Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sunburn--Natural Remedy Thursday

For my dear friends living in Arizona, this is a no-brainer.
The gel inside the Aloe Vera plant is anti inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and also antibacterial---making it the number one cure for sunburns.
There are a few very important things to remember when treating a sunburn.

#1--Do NOT apply lotion. Even if it says it contains Aloe Vera. Lotions actually trap the heat into the skin causing the skin to continue burning even when out of the sun!

#2--Take a cold shower before applying the aloe vera gel. Use no soap. This helps stop the burn process and prepares the skin for treatment.

#3(optional)--Mix white vinegar with ice water, about 40 - 60 to further take the heat out of the burn. Soak a few washcloths or hand towels in the mixture, wring them so they don't drip, then leave them on the burns until they become warm to the touch. Repeat until the ice has melted in the vinegar mixture.

#4--Apply 100% aloe vera gel. If using the actual plant, Cut a few plump leaves from an Aloe Vera plant. Take your knife and cut up the length of the sides of the leaves. Try not to waste the gel that will ooze out. Apply to skin and keep uncovered. Thanks to Kara (the Good Looking Cook) of Taste is Trump for her advice to add a few drop of lavender oil to the mix of aloe vera. It has healing properties and makes the aloe smell nice: )

Below is a video demonstrating how to best cut the plant to extract the gel. I'm just not quite sure why the latex gloves and the lab coat. It's certainly not a dangerous substance...

More about the Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera contains lignins. Lignins are a chemical compound that is an integral part of the skin’s cell walls. Lignins help the skin to heal much faster. Aloe Vera also works as an effective pain reliever. It acts as a cooling agent on the surface and contains salicylic acid, the same pain killing agent found in aspirin. Aloe Vera contains two anti-inflammatory agents, gibberellins and glycans. These are very effective at decreasing inflammation, which in turn promotes healing. Aloe Vera has the ability to prevent blistering and scarring. source


Beth said...

Thanks for the helpful video. We've always used aloe vera for everything, but I've never been the best at extracting it. I'll have to try that method next time. :) I've also heard that drinking aloe very juice helps heal from the inside out. . .not necessarily for sunburns, I guess. My mom used to drink it after she had her hysterectomy.

Tanya Leigh said...

Interesting method. We've always sliced it in half, leaving you with two equal pieces with the gel on either side, then take a knife & cut a grid-like pattern through the gel, releasing the gel through every cut. (does that make sense?) Then just slather up by wiping/dabbing on your skin.
It's fantastic!

Emily Ruth said...

Beth, I've always heard that drinking the juice helped sunburns too but I admit I've never done it. I bet it would help my drying skin!
Tanya, your method sounds quite effective as well. I'll try that next time: )

Kara said...

The problem with aloe vera is that it stinks like B.O. A few drops of lavender not only helps with the smell, but has healing properties of it's own.

Emily Ruth said...

Great point Kara! I wouldn't have thought to put lavender, but that completely makes sense! Thanks for the input: )

Cy said...

My two cents: I have found that Vitamin E oil (right from the capsule) helps sunburns go away faster than they would otherwise. It doesn't ease the pain like aloe or vinegar, though.
My credentials: Red-headed Arizonan

Emily Ruth said...

also, very good point.
Vitamin E oil helps a great deal I'm sure! I'm not sure why I never tried that on a sunburn. The oil from the capsules are much better absorbed into the skin, for anyone who hasn't used it.