aloe gel uses!
January 6, 2009 9:09 AM   Subscribe

Recipes/suggestions for use of aloe plants and aloe gel?

I have a ton of aloe plants that just keep making new baby aloes. I use aloe gel once in a while when I get burned, but it'd be cool to use it in bigger quantities to make something useful.

Anyone know any good recipes for any DIY beauty/lotion products? Aloe juice? Any other suggestions? It'd be helpful if it was stuff you've made and know how long it would keep for, but any links and information are welcome as well!
posted by KateHasQuestions to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Aloe plants make a nice gift, especially for housewarming-type situations (if it's not fancy enough, go buy a pot at an art school's annual sale), and for people who think that they're incapable of keeping a plant alive.
posted by box at 9:14 AM on January 6, 2009

Response by poster: As far as gifts of aloe plants, all my friends/family and every office at work has too many aloe plants! They are reproducing like crazy. So I thought of that, but would like to use the gel to make useful stuff.

Laxatives. Useful, but I don't think I want to make a lot of it, lol. Any other suggestions?
posted by KateHasQuestions at 10:40 AM on January 6, 2009

Not only is it a laxative, but it is sold in big monster bottles where people advertise the 'healing' properties of aloe in the gut. Yecch. It is true that there are products sold where the healing stuff in aloe is isolated out from the stuff that laxative-s you, but drinking / eating aloe straight up frequently is indeed going to be unpleasant for the gut.
posted by bitterkitten at 11:52 AM on January 6, 2009

Response by poster: Good to know. What about lotions/skin scrubs/makeup or anything beauty cosmetic related? I know aloe is supposed to be magical for that, but does anyone have any specific instructions for making those?

What about health benefits? Anything I can make out of aloe for colds/sinus problems or anything like that?
posted by KateHasQuestions at 12:15 PM on January 6, 2009

I use fresh aloe mush just as a general skin healer and softener for bits of rough skin, spots etc. Have noticed it calms my skin right down when I've had a blackhead sesh, - can't hurt to use it as an occasional mask on whatever bits of skin you have handy if you're trying to use some up.
posted by runincircles at 12:37 PM on January 6, 2009

It's a great treatment for sunburns - but you don't need to do anything, just break off a leaf and apply the sticky stuff to the burn.
posted by scribbler at 8:02 PM on January 6, 2009

oops... I see you already know...
posted by scribbler at 8:04 PM on January 6, 2009

Best answer: Just thinking off the top of my head from way back in my lotion-making days... hmm....

Hand/body scrub: About a cup of aloe mush to half a cup of regular or brown sugar. Add in a quarter cup of olive oil if you have really dry skin. Increase or decrease the sugar for more or less scrubbiness.

Face mask: Straight up aloe mush. If it's too juicy, spread it out on a cookie sheet and let it dehydrate at room temp for a few hours. (heating it will probably destroy delicate properties).

Powerful lotion: Mix the mush with just a bit of water and then SQUEEEEZE through a cheesecloth to get the juice out. Or if you have more time, just hang a big ole cheesecloth bag of the mush over a bowl in the sink and let it drip for hours, though I'm not sure how well that would work since aloe is sticky. Then mix the juice with your favorite lotion, probably about a tablespoon per cup.

If you have a little bit (1 tsp?) of borax, you can melt 1/2 cup of beeswax, remove from heat, stir in a tablespoon of aloe juice and the borax, and blend away with an immersion blender until it solidifies. It should come together in a chapsticky-consistency. Use for lip gloss or nighttime eye cream. Add in a teaspoon of olive, avocado, or apricot kernel oil if you like.

Mix equal parts aloe juice and apricot kernel oil for a rehydrating massage oil. It will need to be shaken before use, though.

You can add it to whatever you like; too much won't hurt you (I don't think)!

Put in those little flip-top jars they sell at Michael's and tied with a bow, any of these would make great gifts. Keep them all refrigerated (if it's something you need to keep handy in the bath or shower, keep a big batch in the fridge and use a bit from that to refresh a bath-side jar every few days).
posted by GardenGal at 9:03 PM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Forgot to mention that the body scrub needs to be used right away since the water in the aloe will dissolve the sugar. I usually make this with straight olive oil, so the sugar doesn't dissolve and the scrub keeps a lot longer. Perhaps mixing olive oil with the sugar and then adding in the aloe mush will prevent the water molecules from reaching the sugar?
posted by GardenGal at 9:04 PM on January 6, 2009

I wonder how you would make the mush in the first place - is it soft enough to scoop out with a spoon, or do you have to peel each leaf with a carrot peeler to get at the juicy bits? I would then put the good stuff in a food processor until it's a smooth consistency.
posted by GardenGal at 9:06 PM on January 6, 2009

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