Thanks for reminding us about the wonderful properties of aloe, Molly. We are fortunate to live in a climate where aloe thrives in our yard. I probably have over a hundred plants. Anybody who can grow it as an indoor potted plant will have much greater benefits than taking a processed aloe product, as fresh is best.
This is how we take aloe -- cut off a thick spear, then cut off the narrow, pointy end, and stand the spear on end on a cutting board. "Filet" the spear by running a sharp knife down the 4 sides, being sure to remove the bright yellow/green part right under the skin. This is very bitter and can cause stomach upset. The central gel is the part you want.
Cut the cleaned gel stalk into pieces, and mix with fruit juice and ice in a blender. Chug it down. Talk about a tonic! Every time my husband has a bout of diverticulitis, it heals him in a day.
The remaining peeled skin is saved to be used throughout the day whenever I walk by the dish. I run my fingers over the sticky side and then rub them over my face, the back of my hands and any little cut or sore still needing healing.
To read more about aloe:
And step-by-step instructions on how to clean fresh aloe:
Oil pulling, aloe vera and fresh garlic are the most potent items in my "medicine cabinet".