How to Fillet an Aloe Vera Plant

Overview

Aloe has a well-earned reputation as a healing plant. One of its most famous uses is for treating minor burns, as well as soothing skin in general. A number of unsubstantiated claims also exist as to its other medicinal properties; some alternative health gurus even advocate taking the gel internally. Whether you're harvesting aloe gel for burn treatment or other uses, you need to learn how to fillet an aloe plant to get at the near-translucent gel interior with as little waste as possible.

Step 1

Slice a thick, green leaf off the aloe vera plant as close to the base as possible.

Step 2

Lay the aloe leaf flat on a cutting board and slice just underneath the top layer of tough green skin on the aloe plant. Your goal is to cut the skin away cleanly while removing as little of the clear gel inside the plant as possible. Use a serrated knife with a flexible blade, if possible, to get the best results.

Step 3

Trim the tough green skin off the sides of the aloe leaf as well. Hold your knife at an angle to help remove as little of the gel inside the aloe plant as possible.

Step 4

Position the knife against the bottom layer of aloe skin, underneath the transparent aloe gel. Gently slice through this, separating the filleted aloe gel from the skin beneath it. You may need to press down very gently on the top of the aloe gel to help flatten the aloe skin against the cutting board and make the cutting easier.

Things You'll Need

  • Aloe plant
  • Serrated, flexible knife
  • Cutting board

References

  • Natural News: How to Harvest Aloe
  • Planet Green: Aloe
Keywords: aloe plant, aloe leaf, aloe gel

About this Author

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics at the University of Alaska Anchorage and contributes regularly to such websites as eHow, Garden Guides, LiveSTRONG and Trails.com. Print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.