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.
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.
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