Aloe Vera plant is a succulent that stores water in its leaves in the form of a gel. This gel is very moisturizing and is great for sunburns, insect bites, minor cuts, wounds and other skin problems. However, many store-bought aloe vera products contain potentially harmful additives such as dyes. This article explains how you can easily make your own aloe vera gel using fresh leaves of the plant.
Table of Contents
Making aloe vera gel yourself – what you need for it
Aloe vera gel can be easily made from the leaves of the aloe plant. To make your own leaf gel, you will need:
- Aloe vera leaves
- a knife or a vegetable peeler
- a small spoon
- an airtight storage container
- vitamin C and/or vitamin E in powder form (optional)
Tip: It’s best to use only one or two leaves at a time, as the gel will only keep for about 1 week without additional preservatives. If you want to keep it longer, you should freeze it or add a preservative in the form of vitamin C or E in powder form.
After gathering all the necessary materials, you can in about 30 minutes, make your own aloe vera gel.
How to prepare it
- Prepare the aloe leaves
To use fresh aloe leaves, first cut the outer leaves from the base of the plant. You can also use a store-bought leaf. Wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt, then place them upright in a cup or bowl for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the yellow resin to drain from the leaf. The resin contains latex that can irritate your skin, so it is important to perform this step. Once the resin has drained completely, wash off any residue on the leaf and peel off the thick skin with a small knife or vegetable peeler.
- Make the gel
Once the leaf is peeled, the natural aloe vera gel will emerge. Use a small spoon to scoop it out and add it to your blender. However, be careful not to add any pieces of aloe vera peel. Blend the gel until it foams and liquefies, which should only take a few seconds. Now the gel is ready to use. However, if you want to keep it longer than 1 week, you will need to add preservatives.
- Add preservatives (optional)
Vitamins C and E are excellent preservatives that can significantly extend the shelf life of your aloe vera gel. Although the gel naturally contains some of these vitamins, they are not enough to make it last longer than a week. Likewise, both vitamins contain antioxidant and anti-aging properties, so these supplements can help increase the protective effect of your homemade aloe vera gel. Add 500 mg of vitamin C powder or vitamin E powder – or both – to each (60 ml) aloe vera gel you make. Simply add the powdered vitamins directly to the blender with the gel and blend again until the additives are completely mixed.
Prepared aloe vera gel without the addition of vitamin C or E can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. However, the addition of one or both vitamins will significantly extend the shelf life in the refrigerator to 2 months. Also, you can freeze aloe gel in small quantities – for example, in an ice cube tray – to keep small amounts on hand. You can store frozen aloe gel in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Conclusion: to make aloe vera gel yourself, you need to prepare the leaves, extract the natural aloe gel and add preservatives if necessary.
Use of aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel can be applied directly to the skin to moisturize and hydrate it, but also to provide antibacterial protection to minor wounds or cuts. Additionally, it has antioxidant properties that can protect your skin from the harmful effects of excessive sun exposure. There are numerous research results that prove that clear gel promotes the healing process of the skin and is suitable for treating first to second degree burns.
A compound found in aloe called aloin was also found to be responsible for the plant’s anti-inflammatory effects in one study. The gel is also rich in unique polysaccharides, long chains of natural sugars that researchers believe give aloe its many healing properties for the skin. Aloe vera likewise contains various vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C and E, which the skin needs for its health.
Aloe vera juice – what you need to know about it.
Aloe vera can also be consumed in the form of juice. Some studies have shown that you can use aloe vera juice as a dietary supplement for various health conditions. However, most of the available data are from small short-term studies, and larger human clinical trials are still needed. It is advisable to consult a doctor before trying anything new in terms of your diet and health – even if you add aloe vera juice or supplements to your daily routine.
This is especially true if you are pregnant or still breastfeeding, as the safety of aloe vera products in these groups is not yet known.