What would you do if someone gave you an aloe vera leaf? I know, I know… you might wack them over the head with it.

As the summer is approaching and the sun is planning its attack for your first sunburn, speaking of aloe vera becomes more imperative. However, if most people were given an aloe vera leaf, they would look at it like it’s some kind of man eating plant. When you get your first sunburn of the season or if you’re one of the unfortunate ones that tend to burn every time you step outside, you might turn to some kind of lotion with aloe vera as an additive.

I am a very strong believer in protecting your skin and with that being said, aloe vera is still a very major ingredient in my skincare routine and an additive to my smoothies (what? You can eat it?). Now what is aloe vera and what makes it such a wonderful plant that everyone should use on a regular basis?

Aloe Vera is a thick and fleshy plant that has a gel like component inside of the leaf itself. Sometimes people are intimidated by the leaves (some are quite large… That’s what she said?). They don’t know exactly what to do with them once they buy them or how to extract the gel.

Here is the method I use for separating the gel from the lead so you can use it:

I cut the leaf in half so that the top and bottom parts of the leaf are separated and you can get right to the gel on the surface. Then I use any kind of spoon and scoop/scrape the gel out and into a container. I rinse the gel with cold water, fill up the container with a ¼ cup of water and place the rinsed gel in and then place it in the fridge to cool.

12 Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera

  1. High in vitamins and minerals: Includes vitamins A,C,E, folic acid, choline, B1,B2,B3,and B12.
  2. High in amino acids and fatty acids: Includes 18-20 amino acids and all 8 essential amino acids
  3. Adaptogen: It boosts the body’s ability to “adapt” to natural changes and to combat illnesses.
  4. Helps with digestion/weight loss: Soothes and cleanses the digestive tract, helps regulate elimination cycles, replenishes good flora in your gut. If your digestion is improving and elimination is more efficient then the excess weight will shed off on its own.
  5. Alkalizes the body: It balances overly acidic dietary habits.
  6. Boosts the immune system: Immune enhances due to its high level of antioxidants
  7. Great for skin: It helps relieve pain of wounds, it relieves or prevents itching, hydrates, moisturizes and rejuvenates skin. It is a natural anti-aging topical gel through collagen and elastin repair.
  8. Disinfectant, anti-biotic, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral
  9. Helps eliminate internal or external infections and can treat fungal or viral infections. Aloe Vera can even treat acne!
  10. Reduces inflammation: It contains B-sisterole which can help inhibit inflammation.
  11. Detox!: The gel consistency moves through the intestinal tract, grabbing toxins on its way and eliminates through the colon. For more guidance on using aloe to detox and cleanse, check out our Summer 7-Day Cleanse and Reboot!