Written by Chloe Gonzalez

As we are located in the beautiful Byron Bay hinterland, we are lucky to have summers filled with glorious sunshine. Our guests and volunteers often make the short 20 minute drive to the golden beaches of Byron Bay to swim, surf or simply laze on the beach with a book. Yet it seems many forget to re-apply their sunscreen. They often return refreshed and happy from a lazy day at the beach, only to discover a burning sensation. Upon closer inspection, they see their red raw skin and groan. They have been sunburnt.

Fortunately, we have the perfect cure for sunburn growing in our very own garden. Its name: Aloe Vera. Aloe vera is a cactus plant. If you break a piece off the plant, you will see a clear gel ooze out from the bottom of the stem. This gel has a range of medicinal properties.

To treat your irritated skin, you can slice a stem vertically in half and use a knife to get the clear gel from the plant to then spread directly onto your irritated skin. It will supply your skin with much needed moisture and help it heal more quickly due to its antioxidant properties.

Not limited to just treating sunburn, aloe vera can be used to treat acne by helping the skin to heal faster and reduce scarring; to keep the skin looking young, firm and hydrated; to reduce stretch marks; to aid digestion; and to be used as a moisturiser.

With such a whole host of benefits, we make sure we always have several of these wonder plants growing in our gardens! How has aloe vera helped you?