Just like any other organic matter, aloe vera and the products that derive from it can deteriorate over time until they expire and completely lose their properties. While the plant survives in its original form in the harshest of environments, once the gel is harvested and out of its thick shell, it can go bad. Losing nutritional value is one problem and potential stomach upset is another. Learn how to preserve aloe vera and store it properly so you can get the best from it!
Storing aloe vera
We have already discussed how to extract the gel from the plant directly and learned about different products in the market today. Regardless of the product you choose, it’s important to know how long does aloe vera last. This will help you understand the shelf-life of each product and how to best store it. Whether you use a variety of aloe vera products or simply stock some gel for topical use in case your skin gets burned, the following info will help you.
Raw vs processed
Your experience might tell you that raw products are likelier to expire sooner than the processed ones. Take milk for example: Fresh milk has to be used within a day or two, while processed milk and fermented milk-based derivatives such as yogurt can last much longer. You should keep in mind that even for those long-lasting products, open container means shorter shelf-life.
Aloe vera is no different and how long it lasts depends on the product, presence of other substances such as preservatives, and the storage method. Use guidelines below for a reference but always read the manufacturer’s label for details!
How to store raw aloe vera?
Assuming you followed all of the necessary steps to get to the useful part of aloe vera plant, carefully avoiding aloin in the process, these are the expected expiration dates depending on the storage method:
- 1 day in room temperature
- A week in a refrigerator
- 1-2 weeks in a freezer
Sliced bits of the plant that remain unconsumed should be refrigerated before you use them next time. Without additives, aloe vera cubes are not immune to bacteria and warmth, so fridge and freezer are your allies. If you intend to consume those remaining bits soon, just put them in your fridge. Otherwise, you can freeze the dices and use them another time as the low temperature will help preserving the useful materials within the plant.
Properly storing aloe vera gel
Processed aloe vera gel today comes in many forms and packages. Various producers add all sorts of other ingredients to aloe vera gel today. You have certainly encountered and used these products topically, most commonly during your summer vacations when sunburns are a common occurrence.
Aloe vera gel in its original form is odorless and intuitively you might think it can last for a long time. So does aloe vera gel expire? It does, just like any other product out there it has its specific shelf-life typically shown in the form of final expiration date on the container.
Properly stored aloe vera gel can last up to few years in most cases and the typical requirement is for it to be stored in a cool and dry place. This not mean that you must store in the fridge, but keep in mind that the cold gel applied on a sunburn brings great relief to your damaged skin, and the cooler temperature extends the duration. Otherwise, just find a convenient place in your storage room or a medical drawer, preferably in a space that has normal temperature readings. Based on this, if stored on room temperature gel can last around two years and if kept in the fridge for more than five years.
If you plan on spending your day outdoors and if you carry aloe vera gel with you avoid leaving it exposed to direct sunlight and other heat sources. Heat and UV light Close the lid and tighten it as you want to make sure it’s not drying out – remember, air is the enemy here.
Aloe vera extracts and beverages
Consumers can choose many different aloe vera extracts and drinks today. Juice which is extracted from the plant can be used as an addition to regular or mineral waters as well as sodas with other healthy ingredients. Given most of these beverages are refrigerated in the markets, if you don’t drink them immediately it’s best if you proceed storing them in your fridge when you get home.
Unopened juices and extracts can last up to couple of years, whereas opened and refrigerated drinks are typically good for couple of weeks. Because some of these drinks have other ingredients, flavors and plants added to them, make sure you know if the combination means shorter life span.
Capsules and powders
Aloe vera powder which can be sold on its own in plastic containers or in the form of capsules can last for a very long time if there are no immediate negative effects. Capsules and powder should not be kept in the refrigerator since it will reduce the quality of the ingredients. Moisture and heat also take a toll on these products. If you mix the powder with water and drink it immediately active bio-ingredients will be properly used and absorbed by your body. Moisture, however, tends to cause the loss of positive properties and fully corrupt the aloe vera powder.
In cool and dry places aloe vera powder and capsules can be used for more than five years after the date of manufacturing.
Aloe vera storage recap
By now you got the answer to the question ‘’Does aloe vera expire?” It does, and it requires proper storing which can help you extend the usability of your aloe vera products. Raw plant, gels and extracts are better kept in a refrigerator whereas powders and capsules should never be placed in it. Follow the guidelines above and read the producer’s label always to get the best from your aloe vera products.
Our powder and capsule products are not only vegan-friendly and 100% natural, but have an excellent shelf-life without losing their nutritional value. Stored properly they can last for a very long time and will help your system with the miraculous active ingredient – Aloe Mucilaginous Polysaccharide Molecule.