Aloe vera is a healing plant that has been used for thousands of years to cure different health problems. It’s generally healthy to use vera straight from the plant, or you can purchase it in the form of a gel.
Aloe vera creams, gels, and ointments include a translucent substance embedded in the leaves of aloe vera. Such products should be used topically to the care of different skin disorders. Aloe is also marketed in capsules or liquid form to be used internally to encourage health and well-being.
How to Collect the Gel?
It’s fairly easy to collect the gel and juice of an aloe plant. You’re going to need a mature plant that is at least a couple years old as the older its is the greater the proportions of its active ingredients are.
You’ll probably want to wait a couple weeks before you remove more leaves from the same plant so you don’t damage it. Ideally you rotate a few plants if you’re going to harvest aloe regularly.
To collect the gel and juice from your Aloe Plant :
- Remove 3-4 leaves at a time, choosing thick leaves from the outer sections of the plant.
- Make sure that the leaves you pick are healthy and free of any mold or damage.
- It is extremely important to cut the leaves as close to the stem as possible, as most of the best nutrients are found at the base of the leaves.
- When cutting the leaves make sure to not damage the roots.
- Wash the cut leaves well and leave to dry.
- Cut off the ends of the leaves together with the prickly edges from sides of the leaves.
- Cut the leaves into roughly 6cm slices.
- By running your thumb in between the leaf skin and the gel slowly peel away the skin to separate.
- Place the aloe vera gel into a blender and blend until broken down. Add a bit of water whilst blending to reduce the thickness.
- Strain the contents of the blender through some cut tights for 2 or 3 times to be left with super smooth aloa vera gel.
- Store in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for a maximum of 2 weeks.
If you’re planning to eat fresh slices of aloe gel, it will remain fresh in the refrigerator for a couple days, however it’s best to consume it as soon as possible as it will spoil fast. If you are not able to use the aloe vera gel immediately you can also freeze it.
What are the Uses of Aloe Vera?
1. Treats Burns
When applied to the skin aloe vera leaves you with a soothing cool feeling making it ideal to treat light burns.
A 2013 study with 50 participants found that people who used aloe vera gel to treat superficial and partial thickness burns showed better results than those who used 1% silver sulfadiazine cream.
The people who used aloe vera demonstrated faster healing of wounds and pain relief. We can’t forget to mention that aloe vera has the bonus of being inexpensive or even free. Further research is still required, but the data available shows that aloe gel is definitely helpful to heal burn wounds.
Therefore when you get sunburned or have other minor burns, add aloe vera to the skin a couple times a day. If you have severe burns, make sure to seek medical help before applying aloe.
2. Aids for Better Digestive Health
Eating aloe vera can aid your digestive tract and help soothe and heal gastrointestinal ailments, including irritable bowel syndrome ( IBS).
A 2018 analysis looked at three reports affecting 151 individuals. The findings of the experiments found that aloe vera greatly reduced the effects of IBS compared to placebo. No adverse effects have been reported, although further work is required using a larger sample scale.
In addition, aloe vera can help inhibit the growth of H. Pylori bacteria, which are located in the digestive tract and can contribute to ulcers.
Bear in mind that this recommendation is just for aloe vera. Certain aloe plants can be poisonous and should not be taken internally.
3. Oral Hygiene
Aloe vera toothpaste and oral wash are good choices for better oral hygiene and reducing plaque.
Results of a 2017 survey found that people who used aloe vera toothpaste showed major changes in their oral health.
The research involved 40 teenagers separated into two classes. Each party used either an aloe vera toothpaste or a conventional toothpaste containing triclosan twice a day.
After 30 days, aloe toothpaste was shown to be more effective than triclosan toothpaste at lower levels of candida, plaque and gingivitis.
People who used aloe vera toothpaste had improved overall oral safety without any adverse effects.
4. Acne Relief
Using fresh aloe on your face will help clear up acne. You may also buy aloe items made for acne, including cleaners, toners and creams. They can also have the added advantage of including other important ingredients.
Acne products formulated with aloe can be less harmful to the skin than traditional acne therapies.
A small 2014 study showed that mixing a traditional acne cream with aloe vera gel was slightly more effective than acne alone or placebo in the treatment of mild to severe acne.
In this study, changes were seen in lower rates of inflammation and fewer lesions in the group that used the combination cream for a duration of eight weeks.
5. Helps Heal Anal Fissures
Who is suffering from anal fissures can benefit greatly from applying aloe vera cream to the affected area several times a day can help promote healing.
A 2014 study showed that using a cream containing aloe vera juice powder was beneficial in the treatment of persistent anal fissures. For six weeks, people used aloe powder three times a day.
Improvements have been seen in pain, hemorrhage and wound healing. These findings varied greatly from those of the control group. While this work is encouraging, further studies are needed to build on this study.
Taking Care of your Aloe Plant
You can find aloe plants in garden centers, flower shops, and also online. They are typically very easy to grow as long as they have ample sunshine and water.
Aloe plants require between six to eight hours of sunshine a day. Younger plants require less direct sunshine than more mature ones. Aloe plants are usually cultivated in warmer climates, but can be cultivated indoors in colder months.
Water the aloe plant when the soil is dry about two inches below the surface. You will use your finger to work out how dry the soil is.
Depending on the environment, you can need to water once a week or less. Often lean on the side of fewer to prevent overwatering, which can cause the tips of the aloe leaves to brown.
Make sure that your plant pot has drain holes on the bottom to allow any excess water to flow out.
Keep an eye on the health of the plant so that you can see any issues that occur and handle them accordingly.
Aloe vera plants are fairly easy to grow at home; normally the issue will be that you won’t have enough space to where to plant all the new aloe plants coming out from the soil.
There are several potential uses for this plant and is usually healthy for most people, but if you have an underlying health problem or are taking medications or use herbs, speak to the doctor before using aloe because it may interfere with other drugs and substances.