Sunday, March 14, 2010

Aloe There!

Aloe has been very, very good to me. I've always tried to keep an aloe plant nearby; first, because I liked their looks. After that, I learned about their healing effect on burns. As a late-teen, I sustained a bad burn on my forearm while I was baking a custard pie. The aloe healed it nicely. Aloe in the kitchen is a good idea.
When I moved to the Allentown area about 10 years ago, I noticed that the local Latino people were buying large aloe leaves in the grocery store. When I finally asked a lady how she prepared the aloe (I assumed it was a food), she indicated that she took it for her stomach. I searched the web, and found several entries about the use of aloe as a soothing plant for the digestive tract; the inner aloe gel, that is. The yellow sap under the skin is supposedly a strong laxative (though I haven't found that to be the case, personally). Below, you see the large aloe leaf from Elias, and my younger home aloe sitting on the toaster oven behind it. In the jars are sprout seeds: mung beans, alfalfa and radish.
To begin, cut the aloe in pieces then remove the spines with a sharp knife. Cut the flat side skin from the leaf.
Use a sharp knife to "fillet" the aloe gel from the back, curved outer skin. It's very slippery, so hold on tight.
Cut the gel into tablespoon sized pieces, and put them in a jar. The jar can remain in the fridge for several weeks as you use the aloe. I eat two chunks a day when I'm having stomach or intestinal pain. If the flavor bothers you, put it in the blender with some fruit juice.
I scrape the skins with a spoon, and use the remaining gel for topical use. Since it might contain that sap I mentioned to you, I'd be careful about eating that part if you're sensitive. But it does great thing for your skin!
You know, the fact that it took me 30 years to find out that a plant that I've known forever is such a gentle and effective solution to the chronic pain I had, makes me wonder what else I'm missing. There are so many plants in our lives, and so many uses for them. This is a magical, prolific world we're living in. We just need to slow down and explore it!


  1. Hi Sandy: Great posts. You are inspiring. I'm finally getting things started here down in Gilbertsville. Pulled out my Jiffy 72 pellet greenhouse & loaded it with replacement pellets. Now to get it seeded. Would you like to trade some rhubarb starts for plants or seeds? Marion

  2. Marion,
    Sure! I sometimes come down to go to Zerns. We could meet on a Saturday. What plants are you starting? I have quite a few myself. Let's barter!

  3. Hi Sandy: I have so many seeds I haven't decided. I try to stay with organic but I do have hybrids. I have horseradish plants coming up the kazoo and also Stella D'Oro lilies. Are you looking for anything in particular? Marion

  4. Horseradish would be great! It's a deal!

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