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Aloe Vera - Whole Leaf vs Inner Gel

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Ensuring you take true Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has a bitter taste which can be unpleasant in the raw state. It is possible to get used to the taste of plain Aloe Vera gel, but if you can't the addition of some fruit juice helps to make it more palatable.

Many preparations are available that purport to provide Aloe Vera in tablet or capsule form. It is unlikely that many of the delicate beneficial components will have survived the manufacturing process, and these products often contain so little Aloe Vera as to be of dubious benefit. Indeed the market for Aloe Vera is so clouded with conflicting claims, producers in for a quick buck, and shysters that it is no wonder that many health professionals remain skeptical of the benefits of Aloe Vera.

Leading authorities on Aloe Vera maintain that only Aloe Vera gel as fresh as preservation allows from the inner leaf has any remarkable properties.

Whole Leaf vs Inner Gel

Another argument that rages on is the difference of opinion between those promoting so-called "whole leaf" Aloe Vera and those who only use the inner gel. It is well established that the inner gel contains most of the beneficial parts of the plant and little of the less beneficial. Those who promote products based on the inner gel alone maintain that their product is as close to "straight from the plant" as the preservation process allows.

The promoters of "whole leaf" Aloe Vera maintain that as they use all the leaf, their product must be more abundant in the good properties of Aloe Vera. However, the components most likely to destroy the poly-saccharides (thought to give Aloe Vera its renowned properties) - cellulose and bacteria are present in Aloe Vera leaves just under the rind or on the surface of the leaf. Certainly "whole leaf" manufacturers use carbon filtration or other techniques to filter out the impurities in the liquidised whole leaf and these are thought to also filter out many of the beneficial constituents. If whole leaf is better why would the largest grower and processor of Aloe Vera in the world take the trouble to fillet by hand the inner leaf gel and use only that, and provide a 60 day "money back" guarantee to back it up?

Maintaining Quality

With so much variation in the market, maintaining the quality of Aloe Vera is key to retaining Consumer confidence. There are three key tests of Quality:

  • The Official IASC (International Aloe Science Council) seal on the package or product container;
  • That Stabilised Aloe Vera gel is listed as the FIRST ingredient on the contents list, and beware of products that state "aqua" (Water) as the first ingredient as this almost certainly means that the contents is re-constituted powder;
  • That the gel is sold in a sealed container that preserves the integrity of the contents;


By Andrew Munro
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