When processing aloe vera, the age of leaves matters
Aloe vera is one of the best-studied and known medicinal herbs, yet some aspects of its healing effects are still rather unknown. For example, did you know that the most active substances are concentrated in leaves that are about a half the age of the plant? Naturally, we should collect middle-aged leaves to get the most out of this potent plant.
And what a half-age actually is? Well, leaves on a plant that has been growing for at least two years, but no more than five years. This is the age range where you find the highest concentration of active substances . Young leaves for example, have not yet accumulated enough beneficial compounds and substances, and older leaves gradually keep losing the good stuff. Older leaves are also more susceptible to fungal diseases and are usually stiffer.
Our tip: Do not water aloe vera for at least two days before picking.
How can you tell the age of a homemade or purchased aloe vera plant
If you have grown your own aloe from a seed or seedling, then you probably have a fairly good idea of its age. But what if someone gave it to you or you purchased the plant in a store? Well, height is a good indicator of its age . For example, if your plant is 30 centimetres high, it is very likely that the bottom row of leaves is older than two years and you can use them to make tinctures or healing juices and other healthy products.
Another good indicator is the presence of side shoots. In optimal environment shoots start to form on one-year-old plants. And the bigger they are, the older the plant is.
How to collect aloe vera leaves and why should you leave them rest for a while after picking?
Always use a sharp knife to remove leaves completely. Clean cut is necessary. . Make sure not to leave any chips after the cutting because they may start rotting or become a gateway for various fungal diseases.
Store cut leaves in your refrigerator for 24 hours. The flesh will partially separate from the skin and you can peel it better and the short rest will activate certain enzymes and other important substances so, you can utilize the healing properties of aloe vera to the fullest.
Preview photo: Pixabay
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