A few days ago my boyfriend grabbed a huge aloe vera leaf at the grocery store and threw it in the cart. Later in the day he picked it up and waved it around saying, “babe, how do we use this?” Being the well-informed superfood loving b*tch that I am, I was embarrassed that I had no idea how to work with the prickly thing, let alone what to do with the gooey center.

Therefore I set out on Google, social, and of course, my go-to fav blogs to get a solid education. With this 5-minute aloe online degree I went to town.

Below you will read the lessons learned and benefits realized.

Aloe Vera Through Illest Optimist's Eyes

It can be a little daunting when you purchase an aloe plant, or snag yourself one of the big ass spikey and hard ‘leaves’. It looked like a cross between a dragon and a cactus – neither of which I’d be comfortable manhandling. But don’t fear, it’s not as scary as it appears.

As you can see in the video, there is a method in which to get to the good part of the aloe. The goal is to cut away to the gel-like middle of this huge leaf. To do that you want to: first cut off the prickly parts on the side. Then slice off about a 1/2 inch piece. Cut off the hard edges (as if you were filleting a fish (and if you haven’t fillet a fish before, get your ass to a cabin in the backwoods and have some fisherman that looks like Ron Swanson teach you).

  1. Cut off the prickly parts on each side
  2. Slice off about a 1/2 inch piece
  3. Cut off the hard edges (as if you were filleting a fish (and if you haven’t fillet a fish before, get your ass to a cabin in the backwoods and have some fisherman that looks like Ron Swanson teach you).

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART – Once you have the squishy aloe gel, wash it. For a long time. No really, don’t forget this step. The aloe is surrounded by a green gel that is a fast acting laxative. So unless you want to be running to the bathroom like a bat aughta hell – wash wash wash.

How to Use Aloe Vera

If you are going to take it internally, your best bet is to throw it in the blender while making a delicious smoothie. The taste is pretty bitter, but when you blend it up with a frozen banana and some additional superfoods (like raw cacao, spirulina, and bee pollen), you can’t taste it in the slightest.

You can also rub it all over your skin for sunburns, your hair to promote growth, on your face as a mask, or your hands as a sanitizer.

Aloe Vera Health Benefits

  • The Digestive Systems Bestie – It’s known to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract.
  • Healing Assistant – It legit helps heal wounds and is great for applying topically to burns, abrasions, psoriasis, and even to bug bites.
  • Super Detoxifyer – Aloe Vera is a gelatinous plant food, similar to seaweed and chia seeds, who’s big benefit is moving through the intestinal tract absorbing toxins along the way.
  • Tons O’ Vitamins – Aloe Vera is also one of the few plants that contain vitamin B12. It also is chocked full of calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese – the list goes on and is long as all hell, just trust.
  • Hydrater – Due to aloe’s high water content (over 99% water) it is a great way to hydrate.
  • Immune System Booster – Aloe vera is a well-known adaptogen, aka boosting the body’s natural ability to adapt to external changes and resist illness.
  • Reduced Muscle Pain – Aloe Vera contains 12 substances, including B-sisterole, which can help to slow down or inhibit inflammation, helping with painful joints due to stiffness.

Chronic Disease Warriors Keep this in Mind

I did have a small herx after ingesting aloe vera for 2 days in a row. It wasn’t awful, it lasted for a few hours at night and when I woke up in the morning I felt like heaven. I would recommend trying it out when you have a few days to see how your body reacts (like a weekend). Remember, a herx can be a LOVELY thing because it means your body is ridding itself of yuck toxins.

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