Harvesting Your Own Aloe Vera Is Easier Than You'd Think

Aloe vera is one of those wonderful hardy and medicinal plants we have on this earth. It can grow just about anywhere, and it makes an ideal houseplant, too. Harvesting your own aloe vera is super simple, and we're going to take you through it step by step. It's a fantastic thing to have a large, healthy aloe vera plant that you can harvest gel from anytime you need it, ensuring its incredible healing properties and health benefits are always right at your fingertips!

The best part about growing aloe vera is that it's so easy to do so. If you want it to grow faster, put it outside in warm weather and bring it inside when the temperatures drop. The bigger and healthier plant you have, the better. Older plants have higher concentrations of the important active ingredients. Remember that you can never take more than a third of any plant in order to ensure it continues to thrive after a harvest.

How to harvest fresh aloe vera gel

Harvesting your own fresh aloe vera gel is much easier than you think. Once you have the right plant targeted, simply harvest three or four thick leaves from the bottom outer edge of the plant. Use a very sharp and sterilized paring knife and cut close to the stalk, where most of the nutrients are located. Once you've cut the leaves, set them in a glass cut side down to drain the aloin for about 10 to 15 minutes. Aloin is a yellow liquid that can give you severe stomach cramps if you eat it.

After all the aloin drains from the aloe leaves, thoroughly rinse with cold water and towel dry. Now you'll want a small sharp paring knife or a filleting knife. Trim away the spines along the edges first with the flat side down. Slice the skin off the flat side first, then the rounded side, making sure to peel as little gel off with the skin as possible. Rinse off the gel and pat dry.

How to save, preserve, and use fresh aloe vera gel

Unskinned aloe vera leaves can be kept in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. To store them this way, wrap them first in a paper towel and then inside a ziplock baggie. This seals just the right amount of moisture inside. If you want to keep your aloe vera leaves for longer, try freezing them. In this case, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and then in a ziplock baggie.

Alternatively, you can make your own homemade aloe vera gel to use anytime, and it's as simple as it gets. Just be sure to fully skin the leaves and drain the aloin first. Then, put the chunks of aloe vera flesh into a blender and blend until smooth. You can then store the gel by pouring it into a small ice cube tray and freezing it. The cube-sized chunks are the perfect size to use when thawed.