The aloe vera plant is constructed with the basic building blocks of life. The bulk of the aloe vera leaf is filled with gel, which is approximately 99% water. The other 1% contains over at least 75 known nutrients including 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, enzymes and over 200 active plant compounds called phytonutrients.
Due to the increasing popularity of aloe vera, demand has unfortunately brought a lot of poor quality products to the market. The typical aloe vera liquids available in retail today are extremely weak, and most are damaged by heat and chemicals during processing. Pedro uses no chemical or heat treatment in the making of his products.
Pedros' plantation is just 10 minutes from his incredible cave house and storage facility. It is a space which is cool in the summer and warm in the winter and the perfect place from which to work and live while being surrounded by the deserts of Almeria.
Pedros main business is his aloe vera plantation but he also has a small grove of olive trees from which he produces approximately 3000 litres of an organic extra virgin olive oil each year.
As well as making cosmetics from his aloe vera plants, Pedro also sells the leaves for direct consumption. The aloin level within the plants rises as a defence against the leaves being eaten by animals. As Pedro is very gentle whilst harvesting the aloin level is extremely low and therefore his leaves have non of the bitter taste so often found when eating the raw gel.
Organic soap is free of harsh chemicals such as sodium laurel sulfate, artificial colours, parabens, hormones and detergents. It is Ph balanced, gentle on your skin and is colour and fragrance free.
A little chemistry lesson - organic soap is made from a process called saponification-mixing organic oils and organic essential oils with lye. Lye is a mixture of water and sodium hydroxide (NaOH). When the lye is slowly mixed with the organic oils a chemical reaction occurs where the sodium (Na) joins up with part of the oil molecule to form a sodium soap. The remaining hydroxide (OH) joins with the oil molecule to form glycerin, an emollient that helps skin to remain soft and hydrated.
The oils and the lye are mixed when both reach a certain temperature. The mixture is constantly stirred until it gets thick (also known as "tracing"). The times will vary for tracing depending on the oils used. Once tracing occurs, essential oils, herbs and natural coloring are added. The mixture is then poured into moulds, covered for 24-48 hours, then removed from the moulds and left to cure for approximately 3-4 weeks.
As for the benefits of organic soap, they are countless. Organic soap is eco friendly, it is made with organic ingredients and organic essential oils. This means that at the very first stage, these ingredients were produced with organic farming methods. The soil is well managed and its fertility is enhanced with the use of organic manure and fertilizers. Inorganic fertilizers, synthetic chemical pesticides and herbicides have not been used.
Organic soap is good for your body and its production is kinder on the planet.
Pedros’ organic aloe vera plantation and olive groves are located in the semi arid landscape of Almeria, perfect conditions for growing aloe vera. Pedro trained as a naturopath and tends his plants with a love that most people find difficult to believe. He even sprays the aloe plants with Bach herbal remedies in order to relax them before the stressful process of harvesting the leaves, thus obtaining an aloe gel with a level of aloin as low as gels that have had their levels lowered via processing. Once the leaves are harvested and skins removed Pedro uses the gels to make a range of organic aloe vera cosmetics and soaps that are of the very highest quality.
He also produces a great quality organic extra virgin olive oil made from the picual variety of olive.