It’s beach and barbecue season. A time of the year when our exposure to the sun increases and we spend more time around barbecues and grills. Have a sunburn or grill burn? Aloe Vera can come to the rescue!
There are many types of Aloe…but in this issue of the Kitchen Gardener, we’re celebrating Aloe Vera. Inside Aloe Vera’s leaves contain a tasteless clear gel that can be used on the skin as a wound healer; it’s particularly useful on various burns because it is so soothing.
Aloe Vera prefers to be planted indoors or out, in partial sun (near the kitchen is best for quick access), and needs just a little water. Aloe Vera is a beautiful, pale green plant with white spots. The spines are not as sharp as many other aloes, and the leaves are tender and succulent. Lucky for us, Aloe Vera leaves are ready to harvest year-round as a quick burn fix from the garden.
Using the gel
With a knife, carefully slice off a leaf from the bottom of the plant closest to the base. (New leaves grow up from the middle, so try to avoid taking those). The gel will begin to ooze as soon as you cut the leaf, so put the base of the leaf straight into a bowl. Using a cutting board, slice the leaf in half lengthwise. Scrape out the gel and let it ooze into a bowl.