If you've got a minor cut or nasty sunburn you may reach for the aloe vera for the soothing and healing qualities. You don't have to buy aloe, it is easy to extract the aloe from the inside of the leaf of a living aloe vera plant.
Pure aloe vera gel has been used for thousands of years to treat minor burns. Here's how to harvest it yourself, from an aloe vera plant.
You Will Need
* An aloe vera plant
* A serrated knife
Taking aloe or aloe latex orally for laxative effects may lead to cramping or diarrhea.
Step 1: Cut off an aloe vera leaf
Using a serrated knife, cut a large aloe vera leaf from a living plant. The leaf should be green and thick.
Step 2: Drain the liquid resin
Hold the leaf cut side down and allow the liquid resin in the inner lining of the leaf to drip out.
Persons allergic to garlic and onions may have allergic reactions to aloe.
Step 3: Cut off the top layer
Cut off the top layer of the leaf's skin to expose the underlying layer of aloe vera gel.
Step 4: Cut away the sides of the leaf
Cut away the skin from the two sides of the leaf.
Step 5: Remove the gel
Cut the layer of gel away from the bottom layer of skin and place it in a cup.
Some taxonomists have suggested that aloe vera is an ancient hybrid and not a naturally developed species.