Processing Your Prolific Aloe Vera vs Tossing Older Plants
Health and Beauty Hacks for Aloe Vera
I've been growing Aloe Vera for years. By now I have tons of babies growing around the mother plant. In the past, I removed the larger, dried-out plant and TOSSED IT IN THE COMPOST! I've always used this highly versatile plant for kitchen burns, but it was a little smelly and bitter when I snipped it and put it on my burn. However, it did alleviate the burning sensation and promoted the healing process.
Now I know that processing Aloe Vera gel properly is simple when I follow these steps. I can use it in so many ways.
Facial Mask for Hydrating
Add to smoothies for gut care
Freeze for use on sunburns and rashes
Use in various beauty treatments
Trim mature Aloe leaves one inch from the base of the plant. Only trim what you can process in the next 48 hours or so. Make sure you have time to work on your gel. Otherwise, just leave the plant intact until you have the time. You can process one leaf at a time for immediate use, but letting the cut leaves sit for too long diminishes their nutritional and medicinal effect.
Drain the inner latex, or aloin, the bitter yellow-greenish goo inside the leave. Place the leaf standing upright on a plate or bowl, or some say you can place it in water. This aloin, (a gooey substance) gives the Aloe its bitter taste and smell. It can also be toxic when over-consumed.
After cutting the long thin end off the leaf, you have a nice bit of pure Aloe Vera gel to extract, all you need to do is remove the skin. Try different techniques. I finally got the hang of what worked for me after a while. I found it easiest when I laid the leaf flat and trimmed the top skin using a very sharp knife. The gel is slimy so it's difficult to hold so take caution.
Make sure the leaves are clean as well as your hands and all equipment used to process the leaves.
Remove spiny edges with a knife.
Using a sharp knife, remove the top skin, then trim the gel out and place in a bowl.
After you have all the gel you desire, blend it in a strong blender or food processor until gelatinous and smooth. The foam will settle.
I fill ice cube trays for freezing, then after several hours, I can put the cubes in a bag for easy access. I can easily add to products as needed. It will only keep in the fridge for a few days, or up to ten days if you add vitamin E as a preservative. Several weeks when frozen.
Lastly: Use this nature's gift for health, beauty, and medicinal use. Share as a gift to friends, either as a plant or the fully processed gel. Your friends will love it!
Final Tips: Make sure you care for the plants by watering twice a year in Arizona. Use only organic soil and fertilizers. Start with a small, new plant and grow yourself. (Ask me for one, I am happy to share). Don't forget to compost all the trimmings.
Use daily on your face and hair, anywhere on your body, really, for smooth, soft skin and to remove puffiness.
Please leave me a comment if you try this. Message me with any questions.