How Much to Cut for Aloe Vera Plant Leaves
Aloe vera plants have been used for thousands of years to treat various afflictions. Aloe vera plants are succulent tropical plants that are believed to have many health benefits. The gel from inside aloe vera plant leaves has been used to orally and topically treat several conditions including burns, constipation, dry skin, pain and inflammation. To utilize the gel from an aloe plant, the leaf must be cut to retrieve the gel inside.
To obtain aloe vera gel from the plant, choose one or two large, healthy outer leaves growing from the base of the plant. The leaves should be at least 8″ long. The chosen leaves should be thick, green and growing close to the soil. If leaves are too small, are not growing close to the soil or they are all growing upright from the middle of the plant, then they should not be removed because the plant is not yet mature. Aloe vera gel is not as potent unless it comes from a mature plant.
Cutting and Preparing Leaves
Use a sharp, non-serrated kitchen knife to cut the leaf from the plant at a slight angle. Take the cutting and set it upright in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Allow the leaf to sit for about fifteen minutes until yellow latex sap is drained.
After draining the leaf, place it on a cutting board and use the knife to cut the tip of the leaf. Then cut down the sides of each leaf lengthwise to remove the serrated edges. Once the sharp edges are gone, slice the inside of the leaf in half lengthwise in order to separate the front and the back.
Using a teaspoon, scoop out the clear gel by pressing against the inside of the leaf lightly and firmly.
Use the gel immediately or store it in a glass container for up to one year in the refrigerator.