I read somewhere, a long time ago, that Aloe Vera is good for the hair and it is a major ingredient listed on most shampoos and conditioners. My Dad had bought a few bottles of aloe vera juice a couple of times (it tasted like ah... uh... like nothing I have ever tasted before).
I had never seen the actual aloe vera plant in person until a few months back when my Dad brought home a sorry looking teeny plant that he told me was an aloe vera and it looked more to me like a cactus.
Dad planted the tiny thing and we had little hope that it would make it through the night (it looked utterly feeble). But it was still alive the next day and we took care of it. After a few weeks, it started to thrive. A month later, it was growing by leaps and bounds.
I combed the internet for directions on how to use the aloe because someone told my Mom that it could be cooked and eaten. The particular recipe my Mom was looking for was not to be found anywhere on the internet (shocking!).
One day, I had noticed some spots on my face (I was hoping it they were freckles as I refuse to entertain the thought they may be age-spots, God forbid). I asked my Mom to take a closer look at my face and she did say there were spots. I, naturally, was not about to ignore spots on my face!
Dad suggested I try the aloe and he broke off one of the largest leaves our aloe plant had. I was suspicious at first, but the leaf was very thick and clear gel was inside. I decided to scoop out a little of the aloe vera gel and apply it on the skin at the inside of my arm (typical patch test to check if I was allergic). No sting, no burning, no redness, no nothing except a pleasantly cool sensation where the gel was applied.
A few weeks later, the heat of summer got much worse. The days were scorching and temperatures soared to the 40s (we live in India). My Dad started complaining about prickly heat on his back. I was getting prickly heat around my neck (its the area that perspires the most, for me). Dad bought the usual prickly heat powder while I decided to use the aloe gel.
I noticed that the sting and itchiness normally caused by the prickly heat was relieved by applying the gel so I used it everyday both on my face and my neck. I suggested to Dad that he use it to. After a few days, my prickly heat was gone and Dad mentioned he felt little or no itchiness. His prickly heat is really bad because he likes to work on his garden and he gets exposed to the sun while I avoid direct sunlight like the vampires in Twilight (LOL).
Due to my new-found love for aloe, I even wrote a lens about it on Squidoo.
Last night, my aunt (Mom's sis) visited us and told me that the skin on my face looked so smooth. Mom took a look and told me that the spots were barely there. I of course decided, in all vanity, that I looked prettier than ever before (a little self-love never killed anyone).
Dad got into the all-girl conversation by saying that we should now use the aloe regularly. It was not because of any beauty application or prickly heat-relief, but rather he was saying that more because the aloe vera plant (which he had to transplant to our veg garden) was now way too big and overly healthy.
I am reading up on aloe and I have read that it can be made into juice, hair conditioner, skin cream and even dessert. I plan to try making the juice in a few days (soon as Dad remembers to bring home some leaves) and let you all know how it goes.