I'd taken the kids to their grandparents' some years back, and my eldest managed to brush her hand against a hot element on the stove. It was a mild burn, but painful!
While I was racing for an ice cube, Grandma simply reached for the plant in the window over the stove, snipped off a bit of its pointy leaf, gave it a squeeze so that some clear goop oozed out, and then rubbed the damp innards and goop of the leaf onto my daughter's hand. Grandma repeated this a few times that day. It seemed to do the trick.
"It" was an aloe vera plant, of course. Not only did Grandma use it for burns, but for mosquito bites, bee stings, and just about any other surface skin pain
. I always wondered if this was just psychosomatic: My kids all believed 100% in the healing properties
of Grandma's "magic plant", but a little research shows that it really does do all that stuff
! (It's also pretty effective as a laxative
. Who knew?)
It turns out they're not hard to grow, either. It's best to get yourself a large one. Not only are the larger ones more potent in their healing properties, but the plant grows slowly. Don't hesitate to nip off a section of leaf as needed, though: even as it heals your skin, the plant heals quickly, too!
If you'd like to grow your own aloe vera plant, Tipnut
provides some sound basic information.