How to Harvest & Use Aloe Vera Plants

Overview

Aloe vera is a specific species of aloe that is native to northern Africa. The aloe vera plant grows up to 40 inches tall and is a very popular houseplant, due to its medicinal uses. The aloe vera plant contains aloe vera gel. This gel contains eight essential amino acids that the human body requires but cannot make itself. Aloe vera gel is harvested from the aloe vera plant. It can be used in many medicinal applications.

Step 1

Grasp one of the stalks of the aloe vera plant, and cut it off near the base with a sharp knife.

Step 2

Stand the cutting upright in a bowl for about 10 minutes to let the sap drain out of the stalk.

Step 3

Cut the tip off the stalk, and cut the serrated edges off of both sides. Slice the aloe vera stalk lengthwise.

Step 4

Scrape out each half of the stalk with a spoon or butter knife. The slimy stuff is the mucilage, and the stuff clear is the gel.

Step 5

Mix the gel and the mucilage together in a bowl until it has a liquid consistency. You may want to puree it in a blender to speed up the process.

Step 6

Apply to burns, rashes, dry or itchy skin and to sunburn for relief. Apply to your skin as you would lotion, completely covering the affected area.

Tips and Warnings

  • Although aloe vera gel can be taken internally, consult with a naturopath before doing so. If all the sap isn't properly removed, it can have negative health consequences.

References

  • Disabled World: Aloe Vera Plant History Uses and Benefits
  • The Gardener's Network: How to Grow Aloe Plants
  • Knowledge Hound: How to Juice an Aloe Leaf
Keywords: aloe vera plant, aloe vera gel, harvesting aloe vera

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.