February 09, 2021 3 min read
"Can you eat Aloe vera or is it for topical use only?"
It’s an important question for many. Aloe vera has been widely used as a medicinal plant for thousands of years. Originally found on the Arabian Peninsula and Eastern Mediterranean region, it was depicted on stone sculptures and written on papyrus in ancient Egypt dating from the 16th century BCE. The plant is now cultivated worldwide for its many wellness applications.
For the most part, when people think of Aloe, they are familiar with the plant for its topical application in treating skin injuries, particularly cuts and burns. But can it be consumed? Does it provide internal health benefits? Are there risks? Let’s find out.
Aloe Vera is a member of the succulent plant family. It is a stemless plant with fleshy serrated leaves and, when in bloom, produces yellow flowers. However, it’s the substance within the leaves of the plant that make Aloe Vera valuable. The gel found in each leaf of the plant, its clear meaty center, contains many vitamins and minerals and a wide range of health applications.
Aloe Vera gel is totally safe to eat so long as it is prepared properly to remove any aloin. In fact, it is a nutrient-dense plant many refer to as a superfood. The inner gel of the Aloe Vera leaf contains many important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support overall health:
There are a number of Aloe Vera health benefits, however you'll want to avoid eating raw whole aloe leaf. The inner skin or rind has a latex coating containing aloin which acts as a natural laxative. For obvious reasons, you'll want to be sure the Aloe you're consuming is properly processed and free of aloin; ingesting too much of this compound can result in cramping and feeling weak and dehydrated.
Aloin is a type of anthraquinone glycoside, a natural chemical, which has powerful laxative properties. In Aloe Vera it is found in the yellowish latex sap or juice in the layer below the outer skin, i.e., the inner rind, of the plant’s leaves. Though some people have ingested the juice to relieve constipation, health professionals do not consider it safe as an effective laxative. Concentrations of aloin vary throughout the plant and results may be unpredictable when using it in this manner. The gel found in the center of Aloe leaves contains little or no aloin. Like many fruits and vegetables, the protective cover must be peeled before accessing the nutritional substance found on the inside.
Preparing Aloe vera to eat takes only a few minutes, and once prepared can be stored in your refrigerator up to a week.
A tablespoon of raw Aloe Vera will leave a bitter, earthy, and slightly acidic taste in your mouth. The texture of the gel is soft and gooey. However, it’s also watery, easily swallowed, and the aftertaste really doesn’t linger. The best way to consume raw Aloe vera is to mix it with other fruits in a drink or a smoothie. Experiment until you find the taste just right for you. Many recipes are available on the web.
AloeCure Aloe Vera products are all specially processed to remove any aloin and optimized for the maximum amount of the beneficial active ingredient acemannan. By using only high quality organically grown Aloe Vera leaves, AloeCure products are a great choice for those looking to reap the benefits of all natural Aloe Vera.
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