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A very friendly plant indeed

January 17, 2012

Today, we have a very special plant to talk about. Here in sunny Florida, almost everyone has at least one of these plants sitting on their front porch or in their garden. This plant originally hails from Africa, is a succulent (meaning it retains water), is not at all picky, and can be used both magickally and medicinally. What is this miraculous plant you ask? Well, it is none other than your friendly Aloe Vera.

Now, most people know that aloe can be used to soothe sunburns but it actually has a whole array of medicinal uses. It can be used to treat small burns, cuts, chapped skin, eczema, Poison Ivy rash, dermatitis, radiation burns, coral wounds, and help speed up cell regeneration.

You can even find Aloe Vera juice in the grocery or health food store. Aloe Vera juice benefits are as follows:

“There are many aloe vera juice benefits. When aloe vera juice is taken twice daily in 2-4 oz doses it is said that it can help a person to maintain good health. Aloe vera juice is known to help to detoxify the body and cleanse the colon. The properties of the juice also help to detoxify the blood stream. It is also said that aloe vera juice could benefit a person with intestinal or stomach problems. It could aid in the healing of ulcers and help the digestive tract to work smoothly. It is also said that aloe vera juice can improve circulation. The aloe helps dilate the capillaries and aid in cell growth. Aloe vera juice also has many benefits that aloe vera gel does. It acts as an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent, preventing illness. The overall effect of taking aloe vera juice regularly can be a feeling of energy and health.” (see source below)

Magickally, aloe is feminine, ruled by the moon, and is associated with the element of water. Aloe plants bring protection and luck. If you have an aloe plant in your house, it will guard against evil influences, household accidents, and prevent feelings of loneliness.

Now the awesome part about today’s post is that I’m going to tell you how to grow a successful aloe plant.

First thing first is your potting mix. A gritty potting mix is crucial to allow plenty of drainage. You can mix half potting soil with half sand and that will do it. Next is your pot size. The roots should take up 2/3 of the pot. Any bigger and it will sit in wet soil which will make it rather mad at you. You generally don’t need to repot until the plant looks like it’s about to burst out of its original pot. Clay, porcelain, and plastic all work well for aloe as long as enough drainage is provided.

In warmer weather, you should water your aloe once a week. When it starts to cool down, only water it every two weeks. During the winter time, bring it indoors and only water once a month. Aloe likes light shade rather than full sun so it is perfect for porches or windowsills.  I personally, never fertilize my aloe so if you wish to, the second link at the bottom will give you tips on fertilizing.

Disclaimer!!!

Although it is beneficial to ingest aloe juice, I recommend only ingesting the juice that is found in the grocery and health food store that give directions and dosage for aloe is a purgative. For women who are pregnant, DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY!!! Aloe stimulates uterine contractions. Also those mothers breast-feeding SHOULD NOT use to soothe sore or chapped nipples for it can make your baby rather sick.

http://www.aloe-vera-studies.org/aloe-vera-juice-benefits.php

http://www.herbcompanion.com/gardening/the-goods-on-growing-aloe-zm0z11djzdeb.aspx?newsletter=1&utm_content=1.17.12+HBC+eNews&utm_campaign=2012+ENEWS&utm_source=iPost&utm_medium=email&page=2

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