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Aloe Vera

  • Common Name: Aloe; Burn Aloe; First Aid Plant
  • Secondary Name: Aloe Vera
  • Scientific Name: Aloe vera

Aloe is a widely known house plant. It grows well indoors and thrives with minimal care. Aloe is a type of succulent. As such, it’s growing habits are similar to that of a cactus. It prefers a mixture of soil and rock, and does not require much water to live. TIP All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.

Aloe is most commonly known for its medicinal use as a burn remedy. It can be harvested by cutting the outermost leaves or “fronds”, close to the center of the plant. You will notice the slimy gel inside of the leaf. You may also see some weeping on the plant at the sight of the cut. This is nothing to worry about, as aloe has an astounding ability to scar itself closed.

Once you have harvested an aloe frond, you can use it right away or store it in the refrigerator for later use. It is recommended that you DO NOT store it in any type of container. Instead, place it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and it will scar at the last incision site. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

To harvest the innermost gel inside of the frond, cut along both of the angled, spiky edges. Start at the thickest part of the frond and cut all the way along the edge to the point. Repeat on the other side. You can then use a filet knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the outer green rind. **CAUTION** VERY SLIMY AND SLIPPERY! USE CAUTION WITH KNIVES AND PEELERS!