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Aloe Vera

  • The information given was taken from the books published by Isabel Shipard, "How can I be prepared with Self Sufficiency and Survival Foods? I have been using Aloe Vera Gel in this manner for quite some time and can tell you that it takes a bit of getting used to the 'gel' feeling but the product is far superior to any commercially produced products sold in the health and beauty aisles.
    To start with, you need to cut a leaf from a mature plant and let it drain off in the sink or a shallow container. There will be a yellow/green sap that oozes from the cut leaf (pic 1) and you don't want to have that in the end product. Wear gloves in case you are sensitive to the sap. I rinse the leaf initially and then stand it in a dish with some water, sometimes I rinse it a couple of times and sometimes I'm too busy and just leave it for about an hour to drain by itself.
    At this stage, if you want to use it as a toothpaste replacement, you would simply cut a slice off the cut end (pic 2) and rub your toothpaste on the gel and then brush your teeth with that gel. It tastes funny but it does froth up slightly. One slice may not be enough for you, so just use another slice/s if you want. It is good for sensitive gums and also if you have problems it can help heal your gums. Stand the leaf in a glass with water in the bottom and just rinse out the water when you take a slice off the plant.
    To make a gel, get a potato peeler (pic 3) and carefully peel the back of the leaf - the rounded out bit - then with a knife slice the leaf into chunks (pic 4) and carefully run your knife between the gel and the remaining leaf. Things get really slimy at this point but try not to get stuck on that, just do what you need to and wash your hands after or it becomes a bad experience! :) Put the gel in a blender (I use one of those manual gizmos and it works well) and add either plain water or a herbal tea of your choice. You don't need to add too much water but you will need to try it out a bit to get an idea of how much. Start with maybe a third to half of a cup for a leaf the size in the pictures. Then you blend, if using the hand blender give it a really good whiz and then you drain it (pic 5). These days, I make enough to use for one shower, that covers my hair and using it as a body/face wash. If you make too much gel you can store it in the fridge but it will thin out pretty quickly and you'll be left with aloe water :) A couple of chunks like in picture 4 generally tide me over for one shower and then I can use the leaf for toothpaste in between making a gel for my showers. The gel is slimy - be warned. It does not strip your hair of it's natural oils so initially it may not seem to work so well and you will need to use it almost as often as you would a commercial product until your hair gets used to being less harassed by chemicals.
  • I used an unknown variety of aloe vera that was in our garden when we bought our place and it works fine, supposedly, the Aloe Vera Barbadensis plant (the true First Aid Aloe) works better and I bought a plant and have cultivated it well but I honestly haven't noticed a significant difference since I started to use the Barbadensis plant.
Mary Playford and Erica Sandoval like this.
  1. Wanda
    I’ve mainly used aloe for sun burns or cooking burns never as a tooth paste or hair/body wash. In commercial products I’ve found it to be drying and tend to avoid it. I don’t have any at the moment. Maybe I’ll get one and give it a try.

    I knew a psychologist that swore it could cure ADD/HD. He highly recommended Aloe drinks with the chunks in it.
    1. Vicky
      I have oily hair naturally so I have never really noticed that my hair dries out :) I guess the ends do occasionally but I can just spread a bit of coconut oil over the tips. I also use moisturizer on my skin semi regularly so that may counter any drying effects it has on the skin. Must look into making my own natural moisturizer!! :)
      Vicky, Apr 17, 2020