I’ve heard of aloe since forever and I’ve tried many of the commercial products that contain aloe in them, it is said that it can treat blisters, constipation and even boost your libido! Among all its benefits, the one that interests me most is that it is “cicatrisant”(scar-healing) and anti-ageing. Skin-ageing is about trauma and scars that time leaves on our skin, so nowadays, scientists seem to develop lots of the “cicatrizants” into anti-ageing products. Aloe Vera is one of the 250 known species of aloe. It can be found in desert or semi-desert regions, although it is best grown in mild climates where there is few rain, as in Canary Islands.
Most anti-ageing plants or oils have unstable properties such as non-saturated acids, Vitamin C, natural aloe gel once extracted from its leaf is very quickly oxidized, so it’s better just to buy or have a live plant and only extract it whenever you need it. I don’t have a plant but would like to have one, otherwise the market nearby sells fresh aloe leaves every day, so once in a while I just buy a leaf and extract the gel myself, eat and use it as a facial mask.Composition
Water, resin, aloin
Proteins: enzymes, polysaccharide
Vitamins: B12, B1, B2, B5, B6, A and C
Dietary Minerals: aluminium, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, phosphorus, iron, manganese, copper, sulphur, silver, germanium, titanium and chromium.
Acids: Cinnamic acid, folic and salicylic acids which provide a great cleansing of the skin because they are able to penetrate in all its layers and eliminate bacteria and any fat deposits that might block sweating through the pores.The main and most researched properties of aloe are:
Digestive and AntisepticHow to Extract the Gel from Aloe Vera
The Aloe Vera leaf is long and has serrated edges, you need to be careful manipulating it. It’s better to wear gloves when cutting it, it can be any solid gloves. I handily picked up the pair of anti-heat gloves that seems knife-proven. You should also use a sharp but not too sharp knife, just in case because it can get very slippery and if it glides on your hand, it won’t cut off all your fingers! Fresh aloe gel can’t restore shredded fingers, I can guarantee that!
Below is the most conventional way to cut Aloe Vera, you can also use a big needle to extract the gel or cut it horizontally. The gel is the thick fleshy part in between the skin of the leaf.
1) Cut the leaf into smaller sections, which makes it a little more manageable.
2) Cut off the serrated edge. Try to get just the edge because it is difficult to get the gel out of those pieces.
3) Turn your blade to its side and slide it in just under the skin on the end of one of the strips.
4) Carefully slide the knife along the bottom edge of the skin down the whole length of the leaf. Try to stay close to the skin so you get as much gel as you can.
5) Once you get the whole piece of skin off, flip the section over and repeat with the other side.
Aloe Vera can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week, I usually don’t extract all the gel from a large leaf but just cut it out little by little when I need it. I would mix some of the gel in fruit salads, smoothies, etc., but you can also just bite into it and eat it as snacks like that. I use the rest for facial or hair masks. How to Eat Aloe Vera
First one is to eat directly the raw gel. According to research, Aloe Vera gel favors digestion and weight loss. It would also help against chronic diseases like diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Aloe Vera has only a slight bitter taste, if you can tolerate it, can drink it directly.
I usually just squeeze a bit of the gel into fruit juices, smoothies or soups, to dilute the taste.
You can also mix it into some sauces, salsa sauce, for example. The following is the recipe:
Put aloe Vera in a blender with tomatoes, coriander, sea salt, lime juice and garlic. Mix everything until you get a thick paste. You will get a delicious salsa sauce that you can serve with tacos or with tortilla chips.
If you want a spicy salsa sauce, you can add ingredients like habanero peppers or jalapeño. Aloe Vera Masks
I would just use the gel directly on my face or rub some drops into another facial mask, etc. It can also be used as a hair mask, in order for it not to be too sticky, I would just dilute it a bit into another hair mask.
A common mask is the Aloe Vera and Lemon mask to treat acne. Mash the Aloe Vera gel with 1/8 teaspoon of lemon juice or use a blender to create a paste out of the two ingredients. Put it on the face avoiding the eye area for 15-20 mins then rinse off.