Aloe vera

Family: Asphodelaceae (formerly: Liliaceae)

Deities: Babalu-aye, Osain

Element: Water

Originally from the Cape Verde Islands, aloe vera is a popular houseplant that is used throughout the world to treat burns and regenerate damaged tissues.

Medicinal Uses: Externally, aloe soothes our largest sensory organ, our skin. The juice of the fleshy leaves is directly applied to burns, scrapes and cuts to soothe and heal. Historically, the leaf extract was also used as a strong purgative however, due to the dangers of using something so strong, something milder should be used instead.

Spiritual Uses: The spirit of aloe loves people and is able to heal burn scars through that love. Babalu-aye, who is closely associated with skin issues, has a strong relationship with aloe. Besides using the energy to heal, Babalu-aye also uses the energy of aloe for some of his shamanistic trance work. Aloe also has a protective side, so keeping some growing in your window will serve double duty.

Aloe vera, a succulent perennial, was spread throughout the world as a houseplant. It grows well in arid places, and became naturalized to Africa and the Mediterranean. The narrow juice-filled leaves are arranged in a rosette from which a single flowering stalk will emerged with yellow to orange-red downward pointing flowers.