February 09, 2021 4 min read
We often get asked what the difference is between whole leaf aloe and the inner gel. As we know, aloe is such a versatile plant that is known for its external skin use but it is also a functional food. It also triples as a popular house plant, as it's very easy to maintain and yields numerous benefits to the home (i.e. improve air quality, greenery, and functional). Aloe Vera can be broken down into its two sections: the whole (outer) leaf and the inner leaf.
Two portions of the aloe plant are usually focused on when used for wellness purposes. The gel is taken from the inner leaf. Latex, known as Aloin, is a yellow material found only under the leaf's surface is the second component. These two components and over 200 different nutrients are present in whole leaf aloe vera gel. Inner leaf Aloe Vera gel contains virtually all of these same nutrients, but is latex-free (or at least should be). But it's not always this simple as both parts have a lot of benefits and that is what make them equally important and why you find products with just inner leaf aloe gel and also products with whole leaf aloe.
The inner aloe gel is the most widely known form of aloe and is the safest part of the plant, especially for ingestion. This is what most people think of when they think of Aloe Vera. It’s well known for its external soothing properties for our skin, and also for its internal health purposes. Aloe Vera is most popularly used as a topical ointment to help with moisturizing and nourishing skin after sun exposure, as well as for a litany of other skin applications. Although the inner gel has been used by many cultures for thousands of years, it is the rise in appreciation for its numerous internal benefits such as digestive health and immune-supporting properties, just to name a couple, that have propelled it as a superfood. It is well established that the inner aloe leaf possesses the majority of the entire leaf’s benefits, as it contains acemannan, which allows it to be used both externally and internally.
A green, pointed and thick 12-19 inches long Aloe Vera leaf stores everything that is needed to support a healthy body and healthy skin. There are three layers to each leaf:
1) An inner transparent gel made up of glucomannans, amino acids, lipids, sterols, and vitamins that contains 99 percent water.
2) The bitter yellow sap in the middle layer of latex, which includes anthraquinones and glycosides.
3) The rind, which is 15–20 cells across and serves as a defensive layer as well as a source of carbohydrates and proteins. Vascular wraps are found within the rind and are responsible for transporting compounds such as water (xylem) and starch (phloem).
This transparent gel has different names: Aloe Vera Gel, Aloe Vera Gel Extract, Inner Gel, Inner Leaf, Inner Fillet and Hand Fillet. It is obtained by removing the hard green skin either by hand or machines. Aloe Vera gel is the safest part of the plant, especially for ingestion. It’s well known for its external soothing properties for our skin, and also for its internal health purposes.
Both the inner and outer layer of Aloe Vera have their own benefits. Usually, the thick outer layer is discarded, and the inner gel is used for consumption and application. The whole leaf can be used for its external soothing properties to nourish your skin and is great for soothing he skin after sun exposure (however, whole leaf aloe should never be used to treat deep cuts or wounds).
But while inner aloe gel is safe to consume, raw whole leaf aloe should not be eaten or used for internal use as it contains potentially dangerous aloin, a bitter tasting substance with laxative properties that can be extremely harsh on the body. So, for those asking, "can I just eat an aloe leaf?", we would say that eating raw whole aloe would likely deliver adverse effects.
Even the Skincare industry uses the inner gel to make beauty enhancing products that are safe and have prolonged use. It is well established that the inner aloe leaf possesses the majority of the leaf’s bio-available nutrients, as it contains acemannan, as well as a whole other host of beneficial compounds.
What makes AloeCure (as well as our sister company,ALODERMA) products special is how we process our inner gel. Nearly all other Aloe Vera products on the market utilize charcoal filtration or enzymes that they add to ground up Aloe Vera leaves to help remove the aloin. While that might sound fine, it also strips a large amount of the other components naturally found in Aloe Vera during the process. When you see other Aloe Vera Juices that are clear or don't have any smell or taste, that is almost certainly a sign they have used one of these two methods. While the taste of Aloe Vera isn't for everyone, if you aren't tasting it, you probably aren't drinking what you think you are.
At AloeCure, we have developed an entirely natural and proprietary process by which we remove all Aloin from our products without the addition of outside ingredients or enzymes or charcoal filtration. AloeCure process all of our aloe within 12 Hours of Harvest from our Organic plantations in order to ensure maximum preservation of nutrients found in wild Aloe Vera.
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