Days back, the Aloe Vera plant was popularly referred to as the plant of immortality. It could live, thrive and survive in places that had no water.
However, you should note that Aloe Vera’s gel undergoes microbial activity when one of the faces of its leaves is cut off. The leaves also don’t stand the test of time after they’ve been harvested.
That’s why this outline is focused on the preservation of Aloe Vera gel with honey.
Aloe Vera is commonly used due to its effectiveness when inculcated into natural health and organic beauty products.
You’d most often come across many skin or beauty products that have Aloe Vera as part of their ingredients. The use of Aloe Vera even extends to a number of herbal medicines—skin care products for a healthy skin.
Lastly, it is used to get rid of sunburns and for dental purposes etc.
It is necessary for you to have proper knowledge on how to preserve Aloe Vera after harvesting the leaf.
The reason is that the gel is mostly more than what’s needed for skin care preparations band other purposes (except you’re making the preparations in bulk of course.)
How to preserve aloe vera gel with honey
To preserve Aloe Vera gel with honey, follow the procedures below;
- Pluck one or two leaves from the Aloe Vera plant. The plant is a succulent with leathery surfaces and relatively spiny ends.
- Rinse the leaves under a stream of cool water.
- Use a knife to slice the thin face of the leaf. You’d see the gel once you do that. It’s colorless with the look of gel batches.
- Use a spoon to scoop the gel into a plate or bowl.
- Spoon two to three teaspoons of honey into the gel. Ensure that the honey is unadulterated, i.e., with no additives.
- Mix the gel and honey with a wooden paddle. For larger portions, you could work with a blender.
- Scoop the mix into a plastic sheath and then, store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
How to store Aloe Vera gel that’s bought from the store
You’d agree that it’s easier to get your gel from the store rather than slicing leaves. The only advantage the natural leaves present is that you can be certain it’s unadulterated and 100% original.
Either way, if you find yourself getting the gel from a store, how do you store it? There are two basic ways of preserving the gel properly. Check the list below;
- Store the gel in a cool dry place
One of the major ways of preserving your store-bought aloe vera gel is by storing it in a cool and dry place. It’s necessary for the gel to be free from direct sunlight.
You can keep the gel in you pantry, or in a drawer in your kitchen. Simply place the gel in any ideal spot you’ve chosen, while ensuring that it remains in its original container.
You should also ensure that the container is kept airtight to avoid water or air from seeping through it. If you store the gel properly through this method, it should be able to last for about 2 to 3 years.
- Store the gel in your refrigerator or freezer
In case you’re planning on keeping your Aloe Vera gel longer than three years, you should consider storing it in your refrigerator or freezer. This method is the most efficient way of making the gel stand the test of time.
Note that a freezer will lengthen the life of the gel more than a refrigerator would.
Either way, if you are planning on using this method to preserve your aloe vera gel, simply place the gel in your freezer or refrigerator. Also, ensure that it remains in its original container.
With this process, the Aloe Vera gel should stay in good condition for at least five years.
How to preserve Aloe Vera leaf
Storing the Aloe Vera gel purchased from the store shouldn’t be too demanding since preservatives have already been added to the gel.
However, if you’re planning on harvesting the leaf and storing the gel the natural way, you’d have to put in more effort than just storing in a cool dry place or refrigerating.
The ways you can store your Aloe Vera gel include;
1. Preserving The Whole Leaves
There have been a lot of opinions on how long a freshly harvested Aloe Vera plant can last at room temperature. However, after 1 to 2 days, the Aloe Vera plant begins to go bad if it is not properly stored.
Here’s how you can prevent the gel from getting bad—preserve the whole Aloe Vera leaf in your freezer or refrigerator. You could also try wrapping the leaves with Aluminum foil before setting them in the fridge.
2. Obtaining the Gel
Like it was stated earlier, obtaining Aloe Vera gel the natural way allows you to ascertain its originality and purity.
Most times, manufacturing companies add one or two ingredients that could reduce the gel’s effectiveness for whatever you want to use it for.
The first step here is to rinse your Aloe Vera leaf with cold water. After rinsing, cut off the top and bottom part of the Aloe Vera leaf with a knife.
Next, use the sharp edge of your knife to cut off the sharp projecting points on the leaf.
After getting rid of the spiky part, your next focus should be the green outer part of the leaf. You’d peel the green exterior of the aloe vera leaf the same way you’d peel the skin of a potato.
After getting that done, you’d be able to obtain the viscous and juicy gel.
Upon extracting the gel, it will only last for about 24 hours at room temperature before it goes bad. However, there are some effective ways of preserving your aloe vera gel to keep it fresh for a long period.
Check the list below;
- Storing the gel in the refrigerator
Before storing your gel in the refrigerator, you’d need to determine the ideal shapes and sizes you want to store them in.
The major factor that determines the shape of your gel is the purpose for which you’d be using it. For example, you could plan on using the gel for your drinks or smoothies.
You could also use them for the production of homemade moisturizing agents.
If you want to use your aloe vera gel in your drinks and smoothies, then it’s best to cut them in small chunks.
However, if you’re using your gel in the production of skincare or beauty products then it’s best to cut them in large chunks. Note that the gel becomes easier to handle or chop when it is slightly frozen.
Regardless of the shape you’re opting for, the most important aspect of preserving your aloe vera gel is to store the gel in an airtight container and then, keep it in the refrigerator.
With this method, your aloe vera gel should last for 10 days.
- Storing your Aloe Vera gel in the freezer
Another method of preserving your fresh aloe vera gel is by preserving it in the freezer. All you need to do is blend the aloe vera gel and squeeze it into a bowl.
After that, put the liquid into a silicone ice tray to aid easy accessibility. The next process is to keep the ice tray in the freezer.
After the liquid might have gotten frozen, transfer the aloe vera cubes into a container that is impermeable to air and store it in the freezer till you’re ready to use it.
With this method, you should be rest assured that the aloe vera gel will last for about eight months. A very important factor to note is that when you’re defrosting the gel, do not make use of a microwave.
Don’t apply any form of artificial heat, just leave it on your counter until it gets back to room temperature.
3. Your Aloe Vera gel with honey
Another efficient way you can preserve your aloe vera gel is by mixing the gel with honey. Honey has self-preserving qualities, and so can easily stand the test of time without added preservatives.
The first step here is to blend your aloe vera gel in a blender. Next, add a tablespoon of honey for one tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel. For greater quantities of gel, increase the honey with the 1:1 proportion.
Stir the mixture very well and preserve the mixture in an airtight container before placing it in your refrigerator.
You’d be amazed that your mixture of aloe vera gel and honey would last for more than two years!