Having an aloe vera plant around (and using it, should the need arise), can make even the most modern and high-tech of us feel like herbalist apothecaries. Snipping off a piece of an aloe vera’s leaf and applying the clear, cool gel on burns, cuts, rashes, and sunburns offers instant relief and can speed the healing process. Here’s how to care for an aloe vera of your own.About This Plant There are hundreds of varieties of aloe plants, which are indigenous to Africa and a few neighboring areas. Aloes come in many varieties that range in size from a few inches to tree heights of 30 to 40 feet, in the case of the kokerboom (or quiver tree). They also come in many colors and shapes, including orange-hued, purple-tinged, and with various spine configurations. Some aloes also flower. Though many might think of the aloe plant as a cactus, it is actually a succulent. We’ll consider the aloe barbadensis, commonly known as aloe vera, here.