There are many different kinds of aloe vera beverages. Most seem to have a decent degree of benefit as you would expect from such a drink. But, as with any product, there are those using “aloe” just to capitalize on it’s name. The purpose of this post is to help you make an educated buying decision by explaining the possible meanings of the terms and the * DIRTY TRICKS * used to market aloe vera products.
Aloe Vera – “true aloe” refers to the succulent plant; that is, the Barbadensis Miller species.
Aloe Vera Juice (aka “aloe juice”) – When liquid from the aloe vera plant is referred to as “juice”, it usually implies that it is made from the whole leaf; that is, containing the outer leaf anti-nutrients as well as the inner leaf gel. The outerleaf anti-nutrients give aloe vera it’s laxative properties.
* DIRTY TRICK * Aloe Vera Juice is also used to describe juice drinks that contain some aloe vera or that have had powdered aloe vera reconstituted in them. They are often blended with other tastier juices such as pineapple, orange, or apple juice. Such drinks may also be sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup and may have artificial colors and flavors in them. Those using aloe vera powder typically use about 300 mg. per serving or about the amount that would be contained in two capsules.
Aloe Vera Gel (aka “aloe gel”) – refers to the inner portion of the leaf. Aloe Vera gel is the part of the plant that gives it it’s healing, anti-inflammatory, and immune boosting properties.
* DIRTY TRICK * “Aloe Vera gel” may also refer to Aloe Vera water that has had a thickener added to mimic the consistency of true aloe vera gel. The label may say something like “Carrageenan added as a thickener”.
Aloe Vera Water – Sometimes aloe vera gel is ultra-filtered or even distilled. The final product is mostly the water of the aloe plant. Most aloe vera waters still do contain some mucopolysaccharides, but little if any pulp.
Aloe Vera Inner Filet – refers to the water or gel that has been separated from the outer leaf. The filet process may be done by hand or by machine.
* DIRTY TRICK * When machines are used to filet the aloe leaf, processing agents including diatomaceous earth and activated carbon are typically used to clean and filter the liquid. These processing agents are not listed on the ingredients label since they are eventually removed using additional processing steps.
* TIP * The hand fillet process is usually much cleaner and, when done properly, does not require processing agents to remove aloin that came from the outer leaf.
Aloe Vera Pulp – refers to the inner fillet that has been separated from the outer leaf. Pulp also refers to fibrous portion of the gel. You can see pulp in aloe vera gel that has not been filtered. Pulp makes aloe vera gel translucent rather than clear.
Whole Leaf Aloe Vera – Either the individual leaves or the entire plants are put into the grinder. The resulting mush then goes through a series of filtering processes. Diatomaceous earth and activated carbon are typically used to clean and filter the product.
Aloe Vera Extract – Usually refers to the outer leaf yellow brown sap that oozes out of a cut leaf. Such preparations from the outer leaf were once used medicinally for their laxative qualities. However, research using aloe vera outer leaf extract has demonstrated that this portion of the leaf when taken in large quantities for extended periods, can be damaging to the digestive tract of rats.
* TIP * Testing done using the anti-nutrients of any plant should not be confused with the benefits of consuming it’s edible parts.
* DIRTY TRICK * Doctors that prefer drugs over food use research pertaining to outer-leaf extract to scare their patients out of using aloe vera in their diet for a healthy gut even though the extract comes from the part of the plant that you aren’t supposed to consume.
At Stockton Aloe 1, we agree with these research findings and believe that the outer portion of the leaf should be discarded or filtered out of the end product. Fresh Frozen Aloe #1 Health Drink is Aloe Vera hand filleted inner leaf only gel. No processing agents were used in the making of our health drink. It has not been pasteurized and is only preserved by freezing. No thickeners, preservatives, flavors, colors, nor anything else were added in the making of this product.
* DIRTY TRICK * 100% Pure Aloe Gel – BEWARE: Some products say “100% Pure Aloe Gel” but have other things in the bottle including harsh chemical preservatives. These other ingredients are usually listed on the back of the same bottle that proudly displays “100% Pure”. The “Pure Aloe Gel” may even have water listed as the first and primary ingredient! Just because something says 100% Aloe Vera doesn’t mean it actually is.