After enjoying yet another beautiful Long Island weekend at the beach, a BBQ, a vineyard or in the pool, you may be “feeling the burn” this morning. Although applying sunblock, wearing a hat and sitting under an umbrella are best, many of us have suffered sunburn at one time or another. Pharmacies, food stores and big box stores sell gels and creams to help ease your sunburn pain, but why not get your relief straight from the plant? It was many years ago that I purchased my first aloe plant. I didn’t buy it because of all the good it can do – I actually purchased it just because I thought it was pretty cool. The spikes provide an interesting texture and modern feel. It wasn’t long after that purchase that I burned myself on the stove. I didn’t have any burn cream but I knew the aloe would help so I cut off a piece and applied it to my hand. I was surprised by how quickly it worked. That first time I harvested fresh aloe I had no idea what I was doing. I cut a stem off the plant and squeezed until the aloe came out. Although this method works – I’ve learned over the years that I can get so much more out of each stem by following a few simple steps.
- Cut off a stem of the aloe plant.
- Use a sharp knife (be careful here) and slice down either side of the aloe so you can separate one side from the other.
- Run the knife firmly over each piece of the aloe and then scoop the clear substance (aloe) into a small container with a lid.
- The aloe keeps for at least two weeks in the refrigerator. When I feel it’s almost time to throw it away I smear whatever is left on my arms and legs or anywhere I may have sunburn.