There is a big pot of Aloe vera that sits just outside my kitchen door. I cannot tell you how many times I have popped out and torn off a little of the leaf to squeeze out the cooling gel to soothe a minor burn or a mozzie bite. When autumn comes I always try to remember to keep a stash of this wonderful plant as the frost really knocks it around over winter. The best way I have found to preserve its magic is to freeze it.
Aloe vera is a wonderful plant, indigenous to Africa it has had a long history of use in treating skin conditions. Legend has it that Alexander the Great knew of its healing powers and captured an island in the Indian Ocean for the sole purpose of accessing the plant to treat his wounded army! Today we know via scientific studies that the gel from Aloe promotes wound healing and decreases inflammation, preventing scarring and tissue damage. Studies have shown that the gel may be useful not only for minor skin irritations but also more serious skin conditions such as wounds, radiation burns, frostbite and psoriasis … just to name a few.
Freezing Aloe is amazingly simple although a bit messy in a very sticky way! All you need to do is cut a bunch of the larger outer leaves and then carefully cut away the skin of the flat surface of the leaf. Take a small spoon and scoop the gelatinous inner leaf out and either cut it up or roll it so that is fits into the cavities of an ice-cube tray.
Once frozen I simply pop the cubes out and store them in the freezer in either a dated ziplock bag or container. I generally do not keep them for over a year. In the depths of winter when one of us might suffer a minor burn or other irritating skin condition we have these cooling, soothing cubes on hand. They can simply be applied to the skin for a few minutes at a time or defrosted and applied as a gel.