams, hand gel to toilet roll, it really does seem that Aloe Vera has been included specifically by product manufacturers, as the widely promoted healing and soothing properties of this succulent plant are great selling points, which may offer customers a range of potential benefits.


              ~My experience of using products containing Aloe Vera~
              *****************************************

              When it comes to thinking of exactly how Aloe Vera has either helped or hindered me, I must say I find that rather hard to define. As mentioned, I have used such a number of products that have included Aloe Vera that I haven't always stopped to think seriously about whether they have really helped me. It goes without saying that when something such as this has been widely hailed as being a soothing, healing remedy, the inclusion of it in an every day household product will seem like an attractive proposition, (which is why I have ended up using so many products with it in).

              There are those who question just how effective Aloe Vera really is and this may be something that would effect its future inclusion in such products should it prove not to be as useful as many now feel it is. As far as I am concerned, I feel that I have used quite a diverse range of products containing Aloe Vera, with no adverse side effects that I have noticed and as such I will continue to do so at this time. I have been using a hand wash which contains this on a regular basis for a number of months and have found that the effects are always good, with my hands remaining soft and smooth as well as nice and clean after having used the product. Whether it is the Aloe Vera that has worked its magic or whether the product itself contains other ingredients that have been of help I really cannot say.

              I have also used some Vaseline Aloe Fresh Moisturising Body Gel in recent times and found that to be a very nice easy to use product, which both smoothes and softens skin with no adverse effects that I have experienced. This particular product contains pure Aloe Vera which was marketed as being very cooling and soothing and to be honest I must say that in use I have found that to be the case. Again this could be down to the Aloe Vera, or it could be that the rest of the ingredients in the product are beneficial. Either way I have liked using the product and would do so again.

              There are a number of uses of Aloe Vera that are widely promoted and I have in the past used after sun skin care treatments that have contained the product as I hoped it would help to cool, and take care of my skin. I really cannot be 100% certain that the use of the Aloe Vera itself had any additional effect when compared to an Aloe free after sun product, although I did feel at the time that the treatment cooled my skin well enough. As mentioned I have bought/ used a good range of products that have included Aloe Vera such as tissues and toilet rolls and found them to be nice products to use. I have also used lip balms that contain this and have found them to be quite effective.


              ~Rating~
              *******

              On balance it seems based on my experience of Aloe Vera in use in a wide range of products, it has been of some benefit, although I cannot quantify exactly how effective it has been as it has been mixed in with other ingredients. I would look towards buying products that contain Aloe Vera in future as I have had no reactions or issues when using those I have tried so far. As far as rating Aloe Vera in terms of its benefits, I feel that a mid way 3 star product rating would be fair, as whilst it seems to have been pleasant and stable in use I cannot really say it has worked wonders.

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                14.11.2010 10:33
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                Great natural product, never to be without!

                Aloe vera is a plant that has a traditional, and I'd say well-deserved reputation as a natural healing agent. The fleshy leaves of the plant contain a variety of plant chemicals that promote healing of human tissue, and the gel from Aloe vera is sold as a soothing / healing / skin conditioning product, being mostly available from health and whole-food shops.

                I first heard of Aloe vera as part of a travellers' tale from an acquaintance who'd just returned from spending several 'gap years' abroad. She had been on holiday somewhere in the West Indies, and had got an infected cut on her hand or foot that refused to heal. Some friends she'd made locally were horrified by the sight of the injury and (she said) were all pointing at and worrying about it....then someone went into the garden and returned with some fresh Aloe vera leaves. They squeezed the gel onto her injured body part and it soon began to heal....

                That seems a bit quick to me, but fresh Aloe vera does have a remarkable effect on minor injuries. If you have one of these plants in a pot - and they grow indoors in the UK very easily - you can simply pinch bits off the tip of the leaf (I tend to designate one leaf as the one I'll take pieces off, or it spoils the appearance of the plant) and squeeze the contents out onto any 'affected areas'. Aloe vera pot plants are frequently found for sale in garden centres these days - they're clearly marked / packaged up as what they are, most of the time, usually with a polythene outer marked / decorated with 'Aloe vera' round the pot - and I've also seen them in florist shops and I think even occasionally supermarkets. The fresh juice from the leaves has a different texture to the gel you buy in tubes from the shops. It's part thin and slippery juice, and the gel part is much more 'mucilaginous' - the fresh gel is actually quite tricky to apply as it tends to run into strings and as it all 'want to stay in one place' (ie attached to the bit of leaf) it sometimes escapes away from where you want it to be.

                As for the gel you buy in tubes from the shops, I wouldn't apply this to broken skin anymore myself, but it's good for soothing things like eg. insect bites and sunburn. It's easier to apply, being a smooth, non-sticky gel and has an immediate 'cooling' effect on the skin, probably due to the high water content. As a final note of caution, when my baby was several months old, he had a persistent 'wet chin' type rash from excessive drooling, and I tried smoothing a bit of fresh Aloe vera over it. Unfortunately I think the stuff was too 'strong' for use on a baby - I didn't like the look of the affected area after the Aloe went on, as I think the gel inflamed it slightly, even more than it had been before. Personally I wouldn't use any type of Aloe vera or recommend it for this type of problem on a baby again.  

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                  05.09.2010 21:45
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                  Maybe the miracle plant?

                  I first began to notice Aloe Vera infiltrating the health products market about ten years ago, and very quickly it seemed to be available everywhere in a variety of incarnations. I have used several products containing the plant, but most often I use Vaseline lip therapy with added Aloe Vera.

                  Aloe Vera is a succulent that is endemic to arid climates. It has long, spiky leaves and is just the sort of plant you can imagine occupying a sweltering, lonely landscape. Aloe Vera is said to aid, among others:

                  - Sunburn
                  - Muscular conditions
                  - Allergies
                  - Inflammation
                  - Eczema
                  - Psoriasis
                  - Diabetes
                  - Digestion problems
                  - Heartburn
                  - IBS

                  There are many different types of Aloe Vera plant, but it is the Barbadensis Miller variety that is said to possess these miracle qualities, and more especially, the gel-like substance that is extracted from its leaves. Its effectiveness is said to be owed to its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and the presence of magnesium lactate - an itch inhibitor - within its chemical make up. It is also said that the plant dilates capillaries to improve blood circulation and also support cell growth. An extract of Aloe Vera, Carrisyn has been shown in studies to stimulate the production of cells that fight infection, and subsequently increase the strength of the body's immune system. So many studies have been performed on the plant, however, that it seems to be able to aid any ailment imaginable, and its impact on the health market has been astounding.

                  Aloe Vera has a great many manifestations. It is available as a drinkable gel, a lotion, a spray, a supplement, a cream and is even used in cooking. As mentioned previously, I mostly use aloe vera in the Vaseline lip therapy I have used Vaseline lip therapy products for many years now, as my lips tend to become dry and sore unless they are being moisturised. I have tried most of the Vaseline lip therapy products, but it is the Aloe Vera one that is my favourite. The smell is very fresh and clean, and as aloe vera is known for its soothing and moisturising properties, it is ideal in this product. I use a slick of the balm when getting ready in the morning, and apply a thick layer before going to bed at night. The product is extraordinary in its ability to replenish moisture in my lips. Even when my lips are very red and sore, after a few hours of having the balm on them they feel almost normal again, and when the product has disappeared completely (which usually takes at least four hours) my lips feel beautifully supple and soft.

                  Like all herbal remedies that claim to aid a wide array of ailments, I doubt their effectiveness. I cannot comment on aloe vera's effectiveness against the likes of heartburn, muscular conditions and the like, but I do know that incorporated into a lip balm the plant is both moisturising and invigorating to the senses. When I am wearing the balm it also seems to make my lips tingle slightly, which is a not unpleasant sensation. In the past I have used an aloe vera body cream, which was similarly effective in restoring moisture to my skin. Vaseline Aloe Vera Lip Therapy is available in a 20g container for between 80p - £1.30. Using it twice a day, one jar will last me in excess of four months. This is a great product, and for the skin at least, aloe vera is a very effective remedy.

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                  31.08.2010 15:06

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                  Have just had my second laser skin resurfacing.Both times was told to use Aloe Vera after the treatment, and I have to report that this absolutely burns my skin up to 24hrs after the procedure. I find that petroleum jelly suits my skin more, and although I was told not to use it, because it is rubbish, I am using it. I find that it keeps my face calm. Lilian, Spain.

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                  30.08.2010 13:07
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                  Great for the Skin

                  I have always heard people who say that Aloe Vera is great for the skin and that I should use it... I have tried many products before with Aloe Vera (antibacterial hand gel, soaps, face washes) and it seems to be gaining popularity in the health and beauty product market. However, how can we use Aloe Vera as a plant?

                  Firstly, Aloe Vera is very easy to grow, and we used to have a pot of them which reproduced quickly and we soon had many pots. Unfortunately they dried up after we took a long holiday away during the summer, and now we are in the process of finding new ones to plant. Aloe Vera "leaves" or "stalks" (the long spikey pointed things that radiates from the centre) as I'll call them should be green and plump when slightly squeezed. You do not want them to be really soft. The plumper it is, the more water it has and the more "juice" it contains.

                  You can cut off a bit of the leaf/stalk and use the exposed end to wash your face. Just gently wipe over your face. You will feel a cool sensation which is a bit weird at first, as the liquid is slightly slimy but this will effectively tighten skin cools it down. You could even peel off the outer layer and leave thin pieces on the skin and create a mask with the liquid which also works. For acne prone skin, you can leave a small piece to cover the affected area to cool it down.

                  Apart from externally using fresh Aloe Vera, they can also be eaten. I would not advise eating it raw, as they have to be washed and cleaned, but I have drunk fresh Aloe Vera juice (as well as bottled ones called Aloe Vera King) which can be bought. I do not know how to make it, but it tastes lusciously sweet with a lovely refreshing taste. The juicy bits inside are also lovely and textured.

                  Overall, I have had a very positive experience with Aloe Vera on the whole, whether it is through products containing Aloe Vera or the fresh plant itself, the cooling properties it contains and the benefits it brings to skin is one natural remedy that works.

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                  21.08.2010 17:16
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                  See review

                  I'd gone Alton towers with a few friends just for the day to get out the house we'd picked the best day to go out of the whole year as it was the hottest. Without knowing this I hadn't prepared and went out that day with only some sun cream on my face from my foundation and I was wearing black, it just wasn't my day!

                  The queues were so long it meant we were out in the sun for hours and there wasn't much shade at all. Getting home I was so sore so I went straight for the Aloe Vera plant in the kitchen, as Aloe Vera is great for sun burn and other skin problems for that matter definitely worth looking up!

                  Yeah we keep ours indoors just for convenience really & the plants needs very little care ours just sits in the window to catch the sun, the best being indirect sunlight, and we leave it in a pot. Watering the plants is very minimal depending on how hot the environment is, if its starts to shrivel up then you're not watering it enough, but we water ours once a week.

                  Anyway so I snapped a few of the Aloe's leaves off and gently layered the clear gel contained in the leaf out on to my shoulder, chest and arms. The instant soothing sensation is amazing a lot like when you have chickenpox and you use calamine lotion, utter relief! A real great relief for sun burn trust me! :)

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                    18.08.2010 16:40
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                    a natural remedy

                    Aloe Vera has been known for its medicinal properties for hundreds of years. If you go to a health food shop they will charge you a small fortune for tiny bottles of aloe vera juice or creams but you can grow your own plant at home giving you a ready supply of fresh leaves which you can harvest and peel and you can either eat the peeled leaf or use the sap to apply to the skin.

                    Aloe Vera plants don't seem to be very widely available, I bought mine from a garden centre for £3 a couple of years ago. The plant is part of the cactus family so almost impossible to kill with neglect, in fact my aloe vera plant is the only plant which has survived in my house.

                    The plant is not the most attractive out there, it looks like a series of green spikes sticking up from the soil, unlike most cactus plants it is not jaggy but smooth leaved. I keep my plant on top of my fridge where it has plenty of light and it doesn't get too cold in the winter as frost can kill the plant as it has such a high water content. I put it outside in the summer and it seems to thrive even in Scottish summertime with a bit of fresh air. I water the plant when I remember which is not very often which is a good thing as it likes to dry out completely between waterings. When my plant was looking like it was dying I gave it some baby bio plant food and it perked up and came back to life. I have repotted the plant once and it needs doing again, it reproduces by shooting off babies from the side of the plant which uproot themselves and can be repotted.

                    To benefit from the medicinal properties of the aloe vera plant you carefully remove one of the succulent leaves by pulling it gently and snapping off near to the base. I did try to eat the stems but they taste like watered down cucumber and have a really horrible jelly like texture. I have heard that eating the stems is beneficial for those with some inflammatory bowel complaints and ulcers but as I do not suffer from any of those I can't comment from my own experience.

                    The most common use of aloe vera plants is to apply the sap to the skin. To do this you harvest one of the leaves and I find rolling it gently between my fingers releases the gel more easily. Each leaf only gives you a couple of ml of gel but this is plenty to apply to the face. The gel is a very pale colour and smells something between a cucumber and spring onion and spreads easily over the skin and is absorbed easily. The gel is extremely moisturising so would make a suitable facial moisturiser for those with very sensitive skin. I have used the gel on small burns as it is commonly a plant kept in kitchens for its soothing properties but to be honest I didn't find it very effective and prefer to use witch hazel. The gel is meant to be beneficial for those with psoriasis and other dry skin conditions, I don't suffer from these but do have dry sensitive skin and my skin has always reacted well to an application of aloe vera gel.

                    Aloe vera is beneficial to most people but should not be used by pregnant women as it can cause contractions, it is also toxic to cats so the plant should be kept out of their reach.

                    The best part about owning an aloe vera plant is that it renews itself after use, if you wanted to use a lot of the gel then you would need several plants but for the initial investment of only a couple of pounds for a plant and minimal ongoing maintenance you can be growing your own skincare products for a fraction of the price you would spend in the shops.

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                      16.08.2010 05:36
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                      Whether in gel or straight from the plant, it's a useful natural skin remedy

                      Alongside natural herbal treatments like witch hazel, I also use Aloe Vera juice and Aloe Vera gel as I've found it to have some great properties, and where possible, if there's a cheaper and more natural remedy available for any problems I have, I'll try it.

                      Aloe Vera is a spikey, prickly looking plant that's quite like a type of cactus in appearance, with tough barbed leaves all spreading outwards from a central base on the floor. They are available to buy as plants from many garden centres these days as they are a very useful plant to have about the house.

                      Aloe Vera is excellent for skin conditions, and has wonderful healing properties. When it's applied to minor burns, whether in gel form or when I snap a little bit of leaf off and squeeze the sap from that out and onto the wound, it immediately produces a cooling effect and frequent application has helped the occasional burn or scald of mine to heal quickly and without infection.

                      When used directly from the plant leaf the sap doesn't smell of anything but does create a gel like coating over any sore skin which makes it feel cooler and does seem to have a pain relieving effect.

                      When applied to spots or blemishes, it also works well, reducing the redness of spots or sores and helping them to heal quicker than when left untreated.

                      I currently have an Aloe Vera plant at home, but for when I'm on the move, I have a tube of Aloe Vera gel to take with me which cost me around £2 (it's only a 30ml tube). Aloe Vera can also be taken in capsule form, but I haven't tried this as of yet.

                      I can recommend this natural remedy for a variety of skin problems - from use as a soothing aftersun, to use on pimples, it's an effective skin healer and is completely natural.

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                        13.08.2010 13:55
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                        a must-have for asthmatics

                        Aloe Vera is extracted from a plant and contains a cocktail of nutrients. It has been around for over 4000 years and is famous for it's natural healing nature. The reason why I'm so interested in Aloe Vera is because I suffer from asthma. I like to avoid non-natural sources of medicine as much as possible, so I'm always interested in how this could help me. I do have my inhalers, but I don't like the feeling of taste of them. I noticed the benefits of Aloe Vera when I was abroad and I watched an advert. The girls looked ugly, unattractive coughing and spluttering. Then you saw her with her palms out, her palms cupped and full of liquid. She breathed in the Aloe Vera, then opened her beautiful wide eyes into the camera. It was for an aloe Vera drink to help asthma. I looked for this product In the chemists.

                        Why does Aloe Vera-based products help so much?
                        Aloe Vera helps to reduce inflammation. This is because they contain natural steroids, I think if you are asthmatic, you will notice that you have a steroid inhaler, which is the brown one! (I only use the blue). It helps reduce the symptoms of asthma, it works with you immune system to do this. It restores the immune system back to it's natural self.

                        The drink did help a lot considering I was getting asthma attacks a lot on holiday. People told me it would have been something to do with the air condition on the aeroplane, or the air on holiday. It didn't taste very nice, however. The chemist told me to mix it in with a bit of fruit juice and it should solve the taste problem. It didn't completely cure my asthma, but it reduce the symptoms for a long while.

                        I also used Aloe Vera-based products for acne. It didn't stop my acne or reduce the growth, but definitely reduce redness and swelling. You can buy Aloe Vera in a range of beauty products to help reduce acne and even helps burns and any other skin irritations.

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                          14.07.2010 21:51
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                          Aloe vera soothes burns and rashes better than anything I know

                          I first learned of aloe vera when I visited my mother who worked in Hawaii at the time. There, the locals used it straight from the plant to treat sunburn. It worked a treat, too.

                          I had my doubts about finding any once I returned to the UK, but needn't have worried. I actually discovered some in the Body Shop, of all places. The bottle looked very small to me, but you don't need much. But you can also buy it at Holland & Barratt.

                          I have used aloe vera ever since for burns and skin irritations. I frequently get heat rashes, especially where I wore my watch and aloe vera dealt with it beautifully. When you first put it on it is very cooling.

                          Subsequently I have found it works for most kinds of itches and rashes. I've treated my own sunburn with it, as well as minor burns I've received whilst cooking. I wouldn't be without it.

                          I learned later that you can get aloe vera in liquid form to drink. I have not tried this (yet!) but I believe it is good for the immune system and digestion amongst other things.

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