Thursday 16 January 2014


One of my first steps in becoming a gardener was to establish a herb garden on my old veranda. Dad gave me a heap of old plastic pots he had in the shed and I got dirt and seedlings from my local garden centre.

At first, it was all hit and miss, I had no idea what I was doing. I think I killed all of the first lot with over attention, too much water and too much pruning. But now I feel I have got it down pat. All I need to do now is expand on my collection.

Aloe Vera, though technically not a herb, is one of my favourites. With last week's burnt arm proving how good it is to have a pot of aloe on hand.

Aloe should be planted where there is the most sun in the garden. Or grown in a pot, and moved seasonally to take advantage of the sun. Aloe vera love the heat and hate cold, wet, and frosts so if your area is prone to cold and wet winters only grow in pots as aloe roots may rot off during their dormant period.

Aloe Vera is really quite an incredible plant. It is a succulent plant and part of the lily family (Liliaceae), the same family that garlic and onions belong to. Different parts of the plant are used for different effects on the body and Aloe Vera has both internal and external applications.

I am yet to use the plant for internal benefits so I won't comment on those however, externally I love this plant.

Because of aloe’s well-known healing properties for the skin, aloe is one of the primary compounds used in the cosmetic industry. It is a known vulnerary, (meaning it helps heal wounds) and is great for applying topically to burns, abrasions, psoriasis and even to bug bites. Aloe acts as an analgesic, acting to help relieve pain of wounds. It’s feels especially good to cut a stem of aloe, place it in the fridge and rub it on sun burnt skin – the immediate soothing effect feels like an absolute lifesaver. Aloe is also an antipruritic: A substance that relieves or prevents itching. Aloe Vera is an astringent: which causes the contraction of body tissues, typically used to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions.

Due to aloe’s high water content (over 99% water) it is a great way to hydrate, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin. Aloe increases the elasticity of the skin making it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair. Aloe is an emollient, helping to soften and soothe the skin. It helps supply oxygen to the skin cells, increasing the strength and synthesis of skin tissue and induces improved blood flow to the skin through capillary dilation.

Aloe is disinfectant, anti-biotic, anti-microbial, germicidal, anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-fungal and anti-viral: yes I learnt most of these ones though google. But after using aloe for years on burns, cuts and abrasions, I know this natural option is better on my skin, and my kids than any product I can buy at a chemist.

 This plant is only three months old, and look how many new suckers it has grown!


  1. I think it's such a beautiful plant too!

  2. Aloe my favourite plant in our garden...mainly due to its resilience to my black thumbs ;) I've used it for many years to treat the flares of psoriasis I get behind my ears and Sam swears by it when she gets sunburnt. We also drink aloe nectar/juice (from the health grocer - still haven't tried making it ourselves), great for treating dehydration. xx

  3. Krysta Paramithi17 January 2014 at 01:32

    Wow thanks for the info! I have an aloe plant for about two years that it's now at my mother's house. I forgot it there after we moved. I have to take it back! Can you please tell me how you use it for burns?

  4. I am also doing a lot of research on how to use the aloe plant internally, such as in smoothies and such. For a burn I apply the gel straight to the area. Then I put a leaf in the fridge to use on it again later. The gel immediately take heat out of a burn and it is also a natural antiseptic.

  5. My main uses have been burns, bites and pimples. Did not know it was good for psoriasis. Will have to try this on my little sis

  6. Most plant are beautiful? Aren't they?

  7. AnnieMammasaurus17 January 2014 at 02:02

    Ooo I'd not thought of growing that - but the amount of scratches and scrapes we get here it would be worth it!

  8. Krysta Paramithi17 January 2014 at 02:36

    Great thanks! I have read somewhere that you can eat aloe after two years of it being you know anything? Cause I'd love some in my smoothie!

  9. With kids in the house this is the best plant. Or even if you are just accident prone like myself

  10. I love Aloe - I use it every summer since it's usually predictable I'll fry my skin at least once.

  11. Helen Sims The good life mum17 January 2014 at 09:33

    that is such a structurally interesting plant and great information too

  12. Okay you have reminded me I need to get this plant for my garden. Such an essential..can't believe I don't have it in my garden yet!

  13. Thanks for the info, I always had at least one growing when the kids were smaller, for burns and sunburn, didn't know it was useful for cuts, abrasions, moisturiser etc. so have just been to get some plants from my Mum's garden and get it established again.

    Just catching up on the last few posts and see that Jarvis touches your overlocker, gaahh how frustrating when you want to use it ! they are temperamental at the best of times, also a sewing machine and overlocker should always have a dust cover and something soft underneath to absorb any vibration...according to my machine service mechanic. So if you make a big dust cover to fit right over the overlocker with a sturdy drawstring at the base, you can keep it dust free and tie off the drawstring to keep little hands away.

    My next big project is to declutter my sewing room......hey ! stop rolling on the floor, it's not that bad.

    Yes....I'm afraid it is, I live alone, so am a bit indulgent in the fabric (from quilt making days) and yarn (sales and op shops) collections. So I am doing it in half hour time frames, in the mornings, as that side of the house gets very hot in the afternoon.Wish me luck : )

    Found out this morning that you can freeze Basil Pesto, who knew ? later I will harvest some Basil and make small batches to freeze, what a great idea to keep some before it bolts to seed.

  14. So good for sunburn. But so not good that we get sunburnt!

  15. It is a beautiful plant to look at, as well as being useful.

  16. If you were in Brisbane I would tell you to pop over and grab a suckling off mind.


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