Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is known to have numerous health benefits. It is used in the cosmetic industry and is popular among people who use natural products. The plant is easy to grow, and once it matures, it can produce gel-filled leaves that contain the active ingredient with numerous health benefits. However, many people struggle with finding the right way to harvest aloe vera, and this can lead to wastage of the plant’s potential. In this article, we will share some tips and secrets on how to harvest aloe vera correctly to get the most value from the plant.
What You Need to Harvest Aloe Vera
The first step in harvesting aloe vera is to gather all the necessary tools to ensure a smooth and easy process. To harvest aloe vera, you will need:
- A pair of sharp scissors
- A clean, dry cutting board
- A clean, sharp knife or vegetable peeler
- A clean, dry container to put the gel in
Before harvesting, ensure the tools you are using are clean and have been sanitized to prevent contamination of the plant’s gel.
Identifying When to Harvest Aloe Vera
The next step is to identify when the aloe vera is ready to be harvested. The leaves of the aloe vera plant grow from the center outwards. The best time to harvest aloe vera is when the outer leaves start to droop or sag. This is an indication that the leaf is full of gel, and it’s time to harvest it.
Harvesting Aloe Vera
Once you have identified a mature leaf to harvest, use a pair of sharp scissors to cut the leaf off the plant. Make sure you cut the leaf as close to the base as possible, without damaging the plant. It’s essential to be careful to avoid damaging the next leaves to grow.
Trimming the Leaf
After you have harvested the leaf, place it on a clean, dry cutting board. Use a clean, sharp knife or vegetable peeler to remove the thorny edges of the leaf. Start by cutting off the sharp edges, and then peel off the thick green skin to expose the gel inside. When trimming the leaf, ensure you remove as little of the gel as possible.
Storing the Aloe Vera Gel
Once you have extracted the gel from the leaf, store it in a clean, dry container. The gel can last for up to a week if refrigerated. You can also store it in the freezer for an extended period.
Using Aloe Vera Gel
The aloe vera gel can be used in various ways, including:
- To soothe sunburns
- To moisturize the skin
- To promote wound healing
- To reduce inflammation and pain
- To promote hair growth
The gel can be applied directly to the skin, or it can be added to your shampoo, conditioner, or lotion. When using the gel, ensure you follow the instructions carefully.
Harvesting aloe vera is essential to get the most out of the plant’s gel. With the tips shared in this article, you can easily harvest aloe vera like a pro. Remember always to sanitize your tools before harvesting, identify when the plant is mature enough to harvest, and be careful when trimming the leaf. With these simple steps, you will be able to reap the full benefits of aloe vera gel.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How often can I harvest aloe vera?
You can harvest mature leaves of aloe vera every 3-4 months, depending on the size of the plant.
- Can you eat aloe vera gel?
Aloe vera gel is safe for human consumption in small amounts and is commonly used in health drinks and supplements.
- Can I store aloe vera gel for an extended period?
Yes, you can store aloe vera gel in the freezer for a more extended period.
1. The Benefits of Using Aloe Vera for Skin Care – Dermstore (https://www.dermstore.com/blog/top_ten/benefits-aloe-vera-skin-care/)
2. How to Harvest Aloe Vera: 8 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow (https://www.wikihow.com/Harvest-Aloe-Vera)