Scientific name: Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. or Aloe barbadensis Miller.
Common names: Aloe vera, Barbados aloe, Coastal aloe Indian aloe, Medicinal aloe, Mediterranean aloe, Star cactus, True aloe, West Indian aloe.
Proven health benefits
By consuming Aloe vera at the dosages recommended, it will also help reduce your total cholesterol and triglycerides.
Aloe vera is also recognized for its beneficial properties on symptoms of gastro-oesophagal reflux and the treatment of mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis. Finally, Aloe vera gel has the remarkable property of healing burn wounds and pain.
Preparation and dosage
- Powdered dried gel: 100 to 500 mg of powdered gel per day; it could also be in the form of capsules. Mean dose: 300 mg.
- Fresh gel: 2 tablespoons (30 ml or 30 g) of fresh gel can be consumed daily, 1 tablespoon in the morning and 1 before bedtime.
- Commercial aloe juice: Depending on the percentage of gel it contains, you may increase the dose, for example, up to 45 ml per day when the juice contains 66% of gel.
We recommend consuming Aloe vera as a gel, fresh juice, or powder form only to avoid losing its benefits through cooking processes.
Translucent gel contained in the sheet
Aloe vera is a spiky, perennial plant native to Africa and the Mediterranean. As a traditional medicinal plant, and it has been used by humanity for centuries. It is popularly grown as a houseplant. The dried sap of Aloe vera is a traditional remedy for diabetes in the Arabian Peninsula.
It grows in a rosette close to the ground. The fleshy leaves, with soft spines on the edges, are filled with a translucent viscous substance. The aloe sap flows spontaneously from the cut leaf while the aloe gel is in the central part of the leaf.
Where to buy
The gel in its natural state or prepared as a juice can be found in natural shops, online, pharmacies and drugstores. However, be sure that there are no added additives and/or sugar in the formula.
Commercial preparations of leaf gel powder also exist; to be sure of the quality of the product; it is advisable to buy it in a pharmacy or drugstore.
Make your own
- How to collect or grow it: Aloe vera can be found in nature (be careful not to confuse it with agave and other species of aloe; they are 150) and in garden centres. It grows in tropical, subtropical, and more rarely temperate parts of the world. To propagate an aloe plant, use the leaves that begin to grow around the mother plant. Aloe needs sunny exposure and good watering. In Europe, it will grow indoors on a windowsill but not in direct sunlight. Too much water can cause the area between roots and leaves to rot. The plants can be harvested every 6 to 8 weeks by cutting 3 to 4 large and healthy outer leaves per plant.
- How to prepare/retrieve the gel? Aloe vera should be processed within a few hours of harvest to prevent oxidation (when the leaves are stored at ambient temperature, loss of biological activity begins from six hours following harvest). When Aloe vera leaves are harvested, a transparent fluid will leak from the skin; it is called the sap and should be washed away with fresh water as it is laxative; clean by washing vertically with the cut part down. Then, cut off the skin and the translucent mucilaginous gel. Rinse the gel obtained carefully with fresh water and be sure that it no longer contains the sap.
Precautions, interactions, and adverse effects
The transparent liquid seeping out just below the skin of the cut plant (known as the sap or latex) has a laxative effect, so be sure to consume only a preparation in which the latex has been discarded.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
It is medically advised to avoid aloe preparations containing latex during pregnancy as Aloe vera latex increases the risk of uterine contractions.
Breastfeeding women are also advised to avoid aloe-containing latex as it may cause diarrhoea in the baby.
Aloe vera recipes
Aloe vera quick and easy
Aloe Vera quick and easyIngredients For 1 person 1 tablespoon or 15 g Aloe vera gel In the morning, drink the gel which will provide half of the daily dose of Aloe vera. To meet your daily intake, you have to add this or another Aloe vera recipe before...
Aloe vera salad
Aloe Vera SaladIngredients For 4 persons 60 g Aloe vera gel 2 mini cucumber/pickle dill 1 medium carrot 1 unripe mango or papaya 12 large, cooked shrimps (optional) A handful of mint or basil and coriander 2 tablespoons roasted sesame or crushed peanut 1 tablespoon...
Aloe vera jelly
Aloe Vera JellyIngredients For 1 person 1 tablespoon or 15 g Aloe vera gel 1 kiwi Preparation Peel and dice the kiwi Mix all ingredients In the morning, eat this jelly which will provide half of the daily dose of Aloe vera. To meet your daily intake, you have to add...
Aloe vera smoothie
Aloe Vera SmoothieIngredients For 1 person 1 tablespoon or 15 g Aloe vera gel 5 strawberries 150 ml vegetal milk (unsweetened) ½ cup ice Instruction Blend all ingredients until smooth In the morning, drink this smoothie which will provide half of the daily dose of...
Aloe vera juice
Aloe Vera JuiceIngredients For 1 person 1 tablespoon or 15 g Aloe vera gel 1 small piece of ginger root (according to your taste) 1 Kiwi (optional) 250 ml water 1 lemon, juiced 1 teaspoon chia seeds Sweetener (optional) Preparation Cut the Aloe vera into small pieces....