How to Make Aloe Vera Gel from Fresh Aloe Vera Leaves

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If you’ve grown and cared for your own aloe vera plant, you probably want to harvest the gel. It’s easy to learn how to make aloe vera gel at home. All you really need is the aloe vera juice from your plant leaves. Optionally you can add some vitamin C and/or vitamin e powder.

What Is Aloe Vera Used For?

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that’s prized for its medicinal or healing properties. While there is more folk wisdom than science behind some of these uses, many people find aloe soothing and effective.

The clear, jelly-like gel from the aloe vera plant is often used to treat burns – especially sun burn – wounds, and skin irritations. Some people also use aloe vera to help with conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

Aloe is used for both skin and hair by many people. For hair, it can act as a moisturizing light hold gel. It’s especially popular with people rocking natural curls and coils.

You can also make a very easy aloe vera lip balm from just aloe gel and one or two other ingredients.

Aloe vera gel in bottle next to cut aloe leaves

In alternative medicine, aloe vera gel can also be taken orally to treat digestive issues. It’s believed to help with a variety of conditions, including constipation, indigestion, and heartburn. And there really is science suggesting it can help with acid reflux.

How to use aloe vera gel

To use aloe vera gel topically, simply apply it to the affected area of skin or hair. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the gel for added benefits.

For oral use, you can mix the juice with other juices or smoothies. You can also just swallow it as is, but the taste can be unpleasant. The doses are not clearly established, but for constipation some people take 50 milligrams of aloe extract daily.

Some people believe aloe helps to stabilize blood sugar, but the science is mixed and you should consult a doctor before trying it.

Can you be allergic to aloe vera gel?

That’s a big yes, unfortunately. Test aloe vera gel on your skin before using it on an open wound. Aloe leaves contain latex, so be especially careful if you’re allergic to latex.

Chunks of aloe vera gel in spoon beside chopped leaf

What you need to make your own aloe vera

  • Aloe leaves
  • Optional: powdered Vitamin C and/or vitamin E oil to act as preservatives
  • Sharp knife
  • Cup for draining the resin
  • Blender or food chopper
  • Airtight container for storing the finished product

Without adding a preservative in the form of vitamin C or E, your gel will only last about a week. With them, it will last longer. It’s still best not to make too much at a time.

Prepare the aloe leaves

Pick 1-2 outer leaves on the plant. That is, the ones around the outside, growing closer to the ground or potting soil. The thicker they are, the more gel they will yield.

If you don’t have your own plant, you can buy aloe vera leaves at some markets and particularly farmer’s markets.

Take a sharp knife and cut the leaf or leaves off close to the base. Put them in a cup with the cut side down so the yellowy resin can drain out into the cup. The resin contains latex, which irritates some people’s skin.

Let the leaves drain for about 10 minutes and then remove them from the cup. Now to make your aloe vera.

Aloe vera gel in bottle next to cut aloe leaves
Yield: 1 cup aloe vera gel

How to Make Aloe Vera Gel

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate
Estimated Cost: $10-20

If you have your own aloe plant, you probably want to harvest the gel. All you really need is the aloe vera juice from your plant leaves.

Materials

  • Aloe leaves
  • Optional: powdered Vitamin C and/or vitamin E oil to act as preservatives

Tools

  • Sharp knife
  • Cup for draining the resin
  • Blender or food chopper
  • Airtight container for storing the finished product

Instructions

  1. Use your sharp knife to cut two big mature aloe leaves from the outer portion of the plant. You want to use the thickest leaves that grow near the base. They'll have the most gel.
  2. Put the leaves upright in a cup, cut side down for about 10 minutes. This lets the latex-containing resin drain out.
  3. Take your knife or a vegetable peeler and slice away the outer green skin of each leaf.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop out the thick clear gel. Put this into your blender If you want to add vitamin C or E as a preservative, do that now.
  5. Blend for just a few seconds to liquify the gel, and to blend in the preservative if you're using one.
  6. Pour the mixture into an airtight container and seal. You're done!

Notes

When choosing leaves, remember: the thicker they are, the more gel they yield.

Did you make this project?

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