Learning how to get aloe vera gel from your aloe plant is a handy skill to have! My son recently had a bad experience with a chemical hand sanitizer. We rarely use them but we were out and about and I didn’t have any other option. After the rash cleared up, I decided to make homemade hand sanitizing spray for those times when we couldn’t get to soap and water. Most articles seemed to say “combine alcohol with aloe vera gel and add essential oils’. I could do that! I have a nice sized aloe plant and would just have to figure out how to get aloe vera gel from inside it!
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How To Get Aloe Vera Gel From Your Aloe Plant
I turned to my friend Google to learn how to get gel from an aloe vera plant. Google says: Wash, slice open, and scoop out. Easy right? Well, let me just share with you the experience I had as I figured out how to get aloe out of plant! (please note, the aloe gel you get from this is for EXTERNAL use only!) Certain purification has to be done when you get aloe vera from a plant before it is safe for consumption.
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Extracting your aloe gel: Step one!
The first step of extracting aloe vera gel from an aloe plant is to actually have an aloe plant that is large enough to provide you with a sufficient amount of aloe gel. I have had mine growing on the patio for about a year and the stalk I chose was over a foot long. Make sure you choose a nice, thick stem and cut it at the base of the plant with a sharp knife.
Why does my aloe vera plant stink?
As soon as you chop off that stem to get aloe vera gel from your plant, you are going to notice some clear, yellow liquid seeping out of the bottom of the stem. This stuff smells VILE and I assume it is some attempt by the plant to discourage critters from eating all its’ tasty aloe stems. Prop your stalk up in a small bowl and let the yellow stuff just seep out for 10 minutes or so.
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Wash your aloe stems before extracting aloe gel
Once you have let the yellow, stinky goo come out of your aloe vera stem, it is time to wash it and move on to actually extracting aloe vera gel from your aloe plant. Just run under cold water, making sure you rinse off the end where the yellow liquid came out of. Dry it off on a kitchen towel and grab a sharp knife.
Lay your aloe vera leaf on a cutting board and slice it length wise right up the middle. You are basically filleting the aloe vera leaf like you would a fish. Open up the two halves and place them on your board.
Isolating the aloe vera gel from the plant
Now come the frustrating, slimy, and messy part of this process. You need to get the gel OUT of the leaf. Use a spoon and scoop the aloe gel out from inside while simultaneously trying to hold onto it and preventing it from slipping out of your hands onto the floor.
I really thought that the aloe vera ‘gel’ would be just like the liquid stuff you buy in the store. It is NOT. Yes, there is some stuff that is liquidy that comes out of the leaf but most of it is a firm, gelatinous substance that resembles hardened jello. The liquidy stuff that you can extract will resemble something that came out of your toddler’s nose the last time they had a horrible head cold.
The rather firm aloe vera gel that resembles a fun children’s dessert can be put into a small food processor and pureed until it is smooth and more liquid than solid. Once you have your aloe vera gel, you can make your own DIY Hand Sanitizing Spray like I did.
Using homemade aloe gel
I will say, though, that the homemade stuff left some particulates in my spray and I had to blend it with the alcohol in a personal size blender before it went into solution. The spray turned out fine and works well, though, and I didn’t have to go BUY aloe vera gel which saved me a few pennies! Make sure that you store this in a glass spray bottle and I recommend keeping it in the refrigerator. Want to know how to get aloe out of a plant? Watch this video from Howcast.com!
There are a ton of uses for aloe vera gel so keeping a plant or two around the house is definitely a smart idea. Check out Wiki How to learn how to grow aloe vera. Have any tips on how to get aloe vera gel out of the plant without quite so much work?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.