Aloe vera plant not only makes your living space look pretty by adding in aesthetical values, but they also render many health benefits when used appropriately.
Those plump and perky aloe leaves are full of beneficial juice. No wonder it is known as a medicinal plant!
Aloe vera is popular for its healing and soothing properties. You can use it to treat digestive problems or skin conditions. Aloe vera leaf is the go-to ointment if one burns themselves. Cut a small leaf and spread the juice over the burn for immediate relief.
Aloe veras have been used to treat various health conditions for thousands of years.
You can either let your aloe sit by the window or incorporate it into your diet for the numerous health benefits; the choice is yours!
Read along to find out how and when you might be able to incorporate those juicy leaves to heal your cuts or boost your health.
Table of Contents
- How to Harvest Aloe Vera?
- Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
- Ways to Use Aloe Vera at Home
- Side Effects and Health Risks of Aloe Vera
How to Harvest Aloe Vera?
You can effortlessly harvest aloe leaf for the juice it has in store. However, make sure that your aloe vera is old enough and does not mind a tiny bit of stress.
Steps to Harvest Aloe Vera Plant
If you have a full-grown aloe vera and wish to harvest it, here is a step-by-step instruction on how you can carefully harvest your aloe vera leaves without causing stress to the plant.
Step 1: Get a clean pair of knives or scissors and sterilize them properly.
Step 2: Choose a healthy and thick leaf at the base of the plant. Make sure that the leaf is insect-free and looks fit. Do not remove the leaves from the top portion of the plant.
Step 3: Carefully cut the leaves as close to the base as possible. Make sure not to damage other leaves or roots around in the process. Do not cut more than 3-4 leaves at a time unless it is pruning season.
Step 4: Wash the leaves carefully and remove the prickly edges at the rim of the leaves.
Step 5: Leave the leaves for about one to two hours, standing in an upright position with the cut edge facing downward. This will remove the harmful latex from the leaves. You will see them coming out of the cut edge in the form of a think yellow sap.
Step 6: Use a clean knife to separate the gel and the outer leaf covering. The transparent gel is the part that we can use. Discard the outer green leaf chunk.
Step 7: Place the aloe gel chunk in a water bowl and wash it to eliminate any remaining harmful latex.
Step 8: Cut them into the desired shape, use them as required, or store them in a container and freeze them later.
If you want an aloe vera paste, you can put the gel chunk in the blender and blend it as necessary. However, make sure to get rid of the green leaf segment and remove the latex beforehand.
Note: Aloe vera latex is slightly poisonous. If ingested for a long time (one gram per day), it can give you kidney failure and pose cancer threats.
Reasons to Not Harvest Aloe Vera
Let’s face it. Not all aloe veras are ready to be harvested. Hence, you should look out for signs before harvesting an aloe vera plant.
Do not harvest your aloe vera if any of the following matches the plant in your home.
- You have a very tiny and young aloe vera plant. It is best to let it mature before harvest.
- You should not have re-potted it recently. The roots should be well adjusted to the new pot before stressing the plant.
- Your aloe vera is diseased or infested with pests. Stay away from ingesting and using the sickly aloe vera leaf.
- Your aloe vera has recently been sprayed with insecticide. Wait for at least ten days before harvesting the plant.
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
There are numerous health benefits of aloe vera plants that have been proven by research. You can either ingest it orally or apply it topically, depending upon your requirement.
The aloe gel contains bioactive compounds, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. And, the list does not end there.
Check out the research on aloe vera supported by U.S. Department of Health and human Services
The following are a few benefits that come along with your aloe vera plant.
For Treating Digestion Problem
Aloe vera is a go-to medicine for numerous digestive abnormalities. It is one of the most trusted traditional remedies for indigestion.
If you have constipation, you can take aloe vera orally as a natural laxative.
People with irritable bowel symptoms have plenty of success with aloe vera gel. It also helps reduce the occurrences of stomach ulcers and improve your digestion.
Well, if you want a good metabolism, go ahead and start consuming aloe vera leaves.
For Dental Plaque
This might come as a surprise to you, but regular use of aloe vera-infused toothpaste can reduce dental plaque. How is that possible?
Aloe vera is proven to be operational in killing the plaque-producing bacteria and yeast in the mouth.
Studies found that if one uses aloe vera mouth rinse for about thirty days, their mouth odor will significantly improve in no time.
For Treating Skin Conditions
The antifungal and antibacterial properties of aloe vera gel ensure that your skin is free from harmful organisms. Due to the presence of salicylic acid, it also exfoliates your skin and unclogs the pores.
It moisturizes your dry spots and gets rid of dry or flaky skin. People with eczema and psoriasis swear by this natural skin ointment.
And, did you know that aloe vera gel is also used in the treatment of acne?
For Wounds and Burns
People all around the globe use aloe vera gel as a topical natural medication for wounds, cuts, and burns. There is a long history and numerous research that prove the benefits of aloe vera gel for sunburns.
The United States Pharmacopeia described aloe vera gel as a natural skin protectant in the early 1800s.
Aloe vera has also been proven effective in treating first and second-degree burns.
It reduces the healing and recovery time by nine days in comparison to a conventional burn medication. It further removes the instances of itching, redness, swelling, and infections.
Lower Blood Sugar
Aloe vera is a magic herb for patients with diabetes. Studies confirm that aloe vera contains compounds such as lectins, anthraquinones, and mannans which help maintain the blood sugar levels in diabetic people.
It also aids in the protection and repair of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Ways to Use Aloe Vera at Home
Aloe vera is ninety-nine percent water and has an abundance of nutritional vitamins. Today, you will find several daily items in the market, from soaps to sprays enriched with aloe vera extract.
There are numerous ways you can use aloe vera gel in your daily life, from giving yourself a beauty boost to fulfilling your nutritional needs. Its applications are endless and are increasing with time.
No wonder the Egyptians called aloe vera “the plant of immortality.”
The following are the most common use of aloe vera in our daily routine.
Aloe Vera Tea and Smoothies
The best way to start your morning and steer your digestive system is through a warm cup of aloe vera tea.
Just scrape some gel from the aloe leaf and mix it in a cup of warm water. You may add some honey to sweeten the drink.
Furthermore, you can go ahead and add a hint of aloe vera juice to your favorite smoothie blend for a vitamin boost. This is one of the most popular ways to consume aloe vera gel.
All-time Natural Shaving Cream
Due to the hydrating properties of aloe vera gel, it has been used as a shaving gel for centuries. It not only provides that perfect slip to glide in your razors but also heals those razor cuts effectively.
Here is a step-by-step instruction on how you can prepare your very own aloe shaving gel the modern way.
- Mix ¼ cup o Castile soap, 1/3 cup of natural aloe vera gel, ¼ cup of distilled water, one tablespoon almond oil, one teaspoon vitamin E oil, and five drops of eucalyptus oil in a foaming bottle or a simple soap dispenser.
- Shake the mixture and store it in the refrigerator for as long as six months.
Multi-vitamin Hair Rinse
Everyone wants healthy and shiny hair; no wonder we are desperate to try out all the products that promote “multi-vitamin properties.”
If only we knew that our pretty little aloe vera plants were potent enough to give us the hair of our dreams, the plant stores would be in aloe shortage.
Aloe vera has been used to make the hair silky and soft for centuries. Even Cleopatra swears by its multi-vitamin benefits!
If you are wondering how to use the gel on your hair, follow these steps religiously.
- Mix one tablespoon of aloe vera gel with one teaspoon of lemon juice and half a cup of water.
- After shampooing your hair, rinse your hair with this mix and leave it for five minutes.
- Rinse your hair again with plain cold water.
Aloe Vera Moisturizer
Who doesn’t wish for baby-soft skin, right?
Go ahead, crack open that nutrition-rich aloe leaf and give your skin some additional vitamin E. After removing the latex, you can directly apply this gel to your clean face, neck, and entire body.
If you have a scar or a burn, continuous aloe vera as a natural moisturizer will efficiently help you get rid of the postmarks.
Furthermore, it is also believed to hide signs of aging by reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Here are simple steps to make your own natural aloe vera moisturizer for daily use.
- Mix ten spoons of natural aloe vera gel with one spoon of almond oil and five drops of vitamin E oil.
- Store it in an air-tight container and place it in your refrigerator.
You can use your very own aloe vera moisturizer for up to two months.
Discard the product and prepare a fresh batch after two months or once you start observing a color change.
Heal Those Cracked and Dry Feet
If you have cracked and dry feet, go ahead and prepare a green foot mask to make your heels baby soft.
Here’s the top recipe for a healthy and well-nourished foot.
- Mix 4 tablespoons of natural aloe vera gel with ½ cup of oatmeal, 1/3 cup of body lotion, and four tablespoons of coconut oil.
- Rub this mixture all over your feet and exfoliate for a few minutes.
- Let it sit for about 10 minutes and rinse with warm water.
Repeat this process twice to three times a week before bedtime to heal those dry feet.
Side Effects and Health Risks of Aloe Vera
While aloe vera presents itself with uncountable health benefits, it also has a few downsides that can cause adverse effects on our health.
It mostly has to do with inappropriate consumption and the pre-existing health conditions of individuals.
The best way to consume aloe vera without taking in the side effects is by consuming it appropriately. Also, pay attention to how your body reacts.
If you experience any irritation or allergies, stop using immediately.
Remember that when it comes to herbal medication, a little goes a long way.
Some possible side effects of using aloe vera are as follows.
- Kidney problems
- Reduced potassium levels
- Diarrhea or abdominal cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Imbalance in electrolytic fluids in the body
- Presence of blood in the urine
If you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above, stop using aloe vera instantly.
And in case of severe reactions, visit the nearby or your go-to skin hospital for immediate care.
Additionally, it is advised not to consume aloe vera orally if any of the following matches your condition.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Under the age of 12 or over the age of 60
- You have any chronic illness or are under medication
- If you develop allergies to the aloe vera gel
In any case, it is best to consult with your health care professional before incorporating aloe vera into your daily diet.
As for topical application, you can use aloe vera gel without any concerns.
Aloe vera is a beneficial plant, no argument. I mean, it is proven by research. And who’s to argue with scientific research, right?
Hence, I hope if you didn’t already know about these numerous health benefits rendered by your tabletop aloe vera plant, you would start looking at it differently from now.
Let us keep our gut healthy and happy with the magical aloe vera leaves!
Gift your friend a pot for their healthy indoor plant. Find the 10 best pots for aloe veras here.