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Why Does Aloe Vera Taste So Bad?

Does Aloe taste bad

Editor’s note: The following letter was written by a new customer who has already realized significant benefits from drinking raw Aloe vera gel. This person also asks an important question—one that absolutely needs to be addressed. The letter is published here, by permission, with only slight editing for format.

To Dr. Michael Haley and Stockton Aloe:

DOC, I HAVE ONE BIG QUESTION ABOUT ALOE: Why does Aloe vera gel taste so bad, yet work so well?

Aloe reminds me of my mother’s bottle of cod liver oil. Just the thought of having to swallow a spoonful of her “natural medicine” kept me well enough to go to school every day. I guess that is the way I need to look at it when drinking Aloe vera juice … it’s my medicine.

I had high hopes when I ordered your Aloe #1 Health Drink Gel, Doc, but I almost sent it back after I opened the jug. You should warn people about what they are getting into. Aloe vera juice is for folks who are serious about their health. It’s not for sissies.

Here’s what Aloe did for my friend

A friend told me he kept seeing Aloe vera gel testimonials on the health forums. After being disappointed by the big name commercial Aloe products, he did some research and found out yours is the pure raw gel, full of phytonutrients. He said it’s also important that Stockton Aloe uses the inner parts of Aloe only, not the whole plant; that minimizes the aloin count to prevent digestive disturbances and maximizes the acemannan count to increase healing properties. (I’m pretty well quoting from your site).

I had questions about the terminology, so after we talked he emailed me your Stockton Aloe Selection Guide (the guide is given to those that subscribe to this website’s email). The points made there convinced me I should give Aloe a try; especially since my friend reported that, after only a few days of drinking Aloe #1, he was able to stop depending on antacids for his frequent stomach upsets—the internal burning went away.

He forgot to tell me about the taste, though, and neither did you talk about it in the Guide. People should know what to expect when they first start drinking Aloe vera juice, Dr. Mike. It is important. I hope this letter encourages you to start making sure anyone who is thinking about using Aloe #1 as a means of flushing out toxins and restoring internal health knows what he or she is getting in to. Why set people up to fail?

My Aloe Story

I have suffered from GERD for about ten years now, and it has been getting increasingly worse. I took a prescription drug (omeprazole) for a while—and it did help at first—but the GERD came back with a vengeance. Not only that, but I began to read reports that the medicine I was taking can cause stomach cancer! That really got me confused, since I had also heard that GERD can cause cancer of the esophagus. It felt like I was in a proverbial “between a rock and a hard place” situation. Which is worse, the disease or the cure?

I questioned the price of Aloe #1, compared to the stuff at the grocery store, but my friend told me he had tried the cheap Aloe, and it didn’t work for him. (The Stockton Aloe Selection Guide helped me understand why.) He had shopped around quite a bit, before finding your miller-stockton variety of Aloe vera and finally getting the health results he was looking for.

So I went to your website and placed my first order (with great anticipation, I might add).

I live at over 5000’ elevation, near the Teton Mountains and Yellowstone National Park, so we get a little bit of snow here. A few days after placing my order, I pulled into the driveway after work and saw a box sitting on the porch. I wish I would have taken a picture. The “100% Pure Fresh Frozen Aloe Gel” banner was barely visible through the snow and ice. It was a perfect scene—you could have used it for a commercial.

To say I was excited would be an understatement. I brushed off the snow, carried the box inside the house, and opened it up: two jugs of Stockton Aloe #1 (one with light colored gel and one pinkish … what’s up with that?) and a tube of Ultra Healing Aloe Cream. I was extremely impressed with how well it was packed—and I began to think that my days of being terrorized by GERD were over.

Taking cod liver oil


Until I tasted it, that is.

I opened up the first jug and poured a little into a cup. One whiff, though, and I knew I didn’t want to drink it. I got another cup, opened up the second jug, and tried again. Same darned thing. “Oh, no,” I figured, “they must have sent me a bad batch.” Man, was I disappointed.

Now what?

I called my friend and told him. Then, I listened to him laugh. “No,” he chuckled, “that’s the way it’s supposed to smell. And believe it or not, it tastes worse than it smells.”

I didn’t see anything funny at all about that.

“Listen,” he said, “you need to mix it up with some cranberry or orange juice—about half and half. Look at it like your drinking medicine, not sipping on a smoothie from the juice bar. Do you want to get well or don’t you?”

I gotta tell you, Doc. I almost sent the order right back to Florida. But I followed my friend’s suggestion, fixed myself a cranberry-Aloe cocktail, and chugged it down. I drank one more glass just before bed, this time stirring a packet of vitamin C powder in with the Aloe gel … and I hoped for the best.

That first night I still woke up about two in the morning, feeling my supper churning inside. The GERD effect didn’t push it up into my throat, though. That was a relief. I sat up for a while and then fell back asleep. The next day, I drank the raw Aloe gel twice more—some before supper and some before bed—and I slept through the night without any discomfort.

It was about two weeks later, when I had almost finished the first jug, that I was finally able to truly accept what had happened as a direct result of my Aloe #1 Health Drink regimen: I had not suffered from GERD one single time. Not one night had I woke up with a start and sat up in misery, chewing on antacids and trying every drugstore cure I could find.

Aloe #1 is absolutely amazing. It is a rare product, Doc; it actually does what people say it will do. (I don’t guess you are allowed to make any health claims for Aloe … but my friend and I sure can … and we do.)

Here’s the bad news.

I still hate the smell, and even though I’m mixing it with cranberry juice and vitamin C powder, it sometimes feels like a chore “taking my medicine.”

So Doc, please tell me, why does Aloe taste so horrible, and how can I make it more drinkable? Your advice would be very much appreciated.

Sorry this was so long. If you want to reprint any of this, you are welcome to do so. Nothing would please me more than to help get the word out about the wonders of Aloe vera, but please don’t use my name. My friends already think I’m a “health nut.”

And that reminds me about one more thing: In conjunction with drinking Aloe gel and juice, I made other dietary changes. I am all but off of soda pop and I try to graze through the day, avoiding huge meals as much as I can. Most people I talk to don’t want to make any changes in their habits. They rely on their ridiculously priced prescription drugs and keep going back to the doctor for more.

I refuse to live like that. I might not be a kid anymore, but I’m not ready for the grave either. I’ve not only stopped the GERD pills, but I’m off the cholesterol and blood pressure medications too. I can’t recommend that for everyone (and I’m sure it makes you want to call up a lawyer to see if I can say that without getting you in trouble) … but that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Your newest loyal customer,

(signature withheld by request)

Doctor Haley’s response:

Thank you for your detailed letter; I am glad to address your concerns.

It is interesting that not everyone has the same experience. For instance, when we pour samples at trade shows to introduce people to Aloe, two people side-by-side will receive a sample from the same bottle. Often, one of them makes his face scrunch up like he just sucked down spoiled milk, while the other says, “Oh this is good.” That never ceases to amaze me.

The most astounding observation I have realized from these instances may be the hardest pill to swallow; that is, the people who wold benefit the most are those who tend to like it the least.

Another factor relating to whether someone likes or dislikes the taste and texture of Aloe vera gel is geography. People from the islands tend to like Aloe. They are more likely to have grown up eating real foods. But people from the States are normally used to eating processed and packaged foods. Not only does that lead to a less satisfactory taste experience with Aloe, but it is indicative of a greater need for Superfoods like Aloe.

When someone orders Stockton Aloe #1 and has that awful first taste experience, we have seen two responses. Some stop right there and never give it a try. But most do as you did and choose to swallow the “medicine (I would never call it that… just relating to you)… We love to hear from those who press on, because they are filled with thanks and praises for having their lives changed for the good. Also, the taste and texture those customers once loathed eventually turns around, and they begin to enjoy real foods and real health.

A quick tip on improving your early experience with Aloe is: Be creative. A little liquid Cherry Elixade, for example, goes a long way in improving the taste and texture. It also adds the benefit of more antioxidants. Or a small pinch of stevia in a glass of Aloe will knock out any perception of bitterness. Lemon contrasts stevia quite well and can make your Aloe like taste like lemonade. Add it to your frozen smoothie to actually improve the texture and taste of your drink. The possibilities are endless. Be creative and be healthy. And … thank you for choosing Stockton Aloe as your trusted source of the potent Aloe barbadensis miller-stockton variety of Aloe vera.

Photo credits: Little girl getting her castor oil, courtesy of U.S. Government, FSA/WIA, Public Domain. Man with tongue out by Nemitta (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 )], via Wikimedia Commons

25 thoughts on “Why Does Aloe Vera Taste So Bad?

  1. Dr.
    Can drinking Aloe Vera powder make your blood bitter, that ticks and bed bugs do not bite you. ?

    1. The bitter from aloe comes from the outer leaf… some aloe vera powders are “whole leaf”. At the same time… aloe is from the garlic and onion family. So, I suspect it’s possible that consuming enough could possibly ward off insects… or attract them… idunno… But I’m confident that this is NOT the reason to consume aloe vera…

      1. is Aloe arborescens edible? This is what i have in my back yard. Can i take the pulp and juice it or blend it? Thank you very much.

        1. It is edible. Regarding preparation… our expertise is aloe vera, not aloe arborescens.

  2. I have used the actual aloe leaf in the past for various ailments. It always worked wonders. I only used it until the ailment passed, because the taste is horrible. Aloe is the best “medicine” I have used. Apparently, it is useful for many ailments, the challenge is getting past the gross taste.

  3. I found mixing in about 1 tablespoon of lime juice, munkfruit sweetener and 1:1 ratio tonic water or other bubbly drink makes it tolerable when chilled….I may try with ginger beer next

    1. I just mashed a banana in a mug with the aloe. You can put in a smoothie with blueberries and banana etc. To me its very easy to experiment and mask the taste. Anyway you can get it down! I think after awhile you may get more used to it and actually like it.

  4. The vitamin C powder was probably not a good idea at the same time with the Aloe Vera. Ester C is a better product anyway.

  5. I’ve just started taking aloe arborescens for my stage 4 bowel cancer. It’s the worst thing I have ever tasted! I’ve advised to take 15ml x 3 times a day, 20 mins before meals, for 10 days on, 10 days off. Due to the instructions on having it before meals, I am not keen to mix it with anything in case it affects its effectiveness. It takes me about 30 mins to gag down this tiny dose. I’ve never struggled to eat anything so badly before.
    I made my husband try it to prove how bad it was, he is usually a pickier eater than me, he glugged it down no problem and even licked the cup clean – totally fine.
    Its my 1st dose and its coincided with the start of my 3rd round of chemo – could it be the chemo making me over sensitive, or as Dr H says, my need for it is great.
    I’m from the UK, now settled in Australia, but I’ve always eaten healthy, non-processed foods, not much for sweet things, never minded bitter foods before but this is extreme.
    Interestingly, we have also started adding fresh turmeric to most of our dinners – this has a very strong powerful flavor to me, but my husband can hardly taste it at all.
    Really enjoyed reading the content on this page – thank you 🙂

    1. It’s an interesting phenomenon I have seen over the years – the people that seem to need it the most have the strongest dislike for the taste. It’s just an observation. Kick cancer’s butt, OK.

  6. Hello doc. I have a question about aloe gel. My son got slightly sunburnt on his face a few days back. Although we have been using packaged aloe gel on his face for 2 days I thought that slicing through an aloe leaf from my aloe plant would be better to use tonight. I walked my hands several times after that and my hands still have this horrible bitter taste. How do i get rid of that? Please help. I need to patty out some burgers tomorrow and don’t want to transmit the taste to them. Have a good night.

    1. Lol, Karen. Regarding how to get the stink off your hands… I don’t know. But I do know how to get it out of the aloe! Have you seen: How To Filet Aloe Vera ?

  7. I have just spent 4 days in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer…the nutriyionist said Aloe Vera Juice would calm them down (she’s been drinking every day for 10 years) the ONLY problem I have is the pulp, I cant get past that even tho I know it’s benificial, I tried blending it and ended up with foam. yuk. is it ok to strain the pulp from the juice? will it still be effective to heal my ulcers?
    thanks for any info!
    Diane

    1. The pulp is where the healing nutrients are. You want to avoid the outer part of the leaves. When blending, low speed helps it not foam up so much. Also, if you let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so after blending, it will settle and not be so foamy. You can also dilute it with pure water. I would not strain it since the “pulp” is where the gel is.

  8. I bought this aloe product and now having a hard time getting it into me. I put it into my breakfast smoothie adding stevia; which I have never done before because the bitter after bite made me vomit it back up. I know I need to drink this so I am searching for recipes to help make the aloe more pallitable for me. I found a few but was wondering if there is a website I can find that will have more recipes? I try to eat little bites of something after each gulp; which seems to help.
    I am also experiencing excruciating abdominal pain but cannot tell if it is from an acute flair up of IBD and C-diff or the aloe. Any advice is appreciated. In the mean time I am trying to get at least one glass in a day, I figure some is better than none.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am hopeful things get better for you.
      Sincerely,
      Dr. Michael Haley

  9. Thank you for an informative article Michael, I have Aloe in my garden for insect bites and use it directly from the plant.

    Totally ignorant of these additional properties, so this is appreciated having two members of a family suffering with heartburn and kidney stones. I believe in herbal remedies over pharmacy drugs.

  10. Things are getting better for me. I have taken my evening dose straight up the past couple of days. I still like mixing it, but Aloe right down the hatch is like doing push-ups instead of using the machines at the gym … ain’t nothing wrong with it at all.

  11. Hahaha, welcome to the club ! I’ve tried several brands and find the better they taste the less they work! Living in Europe means I am unable to benefit from Stockon Aloe 1 but from what i’ve heard, I’d bet anyone it’s the best on earth, whatever the taste. Personally, I can never work out how ‘liquid’ Aloe Vera should be. The one I use now is like cloudy water and tastes of soil. Any advice Doc ?

    1. I never really considered whether or not Stockton Aloe 1 gel is cloudy. I usually just drink it. So, I decided to pour myself a nice little aloe night cap. This will be my third glass of aloe today. This time I filled a champagne glass… which has less than a two inch diameter. A champagne glass seems appropriate for the crown of all superfoods. But really I was just wondering if I would be able to see through the nutrient dense drink. So I held the full glass up to the light and put a finger on the other side. I could barely make out a faint shadow where my finger was blocking the light. You can not see though Stockton Aloe 1 gel.

      A closer examination revealed why the gel is so cloudy. It’s not actually the gel that you can’t see through, but rather, it is the pulp that is in the gel. Most aloe processing involves running the aloe through a pulp extractor. At Stockton Aloe 1, we do not do this process. In fact we skip all processes other than the filet, grind, and freeze. Our position is that the pulp contains important nutrients that are likely the reason so many prefer Stock Aloe 1 products.

      Liz, I suppose your aloe might be cloudy for the same reason. I’m not sure about the soil flavor. But, then again, I don’t think I ever tasted soil to know how it really tastes.

      The best aloe is fresh filleted gel. I am sure they have Barbadensis Miller in Europe. But you probably won’t find the Stockton variety there. Everyone should try a fresh filet before trying a bottled product. That way, they’ll know what aloe is supposed to taste like and how much of that taste and texture is in the products they purchase. If you want to try that, this video shows the best practices for getting fresh gel from the leaf: http://youtu.be/rKXLMD2Dv8o

      1. Santé Michael !
        What a great idea, I’d never thought of sipping my aloe from a champagne flute! Great fun! Your remarks are very reassuring… at least for me. The aloe I sell is of Mexican origin, is mixed with Agave and is syrupy clear – nice taste, efficient, but I’m not comfortable with the additives and fructose. The one I import for myself (I haven’t been authorized to resell it) apparently comes from Australia, has only citric acid from tapioca added to it, is often cloudy(ish) and does a good job on me both inside and out 🙂 If cloudy is fine I think I’ll stick to that one until you find a way of sending Stockton Aloe 1 gel to France (lol!).
        As for knowing what soil tastes like, well, apart from getting mouthfuls whenever I fell off my horse, I tend to spend the best part of my life gardening so often have soily tasting fingers… hmm, not really pleasant.
        I keep reading about people putting their aloe vera in blenders which makes me cringe a little. When you say you grind the aloe pulp I suppose you mean as little as possible, but does it go between rollers, get crushed under a weight, go through holes or simply get churned up? Silly question I know, but I’m so interested in all the different methods out there I can’t help asking.

        1. For home use, my favorite blender is the Vita-Mix with the variable speed control. That way I can make sure it is not over-blended. In our commercial aloe production, we use a grinder that resembles a large kitchen sink disposal. It passes quickly through the grinder without too much mechanical action… just enough to make it drinkable.

          1. I keep hearing about Vita mix – must look into it. Thanks for explaining about the grinder – it’s reassuring to hear you don’t mistreat your Aloe Vera like most companies do and that between ‘freshly filleted’ and ‘bottled’ there’s hardly any difference. Excellent!

      2. Ive been on aloe vera juice for 3 days now, I stopped the hetabrurn meds cold turkey and so far am seeing GREAT results from the couple shots of aloe every morning!

  12. This is news to me. I’ve used the “big brand” many times and wondered at why it tasted basically like water.

    Like other natural products, such as valerian and slippery elm, the good stuff isn’t neutral.

    From an eco perspective, dessert plants usually pack a punch of one kind or another or they would be freely eaten by all,

    Thank you for the great info.

    Sarah

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