I just brought my aloe vera plants indoors for the winter. I bring them in before the first frost and leave them in a westerly facing window until spring. I only water two to three times during winter, and put them back out again at the end of April. I've been doing this for about the last eight years.
Uses for Aloe Vera
Sure, we all know about how great aloe vera is for healing and reducing the pain of burns, but did you know it is often one of the main ingredients in blemish creams, it can be used on the feet to reduce the odor caused by bacteria, and it can reduce scarring?
Try rubbing the juice from a freshly sliced leaf onto a new scar every other day. The results can be amazing.
It helps grow and repair skin cells as well as being an anti-bacterial agent and painkiller. It has been effective in treating dandruff, genital herpes, and psoriasis (vulgaris). Visit the Mayo Clinic website for additional information on current study results.
Other uses that haven’t been so well documented include treating ear infections in animals, hair loss, and frostbite.
If you want to try to use aloe vera as a treatment for acne or minor skin irritations, use the pulpy interior of the leaf. The gelatinous substance in the leaf oxidizes quickly, so use it within an hour or so of cutting it. Before trying any treatment using aloe vera, make sure that any burns, cuts, or blemishes have been thoroughly cleaned. Swab the area and then cover with a band-aid or bandage.
Aloe Vera Growing Tips
Don’t be too concerned about the plant. Harvesting a leaf now and then won’t cause a problem. If you only want a small amount of pulp, small cuts in leaves will heal but do leave a noticeable mark. Aloe vera is easy to root and grow. Small plants develop in rosettes around the mother plant and can easily be removed and repotted in sandy soil.