Your Healthiest Houseplant

When we think of houseplants, we usually think of big, leafy pothos or parlor palms that sit in the corner of our living rooms. Sadly, many of us ignore one of the healthiest and easiest plants to keep alive: aloe vera.

Place this fun cactus near a sunny window in a well-draining pot, and water it every other week to see it flourish before your eyes. Once your aloe plant is stable, healthy and mature, use it regularly in your health regime.

Aloe vera contains “gel” within each of its stems made mostly of water-filled tissue. The gel contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.

The Benefits

  • Antioxidant and antibacterial—Aloe vera gel contains polyphenols and other compounds that inhibit the growth of certain dangerous bacteria that can cause infections in humans.
  • Sunburn relief—We might not get much sun in the Pacific Northwest, but we burn easily. Aloe vera gel can be rubbed onto skin to treat sores and sunburns. Studies show using aloe vera can reduce the healing time for burns by nine days.
  • Good for the gut—Another component of the aloe stem is latex, which can be used as a laxative but should not be consumed in large quantities.
  • Lowers blood sugar levels—Aloe is said to enhance insulin sensitivity and naturally improves the body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels.
  • Cleans teeth—Aloe vera gel can be used as a mouthwash to reduce plaque buildup and to fight off tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Joint lubrication—Polysaccharides (sugar chains) in aloe can offer some lubrication for your bones. These chains can also lubricate your brain, nervous system and your skin.

Aloe Shots

Add some aloe to your day with these easy-to-make nutritional shots


  • Aloe vera gel from three inches of a stem
  • 1 lime
  • Coconut water


  1. Fillet the aloe stems by peeling off the outer flesh and coring the gel from the inside.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the lime, and add it to the gel in a small glass.
  3. Add coconut water according to your taste and shot-size preferences.
  4. Stir and drink up!

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