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What Is Aloin?

Aloin and Aloe vera
Aloe You Too!

Today I received a question about aloe. The answer to this question is one thing that separates Stockton Aloe 1 Aloe Vera Gel from most of the aloe vera beverage competitors.

Susan writes:

Does your aloe vera have the aloin taken out? I saw the following information about aloin, and wanted to see if your aloe vera is free of it.

“Taking aloe vera that contains aloin in excess amounts has been associated with various side-effects.”


“Once ingested, aloin increases peristaltic contractions in the colon, which induces bowel movements. Aloin also prevents the colon from re-absorbing water from the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to softer stools. This effect is caused by aloin’s opening of chloride channels of the colonic membrane. In higher doses, these effects may lead to electrolyte imbalance, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, which are common side-effects of the drug. Because aloin can potentially cause uterine contractions, pregnant women should avoid ingesting aloe products.”1

Dr. Haley’s Response:

YouTube video

The aloin is the yellowish brown sap in the outer green leaf. Many people do ingest small quantities of whole leaf aloe juice as a laxative to improve their bowel movements. But aloin is not considered to be a safe and effective laxative and may be somewhat unpredictable when using it in this manner. It is especially hard to dose consistently since different parts of the leaf may have different aloin concentrations.

This brings out an important distinction in the various aloe beverages and the terminology associated with them:

Aloe Vera Gel – contains little or no aloin – made from the inner leaf filet. The outer green parts have been cut away.

Aloe Vera Juice – contains aloin – made from whole leaf aloe vera. Essentially, the whole leaves are put in a blender and processed into a beverage.

This video was provided by
YouTube video

In most cases, I do not consider aloin to be a desired nutrient from aloe. With certain fruits and vegetables, we remove the outer coverings to eat the nutrition inside. Consider the orange, banana, corn, etc. The good part is on the inside. We throw away the outer wrapper. In the same way, the mucopolysaccharides from the inner gel contain the healthy nutrition from the aloe vera plant.

Stockton Aloe 1 uses inner gel from the filet only in their 100% pure aloe vera gel beverage. Prior to grinding, the filets are rinsed to minimize the possibility of aloin content.

So do we remove the aloin? No we do not, but rather, we prevent the aloin from getting into our aloe. Some companies rely on using processing agents including diatomaceous earth and activated carbon to clean the aloe of the excess aloin. This is not a problem that we have to contend with.

1. Wikipedia

41 thoughts on “What Is Aloin?

    Hi, my partner digested a clear aloe gel from a leaf but has cramps in his stomach. Can anything be done?

      I suspect by now the cramps have passed? Was the aloe bitter?

    I get my Aloe Vera from a manufacturer in Israel – Dr. Melumad Laboratories ( and it is supposedly aloin free. My friend had a baby 2 months ago and she cries and cries and cries non-stop. They have tried different drops and remedies, but nothing helps. I want to give them some of my aloe vera juice, but am uncertain if it’s safe for a 2 month old baby. What do you think?

      At 2 months… regarding safety… if it’s aloin free and pathogen free.. it is safe… unless the baby had some unusual allergies. But I’d give the aloe to the mother… and have the baby breast feed 🙂

        Thank you!! Unfortunately, the mother is not breasfeeding. But they tried switching milk formulas, too. It didn’t help either.

          They should burp AND hug the baby as much as possible.

    Dr M. Haley, I stumbled upon one of your videos on YouTube and another one where you were being interviewed about how to plant and or care for your Aloe vera. Thanks for all that you share.
    I live in Nigeria, and have been spending lots on Aloe juice, but thanks to you I started growing my Aloe vera barbadensis on Wednesday 22nd March 2017. I’ll follow your advice and see how it goes.

    I’m a nutritionist selling aloe Vera juice and we have seen it work better on laxative, my concern is how one can know the best species of aloe Vera that can be used at home????

    Hello Dr.Haley,
    I’m a forty-two year woman that is having difficulty with constipation. I’m Looking for natural treatment. Would Aloe Vera be a good choice?

      Some people use outer leaf parts to help get things moving and inner leaf parts to heal the gut. I recommend deflaming the gut with inner gel, eating a cultured diet (or taking probiotics), drinking plenty of water, eating sufficient fats (for the lubrication), eating foods with fiber… if your gut tolerates fiber, possibly digestive enzymes to help process your food, and getting your spine checked by a chiropractor to make sure back tension is not causing a decrease to the nerves for peristalsis. Eliminating the gut killing foods, chemicals in the food, GMO’s, medications, and more is the other side of the equation.

    Thank-you for such valuable information. In regards to the aloe plant, with there being several different varieties, which one is considered the best one if you are to grow your own.? and where can you get plants/seeds??

      Barbadensis Miller is the barely disputed best species (there is one aloe company that disputes this… they sell something else). There are many varieties of Barbadensis Miller. They are ALL pretty good… though nutrition varies with maturity, climate, soil, and more. Rodney Stockton studied many varieties of the Barbadensis Miller species and picked one as being what he called the most “medicinally” beneficial. That variety became known as the Stockton variety and is the variety we sell.

    Hi Dr Michael Haley
    Thank you for your answers to people’s questions. Would you help me too?
    1. For my research, I want to extract saponins from Aloe vera. In which part of the leaf will I find these compounds? From the concentrate of the gel or in the outer part of the leaf?
    2. Do you think that the aloin would also contain saponins?
    3. Do you have any advices to how to process the extraction?

    Looking forward to your answer.

      They are in the gel… but I wouldn’t have any idea how to isolate them.

    Is it safe to apply face creams with aloe vera in it? Can aloin be a concern here?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

      Every brand has their own formula. Stockton Aloe Vera Gel tests at an average of 2 to 3 PPM aloin content. That is extremely low.

        Would 2ppm in a 32 Oz bottle be considered a safe number for consumption? Thanks!

          Yes, 2 PPM in 32 ounces… you might taste it (barely) but it won’t have a laxative effect. However, the fiber from 32 ounces might get things moving a little.

    I am a Dutch woman and found your site, because I was looking to find out if aloin is dangereous
    but on the Dutch sites I could not find it out. I have many Aloe plants in my garden in Spain. .
    When I am there I use the whole leaves (since 3 months). But is it not safe? I only could find on internet
    that it is forbidden to use it in certain concentrations in (the Dutch?) products because you can get stomach cramps.
    I had, went to the toilet and the problem was gone. I feel very very healthy since I use it. Yvon, Netherlands

    Can I use aloe Vera as a cosmetic mask on my face ?


    Any idea what does aloe vera concentrate made from? does it contain the inner leaf only or its from the whole aloe leaf?

      Pearlyn, it could be either.

        Any idea if Herbalife aloe vera concentrate is made from whole leaf aloe or only the inner leaf?

          I do not know… but even inner leaf only aloe vera, if not cut properly, can contain high amounts of aloin from the outer leaf. The real question is for the manufacturer… that is, you can ask to see their laboratory documentation that shows how much aloin their aloe contains. Reputable companies are proud of their products and will share that information.

            Is the aloe vera plant that you buy at Lowes and Home Depot the same thing

            They might have Barbadensis Miller… but probably not the Stockton variety.

    Hello Dr Michael Haley, I’ve recently been diagnosed that I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and I’m debating whether if I should buy the bottle of aloe juice from the GNC store to help with the inflammation, and to clean my digestion out if I have any gunk accumulated throughout the year. I heard people and my family from Mexico, they use it for natural remedy and its good for soothing your skin if you burn yourself. Plus, i been told that its good anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, and anti fungal. I would like your your opinion if it safe to drink it or how can I tell which is good to buy? I never drank aloe vera before from the bottle except from Herbal Life. They serve you a cup to drink along with other drinks just to buy their products, but it so expensive. Also, how much can I drink it and for how long??? I’m taking probiotic and multivitamin already. Plus, I’m watching out what I eat so I don’t have another episode either diarrhea, being constipated, or in pain again. I don’t want to be on medication and have to deal with this for the rest of my life either. So any suggestions would be most appreciated. Please and thank you.

      I would love to help… but there is too much to discuss to adress your questions and concerns. Please do call and ask for the doctor 🙂

    My son is on his 3rd round of antibiotics for c-Diff. Could aloe help him?

      Teresa, you might want to look up the “aloe silver protocol”. That is, some people use silver to kill off bad bacteria combined with aloe to deliver it and probiotics to replenish the gut flora favorably.

    I am plaque with hemorrhoids and constipation. How do I prepare aloin in small quantities to get the benefit.

      We don’t feel that aloin should be used for this. But rather, addressing the underlying cause of the problem so that a laxative is not needed… that makes more sense to us. That is, reviewing your diet and making the necessary changes. Laxatives or anti-nutrients should not be necessary.

      Slowly increase your fiber intake, while simultaneously cutting back on dairy and meat. I would suggest a diet resembling South Beach, but add an extra salad or other non-starchy vegetable serving a day. Read “Eat To Live” by Dr. Fuhrman and watch “Forks Over Knives” available on Netflix for more info. The info contained has forever changed the way I see nutrition

      Self-taught amateur nutrition enthusiast, although I have a M.S. in physics with a minor in chemistry (just enough rope to hang myself!)

    Hi Dr. Haley,

    I’ve been suffering thru gastritis for over a month now… I heard aloe vera would help in the recovery process. What is your opinion on that?

      Unhealthy gut symptoms are the number one reason people drink aloe Vera. But you want to make sure the aloe you consume has a low outer leaf content since the outer part of the plant can worsen your symptoms. Also, there are many other dietary things to consider – avoiding the things that make it worse and consuming other gut healing foods such as cultured foods, probiotics, enzymes, stock, and much more.

    Dr. Haley,
    Is it safe to give a two and a half year old aloe vera juice for hard stools and constipation. Considering this therapy. Of course without the aloin.


      Aloe vera gel (aloin free) is safe for young children… providing they don’t have allergies to it. Aloe Vera is not a highly allergenic food.

    I read a supposed result from a study on facebook last week attributing to aloin the ability to kill breast cancer cells when injected into them in- vitro. Have you heard anything about this?

      That sounds interesting. But, because it is in vitro… I suppose lots of things work in vitro. I would love to see further testing to see how effective it might be in vivo.

    Dear Dr. Haley,
    I have been growing my own aloe vera for about 10 years now. For about 5 years I have harvested the meat and use it in my smoothies, juice drinks and etc. I a familiar with alion and the effect on the body. About two years ago I started harvesting the leaf only by cutting off the spikes, washing it and freezing it. I would then put about a 1 cup to 1 1/2 cup cut up into my smoothies the entire leaf. I have never experienced any bad digestion problems like so many people comment on. I will say this that my hair, skin, overall well being has improved so much over the past 5+ years of using aloe that when I go shopping with my 11 yr. old granddaughter most everyone thinks she is my daughter. I am going to be 62 in June those who I have not seen in a long time cannot believe how well I look almost no wrinkles with no surgeries. I heard the other day that there is a poison between the meat and the skin is this true and what could it be? I have also heard that there is over 140+ kinds of aloe I feel great and enjoy life to the fullest would appreciate your comments.

      I do indeed believe that aloe vera is not only a tissue healer, but also an anti-aging food. I am glad to hear that you are using it that way.

      Some people use aloe vera “therapeutically” for their immune systems consuming as much as 24 ounces in a day. Large quantities such as this will require removing the entire outer leaf.

      To find out the details about the outer leaf “anti-nutrient” aloin, I recommend the article “Is Aloe Vera Safe To Drink?“.

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