Learn how to make Aloe Vera Juice at home with just 2 ingredients. This homemade aloe vera drink or aloe water is easy to make, 100% pure, fresh and all natural. It tastes refreshing & is packed with many health benefits. In this post I share the details on all about making your own aloe gel & aloe vera juice right from scratch using a leaf. You can make this aloe vera drink in many flavors to suit your diet and taste.
Aloe vera has been hailed as a miracle cure that’s oh-so-good for your body & skin and everything under it. It’s a spiky green plant equally comfortable outside or in your home. Its products are probably somewhere in your medicine cabinet to help treat your summer sunburns.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a type of cactus-like plant called a succulent, from the Liliaceae family. Originally from Africa, aloe plants generally thrive in poor soil and are drought tolerant because they can store water in their leaves. While there are at least 420 species of aloe vera, the species most commonly used for consumption is called Aloe barbadensis Miller.
Aloe Vera leaves have a long history of use in alternative medicine like Ayurveda & Homeopathy.
Benefits of Aloe Vera
In Ayurveda, it is used to manage arthritis, joint pains, stomach ulcers & to regulate menstruation.
The most commonly known benefit of aloe vera is its use in treating skin maladies. When used as a complement to other medical methods, aloe vera helps maintain skin moisture and integrity. Studies have shown it can be used to help treat burn, chronic, and postoperative wounds, psoriasis, herpes, and cracked nipples, as well as prevent skin ulcers.
Aloe vera is also rich in antioxidants and possess many healthful plant compounds including vitamins, minerals, amino acids & bioactive substances. It is also used to treat digestive troubles like heart burn and GERD.
Aloe latex contains a compound called aloin or barbaloin, which has laxative properties. While it has been used to treat constipation in the past, the safety of its frequent use has been called into question.
About Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice is simply aloe gel blended with some liquid like water or juice, to make it more palatable. You can make your own aloe vera juice at home in many flavors. Simply choose your favorite fruit juice like Watermelon Juice, Mango Juice, Orange Juice or a lemonade & blend your homemade aloe gel with it.
You will be surprised at how delicious it tastes. No slime! No bitter taste! Other liquids like coconut water or plain water also works well.
Choosing an Aloe Leaf
To prepare aloe vera gel or juice, you’ll first need to find an aloe vera leaf. Many supermarkets and health food stores now sell whole aloe vera leaves. Look for an organic leaf.
If you are growing your own, make sure to use a mature plant and pull out your aloe vera leaf, close to the trunk with a sharp knife. Choose aloe vera leaf that is large, smooth, thick, and have a rosy tinge at the tip. Don’t harvest too many at a time, or you may kill the plant!
Alternately if you want to use aloe vera from the live plant every time, you may cut out 2 inch portion of a leaf from the live plant and discard it. Then cut down another 2 inch portion for use. This is how I have seen my mom use it always. For your next use, you can cut out another 3 inch piece from the same leaf. For the subsequent times you have to discard about half inch piece.
This method is best because once prepared, the aloe gel may begin to get oxidized as it exposes to air and some health benefits may be lost. If it is not possible to cut out every time from a live plant, you may at least store the whole leaf in the refrigerator and cut down only 2 inch portion every time you need the gel. This is what I do.
How to Prepare Aloe Vera Leaf (Stepwise photos)
Spray some vinegar and scrub the leaf well with a brush. Rinse this very well under running water & pat dry. Be sure to wash your hands to make sure you don’t contaminate it. Some people are sensitive to aloe latex. It can irritate the skin and cause rashes & itch. So please wear gloves.
Lay the leaf flat on a cutting board and trim off the bottom thick white part as shown in the picture below.
Either hold the cut side down over a bowl or place the cut side down in a tall container, so the aloe leaf is in an upright position. This allows the aloin, which appears as a yellowish sap, to drain. Removing the aloin gets rid of possible bitter flavors and prevents stomach upset.
Leave it for 10 mins in the upright position. Later wipe off with a clean kitchen tissue.
You will see some of the latex like this.
This is not edible directly. It is processed and medically used as a laxative. Discard this.
How to Extract Aloe Gel from leaf
You can work on the whole leaf at one time or just cut out 1 small portion of the leaf & use every time. If you want to remove the gel and store it, cut the leaf to several pieces like shown below. This is a easier way to extract maximum gel. So I prefer to cut the leaf into smaller pieces (2 inches) and discard the top end (about 2 inches as it is best to discard).
Add them to a large bowl of water & rest for 1 to 2 minutes. If you are working with the whole leaf, you may rinse it under running water. Once the aloin is drained to the water, remove them. Discard and refill the bowl with fresh water and rinse them again and remove from water.
Wipe dry a piece of leaf with a kitchen tissue.
Lay it flat on a cutting board. Remove the spiny / thorny edges of the leaf with a sharp knife.
If you have really large leaf like mine, you may again cut each to 2 pieces so it is easy to work.
Extract the Gel
To remove the top green rind/part of the leaf, insert your knife a few millimeters under the skin and run your knife down the length of it. Make sure to remove a bit of the inner white layer as well as the outer green layer.
You should be left with some clear gel cradled in the bottom green leaf skin. Remove it either by scooping it out with a spoon to a bowl or running your knife between the gel and the outer skin down the length of the leaf. If you are using a very young leaf, it is good to scoop out with a spoon.
You will have blocks of transparent aloe vera pulp filled with gel. Make sure there is no yellow latex or green rind left in the pulp. If you find any, scrape them off gently with a small knife.
It has to be crystal clear.
This way you can fillet the aloe gel from all of the 2 inch portions and rinse them in a bowl of clean water. Drain completely & pat dry.
To store the aloe vera gel, you can either store it in a sterilized jar and put it in the refrigerator, freeze it in an ice cube tray for individual frozen portions, or combine it with honey or vitamin C to preserve it for longer. I have shared more in the pro tips section below.
How to Make Aloe Vera Juice
I prefer to juice fresh every time to minimize oxidization & it only takes 5 mins. So I add 2 inches portion of aloe gel along with ¼ cup chilled water or juice to a blender to make 2 servings. If you prefer to make the gel at one time and store it, you may blend all of the gel at one time and store it. More in the Pro tips section below.
Blend only for a 30 to 60 seconds until the aloe vera gel is fully crushed. Do not over do as we don’t want to rise the temperature of the gel.
Strain this and run a spoon all around to let much of the gel pass through the strainer. You will need some more water or juice at this stage so most of the gel passes through. Sometimes you may see some very thin green particles in the strainer simply discard it.
Divide the aloe juice to 2 serving cups and top with more juice or with water. If you use water, add some lemon juice. To sweeten it add some honey or any other sweetener.
You can make this in many flavors. I poured some aloe gel to serving cups. Then poured orange juice to one serving and added some frozen mango puree cubes to another and topped with some cold water. Add what you like to make it delicious.
Aloe vera is very cooling to the body. So a lot of people in India also use it with turmeric. This combination is said to help with arthritis and knee pain.
Storing Aloe Vera Gel
Remember extracted aloe gel gets oxidized and medicinal benefits will be diminished within a short time, though you refrigerate it. However if you think this is better than the bottled one that is sold in the stores, proceed with the steps mentioned here.
I am able to successfully store aloe gel without blending in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. It still tastes fresh and good.
To keep it longer, you can use vitamin C or honey as a preservative. Use a 1:1 ratio when combining the aloe gel (blended without water) with the honey. For the vitamin C, blend 500 milligrams of it with every ¼ cup aloe gel (you can find vitamin C tablets at a grocery store or pharmacy).
Aloe vera gel stored with honey or vitamin C can last up to 8 months in the refrigerator, whereas plain aloe vera gel lasts up to a week. Frozen aloe vera lasts up to a year.
Identify aloe vera: There are many varieties of aloe vera and it is very important to identify the correct one for consumption. Choosing the wrong kind can be extremely toxic to the body. If you do not know how to choose the leaf yourself then please buy the leaf from a trusted source.
Test first : Many people may be allergic to aloe vera. A lot of times we don’t know what we are allergic to. So it is very important to consult your physician or Ayurvedic expert before you consume it. Then do a test by consuming only half a teaspoon of the extracted gel. Repeat this for 2 to 3 days. You shouldn’t be having any symptoms in the next few days.
Side Effects of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is generally considered safe, especially for topical use–though there have been occasional reports of issues like eczema, burning, and itching.
There are a few exceptions for oral use. Some reports state that long-term oral aloe vera use can cause liver damage, while the latex can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and cramps due to laxative effects.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in the United States has also mentioned a correlation between oral consumption of aloe vera leaf extract and gastrointestinal cancer in mice and rats.
Though these side effects are for the commercial extracts and supplements, care should be taken not to include aloe latex in your juice.
Always talk to your doctor before adding new supplements or complementary care to your health routine.
How to Make Aloe Vera Juice
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 aloe vera leaf
To Make the Juice
- 2 inch aloe vera gel (refer notes)
- ¾ to 1 cup water (or any fruit juice or lemonade)
- 1 teaspoon sweetener (optional. if required like honey)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Prepare the leaf
- Rinse aloe leaf well under running water to remove any deposits of mud or dirt. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or tissues.
- Place the leaf flat on a chopping board and trim off both the ends (Check pictures in the post)
- Keep in a tall bowl or container upright (Vertical position) for 12 to 15 mins. This step is very important as most of the latex drains naturally into the bowl. Aloe latex can cause health problems.
- When it is done you will some of the latex is till on the bottom part. Wipe it off with a kitchen tissue.
- Using a sharp knife cut the aloe leaf (horizantally) to 2 to 3 inch long pieces. Add them to a bowl of clean water & leave for 2 to 3 mins.
- Remove the aloe pieces and discard the water. Repeat the rinse with fresh water. Remove and place them on a rack to let the moisture dry off.
- Cut off both the thorny sides/ edges of the aloe piece and discard them.
Extract the Aloe Gel
- There are 2 ways you can extract the aloe gel. First method is to peel off the green rind with a small sharp knife or a peeler on both the sides. You will be left with a clear white transparent gel.
- The second method is to slice the aloe to 2 parts, by running the knife in between the gel. Now you have 2 parts. Using a spoon scrape the gel to a bowl, ensuring you don't scrape the rind.
- You may peel all the pieces of aloe leaf at one time, extract the gel and refrigerate upto 2 weeks. The other way is to just cut up 2 to 3 inch portion from the whole aloe leaf whenever you need. Rinse and extract the gel when you need. There is less oxidization with this method & only takes 3 to 5 mins to peel.
- Once you have extracted the gel, make sure there are no traces of yellow aloe latex or green rind in the gel. It has to be crystal clear. If you find any, remove them with a small knife.
- Rinse the extracted gel well in a clean bowl of water to ensure there is no more residue of latex. You may store them in a glass container and refrigerate or freeze.
How to Make Aloe Vera Juice
- Add the required amount of aloe vera gel to a blender, pour water or juice and blend until all of the aloe is crushed.
- Strain this to a serving cup, running a spoon all over the strainer so much of the aloe goes into the cup. Pour more water or juice to strain all of the gel. You may find any traces of rind in the strainer, just discard that.
- Add lemon juice, more water or fruit juice as required. Stir in honey if you want. Consume aloe vera juice immediately.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Aloe vera is not suitable to everyone, please consult your physician before you try. Aloe Vera Juice Recipe first published in April 2013. Updated & republished in May 2022.