Aloe Vera leaf is wonderful. It has so many health benefits and can be used to cure many ailments. It is crucial to know how to store aloe vera leaf, so you can preserve it for as long as possible.
By taking care of what we have, we can spend less overall, and continue to use natural products which are truly good for us.
Interestingly, it was said that the ancient Egyptians considered aloe vera to be the ‘plant of immortality. This is because this magical little plant can survive and bloom without needing to be in the soil.
While this is true, once we have harvested the aloe vera leaf, it needs to be properly stored to promote longevity. Like all things, it will not indefinitely last. However, by taking charge and finding out how to correctly store your aloe vera leaf, you can keep the leaf fresher for longer.
Aloe Vera Leaf Uses
If you’re not familiar with aloe vera leaf, it is truly a majestic plant. It’s becoming increasingly popular in western countries, as the west is starting to realize the healing power of nature.
When one uses aloe vera leaf, they primarily use the gel that is inside the leaf.
Aloe vera is particularly wonderful at soothing sunburn, as it is very cooling on the skin, and helps to reduce inflammation. It is also used in skincare products, one reason being is that the gel can stimulate the production of collagen.
Collagen encourages the healing process, so it is a natural way to repair skin. More uses of this wonderful plant pertain to dental care, hair care, and it is occasionally used in food and beverages.
Now that aloe vera leaf has been rightfully introduced, we can now continue on to the best ways to store aloe vera leaf.
How To Store Aloe Vera Leaf
Firstly, we’re going to discuss how to store aloe vera gel. The gel is extracted from the leaf, as it primarily contains the healing properties of the plant. For those who looking for long-lasting homesteading options, aloe vera gel stored in the following ways will last longer, than the leaf itself.
To extract the gel from the aloe vera leaf, you first need to rinse the leaf under running water. Then, trim both the top and bottom of the leaf with a sharp knife. With the knife, peel away the sharp exterior.
Then, peel away the thin green exterior. After you’ve done that, you will be left with the wonderful and slimy aloe vera gel.
Now, if you were to leave this gel out at room temperature, you’re only looking at a shelf life of 24 hours, which is not particularly sustainable.
However, there are some other options for preserving the gel:
Freeze Aloe Vera Gel
One option would be to freeze the aloe vera gel.
Before you do this, you’re going to need to blend the gel. Once blended, strain the gel, before transferring the product into an ice tray.
Once frozen, you can pop the ice cubs into a freezable container, so you can easily use them as needed in the future. When you need your ice cubs, all you have to do is melt them at room temperature.
If you use this method, you’re looking at the longevity of up to 8 months.
Refrigerate Aloe Vera Gel
Another option would be to refrigerate the aloe vera gel.
Depending on the use, you can generally store the gel as you would like. For example, you could cut the gel into smaller, or larger pieces depending on your preference. Whatever you choose, ensure that you put the aloe vera gel into an airtight container.
If you use this method, the aloe vera gel will have a longevity of up to 10 days.
Refrigerate Aloe Vera Gel With Honey
All homesteaders like to get the most we can out of our products. So, you’ll be interested to know, that if you mix your aloe vera gel with honey, it can drastically expand it’s shelf life.
For this method, you will need to blend the aloe vera gel. Then, in a bowl, you are going to mix 1 tbsp of honey, with every 1 tbsp of aloe vera gel. Ensure it is mixed well, but not overly mixed. Then, you can store this in an airtight container.
This mixture can last up to 3 years. That’s right, the amazing power of nature strikes again! This is because honey is self-preserving, so it will increase the longevity of the gel.
Refrigerate Aloe Vera Gel With Vitamin C
Another way to increase the longevity of your aloe vera gel is to combine the gel with vitamin C.
To do this, you will need to blend the aloe vera gel — but before blending, you’re going to pop some vitamin C tablets in the blender. For every liter of aloe vera gel, you should use 8 grams of vitamin C.
Once you have blended these ingredients, pop them into an airtight container, and place them into your refrigerator.
By using this method, your aloe vera gel will last up to 1 month.
Storing The Aloe Vera Leaf
If you prefer to store the whole leaf, instead of extracting the gel, you can use the following methods. You should note that if you left the leaf out at room temperature, you can expect the aloe vera leaf to only stay fresh for 1-2 days.
Storing Aloe Vera Leaf in The Freezer
Your first option to storing your aloe vera leaf is to store it in the freezer. This is a very easy method.
All you need to do is take your leaf, pop them into a freezable bag, and then place them securely into your freezer. When you want to deforest your aloe vera leaf, you simply just have to take the leaf out of the freezer and leave it to defrost at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
You should avoid trying to speed this process up by placing it in an oven, or a microwave, as it can alter the consistency.
If you choose this method, you are looking at the longevity of up to 8 months.
Storing Aloe Vera Leaf In The Refrigerator
If you would like to store your aloe vera leaf in the refrigerator, you will need a damp towel.
The damp towel is crucial, as it helps to keep the aloe vera leaf moist, and lowers the chance of the leaf drying out. All you need to do is ensure that the damp towel is covering the whole of the leaf, wrap the towel over the leaf, and place it into the refrigerator.
If you choose this method, you’re looking at the longevity of up to 1 week.
How Long Will My Aloe Vera Leaf Last?
As we have shown, the longevity of your aloe vera will depend on the method you use to store it.
As homesteaders, preservation, and the knowledge of how other ingredients can interact and impact each other are priceless. For example, adding vitamin C to your aloe gel can extend the lifespan of your gel to 1 month.
Even more, adding honey to the aloe vera gel can expand the lifespan of your gel for up to three years. That’s a whopping change and just shows how wonderful nature can be.
However, not everyone wants to extract the gel straight away. So, if you would like to keep the leaf, your best bet is in the freezer, as that can last up to a wonderful 8 months.
Whether you need the aloe vera to last a long time or a moderate amount of time, depends on your usage. So, you can make the choice which best fits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Aloe Vera Gel Better, Or Aloe Vera Leaf?
There isn’t one which is better than the other, given they’re the same thing. The former is just the method of extraction. Generally speaking, the gel will likely help you save time in the future.
That’s not necessarily true in every situation, however. Perhaps you need the leaf, and you’re just looking to increase the longevity. In that case, you don’t need to go through the extraction process.
Which Is The Best Method — Freezer, Or Refrigerator?
Again, one isn’t better than the other. As long as you are using, or consuming the product while it is still fresh, the nutritional value should be roughly the same.
While the nutritional value may gradually decrease in the fridge, as long as you haven’t used the product while it is no longer viable, it will still be good enough to use.
The freezer may be a better option in some ways, as it will likely preserve the nutritional value for longer. However, as I stated, as long as you’re using the product while it is fresh, you don’t have a problem.
That brings us to the end of our article on how to store aloe vera leaf. We hope that we have inspired you, homesteaders, to utilize this fantastic plant, and use the wonderful and ancient benefits that it has to offer.
We’ve given you several methods so that you can make the most appropriate choice for yourself.
As always, thanks for reading.