With the pandemic hitting the world hard, people have found hand sanitizers to be an ideal partner.
However, with many countries forcing strict lockdown norms, companies manufacturing hand sanitizers have been forced to close business.
People turned towards home-made solutions, and aloe vera became one of the top choices, and many began stockpiling them.
But how long does aloe vera last? If you are one of those folks stockpiling aloe vera for future use, this article is your dream destination.
We will talk about the shelf life of the different variants of aloe vera and provide you with steps to preserve the numerous benefits of aloe vera for extended periods.
You can store aloe vera, usually, in three forms – juice, gel, or leaf, and each of them has a different shelf life.
Our article will help you understand the life span of aloe vera and why you should be concerned about bad aloe vera.
How Long Does Aloe Vera Last? Does Aloe Vera Go Bad?
Aloe vera in any form comes with numerous advantages. Aloe vera contains antioxidants and vitamins that can treat dry skin, burns, and acne.
If you are storing aloe vera in a leaf form, a refrigerated leaf can last for multiple weeks. Additionally, you can freeze the leaves for greater longevity, which can last for about six months.
A fresh aloe vera leaf can last for about 24 hours at room temperature and about one to two weeks when refrigerated.
Here are a few ways of extending the shelf life of aloe vera that you can try at home:
- Wrap the aloe vera leaf with a damp towel. If you don’t want to extract the gel and preserve the plates, you can use a wet towel to wrap around the leaves to retain the leaves’ quality.
- Freeze aloe leaves. Freezing aloe leaves using a plastic freezer bag preserves their consistency and taste for up to eight months. If you set the freezer to an ideal temperature, you can retain the leaves’ quality for much longer.
- Defrost aloe leaves at room temperature. Defrosting aloe leaves at room temperature ensures that they retain their consistency and taste. You can keep them back in the freezer once you have fulfilled your requirement. Make sure that you never use a microwave to defrost the leaves.
- Mix with honey. If you want to store the aloe vera in the gel form, mixing it with honey is an excellent option. As honey is a natural preservative, it preserves all the qualities of aloe vera gel. Ensure you rinse the leaves and wait for the red/yellow liquid or aloin to drain out. This liquid can cause diarrhea, which is undoubtedly not the thing you would like.
How to Tell if Aloe Vera is Bad?
People have been using aloe vera for its medical benefits for centuries. Aloe vera’s soothing qualities effectively treat skin abrasions and sun damage, and many health experts term it as a potent superfood.
However, like any other organic matter or plant, aloe vara can go bad over time.
So what are the signs of bad aloe vera? Like most other plants and vegetables, you can judge the state of aloe vera with your sense of sight and smell.
Since aloe vera contains a lot of water, it usually rots before drying up. However, if you store it properly, you can extend the shelf life of aloe vera.
Here is a list of signs and symptoms that indicate unusable aloe vera:
- Discoloration. If you store aloe vera leaves at room temperature without added protection, the leaves will lose their usual green color and begin to spoil. It can also happen inside the freezer if your plastic wrap has a loose end. Aloe vera leaves forms a rusty brown callus sealing itself, which is their way of preserving the gel. This process is natural and does not mean that the aloe vera leaves have gone bad.
- Foul odor. If your aloe vera leaves smell weird or giving away an odd odor, it is better to discard them.
- Wrinkles. Wrinkles appearing on the leaves’ surface are a good indication that your aloe vera leaves have lost their quality and unfit for use.
- Drying up or becoming moldy.
With so many health benefits and anti-aging qualities, aloe vera is a must-have for every home.
Whether you are using aloe vera to moisturize your skin or make delightful recipes with it, it becomes significantly crucial that you take good care of this superfood.
The shelf life of aloe vera can depend on how you store it. Additionally, you can add preservatives, such as Vitamin E, to increase the shelf life of your aloe vera significantly.
However, if your aloe vera leaves exhibit the signs and symptoms listed above, it would be best to toss them out and replace them with fresh ones.