We won’t beat around the aloe bush: Fresh is best.
When it comes to getting the purest version of aloe, immediately using the gel after cutting it is the most effective method. Aloe begins to lose some of its potency after a few hours so cutting a fresh leaf will give you the most nutrients. The plant has to be 3-4 years old at least to get the best results. When we are removing a leaf from a plant (instead of purchasing in a store), we always cut an outer leaf near the base of the plant.
1. Slice off the prickly sides of the leaf with a knife. Take care not to cut too much off.
2. With the convex side up, use a vegetable peeler to trim the outer layer of the leaf.
3. Slide the knife under the gel to remove it from the other side of the leaf.
4. Dice the gel into smaller pieces.
5. Refrigerate leftover aloe. It lasts about a week.
Caution: We are always careful not to use the yellow juice from the leaf. Always rinse it out. It has a bitter taste and a laxative effect.