I don’t have an outdoor garden…yet. I make do with some wonderful sunlight that shines through the large windows in our living room. I also use the kitchen window for my cooking herbs. While I dream about my own little plot of land, I also cherish my indoor plants, especially my potted Aloe Vera.
Aloe Vera which grows from the inside out is like a fountain, a “fountain of youth.” Aloe Vera is a treasure chest of health benefits when used topically and when ingested. Topically, I’ve used aloe straight from the plant on various skin injuries–like when I fell off my bike in the Bahamas; I was so thankful for the aloe plants decorating the road ways. The aloe sealed and dried up my wounds, helping to prevent infection. I’ve used aloe as a face mask and a moisturizer. However, it’s not until recently that I’ve learned to care for my own mini fountain of youth.
How to Harvest Aloe Vera Gel From Your Aloe Vera House Plant
*First, let’s thank my amazing hubby for helping me out with this tutorial!
1. You only need to remove one or two leaves from the plant to harvest a decent amount of gel. Cleanly cut the leaves from the bottom of the plant. The plant grows from the inside out; by harvesting from the bottom up, you encourage the plant to grow taller, making future harvests even easier.
2. Place the aloe leaves in a vertical position with the tips pointing upward overnight. This allows all the bitter yellowish goo to seep out of the leaf (this goo contains a chemical called aloin which if ingested can really upset a stomach).
3. After a few hours (overnight in the fridge is my method) of dripping out the yellow liquid, you are ready to excavate the shiny crystal gel from the leaves. Place one leaf at a time on a cutting board. Slice off the “yucky” ends.
5. With a fillet knife or a slicer, remove the edges of the leaf as shown in the image below.
5. Now, slice off the “skin” of the leaf. In other words, peel it like you would a piece of fruit. If your leaf is concave in shape (as many can sometimes be in aloe house plants), make sure you slice off the concaving side as demonstrated in the image below.
6. Once the leaf is “topless,” a shiny pulp will be exposed. The easiest way to access this magic pulp from a small leaf is to spoon it out (the same way you might carve pulp out of papaya or a cantaloupe slice).
7. Once you’ve harvested the gel from your leaves, place it in a container, and store it in the fridge. Note that this tasteless crystal gel is encompassed by a clear, tasteless “slime”. This stuff is perfect for applying topically. You can also simply rinse off the “slime” from the the solid gel.
What have I been doing with my organic Aloe Vera gel? Eating it! I eat about a teaspoon a day for all the cancer fighting antioxidants, the hard to come by natural silicone and the plethora of vitamins and minerals.
Amazing Sources and Suggested Further Reading/Viewing
3. Aloe Vera Benefits Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmv5WNQEu9E