When I was growing up, my parents made a point of always having an aloe vera plant outside. Whenever someone had a burn, they would cut off a piece of the plant and spread the sap over the burn. They always sang its praises, and I believed them but didn’t have much personal experience because I didn’t have a fondness for hot things or flame.
Fast forward to about ten years ago, when Marc and I moved into our first home together. One of the first things I did was buy an aloe plant. The amazing thing is, we’ve thoroughly neglected it and it’s still alive and well on our patio.
Over the years, I’ve periodically burned myself in the kitchen and asked Marc to bring me a piece of aloe. It’s always helped, but I developed a renewed appreciation for it this week when my left middle finger came into contact with the wire rack in my toaster oven as I slid out a loaf of freshly baked artisan bread. At first, I didn’t think the burn was that bad, but it started throbbing after a few minutes.
Marc responded promptly to my call for help, and I applied fresh aloe to the burn repeatedly until bedtime. I wore gloves when washing the dishes, but even then the contact with the hot water through the glove made the burn sting so I knew it was a bad one. Amazingly, despite a little discoloration, the skin on my finger is smooth, and it didn’t hurt after that first night.
I’m not a medical expert, so I can’t swear that aloe vera will work for every one or for every minor burn. But you’ll never find me cooking without an aloe vera plant nearby!