Can You Freeze Aloe Vera Gel?

Can You Freeze Aloe Vera Gel?

Aloe vera gel is well known for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, which are great for healing sunburns and soothing cuts and scrapes, as well as calming other skin conditions. Aloe vera gel harvested directly from the plant is considered to be much more effective and safer than store-bought aloe vera gel, which contains additives.

However, once harvested, the gel from the plant will only be good for around a week when kept in the refrigerator. If you want to make your own aloe vera gel and store it for when you need it, then you can freeze it to make it last longer. Aloe vera gel can be preserved for around six months in the freezer and will thaw in a few hours at room temperature.

What is Aloe Vera Gel?

What is Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is native to the Arabian Peninsula but has naturalized in many warm climates around the world, including the Canary Islands, North Africa, and some parts of Spain and Portugal. The plant is widely grown as an ornamental houseplant, enjoying average room temperatures and window sills with good levels of sunlight.

The aloe vera plant has long, fleshy leaves which contain a pulp known as aloe vera gel. The gel has been used as a medicinal preparation for centuries, and it has been widely documented for its healing properties on skin burns and other skin conditions. Aloe vera gel can also be consumed and is believed to offer a number of health benefits when used in this way.

How to Harvest Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel which is harvested directly from the plant is considered to be much better than store-bought aloe vera gel because it is completely natural. Store-bought aloe vera gel will contain additives and preservatives which diminish its natural healing powers and can irritate the skin. If you are fortunate enough to have your own aloe vera plant, you can harvest the gel from the leaves following these steps.

Step 1

Identify a strong, healthy leaf on the aloe vera plant, and cut it off at the base of the leaf where it joins the rest of the plant using a sharp, clean knife or scissors. Stand the leaf up in an empty glass, with the cut end at the bottom, and let it drain for around 20 to 30 minutes. You will see a yellow or orange colored liquid draining from the leaf, which is the latex.

This part of the plant is not needed and can be discarded. If you plan to consume your aloe vera gel, it is especially important to follow this step because the latex has a bitter taste, and it can also cause digestive issues when ingested.

Step 2

After draining, use a sharp knife to cut a long slit lengthways on your leaf and peel back the skin of the leaf. You should now be able to see a gooey gel that is neither fully solid nor liquid. Utilize your sharp knife to separate the gel away from the leaf skin, sliding the blade beneath the gel much like how you would remove fish flesh from the fish skin when preparing it to eat. The gel should come away in one piece.

Step 3

The next step will depend upon your intention with the aloe vera gel. You can apply the gel directly onto the skin at this point, but the texture will make it difficult to rub in. To make it easier to handle, put the gel into a blender or food processor and whizz it for a few seconds.

This will give the gel a more liquid consistency, so you can easily spread it onto the skin and rub it in. Alternatively, if you plan to consume the aloe vera gel in smoothies or soups, chop the strip of gel into chunks and spread it out on a tray of baking parchment paper, and freeze it for 2 hours. Once partially frozen, you can move the chunks of solid gel into a zip lock bag and store them in the freezer until you want to add them to your recipes.

Step 4

If you blended the aloe vera gel to a smooth consistency, you can use it right away, or you can store it in one of the ways described below.

How to Store Aloe Vera Gel

How to Store Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel can be used immediately after extraction from the plant; however, in most cases, you will find that one leaf provides you with much more gel than you will need at one time. To avoid wasting your aloe vera gel, you can store it for use later.

Refrigerator storage

If you plan to use your aloe vera gel within the space of a week, then your best method of storage will be in the refrigerator. It is recommended that aloe vera gel is kept in the refrigerator because it preserves the medicinal qualities of the gel, and it also provides the recipient with a refreshing cooling effect when it is applied.

If you have harvested your aloe vera gel to use on sunburnt skin or a mild burn, then you will want to use the gel every day until the skin has healed. In this case, after harvesting your gel, pour it into a glass jar with a lid and keep it in the refrigerator. You can return to the refrigerator at various points throughout the day to apply the necessary amounts of gel to your skin. You could also store your aloe vera gel in the refrigerator to use as a daily moisturizer. It will keep for up to 7 days when stored in this way.

Freezer storage

If you don’t foresee being able to use your harvested aloe vera gel within the next week, then freezing it will preserve it for use at a later date and avoid wastage. If your aloe vera gel has been blitzed to a liquid consistency in a blender, then pour it into a glass container with a lid and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.

When you want to use it, thaw at room temperature for 4 to 8 hours. Once thawed, the gel will need to be used or kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. It should not be refrozen. You can also freeze cubes of aloe vera gel which has not been through a food processor to add to smoothies and soups.

Uses for Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is best known for its soothing and healing effects on the skin. However, it can also be used in other ways.

Skin

Aloe vera gel is moisturizing and can be used to soothe dry skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it well suited for use on mild burns or sunburnt skin. It will soothe sore or irritated skin and can help prevent peeling as a result of sunburn.

Consumption

Aloe vera gel is edible and is known to offer a number of health benefits when consumed. Studies have shown that eating aloe vera gel can lower blood sugar levels, improve memory, reduce symptoms associated with depression, increase antioxidant blood levels, and reduce plaque on teeth.

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