Aloe Vera and Improved Health
Any doctor will tell you that Aloe Vera is not 'a medicine,' but there are a number of notable preliminary studies that seem to support the contention that there are health benefits in Aloe Vera. If for nothing else, it is well-know to provide relief from constipation and this is a non-disputed and well-documented fact.
Health food stores sell the concentrated extract of Aloe Vera as a tonic to be taken with water internally once daily for relief from a variety of ailments, including psoriasis, canker sores of the mouth, ulcerative colitis and more. Topical uses for Aloe Vera include relief from minor burns, faster healing of skin tissue injury and Seborhreic Dermatitis are reported. The thick Aloe Vera leaf is broken and the sappy gel which oozes out is applied directly to the afflicted area.
The medically community suggests contraindications for effectiveness of Aloe Vera preparations or at least, insufficient data to fully endorse these claims. Some of the wilder claims attributed to Aloe Vera include the healing of x-ray burns, relief from Gastroesphageal Reflux Disease ("GERD") and even Crohn's Disease. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) relief are also claimed as being relieved by drinking Aloe Vera.
'IBS' is the preferred name for a number of conditions that in the past have been somewhat misleadingly referred to as "nervous colon," "irritable colon" and spastic colon" among other names. Sufferers of IBS claim improved conditions from use of Aloe Vera products.
I remember from back in my native New York State seeing small cottage industry retailers selling commercial preparations of Aloe Vera. "Drink Aloe Vera and Enjoy Life" were the signs and billboards hawking this and other health products.
Generally, any product making such claims as the ones made with Aloe Vera don't quite feel right with me. Aloe Vera use gives claims such as '...ensures a greater feeling of well-being' and '...allows for increased energy levels.' Such nebulous claims given to a 'natural' product usually raise the suspicion level more than a few points. Before running out and buying a case of Aloe Vera gel or beverage we are just experimenting with small samples to see for ourselves if there are any positive effects.
Pregnant women should not take Aloe Vera products however as it is known to induce contractions.
Trying Health Food Store Product of Aloe Vera Juice
The concentrated liquid preparation of Aloe Vera we are trying is from a health food store. Online sources as well as the product label touts that the Aloe Vera plant contains over 200 biologically active compounds, 75 nutrients, 20 minerals and 10 essential amino acids, and vitamins that according to the sources, helps to support a healthy digestive system, promote intestinal regularity and improves muscle and joint functions. All of these contribute to your overall health.
Claims are oft cited with Aloe Vera products taken internally are that they will 'cleanse the colon' and that this allows the foods you eat to be better absorbed. It is not 'just the Aloe Vera' improving your health, but it is managing the imbalances and colon cleansing probably helps to improve your health naturally.
Additional benefits stated include increased immune system support, anti-oxidant support and reduction of nitrate levels in the body. This particular preparation would probably be completely tasteless except for the added Citric Acid which is stated to be included as a pH stabilizer. The package recommends mixing the required 2-to-4 ounce daily dose with either water or fruit juice prior to drinking.
Aloe Vera Beverage
Recently we discovered in a local retailer store in the bottled drinks section an Aloe Vera beverage. We immediately decided that it was delicious and plan to continue using it. I find it a refreshing alternative to the usual carbonated beverage to go.
These beverages have an unusual flavor that is similar to Lychee Fruit, a fruit-bearing evergreen tree that is native to China and cultivated around the world.
If you are unfamiliar with Lychee Fruit, imagine a large sweet but bland grape with a single nut-like seed in the center and you have approximately the right idea. The pulp is an opaque white to semi-clear, sweet and difficult to describe the flavor.
Lychee fruits are another very healthful fruit. Just 9 or 10 Lychee fruits contain 100% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Vitamin-C. The texture of the aloe vera pulp in these drinks is very similar to the texture of the lychee fruit.
The pulp-like flesh of the Aloe Vera is abundantly present in these beverages. It was a pleasant surprise that I highly rate as being close to drinking Bubble Tea.
In short, there are flavors and textures that are enjoyable in Aloe Vera beverages that probably quite unfamiliar to most westerners. That alone makes Aloe Vera beverage worth trying.
Aloe Vera Gel
The inner gel structure of the Aloe Vera leaf makes for the best part of the plant. The rind of the leaf is generally considered to be of little to no value or benefit. At least one site I reviewed suggests that 'some makers of Aloe Vera products' included the leaf-rind as a 'bulk filler' in their product, a tactic which serves to make their presentation appear stronger. Such claims only cloud the waters of belief; -instead of making the claim for supporting the product they make claims that 'other products' are intentionally less-effective than their own preparation. Confusion is what it is, and it does not help the overall support of truthful claims that Aloe Vera is a healthy product when competitors berate each other.
This looks a lot like the 'pulp' that is in the beverage although shown here, it is cubed in large pieces. In the beverage the pieces are a lot small and quite numerous as you can see in the close-up image below.
Natural Aloe Vera Pulp in the Beverage