6 Incredible Uses for Aloe (Beyond Your Sunburn)

Photo:

Stocksy

Late August always marks the time of year when my summer nostalgia goes into overdrive, usually by way of scent recollection. There's the musky smell of my family's lake house and the grassy aroma of soccer games and dirt-stained knees. And for some reason, I can always recall the minty fragrance of the economy-size bottle of Ocean Potion my mother toted on just about every family vacation. It was our cure-all for sunburns and sand rashes, and it always worked like a charm. Like many, aloe has been a staple in my life exclusively as the remedy for too much sun. It does this job so well that it's always been easy to ignore the fact that this natural healer is capable of so much more.

I came to this very realization during a recent trip to Aruba, the world's number one exporter of aloe vera. On this gorgeous island, aloe is recognized as the cure-all ingredient it is, and it permeated my trip in ways I hadn't anticipated. When I arrived at the stunning Hilton Aruba, aloe-infused drinks were waiting in my hotel room. At the hotel's spa, it's the star ingredient of the service menu; a black-stone massage with aloe and rum was a sure highlight. And I had the pleasure of getting a firsthand view of what the ingredient is all about during a trip to the Aruba Aloe Factory—and ultimately learned that I had been neglecting some of its most potent healing properties.

Did you know, for example, that aloe is incredibly effective as a digestive aid? Or that it can help soothe sore muscles after a workout? Or that it's actually categorized as an adaptogen? Check out more of the plant's amazing uses—and the science behind it all—below.