Many of us might be familiar with this ancient plant, Aloe Vera. And I believe some of you would agree that it is really handy to keep a pot or two at home. Especially for the elderly, Aloe Vera is their precious medicinal plant.
The uses of Aloe Vera are endless. We often see this ingredient in our food, drinks, healing creams, facial cleansers, lotions and other cosmetics.
Personally, I use Aloe Vera gel for the following purposes:
- to treat minor cuts and burns. My mom is pretty prone to minor cuts and kitchen injuries. I would help her wash her wound clean with water and apply the gel. It effectively stops the bleeding and heals the wound rather quickly.
- to prevent the skin from swelling. It is very common to get bits of oil splatters on your hand or arm during cooking. If left unattended, the area might turn red and swollen. First, I would wash the area, dab dry and apply the gel.
- to soothe sunburn and the prevention of flaky skin.
- to apply on my face, for a smooth and moisturizing skin. It heals acne as well.
- blend it with fruit juices for drinking, to prevent constipation.
Patients who have internal bleeding should not drink Aloe Vera, as it might induce more blood flow and could be very dangerous. Ladies having their period should avoid too.
I have an aged Chinese book passed down by my uncle, just on Aloe Vera. The book reveals so many more uses other than the ones that I have mentioned. That includes treating of sore throat, toothache, bathing, hair loss, promoting blood circulation, soothing bug bites and so on. I hope to share more with you after I have tried them all out. =)
You can buy Aloe Vera gel from pharmacies. But I’m thinking the gels being sold in pharmacies might contain other unfamiliar or artificial ingredients, including preservatives. So, I would much prefer using the real stuff.
You can buy Aloe Vera leaf from supermarkets. A big, succulent one only cost around SGD $2 for about 1.5kg. If you have a pot of Aloe Vera, better still! Just pluck off one or two fresh leaves! Go for the bottom most layer to prevent hurting the plant.
If you don’t require much, cut a small piece (5cm to 10cm), and leave it on a plate for about 10 to 15mins. You’ll notice yellow liquid dripping out at the cut area. Wash the yellow liquid off and be careful not to touch it. It will irritate your skin and makes it itchy. Then, slice lengthwise and apply.
Alternatively, you can extract, blend and store the Aloe Vera gel in the fridge for multiple uses. Make small batches for maintain its freshness. I also find this more convenient for daily usage.
Here’s how i prepare my Aloe Vera gel.
- Cut away the end bit of the leaf and leave it for 10 to 15mins for the yellow liquid to be drained away and wash it clean.
- Use a peeler and peel off one side of the skin.
- Use a knife, make slits horizontally and vertically.
- Use a spoon and scoop out the Aloe Vera gel into a bowl.
- Put all Aloe Vera bits into a blender and blend at low speed for about 30secs.
- Once it turns into a frothy white liquid, pour it into a container and store in the fridge to keep its freshness. Use within 2 weeks at most.
The white frothy liquid would soon turn to a yellow color. It is perfectly alright for use. However, after 2 weeks, the smell would start to turn unpleasant, that’s when you need to make a new batch!
Here’s our shoot on the process. =D
Peel off the outer skin.
Make slits using a knife.
Use a spoon to scrap off the fresh gel.
And now we’re ready to blend it up!
After blending, the Aloe Vera turned into a white frothy liquid. Start filling up the empty bottles.
Your Aloe Vera gel is now ready!
The bottle of Aloe Vera gel is like my all-in-one first aid kit for small cuts and other little uses. But if the situation is serious, please visit a doctor immediately.