The scientific name for aloe vera is Aloe barbadensis. According to The Garden Helper, there are more than 250 species of aloes in the world. Aloe vera plants are well known for their medicinal value. It is the mucilaginous gel within the aloe vera plant that is used to heal rashes, burns and other skin conditions. The outer skin has no value. This means you must cut open the aloe vera plant to get to the gel when you need it.
Put on a pair of garden gloves before working with your aloe vera plant. The aloe plant has sharp spines that run down its sides. They can stick you if you are not careful.
Locate a shoot on your aloe plant that is toward the outside. These are the most mature. Use a sharp knife and cut the shoot off at the base, as near to the soil as you can get.
Lay the shoot on a paper towel. Use your knife to slice the thorns off the sides.
Slice the top layer of skin off the shoot to expose the gel. There will be several layers of cells that contain gel. You can scrape them one layer at a time to use on your cuts or burns.