DIY Aloe Vera Gel: This is a great Idea! But...

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DIY Aloe Vera Gel

By ChefDebbie
November 7, 2016

Don't waste money on store-bought aloe gel that doesn't offer relief but does drain your wallet!

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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover Bookworm Adeniums Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Hummingbirder Xeriscape Region: Arizona Region: Southwest Gardening
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mcvansoest
Nov 7, 2016 2:18 PM CST
one should know what Aloe one is using. As we end up discussing frequently on the Cactus and Succulent forum: Only one Aloe is true Aloe vera, and while many other Aloes are known to have medicinal properties too, not all Aloes actually do. And unfortunately there are plenty of Aloes being sold at the BB stores and grocery stores labeled as Aloe Vera, that are not actually it, or people find an unlabeled Aloe and assume it is Aloe vera... and it is not. In all likelihood those Aloes will also have some beneficial effect, but that may not always be the case, and not all of them may have the same effects.

So before you start cutting up and scraping out leaves from your Aloe plants make sure you know what you have.
This is similar to collecting and eating wild mushrooms: make sure you know what it is you are ingesting as it is possible it might end up doing more harm than good.

I think this is a great Idea, but I would caution against using just any Aloe one can find.

Chicago IL
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Fleur569
Nov 9, 2016 11:56 AM CST
Good suggestions, but it leads to the question.....which are the true and best Aloe Vera to use for the symptoms mentioned, skin, burns, digestion, etc.? A photo of the "true Aloe Vera" would be appreciated.

Another comment, I have been told to use plastic utensils in cutting or scooping out the gel. The yellow gel effect is the chemical reaction of the metal coming in contact with the Aloe leaf.
[Last edited by Fleur569 - Nov 9, 2016 12:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover Bookworm Adeniums Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Hummingbirder Xeriscape Region: Arizona Region: Southwest Gardening
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mcvansoest
Nov 9, 2016 9:58 PM CST
Aloe vera:


much bigger plant that clumps more slowly and most often has bright yellow flowers tightly packed on the raceme.

Aloe officinalis - the one that is often sold as Aloe Vera in grocery and big box stores:


much smaller plant often spotted that clumps really fast - probably explaining its much wider availability - with salmon-orange flowers that are more sparsely distributed on an often much taller raceme.

I cannot advocate which plant to use over the other, or for what, since I do not have any experience with their use beyond using Aloe vera for sun burns a long time ago. There is a lot of information out there that might help, though it is not always clear where fact ends and fiction starts.

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