Exotic plant: meet the Aloe vera

Not endemic to Mauritius, but it still thrives very well in our climate and can be found in most gardens, the aloe vera plant is very well know for its different benefits.

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The aloe vera was known as ‘the plant of immortality‘ to the Egyptians and Cleopatra is said to have used it as part of her beauty routine. The ancient Greeks thought it was some type of panacea that would cure everything and anything, which really is nearly the case.

Am quite happy to have some in my garden, but I use it for only 2 things – 2 very similar things: when I burn myself in the kitchen – it happens quite often and really it is the best thing you can put on a burn. The second thing I use it for is sunburns – it is often that a holiday guest comes home and has spend a little too much time on the beach (even in the shade) and is sunburned. Well, ditch all the after-suncreams and chemicals they put in there and get an Aloe Vera plant: just use the gel directly from the plant and smudge it over the sunburned surface, as often as you want. It doesn’t smell very nice but it is extremely effective. I think it smells of perspiration – yak! – and when you put it on a larger area (as opposed to your burned finger) well you can really smell it. I also use it to hydrate my hands, if I cut a piece of I use the gel. The smell disappears quite fast though.

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Aloe vera is composed of 96% water and contains some enzymes that reduce inflamation and apparently increases the blood flow to the damaged areas. It also contains an anti bacterial compound. Aloe vera is very soothing (so if it is not soothing right away, then don’t use it, you might be allergic!). No need to say that I am no doctor, just saying what works here in the family…

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