QUESTION: (Is Aloe Vera Toxic?)
I’ve been taking your delicious aloe for a few weeks now and am loving it. I recently started working with a nutritionist; she will be helping me detox my liver and strengthen my digestion. When I mentioned I was drinking fresh aloe vera gel, she said I should stop using it because it could be hard on the liver. She gave me the following site as reference:
Can you let me know your take on what they say? I know all supplements can have their detractors, but I’d like your opinion on this one.
Thank you very much.
This is a difficult one since they do not tell us if the extract was inner leaf gel or outer leaf anti-nutrients. With aloe, extract really does refer to the outer leaf anti-nutrients since the gel is merely dehydrated aloe vera and not an extract.
Around 2000, the NIH and FDA teamed up to research outer-leaf anti-nutrients and determined that they should not be consumed. “drugs” made from the outer leaf to cure constipation were banned in 2002.
To make this clear, it would be like saying “you should not eat the peel on an orange” (without actually making any distinction between the peel and actual orange that was in the peel).
But in these cases of liver inflammation and signs of liver failure, we have no sure way of knowing whether it was the outer leaf extract or the dry aloe vera powder since “aloe vera” merely tells us it came from the aloe vera plant. We also don’t know what preservatives or processing agents were used in the manufacture of these capsules. I personally have only seen case studies related to capsules and not from drinking the gel – though suspect either could do it. Sometimes the drinks are “whole leaf (containing outer leaf parts too) and some are inner leaf (containing almost no outer leaf parts). If it was dehydrated gel in the capsules, the amount was very minimal compared to what many of our customers consume in a day. But if it was an outer leaf extract, then 400 to 500 mg. is quite substantial for the irritating properties of the anti-nutrients. I suspect it was from aloe vera outer leaf extracts… but have no way of knowing.
I hope that helps. You might want to share my answer with your nutritionist. I wrote more about actual research pertaining to Aloe Vera here: http://www.aloe1.com/is-aloe-vera-safe-to-drink/