Aloe vera is a commonly grown succulent and widely used in skin care products and beneficial for many things, including skin conditions and burns. With over 300 species of plants, you can easily find aloe vera plants at your local nursery, and they often grow in the right conditions all year long.
Whether you decide to grow aloe vera plants at home or buy from an organic aloe vera manufacturer, it can quickly become essential for skin issues. Aloe vera juice and aloe vera gel are used by many cosmetic companies, supplements, and juice companies that strive to bring you only the highest quality products that include aloe vera gel in their ingredients.
If you love aloe vera and have an aloe plant, learning the best way to cut and harvest your aloe leaves will save you money and ensure you get pure aloe. Here is the best way to cut your aloe leaves.
Steps For Harvesting Your Aloe Vera Leaves
Aloe vera has been used medicinally for thousands of years to heal burns, clear acne, and improve digestive health.
1. Assess Your Aloe Vera Plant
The first thing you need to do before you harvest aloe vera gel is to ensure that your plant is mature, which takes about 3 to 4 years. A mature and healthy aloe plant will have large, green leaves approximately 8 inches(20cm) long.
Aloe vera plants grow from the center of the plant outwards, and the outermost leaves are the oldest, most prominent, and rich in aloe vera gel and best to use when cutting. It is also good to wait a few weeks between cutting leaves to give the plant time to recover from stress. For this reason, some people will have more than one plant from which they can harvest aloe leaves.
2. Cutting Aloe Vera Leaves
Once your plant is mature and ready to harvest an aloe leaf, use a sharp knife at the base of the plant to cut off one of the outermost leaves. Aloe leaves do not grow back, and when you only cut one leaf, you will leave the majority of the plant to continue to grow and have an endless supply of aloe vera.
3. Wash Off Your Aloe Vera Leaf
After cutting the aloe leaf, a yellowish substance will begin oozing from the cut. The yellow ooze is aloe latex or aloin, not aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel is clear and thick, and you want to avoid contaminating it with aloin because it has laxative properties that can affect your digestive system.
Point the leaf vertically with the cut end down into a bowl allowing the substance to come out. Fill up a pitcher with water and use your fingers to clean the leaf, going from top to bottom and directing the water into the bowl. It may take up to an hour for all of the aloin to drip out, so be patient.
4. How To Cut The Leaves Open
- Begin by laying the leaf flat on a cutting board with the flat part facing up as it is easier to cut than the rounded bottom.
- Remove the sharp, serrated edges and toss them into compost or trash
- Gently remove the skin of the leaf with a sharp knife. Some people also prefer to cut it into sections either in strips lengthwise or cubes width-wise
- Begin at the part closest to you, placing the blade at a slight angle right under the leaf’s top skin and as close to the skin as you can to ensure you get all or most of the gel on one side of the leaf
5. Time To Harvest The Aloe Vera Gel
Gently and slowly slide the knife between the gel and the skin, moving away from you until you have removed the top of the aloe leaf.
Use a spoon to scoop any remaining gel out of the leaf remains, trimming away any of the yellowish aloin until you have a clear, translucent pulp remaining. Quickly rinse, and your fresh aloe vera gel is ready to use!
6. Storing Your Aloe Vera Gel
Whether using your aloe vera gel for your skin or in a smoothie, you may find you don't use it all. You can store the remainder of the leaf in the refrigerator keeping it cool and moist to slow down the enzymatic breakdown of aloe.
Cover the end in foil or wrap, place a rubber band around it, and put it in an air-tight container. Your aloe vera leaves may last up to two weeks; however, use your harvested aloe vera gel immediately for best results.
Get The Best Aloe Vera Gel From Aloe Labs
At Aloe Laboratories, we have total control over the manufacturing process, from growing the aloe plants on our farm to harvesting and processing.
Our high-quality aloe vera is available in bulk, aloe vera gel, juice, or powder, and we will also work with you to create your own private label business. Contact us to learn more about how adding aloe vera gel will enhance your products or turn your dream of owning a business into a reality.