Aloe vera is one of those plants that are good for everything — skin, hair, sunburn, and wounds. But did you know that it also helps digestion, regulates blood sugar, and eases inflammation? All you have to do is drink it — usually in the form of a juice. Here are a few tips on how to make aloe vera juice at home and let your whole family enjoy this delicious drink.

1. Carefully Wash the Aloe Vera Leaf

Naturally, you’d wash any plant that you’re preparing to ingest, but with aloe vera, this step is crucial. As healthy as it is, aloe vera also secretes a toxic yellow liquid right after plucking. This liquid, known as latex, can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even death if you’re allergic to it.

If you bought aloe vera plant from the store, latex shouldn’t be that big of a concern. The plant would have had enough time to release it, and it’s bound to have been washed off. However, you should still thoroughly rinse the plant — better safe than sorry, right?

2. Cut the Side Rind Off and Pull the Leaf Apart

Aloe vera gel is hidden within the plant, so in order to get it, you need to cut the leaves open. The easiest way to do that is to first remove the side rinds — you won’t be needing them, so you can discard them

Then, slide your knife between the upper and lower rind and draw it down the entire length of the leaf. Now you can easily pull the leaf apart and get to the gel. 

3. Remove the Yellow Layer Beneath the Rind

After you open the leaf, you might encounter some more of the toxic yellow substance. Don’t worry — it’s perfectly normal to find it there, but you’ll have to peel it off. Use the blade to remove the yellow layer, and make sure to get rid of any specks, residue, or film that’s left behind. When you finish, only a clear, gooey substance should remain.

Using a knife is the quickest way to remove the yellow layer, but there are other methods. Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with 8 ounces of water and carefully rinse the leaf in the solution. Don’t stop until you wash off all of the yellow liquid.

4. Gather the Aloe Vera Gel

Now, this part is pretty straightforward — all you need is a spoon. Run its edge along the leaf and gather up the clear gel on the surface. Make sure to scoop up as much as you can and put it into an airtight container if you want to store it, or a blender if you plan to use it right away. The gel can stay in the fridge for a week, but it’s best to drink it while it’s fresh. 

5. Try Different Fruits With Aloe Vera

On its own, aloe vera gel won’t be particularly tasty — in fact, it has quite a bitter, acidic taste. However, diluted with orange juice, watermelon, or pineapple, it’s absolutely delicious! Put any fruit you like in the blender with aloe vera gel and blend the mixture at high speed until it becomes liquid. And that’s it — now you know how to make aloe vera juice at home!