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 offer an interesting texture that my other houseplants just don’t provide.

It wasn’t long after that purchase that I burned myself pretty bad 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 just 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.

1.Cut off a stem. I just use a regular pair of scissors from the junk drawer that are sharp.

2.Use a sharp knife (be careful here) and slice down either side of the aloe so you can separate one side from the other.

3.Get out an old Chinese food container or any other small container with a lid.

4.Run the knife firmly over each piece of the aloe and then scoop the clear substance (aloe) into your container.

5.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. Waste not, want not!

Super easy, fun and your aloe plant will continue to grow new shoots producing more aloe. So the next time you have a sunburn, or burn yourself on the stove – reach for an Aloe Plant!

*Please keep in mind that aloe is for small, first degree burns. Large burns or burns that break the skin should be assessed by a medical professional.