There are different ways where Aloe Vera can be used as a remedy. The plant can be turned into gel, juice and even desserts, sporting a wide variety of forms that can benefit us whenever we need it.
Aloe Vera gel
Wellnessmama.com has a great recipe to make Aloe Vera gel at home from fresh leaves. Aloe Vera gel is the thick fleshy part that is between the skins of the leaf. The gel has great use in therapeutics and can be used for treating various wounds.
- Aloe Vera leaf
- Sharp knife
- Clean airtight container for storage
- Blender or immersion blender
- Clean bowl
- Clean the leaf into sections about 8 inches long, cut off the serrated edges. Try to get just the edge because it is difficult to get the gel out of those pieces.
- Cut the 8-inch sections into 2 or 3 long strips.
- Turn your blade to its side and slide it in just under the skin on the end of one of the strips.
- 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.
- Once you get the whole piece of skin off, flip the section over and repeat with the other side. Cut the flesh into 2 or 3 pieces and place in a clean bowl (if you are using an immersion blender) or your blender pitcher.
- Repeat steps 4 to 7 until all sections have been skinned and gathered into your blender pitcher.
- Blend until smooth. It will almost immediately froth when you start your blender. This is normal. If you are using an immersion blender just blend it in the bowl until smooth.
- The froth will eventually go down. You can wait or you can just go ahead and pour the gel into the clean storage container and refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
Aloe Vera juice
According to studies, Aloe Vera has been used extensively for various therapeutic purposes.
The production process of aloe Vera juice involves crushing, grinding or pressing the entire leaf of the aloe Vera plant to produce liquid followed by various steps of filtration and stabilization. The resulting juice is then incorporated in or mixed with other preparations or agent to produce a pharmaceutical, cosmetic or food products. In the food industry, Aloe Vera has been utilized as a source of functional food drinks and other beverages including tea. Here is a step-by-step guide to making Aloe Vera juice at home.
Personally, I have drunk aloe vera juice so many times. Yes! It tastes slightly bitter, so I always prefer to use orange-flavored Aloe Vera use to get the excellent nutritional value of Aloe Vera. Here are some benefits that I had observed after using it.
- I feel a better stamina and improve mood
- It helps in digitation process and improves appetite
- I get an improved texture of skin with less pigmentation
- Most importantly, I had an improved immunity and better resistance power. It reduces the routine infections.
Aloe Vera dessert (halwa)
Though I used Aloe Vera juice to get the excellent nutritional benefits of Aloe Vera, my mom prefers to use another, perhaps lesser known version. Because of the slightly bitter taste of it, many people do not like to consume it raw. And for them, making an aloe Vera sweet (by adding some sugar and dry fruits) is a great way to get all nutritional benefits of Aloe Vera, without compromising the taste. During every winter , my mom used to make this delicious dessert to boost her immunity. It is easy to make, taste yummy and most importantly it is rich in nutrients. Here is my mom’s recipe to make this nutritious sweet dish.
- 1 cup ghee
- 1 cup aloe Vera extract, only white jelly part. Take extra precaution while cutting the aloe leaves. Cut it from both sides and collect only white part of aloe to make this dish.
- Sugar (according to taste)
- Milk 1 -2 cups
- Dry fruits, milk cream (optional)
- First, take a heavy bottom pan and heat it on medium flame.
- Pour 1 cup of ghee and after it gets warm add aloe extract into it.
- Stir continuously for 15 to 20 minutes or until the aloe extract is cooked.
- Add milk and again stir continuously for a few minutes, wait until it turned into a semi-solid form
- Now add sugar, wait for few minutes. When sugar gets mixed properly to aloe extract and ghee come out as an outer layer, add dry fruits and cream if you want to make it more rich and delicious.
Some benefits include having good and healthy skin, improving overall health and immunity, easing joint pain and improving digestion.
Things to know before using Aloe Vera
Though Aloe Vera is a natural substance and so many people, including me and my family, use it worldwide because of its amazing healing properties and exceptional nutritional value, still you have to be extra careful while consuming it. There is not enough scientific evidence to support the therapeutic use of Aloe Vera.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health warns and advises to take proper precaution while using it. Here are some of the guidelines:
- Use of topical Aloe Vera is likely to be safe but an oral consumption of whole leaf extract of Aloe Vera found a clear evidence of carcinogenic activity in male and female rates, based on tumors of the large intestine. While another study denied this fact and shows that it did not show any harmful effect.
- Abdominal cramps and diarrhea have been reported side effects with the oral use of aloe latex. It may reduce absorption and thus may interfere with the action of other drugs.
- It may lower blood sugar. People, who are diabetic and taking sugar lowering medication, need to take extra care while using it.
- There have been a few reported cases of acute hepatitis in people who took Aloe Vera orally. However, the evidence is not definitive.
Because of all these reasons, it is must to talk with your healthcare provider before using it. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. Have you used aloe for treating any illness? What was your experience with it? Please share with us.