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Aloe vera for burns during shemitah

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 Is it permissible to use an aloe vera plant to treat burns during shemitah? Do we have to ask permission from a neighbor to take a leaf? Once we use the leaf, do we put it in the pach shevi'it?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

Aloe vera is grown primarily (as of shemitah 5782) for medical purposes and not for food (this might change by next shemitah, in which case the halachic implications may change).

For this reason, the plant does not have kedushat shevi'it ( k.s.) and shemitah laws do not apply (hefker, hefsed, k.s., etc.). It can this be discarded in a regular manner. Even for produce that has k.s,. unless there is a hefker sign or or is in a public area that is ownerless, it is important to ask so we do not get used to taking others' possessions without permission.

See Chapter 4 §C.5 of The Consumer's Guide to Shemitah:
The following crops do not contain kedushat shevi'it:
Plants cultivated exclusively for medical uses (or to prepare homeopathic medicine) that are not used as food by healthy people. [15]
[15] For the rules governing k.s. in medicinal plants, see Shabbat Ha'aretz 5:11 §2, that there are those stringent in this regard.