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As I was strolling into my neighborhood health food store this week, with my list of two or three things, I stumbled across an offering of large aloe vera leaves in the refrigerator section! These dudes were crazy big! And for $1.99 each, I just had to have one! Let me show you how easy it is to learn how to make aloe vera gel!
Now, being no stranger to aloe vera, remember I grew up down south, I was thrilled. Aloe vera gel has so many uses, it’s ridiculous, but let’s start with how to peel this bad boy and extract that awesome gel.
First things first, we want to create our own little plant from this leaf. We’re striving for sustainability after all, right? We don’t want to ever have to buy it again, so let’s try to get a little plant of our own going!
After washing well, we’re going to cut the top 6″ or so off and put into a 50/50 mixture of potting soil and sand. Water lightly with a bit of rooting hormone mixed in, and make sure your plant has very good drainage. Aloe vera plants do not like too much water, and especially do not like wet roots. Set somewhere it can get sun part of the day, but not full sun. With a little luck, it’ll grow some roots and you’ll be growing your own aloe vera plant!
Now, we’re going to cut the bottom of the leaf open and let it drain. The leaf contains resin, which can be irritating to the skin, so let it drain for an hour or so. It’s just a bit of yellow stickiness, so just clean your bowl after.
Peeling is next, and I’ve seen this done many ways. I prefer to peel with a knife, but do what you prefer. Just be sure to capture as much gel as possible by not peeling too thick. You can use a peeler or a knife, just be careful.
As you finish peeling each section, cube the gel and put into a clean container.
You can smash with a fork or make it easy on yourself and put in the blender. Whip for just a sec, it’ll look like this…
How fabulous is this? Think about how much aloe vera gel costs at the store, and you’ll be thrilled to realize that you’ve just made about 8 ounces of pure aloe vera gel for $1.99! Here are a few links to read about all the wonderful uses for aloe vera, here, here and here.
Now, don’t throw those peels away, they are good for acne as well as puffy under-eyes. Enjoy!