Harvesting Aloe Vera Gel
What you will need

Aloe Plant
Sharp Knife
Butter Knife


Method

1. Remove the leaf. A sharp knife creates a clean cut, limiting damage to the plant. Slice close to the base of the leaf and away from the center of the plant.

2. Once you have your Aloe leaf, let set with cut side down to drain out yellow fluid (aloin). Then rinse the outer skin and knife under running water.

3. Remove the serrated edges and skin. Mature Aloe Vera leaves are slightly curved. Place the concave side down on a cutting board. Next, slice around the perimeter. This will leave you with the top and bottom layer of skin, exposing the Aloe gel in between. The top layer of skin comes off next. Run the butter knife just under the surface and peel it away. Now you can flip the leaf over and do the same to the other side.

4. Transfer the Aloe gel to a storage container like a plastic or glass dish with a lid. You can scrape the leaves if you will be using the gel topically and you want to get every last bit. If you plan on consuming it, be forewarned that this portion may contain some aloin, a compound found in the skin which can have a laxative effect. Store in the fridge. fresh Aloe gel will keep for about a week. If you wind up with more than you can use in that time, stick your leftovers in the freezer. You can also lengthen the shelf life by adding vitamins. For every 1/4 cup of gel, add 500 mg of Vitamin C and 400 IU of Vitamin E. You can grind Vitamin C caplets or drain Vitamin E capsules by pricking them with a small pin. Run the mixture of gel and vitamins through a blender, or stir vigorously with a spoon. This mixture can be stored for up to 8 months in the refrigerator.

For more help in demystifying the process, this video, How to Filet an Aloe Leaf, is a great visual aid!

Have fun!

 

From the Full Moon Native recipe files