MNN Galleries

5 summertime first-aid essentials

By: Matt Hickman on Oct. 16, 2009, 11:22 p.m.
Aloe vera in a planter

Photo: Shahidul Hasan Roman/Wikimedia Commons [CC by SA-3.0]

1 of 6

Aloe vera

The gel from the meaty leaves of this spectacular succulent is a topical wonder. Rub it on the skin after sitting in the sun for too long or after being attacked by bite-happy bugs and it will cool, moisturize and promote healing. Chaffin' like crazy after a long, sweaty hike in the woods? Apply a lil aloe gel to irritated skin and experience sweet relief courtesy of Mamma Nature. If you have space and want to go straight to the source, buy an entire aloe plant. Or just pick up a couple tubes of commercially available aloe gel — many brands are organic — at your local health food or drug store.