Aloe Vera (Aloe vulgaris) has been used for thousands of years to treat burns, rashes, and other skin ailments, and is even reupted to have been used in Egyptian embalming ceremonies. According to the Mayo Clinic, preliminary studies suggest aloe is effective for treating psoriasis, dandruff, canker sores, and skin burns. Studies also suggest that aloe vera taken internally can act as a natural laxative, boost the immune system and even reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. The plant, native to eastern and southern Africa, grows in warm climates or indoors. The thick succulent leaves are filled with a healing gel.
Tear a 2- to 3-inch portion off of the top of a leaf. Use care because the leaves are thick and spiny.
Cut the leaf open lengthwise with a knife to expose the gel.
Rub the gel on irritated skin. Discard the leaf after use, because the gel quickly loses effectiveness.