The healing benefits of the aloe vera plant are documented throughout history as aloe was used by ancient Greeks, Mesopotamians and Egyptians, according to Carol and David Schiller in their book "Aromatherapy Oils: A Complete Guide." The use of this plant for its medicinal purposes has not dwindled, as it is still used today in a number of forms including as an oil. For plants from which it is difficult to extract enough essential oil, such as aloe vera, the oil is added to a carrier oil like almond or grapeseed oil.
Aloe vera is commonly used to relieve pain, cleanse and promote healing of wounds, according to Nerys Purchon in "The Essential Natural Health Bible." Although aloe might counteract healing in deep wounds, it has proven healing properties for surface wounds, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It also encompasses glycoproteins that inhibit pain and reduce inflammation, and polysaccharides which encourage your skin to repair itself, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Apply one to two drops of aloe vera oil to the wound and put a bandage on top. The NCCAM notes that more research is needed to determine the benefits of aloe on the skin.
Burns and Other Skin Conditions
The glycoproteins and polysaccharides work to heal other skin conditions in addition to wounds. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine comments that aloe is effective for mild burns. Burns and wounds treated with aloe repair much faster than untreated ones, notes UMMC. Aloe can also sooth and heal bug bites and stings, rashes, acne, genital herpes and psoriasis, according to UMMC. Put one to two drops of oil onto the burn or other skin condition and gently rub it in.
Aloe contains moisturizing agents which keep the skin healthy and might slow down the aging process, says Purchon. For this reason, you can find aloe in numerous creams and lotions available on the market. In addition to the skin, aloe vera oil can provide moisture to your hair and make it more manageable, according to the Schillers. Smooth a small amount of aloe oil onto your skin or over your hair to achieve its benefits.
- "Aromatherapy Oils: A Complete Guide"; Carol and David Schiller; 1996
- "The Essential Natural Health Bible"; Nerys Purchon; 2006
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Aloe Vera
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Aloe