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aloe vera... what next?

i bought a big leaf the other day. i have no idea what to do with it. i thought you could eat the gel, but it tastes really bitter. is that normal?

anyway, help?



  • I always used aloe for burns and for dry, itchy skin in the winter. I’ve seen aloe juice and aloe gel that said edible in the US but I was never brave enough to try it. It’s a succulant but doesn’t grow here in KRG, although I wish it would.. I didn’t know it had seeds though (duh I guess but it never crossed my mind, I thought it reproduced something like the hens-and-chicks my mom used to have) I wonder if there is a way to get seeds to plant here?

    If the gel is bitter it’s probably best to blend it with something and have it that way. Of course there’s always the plug-your-nose-and-have-it method too. :-) Bon apetite! K-Mom

  • Hi pianissima..I used to make a face mask from the leaf jelly. It seemed to tighten the pores and my skin was really soft after rinsing.

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    thanks you guys. i’m going to try the “soap.”

    i’m just nervous that because it tastes bitter i shouldn’t eat it. yet i’ve read it is a super nutritious food… anyone know?

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    thanks you guys. i’m going to try the “soap.”

    i’m just nervous that because it tastes bitter i shouldn’t eat it. yet i’ve read it is a super nutritious food… anyone know?

  • Maybe if you try mixing it with something sweet, like a smoothie, you won’t taste the bitterness as much. I read somewhere that aloe vera increases the absorbtion of vitamins by 200%! I’ve been meaning to try it myself after reading that. The soap thing looks interesting. Thanks Lucy!

  • Maybe if you try mixing it with something sweet, like a smoothie, you won’t taste the bitterness as much. I read somewhere that aloe vera increases the absorbtion of vitamins by 200%! I’ve been meaning to try it myself after reading that. The soap thing looks interesting. Thanks Lucy!

  • You can make the soap and a face cream too.I always use it as a face cream too.Same way to do it (water and gel in the blender). We have a huge aloe in a vase here in New York,and in the winter time we bring the vase inside the house.

  • My boyfriend puts the inside gel in fruit smoothies.

    I think it’s supposed to be bitter.

  • I’ve had several aloe vera smoothies. Just take the gel part and blend it together with sweeter stuff to mask the taste (its tricky, and often the taste doesn’t go away entirely) ... Yes its very bitter, even gross lol. But it is good for you. My friend / hubby actually really like the smoothies, whereas I find them to be too bitter most of the time. Just experiment with different fruits, greens, whatever. My first one I used half a vanilla bean (along with other things) and I think that may have dulled the taste the most out of all my smoothies. However its hard to tell cause I throw a lot of stuff in there. Good luck!

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Beware… A little sciency… Aloe Vera has some really great stuff in it. However, it is best used very fresh, used immediately after harvesting. The reason is that one of the main active ingredients that makes Aloe so healing begins to be destroyed when the plant is injured (eg. by cutting it). This active ingredient is Mannose, a sugar that is necessary for cellular integrity. There is an enzyme in the plant that gets secreted when the plant is hurt/cut that is part of the plant’s healing process (notice how the cut end starts to curl and heal). Unfortunately, this enzyme breaks down the Mannose that we need. Pretty much a week-old piece of Aloe has very little, if any, Mannose in it. Very few products out there that contain Aloe use a process that preserves the Mannose. Bottomline, use Aloe when freshly cut to get the most benefit or a product that is processed in a way that maintains the potency of the Mannose for maximum healing benefit.

  • Bluedolfin, thanks for the great mannose information. But I’m wondering what you mean by freshly cut. I buy individual aloe leaves from a farmer’s market. They’re just single leaves in a pile, I select one, then bring it home. Then I leave it sitting around till I’m ready to use it in a smoothie. So… Is the mannose lost from pre-cut leaves bought in stores? And, is it better to get aloe leaves from live plants, then cut and use them immediately? Thanks again for the info!

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    yvw, Shane, I believe the best way to maximize the available nutrients (especially Mannose) in Aloe is to have one’s own plant to cut and use immediately. It has been shown, Aloe that has been cut from the plant loses significant Mannose after a week. Having said that, if you are going to get your own plant, do some research on what variety is the most “potent”. I’ve been learning that not all plants (Aloe or others) are created “equal” in benefits. Some varieties have different benefits than others. I also have not found info how long it takes for the plant to regenerate/replenish the Mannose after being injuried or how wide spread the enzyme breakdown is (does the whole plant experience Mannose breakdown or is it localized?)... As you can see (I’m a bit anal), I have more questions than answers… :-)

  • Shane-have you considered planting the leaves or buying a plant instead? This is a must-have plant, flourishes indoors as well as out and even I can’t kill it (LOL). I’m in S. Fla, so I put some in the yard wherever I’m living and it thrives (awesome on sunburn). I remember my mom always had some growing in a pot indoors when we lived in New England.

  • Thanks for the cheerful info, guys. Looks like I’m going to plant some aloe. It turns out there are, of course, many species. Nothing in life is simple. And, one species may be toxic if consumed? hmmm

    Bluedolfin, have you done any research as to which species is the most “potent”? In general, the science out there seems rather iffy as regards to the health benefits of “aloe vera”. Like much in the nutritional world, it’s tricky to separate marketing hucksters from legit science. If I may pick a dolphin’s brain, what have you turned up regarding aloe health benefits? Studies? Sources?

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Shane, “pick” at your own risk… you have been warned. ;-) It is hard to find definitive research. There are alot of factors to look at. I work with products that are based on this “sugar” technology and thus I have some “focussed” knowledge and am not expert.

    As for health benefits, research has identified eight “neccessary” sugars that are needed for cellular integrity (Mannose being one of the eight). Good cells make good tissue. Good tissue makes good organs. Good organs provide good health.

    Since I don’t want this to sound like a commercial, if you would like some research that I have collected, email me. If you want to search yourself, use keywords like Mannose, Mannan, Carbohydrate Technology, Saccharides, Glycobiology, Glyconutrients, Glycomics.

    You peaked my interest in finding the species of Aloe. What I found when doing a bit of research is Aloe Barbadensis Miller. Search on that.

  • Thanks, Bluedolfin! I was just filming dolphins today—although they were grey! Hey, mind posting your research right here? Don’t worry about sounding like a commercial, I’m sure that those interested in mannose and aloe vera will gain from your knowledge, and those who won’t will just skip us over anyway.

    I eat a LOT of aloe (blend it, actually) so I’d like to know what’s what…

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Hi Shane~ That is awesome that you were filming dolphins today. Did you get to interact with them (us)? Where were you filming and why? BTW, the greys, blues, whatever color dolphins, we are all related. ;-)

    I have some review articles on my computer that I won’t post here (too long). Email me for more keywords and people who are doing research in the field.

    FOR THOSE WHO ARE SENSITIVE TO ANIMAL STUDIES, PLEASE SKIP OVER THE FOLLOWING. There is some research out there where the breakthrough about using fresh Aloe (I would really have to dig to see if I have a reference to this study). This study and others like it helped to explain why there is tons of research that shows Aloe’s is a healing aide and tons of research that shows no results. I believe it was a study done by the Army. They were looking for something to give to the troops incase of nuclear exposure. Mice were given three beta burns (the burns experienced by the people effected by the bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki). These burns fester and don

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Hi Shane~ What did you think of the info you found about Aloe?

  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    I’ve taken Mannatech products for several years until recently. Very expensive and out of my budget. Good products though.

  • Hi Bluedolfin! Sorry for the delay in responding to your info about aloe… Beeeeeen busy, lol… I do think what you’ve written about aloe is very interesting (all of your posts are wonderful) and I thank you very much! I even went to a plant nursery and bought my own aloe, which is now happily growing away in the backyard. It’s such a nice looking plant that I’m a little pained about hacking off one of those beautiful, succulent leaves, then slitting it down the center, carving out the juice, grinding it up in my blender, then drinking it down!

    Thanks again for your insightful post. Not simply this post, but all of your input here!

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    (blushing) I am humbled and honored to have the privilege to

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    I happen to be looking for speakers from the Raw Summit and came across a youtube of David Wolfe very briefly speaking about Glyconutrients (Mannose from Aloe is one of them) and Seaweed. I think his talk was filmed at another event.

  • Does anyone know why aloe gel is in the laxative section of the supermarket?
    Can people eat fresh aloe without having a “cleansing response”?

  • I have a funny aloe story to tell. So a few years ago my cousin set me up on a blind date. I met this guy at his place, and right when I got there he invited me in to the kitchen real quick since he was in the middle of making juice. I assumed he had a frozen chunk of O.J. and water in a pitcher stirring with a big wooden spoon. But no, he was actually using a juicer. He was making carrot, apple, ginger juice. After offering me a glass he tells me, “Oh, by the way, it also has aloe in it, which is a natural laxative. So if you need to rush to the bathroom, we’ll know why.”

    So Lionmouse, to answer your question, yes, aloe is known to be a laxative! And luckily, I did not have a “cleansing response” on that first (and last) date!!!

  • Had to giggle. I’ve never thought about “cleansing” as a first date activity.

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Hi LionMouse~ With aloe you have two different actions going on.

    Aloe contains a mild intestinal irritant (aloe latex) which causes a laxative reaction. That is why you find aloe in the laxative section. This is a

  • Cool. Thanks for making the distinction.

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    LionMouse~ Glad I could assist. :)

    Renoir: ... and how many dates did you have with this guy? Guess he was trying to get over any bathroom embarrassment on the first day… things gotta go up from there. LOL

  • Bluedolphin – that was our first and only date! Besides the laxative juice, there were a few other strange occurrences. Many of my friends still tell the story to other friends when the “worst first/blind date” topic comes up! LOL

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Renoir~ ... too funny. Hey, someone that is concerned about BMs… can you really go wrong with that? lol

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