Motherhood, Wifehood, Lifehood

How To Harvest Your Aloe Vera House Plant- A Step-By-Step Guide

I probably don’t have to convince you of all the medicinal/beneficial uses that come from the aloe plant.  Chances are, you already know them and that’s why you’re here.  You’ve googled it, you’ve read, you’ve researched, and then you went out and bought your very own aloe plant to take home and care for.  Good for you!

But now what?

I got my first aloe plant from a friend and it was huge!  She spent a good thirty minutes telling me all about the benefits of aloe and explaining why I needed this plant in my life.  There was no way she was letting me go home without it.  I named it Britney Spears because it’s leaves stuck out just like spears.  Also because I’m pretty sure that Britney Spears 2007 is my spirit animal.

When Britney and I made it back (surprisingly in one piece) from Illinois to Texas, I put her in a special spot, sat down on the couch, and did some research of my own on this little miracle plant.

There are tons of articles out there listing the benefits and dangers of the aloe plant.  Benefits can range anywhere from hair and skin health, to digestive health, to healing cuts, scrapes and burns.  And that is just to name a few.

I’m sure we’ve all used the green aloe gel in the bottle after a week of being in the sun too long.  That’s probably a given.  But the two main reasons we use it in my house are a little less obvious.

Reason Number One:  My daughter and I both have super thin hair.  If I do an aloe hair mask on each of us once a week, I can see a noticeable difference in the thickness and the overall health of our hair.

Reason Number Two:  My toddler has problems pooping.  There.  I said it.  I hope she doesn’t hate me for this when she’s older.  She has a very sensitive stomach and we have to keep a very strict diet with her.  We’ve had these issues since she was a baby and putting a half aloe cube (I’m going to teach you how to make those), in her diluted juice a few times a week helps keep her digestive system on track.  We had tried so many different things and the poor babe would go days without going to the bathroom and when she finally would go, it was the size of my fist and rock hard.  I apologize if this is too much information.  But I want my readers and friends to know that this has been proven in our house to work.  Aloe acts as a safe natural laxative and it has been one of the only things that work for my daughter.  Happy Toddler.  Happy Life.

Whatever brought you here, I know you are ready to harvest your aloe…so let’s get to it, shall we?

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Supplies Needed:

  • sharp scissors
  • vase or open jar
  • sharp knife
  • spoon
  • small bowl
  • blender
  • measuring cup
  • ice cube trays
  • air tight container

Directions:

Step One:  Picking out the thickest, longest leaves on your aloe plant, cut the leaves as close as you can to the base.  Each of my leaves were 8-10 inches long.  I cut ten leaves to harvest.

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Step Two:  Place the cut leaves into a vase or open jar with the open end pointing down.  This will allow the yellow sap to drain out.  The yellow sap is a poison containing a chemical called “aloin”, and is referred to as aloe latex.  This is considered the dangerous part of the plant.  If this is ingested in high doses, it can cause skin irritations, rashes, and digestive problems, so it’s very important that you let the aloe latex drain out completely.  This takes about an hour.

Step Three:  After you have drained all of the aloe latex, it’s time to start digging.  Taking a sharp knife, cut off both ends of the leaf and carefully remove the sharp pointed edges on each side.  Cut as close as you can to the dark green part of the plant, so you don’t discard any gel.  When the pointy sides are removed, carefully cut off one of the two remaining green sides.  When you’re done, it should look like this…

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Step Four:  Once you have cut off all but one side of the aloe leaf, take your knife or a small spoon and gently scrape the gel out into a small bowl.  This part will be a little messy, but the cool part is that there will be no need to wash your hands.  Just rub the gel in!  Like we already discussed, aloe can work wonders on your skin.  Scrape the leaves until all of the gel has been collected into your bowl.

 

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Step Five:  Now that you have all of your gel in the bowl, let’s blend it.  Dump the contents of the bowl into your blender.  Since aloe is basically just a jelly, and depending on how much aloe you are blending, the pulse cycle is the best cycle for this.  Pulse the gel, checking it after every 2-3 pulses.  Do this until all the gel has turned into a thick liquid.

Step Six:  After the gel has been pulsed into a liquid, pour it from the blender to a measuring cup.  I do this for two reasons:  One, because the spout on the measuring cup makes it easier to pour into the ice cube trays.  And two, because it helps me keep track of how many plant leaves make how many aloe cubes.  You can see below that the ten leaves that I used, all being between 8-10 inches long, made just over 1/3 cup…

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Step Seven:  Pour the gel from the measuring cup into the ice cube trays.  I like using ice cube trays because I can control the “serving amount”.  For instance, my hair mask uses 1-2 cubes, but I only give my daughter about a half a cube at a time so I don’t overdo her dosage.  I will normally fill half of the tray with full cubes and the other half will be half cubes.

Step Eight:  Let them freeze until they become aloe “ice” cubes.  This takes about 1-3 hours.  Once they are frozen solid, transfer them into an air tight container and put them back in the freezer for storage.  Use as necessary.

Side Note:  Frozen aloe can be kept and used for up to a year.

I hope you found this post helpful!  If you did, (or didn’t), let me know!  Let’s chat!  Leave me a comment below.  I would love to hear your feedback and know your thoughts!  And as always, don’t forget to follow me on IG and Pinterest!

 

 

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