I use the whole leaf. I have them growing in my yard or I can buy them at the grocery store for $1.59 a leaf for the big leaves. I scoop out the middle with a spoon or filet it like a fish and put all the gel in the blender. Bottled aloe is useless, it has been heated and diluted and I consider it worthless and a waste of money. Whole raw aloe is all I recommend.