How to extract aloe vera

How to extract aloe vera

Aloe vera leaves contain a gel which is used externally to treat skin irritation, minor burns, sunburn, itching due to allergies and insect bites, sores, skin ulcers and many other conditions. The edible variety, Aloe vera barbadensis miller, is also used to make Aloe vera juice.

This useful plant has a been used medicinally for more than 2,000 years, and it’s still very widely used currently for its healing and restorative properties, in fact, it’s one of the most used medicinal plant worldwide. Aloe Vera is used extensively in the food, health care and cosmetic industries. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) where it is known as lú huì 蘆薈.

Aloe Vera Gel and Aloin

Aloe vera plants have thick green leaves which contain gel and latex.

  • The gel is viscous, colourless and transparent, and is the therapeutic part of the Aloe vera leaf.
  • The latex is a thick yellow liquid that is found between the gel and the inner rind of the leaf.

It’s important to separate the latex from the gel, because the latex contains the bitter, yellow-brown coloured compound aloin (also known as barbaloin), which is a powerful laxative that can cause stomach cramps and diarrhoea if taken orally.

Aloin was once used as a stimulant-laxative for treating constipation by inducing bowel movements, but it’s no longer considered safe by conservative western medical authorities, and they have expressed concerns that it may be carcinogenic (from experiments carried out on on rats). Curiously, in mainstream medical research, there is a significant amount of studies into the anti-tumour properties of aloin and its potential use as an anti-cancer medication. In some of those experiments, rats which were given synthetic chemical cancer-causing substances had significantly less cancer when treated with Aloe extracts.

The main medical concern of the US FDA is that aloe latex is considered harmful if consumed in large quantities. According to information from Mayo Clinic, taking 1 gram a day of aloe latex (the yellow bitter laxative substance) for several days can cause kidney damage and might be fatal. This is a ridiculous claim as that quantity would be regarded as an overdose or laxative abuse, as the recommended dosage listed on the WebMD website and many others for constipation is only 100-200 mg of aloe or 50 mg of aloe extract taken in the evening.

Germany’s regulatory agency for herbs, Commission E, approved the use of Aloe vera for the treatment of constipation, with dosages of 50-200 milligrams of aloe latex commonly taken in liquid or capsule form once daily for up to 10 days.

Thankfully most people consuming Aloe vera won’t be consumed at 5-20 times the recommended dosage of latex as a laxative, and most just want the pure gel for it’s therapeutic effects.

This is what the aloin-containing latex looks like as it drips from the end of a freshly cut Aloe vera leaf, it’s normally allowed to drain out before the gel is extracted from the leaf. The harvested solid pieces of gel can also be gently rinsed with water to wash away any traces of latex if desired.

How to Extract Aloe Vera Gel from Leaves

It’s easy to make your own homemade Aloe vera gel, and the process is explained below in 10 simple steps.

To extract Aloe vera gel from the leaves of the plant, you will need the following items:

  • Fresh Aloe vera leaves
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Paper towels
  • Clean glass jar with lid

Step 1. Harvest the larger 2-3 year old outer leaves, cut the leaves at the base, cutting the leaf at a slight angle. Select only firm, green healthy, undamaged leaves.

Step 2. First wash your hands, then wash the Aloe vera leaves and dry them with a paper towel. Wash the cutting board you will use to do the cutting on also. This is done to keep everything clean as you don’t want to contaminate the Aloe vera gel, it’s a plant product that needs to be treated much like a food in terms of hygiene.

Step 3. To remove the latex from the Aloe vera leaf, place the leaf upright at an angle to allow the inedible dark yellow bitter latex to drain out for 10-15 minutes. The angled cut at the base of the leaf helps the latex drain out more easily, as only the one side rests with the plate. After the latex has drained out, wash the cut end of the leaf to remove any remaining latex, and pat gently with a clean paper towel to dry.

Step 4. Cut off approximately 10cm (4″) of the tip, as this part of the leaf contains very little gel and lots more latex.

Step 5. Cut long leaves in half to make them easier to process. You just want to cut them to lengths that will sit easily on your cutting board.

Step 6. Cut off the serrated edges with a sharp knife

Step 7. Remove the outer green skin layer with a knife, filleting the skin away from the gel inside. With the knife turned on its side, slide the blade under the skin along the whole length of the leaf, much like filleting a fish, trying to stay close to the skin as possible to separate as much gel from the skin as possible. You can also use a vegetable peeler for this task but make sure there is no green skin left behind in the gel though.

Skin removed from one side of Aloe vera leaf, showing the clear-coloured gel inside.

Note: If the leaves are a bit too wide, making them difficult to fillet, then split them lengthwise first to make the task much easier.

Step 8. When the skin has been removed from one side, carefully turn the leaf over and remove skin from the other side, leaving the clear gel.

The clear gel strips can also be gently washed under cold running water if you want to remove any remaining latex.

Step 9. Cut Aloe vera gel strips into cubes for storage or processing. The cubes can be placed into a blender and blended into a gel, or they can be placed on a tray covered with non-stick baking paper, put into the freezer and frozen, then put into a tightly sealed freezer bag for storage, where they can be kept for up to six months

If using a blender to liquefy the gel, it will froth up quite a bit, so just let the gel settle and it will return to the correct consistency on its own.

Step 10. Store Aloe vera gel in a jar with a tight-fitting lid in the fridge, where it can be kept for up to a week. Just spoon out as much as you need to use at any time, it’s always ready to use when kept this way.

It’s possible to extend the shelf-life of home-made Aloe vera gel by adding various antioxidants such as Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and Tocopherol (Vitamin E), but finding the exact proportions to use and the expected shelf-life from reliable sources is rather difficult.

In the book How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life? by Isabell Shipard, she suggests adding 1 teaspoon of Vitamin C powder to 3 cups of Aloe vera gel and blending at low speed.

One large leaf will fill up a decent cup-sized sized jar with home-made Aloe vera gel, and it’s a fairly quick and easy process which only takes about 15 minutes!

The leftover green Aloe vera leaf skins can be put into the compost or buried in the garden to recycle the nutrients, so nothing goes to waste.

You might also like these other articles on Aloe vera plants:

Aloe vera has multiple uses and benefits. It is a plant with a very simple treatment process since it needs little water, sunlight, sandy soil and a clay pot if you want to plant it at home, but you can do it in arable land as we have it in Verdeaurora. Then the plant grows until it ripens and flowers. To be able to take advantage of it, first you have to know how to cut a leaf and how to extract the aloe vera gel and then apply it correctly.

Steps to follow to cut an aloe vera stalk

  1. It is very important to cut the leaves that are going to be used, because if you cut too much, the juice of aloe vera withers and loses its properties.
  2. It is imperative that the aloe vera plant is ripe so that it contains all its properties. For this they must spend approximately three years.
  3. It is advisable to always cut the lower leaves of the plant, since these will be the oldest leaves that have been thrown and therefore will be the ones with the greatest properties and benefits.
  4. You can see that the base part of the sheet is white. Make a longitudinal cut at that height and cut the stalk. For this you need a very sharp knife or a pruning shear. It is recommended that the material of the utensil to cut be made of wood or porcelain because this way the aloe vera gel will take much longer to oxidize.

With these four simple steps we have already cut the stalk of aloe vera ready to extract the gel and use it for our care.

How to extract the gel from the penca?

The first thing to do is cut the aloe vera leaf above and below the stalk, that is, the tip and base, thus eliminating the white color it had when it was cut from the plant.

Then a cross section of the blade is made on the pointed side to divide the stalk into two and then peel the skin of the stalk.
It is important to be careful with the yellowish substance that is between the skin of the penca and the gel of aloe vera, that is to say the acíbar, since it is not apt to ingest. This substance is mainly composed of aloin. Both have a laxative effect in the body so it is not advisable to take aloe gel without first having cleaned it.

To do this, just keep the aloe vera leaf upright for a few minutes for the aloin to drain. If you prefer a faster system you can rinse the piece of gel you want to ingest in water. Done one of the two processes, the aloe gel will be ready to take, or for the use you want to give it!

Hopefully the process will be useful and you can give more use to your plant using it for both your skin and your intake! 🙂

How to extract aloe vera

How to extract aloe vera

Food supplement to support healthy digestion

A beverage made from concentrated extracts of Aloe Vera Barbadensis, flavored with passion fruit (maracuja), that naturally contains a number of important nutrients. The active ingredients of Aloe Vera stimulates digestion and have beneficial effects on the functions of the intestinal system. They actively bind toxic substances accumulated in digestive tract, thereby contribute to the detoxification of body.

500 ml

Asiatic pennywort has a beneficial effect on microcirculation in peripheral areas such as the brain and limbs. It is traditionally used to support mental functions, because the plant supports the oxygen supply to brain cells. In elderly people, it helps in case of frequent forgetfulness, therefore it supports their overall vitality. Moreover, it has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system and the gastrointestinal mucosa. The asiatic pennywort supports proper venous circulation, reliefs the feeling of heavy legs.

Take every morning before meal 0,25 dl (1,5 to 2 tablespoons). You can use up to 0,50 dl a day to support digestive processes. It can be diluted in 1-2 dl of water.

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How to extract aloe vera


How to extract aloe vera

A raw Aloe Vera flower extract has been studied here to reveal memristive behavior. The extract solution shows two distinct conductivities in its as-prepared and chemically reduced states. The amount of current flowing through the extract solution can be increased by means of a phenomenon similar to dynamic doping and can also be switched between the two memorylike states for multiple cycles. An impressive On/Off ratio value and cyclability can be achieved, which may pave the way for designing a solid-state herbal memristor using the active molecule(s) present in the Aloe Vera flower to take more advantage of this natural gift.

What is aloe leaf extract?

Aloe leaf extract comes from Aloe, a cactus-like plant that typically grows in dry and hot climates. Aloe produces two substances, gel and latex, both used for various kinds of medicine.

Aloe gel is clear, jelly-like, and harvested from the inner part of the aloe leaf while the latex comes from the plant’s skin.

What are the skin benefits of aloe leaf extract?

There are so many reasons why aloe leaf extract is good for your skin. In fact, that’s why it’s been used for centuries as a regenerative skincare solution.

Recent research demonstrates that aloe leaf extract may have anti-aging properties, though some of the most common reasons why aloe leaf extract is good for the skin include:

  • Antioxidant-rich : Fights off environmental aggressors for a fresh and bright complexion.
  • Acne corrections : Accelerates healing of blemishes with polysaccharides, which stimulates cell regrowth to get rid of unwanted traces of acne breakouts.
  • Aftersun properties : Features anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe your skin after prolonged sun exposure and sunburns.
  • Hyaluronic acid production : Aloe vera encourages your skin’s natural hyaluronic acid production, which increases the moisture in your cells for a plump and healthy complexion.
  • Antiseptic effects : Contains salicylic acid, which helps prevent and eliminate traces of bacteria-caused pimples.
  • Wrinkle and elasticity management : Rich in amino acids, aloe leaf extract can soften your skin cells, resulting in fewer wrinkles and increased elasticity.

Some other studies have proved that aloe leaf extract can help with skin redness and skin cell dehydration, as well as psoriasis and dermatitis management, and collagen production.

Why is aloe leaf extract so good for my skin?

Aloe leaf extract is so good for your skin in part because of the conditions in which it grows and lives. The aloe plant has to endure harsh and dry temperatures, and is effectively forced to retain as much water as possible to survive.

To that end, when the leaf is harvested, there is so much moisture in there that, when applied to your skin through skincare products that have been made in tandem with plant compounds like complex carbohydrates, can only deliver the same nourishing and life-preserving properties to your skin.

Here is a step-by-step guide to make pure aloe vera gel at home. You can now make your own gel to add that daily dose of aloe vera for healthy skin and hair.

Aloe vera gel is one of the most common ingredient in skincare and haircare products. It is one of the greatest natural healing plants which can be used on both our skin and hair for it’s moisturizing and soothing properties. We had earlier shared with you beauty benefits of aloe vera gel, here we will show you how to make the gel at home. If you have an aloe vera plant you can extract the gel, store it and use it whenever you want. To make aloe vera gel you will need aloe vera plant and also powdered vitamin C. Here is how you can make and store aloe vera gel at home. Also Read – Haircare Tips: Add These 5 Ingredients to Get Healthy And Shiny Hair

The first step is to wash your hands so that you do not contaminate the gel. Also all your tools like the knife or spoon and the jar in which you are planning to store the gel needs to be clean. (ALSO READ This DIY green tea face mask will give you clear skin overnight!). Also Read – Amazing Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar For Radiant And Plump Skin, Shahnaz Husain Shares Tips

STEP 1: Slice off the outer leaf of aloe plant as they contain plenty of gel as they are more mature. Use a sharp knife to make a cut near the base. Only cut one or two as they will be sufficient for the gel. Place the portion that has been cut in an upright position in a bowl to drain the resin. We need to completely drain off the resin as it contains latex which might irritate the skin. Once the dark yellow resin drains out remove it from the bowl. Also Read – Rashmika Mandanna is ‘Not a Gym Person’, Pushpa Actress Dolls Out Health and Beauty Tips | Exclusive

How to extract aloe vera

STEP 2: You can use a vegetable peeler to peel the leaves carefully to remove the green portion of the leaves. Carefully peel off the green portion from one side so that you get a canoe-shaped aloe vera leaf portion half filled with gel. But if you have large leaves, you can cut them into smaller pieces first and then peel away the skin.

STEP 3: Use a knife or a spoon to scoop out the clear and soft aloe vera gel. Transfer the scooped gel into a clean jar. Empty all the gel into the jar. Scoop the gel out with a spoon or knife. The clear, soft gel can be easily scooped with a spoon. Scoop it all out into a clean bowl until there’s nothing left in the leaf half.(ALSO READ Top 6 beauty benefits of neem: Use homemade neem packs for your skin and hair problems).

How to extract aloe vera

STEP 4: You will have to add a natural preservative so that you can store the gel for a longer period of time. Add 500 mg of powdered vitamin C for for every 1/4 cup of gel you have. Now empty the vitamin C and aloe ver gel mix into a blender and blend well. Empty the gel into a clean jar, close the lid and refrigerate it. This aloe vera gel will last for several months since you have used the preservative. You can use the gel directly on your hair and skin or add it to your face mask to get the most of it.

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An improved method for extracting proteins from leaf tissues of Aloe vera L., a recalcitrant plant species, for proteomic analysis is presented. In this protocol, the following critical components are included. A washing step is added prior to homogenization of the tissue to eliminate contaminants, and a concentrated 2× extraction buffer (pH 7.5) is used to increase protein yield. Compared to classical trichloroacetic acid–acetone and phenol extraction methods, this novel protocol has yielded two-dimensional electrophoresis gels with minimal (if any) streaking and provided high-quality protein samples. This protocol is expected to be applicable to other recalcitrant plant tissues.

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How to extract aloe vera

How to extract aloe vera

How to extract aloe vera

How to extract aloe vera


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We wish to thank Dr. Shi-Hua Shen and his students for their advice and help.

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Beijing Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Research and Development, Beijing Technology and Business University, Beijing, 100037, China

Cong-Fen He & Yang-Meng Wang

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He, CF., Wang, YM. Protein Extraction From Leaves of Aloe vera L., A Succulent and Recalcitrant Plant, for Proteomic Analysis. Plant Mol Biol Rep 26, 292–300 (2008).

Published : 03 June 2008

Issue Date : December 2008

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a Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +(55) 1130918952

b Instituto de Física, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

c Centro Universitário Padre Anchieta, Brazil

d FarmaService Bioextract, Brazil

e Universidade de Santo Amaro, Brazil


The premature aging (photoaging) of skin characterized by wrinkles, a leathery texture and mottled pigmentation is a well-documented consequence of exposure to sunlight. UVA is an important risk factor for human cancer also associated with induction of inflammation, immunosuppression, photoaging and melanogenesis. Although herbal compounds are commonly used as photoprotectants against the harmful effects of UVA, the mechanisms involved in the photodamage are not precisely known. In this study, we investigated the effects of Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis mil) on the protection against UVA-modulated cell killing of HaCaT keratinocytes. Aloe Vera exhibited the remarkable ability of reducing both in vitro and in vivo photodamage, even though it does not have anti-radical properties. Interestingly, the protection conferred by Aloe Vera was associated with the maintenance of membrane integrity in both mimetic membranes and intracellular organelles. The increased lysosomal stability led to a decrease in lipofuscinogenesis and cell death. This study explains why Aloe Vera extracts offer protection against photodamage at a cellular level in both the UV and visible spectra, leading to its beneficial use as a supplement in protective dermatological formulations.

There are plenty of products in the market boasting their Aloe vera content. But the truth is that among them you can find contents of Aloe vera from 2% to over 90%. Therefore, it is so important to distinguish between gel, juice, concentrate and extract.

The gel is the blended pulp of the Aloe vera, which contains a high concentration of polysaccharides (acemannan), organic acids, amino acids and vitamins which are really good for you, but also contains aloin, which can have laxative action and it is therefore removed during the process of obtaining Aloe vera juice. Aloe vera juice is the most beneficial way to find Aloe vera in the market, it does not contain aloin, but it still preserves the rest of active ingredients.

How to extract aloe vera

Aloe vera concentrate is the dehydrated Aloe vera gel. The extract is produced from this powder and added water. Products made from concentrate usually contain less than 10% of Aloe vera and they obviously have very little of the original properties of the plant.

The reason for this is that the Aloe vera plant loses its original properties during the lyophilization process (process to obtain the Aloe vera powder).

Most of manufacturers use powder to save in transport and storage costs: it is more expensive to transport aloe vera cubes than dehydrated powder and add water at the end.

How these differences affect your skin

Aloe vera contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, various secondary plant compounds and also mono- and polysaccharides. The Aloverose is the most important component, a well-known sugar, which only happens to exist in the “Aloe barbadensis Miller” species and is very effective to maintain the adequate skin hydration.

How to extract aloe veraThe difference between a product made from pure aloe vera juice, with high levels of aloeverose, and one made from powder and added water might not be so visible on healthy skin, but on very sensitive, damaged or burned skin, the concentration of main active substances is really important.

Atlantia products are made from high quality pure Aloe vera , produced and manufactured in the Canary Islands , which is a great advantage over other brands based somewhere else. The company guarantees a minimum of 1.700 mg/l. of Aloverose, far above the market average.

The difference between a natural non-processed product and a processed one is basically the loss of original properties. Aloe vera is composed of unstable molecules, which leads to rapid deterioration. Therefore, the earlier it is cold stabilised and packaged, the better to preserve its active principles.

Atlantia, pure and perfect aloe vera juice

How to extract aloe veraAtlantia has developed different product lines to improve and maintain your health and beauty, a true body-care. By using 100% pure Aloe vera, Atlantia creams preserve all the valuable active ingredients to show an even brighter and more radiant skin.

Atlantia covers a range of health (to boast your immune system , to decrease the side effects on the skin and mucosa caused by radiotherapy treatments , …), body, facial and personal hygiene products.

How to extract aloe vera

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Aloe (Aloe barbadensis) is a popular ingredient for skin care and healing products and has long been a home remedy for minor burns. It is easy to grow as a houseplant. The gel from the leaves can be used by itself or be added to home skin care recipes. Extracting the gel is simple using items found in any kitchen.


Carefully choosing the leaves to harvest can keep aloe plants healthy. Aloes produce new leaves at the center of the plant, creating layers of leaves. The most mature leaves are on the outside of the plant. The best leaves to harvest are those on the outside, as these leaves are well established and larger than those in the center.

Aloe plants are succulents with thick, juicy leaves with a gel-like center. The outer skin of the leaf is tough and has small ridges or soft spines running along the edges. To harvest the gel, begin by breaking or cutting the leaf from the plant. Place the leaf on a flat surface for safety. Use a clean, sharp knife to slice the leaf lengthwise. The gel can be applied directly at this point by rubbing the leaf on the skin or the gel can be removed from the leaf using a knife or spoon.


Because aloe does not need much care, it is an excellent houseplant. It needs bright light so a sunny windowsill is ideal. Use a light, well-drained soil or cactus mix. During the summer, aloe needs to be watered thoroughly so that the soil is completely moist. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. Aloe can be placed outdoors in the summer as well, but must be brought back inside before the first frost, as it does not tolerate cold. During the winter, aloe can go long periods without water. Allow the soil to become dry enough to feel hard or compact before watering.


Healthy aloes produce offshoots at the base of the plant or from the roots. These shoots can be removed and planted for new plants when they are 2 to 3 inches tall. Using a clean, sharp knife, cut the shoot at the base of the parent plant. Allow it to dry for two or three days before planting to prevent diseases from entering the cut end and harming the new plant. Plant in well-drained potting soil or cacti mix. Young plants should be watered regularly to allow them to establish roots but allow the soil to dry between watering.

  • Arizona Cooperative Extension: Growing Aloe Vera
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Crafting and creative projects have been part of Heidi Grover’s life since she was old enough to reach the glue and glitter. Grover received a degree in creative writing from Utah Valley University and combines her love of crafting with her love of words.

Tias Eka Pratiwi
Universitas Padjadjaran

Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry

Warta Dewi
Universitas Padjadjaran

Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry

Eddy Prijono
Universitas Padjadjaran

Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry

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How to extract aloe vera


How to extract aloe vera

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How to extract aloe vera

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Antibacterial activity testing of ethanolic extract of aloe vera leaf and gel against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Introduction: The interest on Aloe vera based herbal products is fast growing during recent years, particularly in medication regarding their antibacterial properties which had a lot of active components such as saponin and anthraquinone. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus has emerged as one of the most important human pathogens causing nosocomial infections and became the first priority as a consequence of their resistancy. The purpose of this study is to determine the minimum levels of ethanol extract of leaves and Aloe Vera gel that can inhibit MRSA and find out whether there are differences in antibacterial power between of ethanol extract of leaves and Aloe Vera gel. Methods: Ten isolates of MRSA were investigated for their sensitivity to Aloe vera leaf and gel extract using the serial dilution method by doing two times repetition and statistically analyzed according to t-test method. Result: The result shows that the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration of Aloe vera leaf and gel extract each located at a concentration of 25% and 12,5%. There is a significant difference in antibacterial power between the ethanol extract of leaves and Aloe Vera gel in inhibiting MRSA with MIC values of 25% and 12.5% Conclusion: There was a difference between Aloe vera leaf and gel extract antibacterial activity, where the gel extract is more effective than leaf extract.


Full Text:


Harris LG, Foster SJ, Richards RG. An introduction to Staphylococcus aureus and techniques for identifying and quantifying S. aureus adhesins in relation to adhesion to biomaterial. Eur Cell Mater. 2002 Dec 31;4:39-60.

Jawetz, Melnick P, Adelberg H. Medical Microbiology 24th ed. New York: The McGraw Hill, Inc. 2007. p. 228.

Kurlenda J, Grinholc M, Jasek K, Wegrzyn, G. RAPD typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: A 7-year experience in a polish hospital. Med Sci Monit 2007;13: MT13–8.

Reinberg S. 1.2 million U.S. patients get resistant staph each year. Available from: article.htm [Cited Nov 2011].

Andra. MRSA Update: Diagnosis dan Tatalaksana. Available from: News=557 [Cited Nov 2011].

Atherton P. The essential Aloe vera. Newport Pagnell: Mill Enterprises 2007;41:49–54.

Olaleye MT, Bello-Michael CO. Comparative antimicrobial activities of Aloe vera gel and leaf. Afric J Biotech 2005;4(12):1413-14.

Fani M, Kohanteb J. Inhibitory activity of Aloe vera gel on some clinically isolated cariogenic and periodontopathic bacteria. J Oral Sci. 2012 Mar;54(1):15-21.

Shahzad K, Ahmad R, Nawaz S, Saeed S, Iqbal Z. Comparative antimicrobial activity of Aloe vera gel on microorganisms of public health significance. Pharmacologyonline 2009;1:416-23.

Jorgensen JH, Ferraro MJ. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing: A review of general principles and contemporary practices. Clin Infect Dis. 2009 Dec 1;49(11):1749-55

Park YI, Jo TH. Perspective of industrial application of Aloe vera. New York Springer Verlag 2006. p.191-200.

Pellizzoni M, Ruzicknova G, Kalhotka L, Lucini L. Antimicrobial activity of different Aloe barbadensis Mill. and Aloe arborescens Mill. leaf fractions. J Medic Plants Res 2012;6(10):1975-81.

Montoya SC, Comini LR, Cabrera JL. Antimicrobial activity of natural photosensitizing anthraquinones. Formatex. 2011:3-13.

Francis G, Kerem Z, Makkar HPS, Becker K. The biological action of saponins in animal system. British J Nutrit 2002;88:587-605.

Womble D, Helderman JH. Enhancement of allo-responsiveness of human lymphocytes by acemannan. Int J Im-munopharmacol. 1988;10(8):967-74.

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  • What is aloe vera?
  • Where does it come from?
  • What is it used for?
  • What are the benefits?
  • How is it used in our products?

Aloe vera is a plant from the succulent family. Full of water and rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, it is known for the moisturizing properties of the gel extracted from its leaves.

In our cosmetic products, aloe vera appears in the list of ingredients on the packaging under the names ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE POWDER, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF WATER oder ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF POWDER.

How to extract aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant that grows naturally in hot, dry climates. Native to the Arabian Peninsula, it is widely cultivated throughout the world, mainly in Mexico, the southern United States, Spain and India.

In 2019, we launched a responsible sourcing program with our partners, the NGO Pronatura and our supplier Mexialoe in Mexico in the state of Campèche (Yucatan). The objective is to introduce organic aloe cultivation to small farmers to generate new income and strengthen the role of women in participating households, while conducting awareness campaigns on biodiversity protection. The project is in an area rich in biodiversity made up of dense forests, wetlands and savannah interspersed with farming areas.

How to extract aloe vera

Aloe is a plant that can grow up to 5 meters high. Its leaves are grey-green, thick, tight and fleshy, edged with small prickles, or serrated. They contain a translucent, gelatinous pulp. They are harvested by hand and only the fleshiest whole leaves are selected. Within 6 hours of harvesting, they are sent to the nearby MexiAloe plant in the state of Campèche. The transparent pulp is then extracted manually by slitting the leaves. It is comprised of 99.5% water. It is filtered, stabilized and pasteurized to obtain a gel. The gel can be dehydrated to produce a powder.

We mainly use aloe vera in powder form, which limits the CO2 emissions linked to the transport from Mexico, where the aloe comes from (either from the solidarity sourcing project in Yucatan, or from a certified organic and fair trade supply chain).

Since ancient times, aloe vera pulp has been used for its benefits on the skin and hair, particularly for its moisturizing, soothing and repairing properties. The gel has only been used since the discovery of a preservative with antioxidants, as it oxidizes very quickly.

Find out how to harvest aloe vera and make aloe vera gel. Learn about the health benefits and uses of aloe vera gel.

Related To:

How to extract aloe vera

Aloe Vera Plant

Photo by: Shutterstock/Thanakorn Hongphan

One of the best houseplants you can grow, aloe vera blends good looks with easy care. Long, dagger-like leaves look ferocious with their spiny edges, but those soft spines are harmless.

Health Benefits and Uses of Aloe Vera Gel

What makes it the perfect plant, though, is that inside each leaf is a gel that contains antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and B12, folic acid and minerals including calcium, magnesium and zinc. Aloe vera gel, when applied topically, can provide quick relief for burns, cuts and bug bites because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Think of aloe as nature’s medicine cabinet.

In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, aloe vera gel also contains salicylic acid which can help tame acne flareups.

Aloe vera gel may also help with mild or moderate cases of psoriasis and may cause cold sores to go away faster because of its antiviral properties.

How to extract aloe vera

Aloe Vera Gel

With its payload of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the sap of aloe vera is widely used in hair and skin products, but more importantly helps heal burns, cuts, insect bites and other skin irritations. Cut a lower, older leaf and squeeze the cutting to release the sap.

With its payload of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the sap of aloe vera is widely used in hair and skin products, but more importantly helps heal burns, cuts, insect bites and other skin irritations. Cut a lower, older leaf and squeeze the cutting to release the sap.

How to Cut an Aloe Leaf

It’s not hard to learn how to cut an aloe plant to harness its healing properties. All you need is a sharp knife. And, of course, an aloe vera with enough leaves to spare.

When cutting an aloe leaf, it’s best to remove an entire leaf to keep your plant looking good. Simply cut the leaf as close as possible to the main stem. It’s always better to harvest leaves from the bottom of the plant first. These are the older leaves and will be thicker. Cut leaves retain scars, so if you snip a tip of a leaf, you’ll wind up with a brown-tipped leaf.

After cutting the leaf, hold it over a small bowl to let the yellowish latex drip out. This is part of the plant that you don’t want to use. At this point, you can rub the cut leaf end on a burn or cut and receive healing relief.

How to Make Aloe Vera Gel

To harvest all of the internal aloe vera gel for use in face masks, hydrating lotion, sunburn relief or smoothies, lay the leaf on a cutting board and slice off both spiny edges. Next, remove the upper leaf surface with your knife. To do this, insert the knife blade a few millimeters beneath the leaf skin and run it along the length of the leaf. Use a similar motion to filleting a fish. Last, place the lower leaf surface on the cutting board, and run your knife blade along the leaf bottom (beneath the thick gel). As you cut, the gel will come away from the leaf.

How to extract aloe vera

The health benefits of aloe vera have been known for centuries. As a topical agent, it is effective in treating cuts and burns. As an ingested supplement, the plant has potential digestive benefits. Growing your own aloe plants and harvesting aloe leaves for smoothies and other consumables allows you to get the freshest supply of this amazing succulent. Knowing how to harvest aloe vera will help preserve the health of the plant and allow you to experience the flesh at its peak.

Picking Aloe Vera

Juicers and smoothies are all the rage with suggestions of supplements and additives to enhance their healthful properties. Aloe has many healthful benefits, but you should be cautious when ingesting it. Even a small dose can cause diarrhea, nausea, dry mouth, and other complications in sensitive individuals. For stouter people, aloe harvesting can provide a ready source of the nutritious and healthful aloe gel.

It is best to pick aloe from mature plants, preferably those planted in the ground. When the tips of the leaves attain a rosy tinge, the leaf is ripe and ready to harvest. The plant is fairly slow growing, so be cautious when aloe harvesting not to take too many leaves in a condensed period. Additionally, avoid removing the lower smaller leaves and focus on the larger upper foliage.

Choose a thick, smooth, large leaf and use a clean, sharp knife to cut it as close to the trunk as possible. A knife is the best way to harvest the leaves, as hand picking aloe vera may cause tissue damage to the leaf and the plant. Unblemished leaves are the best tasting and contain the most aloe gel.

How to Harvest Aloe Vera

Harvesting aloe leaves extends past the acquisition stage and into the preparation stage. Just getting a healthy leaf will get you nowhere if you don’t know how to prepare it properly. Aloe leaves contain a yellowish sap, called aloin, which can be very bitter and cause stomach upset in some individuals.

After you harvest an aloe vera plant, hold the cut end down so the aloin can run out. This will keep the gel from tasting so bitter. Wash the leaf then lay it flat on the table and cut off the serrated edges. Start on one side and filet off the skin, much like you take the skin off a fish. Continue removing the skin on all sides, including the yellowish layer, until a clear to white, translucent flesh is exposed. This is the good stuff and is ready to use after a quick rinse.

How to Use the Aloe Gel

Aloe in its purest form can be pureed with a fruit smoothie or juiced with other vegetables and fruit. It can also be cut into cubes and preserved by freezing for a month. The jury is still out in the scientific community as to the health benefits, but many users feel the plant is useful as a digestive health supplement. Either way, the live plant juices are a good nutritional supplement just as any leafy green, and the texture adds interest to juices.

In addition to harvesting aloe for its nutritional benefits, you can pick the leaves as needed for the treatment of minor burns or scrapes. Just squeeze the juicy sap onto the affected area for instant relief.

If you are lucky enough to have large specimens, go out and harvest an aloe plant and see for yourself what the fuss is all about.

HomeRecent Blogs Seriously – Aloe Vera Whole Leaf Extract May be a Prop 65 Chemical

Seriously – Aloe Vera Whole Leaf Extract May be a Prop 65 Chemical

How to extract aloe vera

One of the more surprising of the proposed Prop 65 ingredients is Aloe Vera Whole Leaf Extract. On April 23, 2015, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) issued its notice of intent to list Aloe Vera Whole Leaf Extract as a chemical known to cause cancer. Although more than 420 species of Aloe plant exist, the specific form that is the subject of the proposed listing is: “Aloe Vera whole leaf extract” which “consists of the liquid portion of the Aloe Vera leaf and is a natural constituent of the Aloe barbadensis Miller plant.” Fortunately, OEHHA specifically excludes Aloe Vera decolorized whole leaf extract, Aloe Vera gel, Aloe Vera gel extract and Aloe Vera latex, which are the more common forms used in personal care products.

When it issued the notice of intent to list Aloe Vera Whole Leaf Extract, OEHHA also issued a notice of intent to list Goldenseal Root Powder as a chemical known to cause cancer. OEHHA identified goldenseal root powder in the proposed listing as “the powdered dried roots and underground stems of goldenseal plants” and declared it to be “a natural constituent of the goldenseal plant.” OEHHA further specifies that Goldenseal is also known as Hydrastis Canadensis, orangeroot, Indian turmeric, and curcuma. Fortunately, OEHHA further specifies that the spice turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn.), frequently found in personal care products such as face and body lotions and cleansers, is not proposed for listing. The form of goldenseal root extract that is contemplated for addition to the Prop 65 list is most often used in the form of nutritional supplements.

Even when manufacturing or distributing “natural” products, beauty companies should take care to review the products’ current formulations to determine whether they contain an ingredient that is or may be on the Proposition 65 list, or whether any of their products contain an ingredient that may cause an exposure to a Prop 65 chemical. It may be vital to work closely with manufacturers or suppliers, and have strong contracts to protect against Proposition 65 liability. Companies should be pro-active and consider reformulation if a proposed or actual Prop 65 chemical is being used. And if a Proposition 65 Notice of Violation is received, affected companies should promptly contact counsel with experience in successfully resolving Prop 65 claims.

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We tell you how to make sure that you’re buying the real deal

Aloe vera gel is one of the most versatile beauty ingredients there is—it’s calming, hydrating, soothing and has been a go-to for emergency skincare woes in our country for centuries. But how do you really know if your aloe vera gel is a 100 per cent pure and free of preservatives? While some brands are true to what they claim on their ingredient lists and stay clear of additives, others might not do the same. We roped in experts from two natural beauty brands—Dr Utpala Singh, senior in-house Ayurveda expert at Forest Essentials, and Mallyeka Watsa and Himani Singh of Ayca—to help clear the air.

“There are around four hundred species of aloe,” informs Dr Singh. “Aloe vera with the botanical name Aloe Barbadensis Miller, is known to be the most potent variety. Since ancient times, these succulent leaves have been used for hydrating and healing purposes and are known to have self-repairing abilities.” The co-founders of Ayca are on board with the ingredient as well. “Aloe vera can be used as a daily moisturiser, aftershave balm/after wax balm and as a healing formula for sunburn, cuts and insect bites,” said the Ayca founders.

How is aloe vera gel made?

Bottled aloe vera gel is different from what you actually extract from the plant, since it needs to be converted to a usable texture for it to last on your vanity shelf.

Dr Utpala Singh: “There are two parts of the succulent aloe vera leaf, the gel and the latex or juice (not to be mistaken with aloe vera juice as a product). Aloe latex is the liquid that seeps from the leaf when it is cut, it’s golden yellow in colour and bitter in taste. Gel is the clear pulp at the innermost part of the leaf, [and] it is the most potent part of the plant to be used for topical preparations. The fresh pulp is extracted and, for maximum benefit, blended with certain emollients like glycerin for hydration and natural stabilisers to help water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients stay blended together in the gel form.”

Mallyeka Watsa and Himani Singh: “We carefully select and source aloe vera from our trusted partners, which comes in a liquid form. We then use a cellulose-based gelling agent to give it a non-sticky texture, making it easy and convenient to use.”

What is the difference between natural aloe vera gel and one kinds that used as an ingredient in products?

US: “Natural aloe vera gel is the odourless, clear pulp at the innermost part of the succulent leaves. This natural pulp is used as an ingredient in several formulations for topical and internal use. In products, this will be used in conjunction with a preservative, preferably of natural origin.”

MW and HS: “Natural aloe vera gel is very sticky and has to be washed off after application. While the aloe vera plant is very effective, the process of cutting/applying it on a daily basis can be tedious. Ayca developed its aloe vera gel range for people on-the-go, who may not have the time to incorporate this process into their skincare regime. Further, our gel formulation is quick absorbing and non-greasy (therefore, doesn’t need to be washed off) making it easy and convenient to use.”

What is the shelf life of aloe vera gel?

When combined with a natural stabiliser, aloe vera gel can last on your shelf for a decent amount of time, as compared to the life of just the gel straight from the plant.

US: “Aloe vera gel formulated with other natural ingredients and natural preservatives, including grapefruit seed extract has a shelf life of a maximum of 12 months”.

MW and HS: “Our aloe vera gel has a shelf life of 12 months.”

What are the physical characteristics that one should look out for to tell if your aloe vera gel is pure or not? Anything on the packaging’s ingredient to keep an eye out for?

US: “Any aloe vera gel which looks bright green in colour and has an instant cooling effect on the skin suggests an addition of synthetic colour and alcohol, which in the long run causes dryness and harm to the skin. Another important factor to notice is the key ingredient list. Aloe vera should be one of the first ingredient to be mentioned, as the list is mostly in descending order as per the quantity of the ingredients.”

MW and HS: “It can be hard to differentiate based on physical characteristics—bright green/coloured ones should be avoided as it [originally] has a transparent appearance. Further, you should look at the percentage of aloe vera in the ingredients list—it should contain at least 15-20 per cent aloe vera. Anything below that will not be effective.”

  • Pure Aloe Vera, with no bitter aftertaste
  • One of the UK’s strongest, equivalent to 10,000mg
  • Excellent value for money, less than 5p per day
  • Small easy to swallow coated tablets
  • Pure Aloe Vera, with no bitter aftertaste
  • One of the UK’s strongest, equivalent to 10,000mg
  • Excellent value for money, less than 5p per day
  • Small easy to swallow coated tablets

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Nature’s Best Aloe Vera tablets contain 50mg of concentrated extract equivalent to 10,000mg of fresh aloe vera juice, making ours one of the strongest aloe vera supplements available and excellent value for money. This concentrated form enables us to retain a high level of the constituents found naturally in the aloe vera gel.

A huge industry has been established for the growing of the plants and the extraction of the juice and the precious gel from the leaves. Aloe vera is now popular in skin creams where it is used to cool and soothe the skin, but there has also been a lot of research on taking the gel orally, which has led to millions of people drinking aloe vera juice every day. This is because it is believed to help maintain a healthy digestive system. However, proper aloe vera juice has an unpleasant bitter taste which is why we think tablets are a more convenient way to take aloe vera. It also means we can guarantee the potency of the ingredients, whereas liquids are very variable in strength and are often so dilute that the bitter taste is not apparent. And the liquids often have gelling compounds to make them look thicker, and lots of flavouring and preservatives!

S Rajasekaran, K Sivagnanam, S Subramanian, Modulatory effects of Aloe vera leaf gel extract on oxidative stress in rats treated with streptozotocin, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Volume 57, Issue 2, February 2005, Pages 241–246,


Oxidative stress is currently suggested as a mechanism underlying diabetes and diabetic-related complications. Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between radical-generating and radical-scavenging systems. Many secondary plant metabolites have been reported to possess antioxidant activity. This study was designed to evaluate the potential antioxidative activity of the ethanolic extract from Aloe vera leaf gel in the plasma and pancreas of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Glibenclamide was used as a standard reference drug. Oral administration of ethanolic extract at a concentration of 300 mg kg −1 body weight for 21 days resulted in a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, hydroperoxides and alpha-tocopherol and significant improvement in ascorbic acid, reduced glutathione and insulin in the plasma of diabetic rats. Similarly, the treatment also resulted in a significant reduction in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, hydroperoxides, superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase and significant improvement in reduced glutathione in the pancreas of STZ-induced diabetic rats when compared with untreated diabetic rats. The ethanolic extract appeared to be more effective than glibenclamide in controlling oxidative stress. Thus, this study confirms the ethnopharmacological use of Aloe vera in ameliorating the oxidative stress found in diabetes.

How to extract aloe vera

It’s natural, but is it good for you?

(Image: Nacivet/Photographers Choice/Getty)

Aloe vera food supplements and drinks are supposed to help your gut stay healthy – or so herbalists claim. But now a warning flag has been raised by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP), which has found that rats given drinking water spiked with an extract of the succulent plant developed tumours in their intestines.

The rodents were given relatively high doses of a whole-leaf extract of aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) over two years. In rats given water containing 1.5 per cent by weight of the extract, 39 per cent of females and 74 per cent of males had malignant or benign tumours in their large intestines. None of these growths were seen in rats given pure drinking water.

Mice given similar doses did not develop more tumours than normal – but rats are thought to be a better model for the risks to people, as mice have a different distribution of gut bacteria that process constituents of aloe vera.


Still, it’s not yet clear what the results mean for people consuming products containing aloe vera as part of a “natural health” regime.

“At this stage, we’re looking at designing the next round of experiments,” says Daniel Fabricant at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which contributed to the report, and is responsible for regulating dietary supplements. “We want to relate the results to the commercial products that are out there.”

Prime suspect

Experiments to estimate the risks to people are likely to last several years. The first task is to establish which biochemicals within the complex mixture extracted from aloe vera are responsible for causing the rats’ tumours, says Nigel Walker of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, who evaluated the NTP results.

The prime suspect is a substance called aloin A, which together with other aloe extracts was removed from laxatives sold over the counter in US pharmacies in 2002, because manufacturers had failed to provide the FDA with sufficient information on safety.

If aloin A is to blame for the rats’ tumours, then concern will focus on products made from whole leaf extracts. Aloe vera gel and “decolourised” extracts that have been filtered through activated charcoal contain much less aloin A.


In addition to promoting general health, some herbalists claim that aloe vera supplements can help treat conditions including asthma and diabetes – although the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine warns that there is not enough scientific evidence to support these uses.

Lois Swirsky Gold at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies cancer hazards, notes that about half of all chemicals tested in rodents at high doses cause cancer, whether natural or synthetic.

“People are consuming herbal supplements with the idea that they’re beneficial,” she says. “The truth is that we know very little about their benefits or their risks. Just because they are ‘natural’ does not make them safe.”

How to extract aloe vera

Aloe vera, whole leaf extract is no longer cool with the state of California as far as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, or Proposition 65, is concerned.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said it intends to list aloe vera, whole leaf extract and goldenseal root powder as known to the state to cause cancer under Proposition 65.

Aloe vera, whole leaf extract consists of the liquid portion of the aloe vera leaf and is a natural constituent of the aloe barbadensis Millerplant. Goldenseal root powder is a natural constituent of the goldenseal plant (Hydrastis Canadensis).

IARC has published on its website a list entitled “Agents classified by the IARC Monographs, Volumes 1-112″ (IARC, 2015). It concluded that aloe vera, whole leaf extract, and goldenseal root powder are each classified in Group 2B (the agent is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”), and that there is “sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals” for each (Grosse et al., 2013).

What exactly is on the list?

California defines the whole leaf extract of aloe vera as the same as what is commonly referred to as whole leaf aloe vera juice or aloe juice. Whole leaf extract of aloe vera is the liquid portion of the aloe vera leaf (ex., what remains after removal of fibrous material, such as lignified plant fibers), and is a natural constituent of the Aloe barbadensis Millerplant. It noted that aloe vera whole leaf extract is not the same as aloe vera decolorized whole leaf extract, aloe vera gel, aloe vera gel extract, or Aloe vera latex, which would not be covered by this proposed listing.

As far as Prop 65 is concerned, goldenseal is also known as Hydrastis Canadensis, orangeroot, Indian turmeric, and curcuma, but it should not be confused with turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn.). Goldenseal root powder is the powdered dried roots and underground stems of goldenseal plants. Goldenseal root powder is a natural constituent of the goldenseal plant.

Prop 65 Scrutiny

A number of cosmetic ingredients have come under the watchful scrutiny of the state of California’s OEHHA and Prop 65; however the cosmetics industry recently thwarted a large attack launched against it after a California court determined that dangerous exposure claims concerning the widely used ingredient titanium dioxide lacked merit. Read more of the story in C&T .


Aloe describes a genus including over 500 species of flowering succulent plants that grow in the Southern peninsula and various islands. Aloe vera, or Aloe barbadensis miller, is the most common species of Aloe that is cultivated for agricultural and medical purposes. It is a perennial succulent xerophyte with elongated leaves that contain a clear gel. While aloe vera has a long history of commercial uses, it is still widely used in cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical products. The use of aloe vera in constipation, inflammatory disorders, cancer, ulcer, and diabetes has also been investigated 4 . The active constituents of aloe vera include polysaccharides with protective effects on skin, as they exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties 5 . Common active polysaccharides include glucomannans, polymannose, and acemannan, or b-(1–4)-acetylated polymannose 3 . Acemannan and other modified polysaccharides are responsible in preventing suppression of contact hypersensitivity or immune suppression induced by external factors such as irradiation 2 .

Type Biotech Groups Experimental Synonyms

  • Aloe
  • Aloe (aloe barbadensis)
  • Aloe barbadensis leaf
  • Aloe barbadensis leaf extract
  • Aloe barbadensis leaf juice
  • Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder
  • Aloe barbadensis leaf powder
  • Aloe barbadensis leaf water
  • Aloe folii extractus (aloe vera)
  • Aloe folium (aloe vera)
  • Aloe herba (aloe vera)
  • Aloe leaf extract
  • Aloe vera
  • Aloe vera dry leaf juice
  • Aloe vera extract
  • Aloe vera leaf extract
  • Aloe vera leaf exudate
  • Aloe vera leaf juice
  • Aloe vera leaf mucilage
  • Aloe vera leaf powder
  • Aloe vera mucilage
  • Aloes
  • Aloes (aloe barbadensis)
  • Barbatos aloe leaf
  • Curacao aloe leaf
  • Ghrita kumari leaf
  • Kanyasara
  • Lu hui (aloe vera)
  • Lu hui ye
  • Luhui (aloe barbadensis)

External IDs

  • Fema no. 2047


Indicated for use as a topical agent to soothe sensitive skin and to relieve symptoms of various skin conditions, including contact or atopic dermatitis, eczema, dermatitis and acne urticata, first- and second-degree burns, radiation dermatitis, and sunburn.

How to extract aloe vera

  • Acne
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis and other eczema
  • Dermatosis
  • Folliculitis
  • Intertrigo
  • Lichen simplex chronicus
  • Moniliasis
  • Nummular Dermatitis
  • Pruritus Ani
  • Pyoderma
  • Stasis dermatitis
  • Disseminated Neurodermatitis
  • Genital pruritus
  • Localized Neurodermatitis

Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings

How to extract aloe vera

Aloe polysaccharides mediate antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, as well as immunoregulatory activities. Various studies indicate that aloe polysaccharides possess effective free radical scavenging activity in vitro, and produce potent antioxidant potential during oxidative stress in vivo 4 . According to the findings of studies in vitro and in vivo, aloe polysaccharides exhibit radioprotective activity. Treatment with acemmanan, which is a common aloe polysaccharide, on CH3 mice with radiation-induced skin reactions resulted in reduced signs of those reactions 2 . Studies suggest that aloe polysaccharides may evidently attenuate tumor growth in mice 2 . Treatment of aloe polysaccharides in Vero cells as well as in the in vivo zebrafish model led to protective effects against AAPH-indued oxidative stress resulting from accumulation of free radical species and improved cell viability 1 .

Mechanism of action

It is suggested that aloe polysaccharides mediate skin-protectant effects in damaged skin, induced by internal or other external factors such as radiation, via inhibiting apoptosis of normal cell lines in vitro and thrombocytes in vivo 2 . Following irradiation, aloe polysaccharides block the upregulation of pro-apoptotic p53, Bax, and Bad while blocking downregulating anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 2 . In vivo, aloe polysaccharides may act as a scavenger for oxygen free radicals including DPPH, alkyl radicals, superoxides, and singlet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals that may also be generated by superoxides 1,4 . Hydrogen peroxide, which is a weak initiate lipid peroxidation, may also be effectively scavenged by aloe polysaccharides 4 . In a Fenton reaction system, aloe polysaccharides demonstrated a concentration-dependent scavenging activity against hydroxyl radical that were generated during the reaction 4 . Aloe polysaccharides may also compete with oxygen to react with nitric oxide (NO), thereby inhibiting the generation of nitrite and peroxynitrite anions that act as free radicals 4 .

Findings from a study investigating the effects of aloe polysaccharides on doxorubicin-induced oxidative stress suggest that aloe polysaccharides mediate potent antioxidant actions in vivo 4 . Doxorubicin, known to generate reactive oxygen species such as superoxide and hydroxy radicals, was administered to albino rats. This led to myocardial oxidative stress and cardiac injury accompanied by leakage of LDH and CPK from cardiac myocytes and to serum due to lipid peroxidation of cardiac membranes, reduced levels of antioxidant coenzyme GSH, and increased levels of SOD from a compensatory and combative mechanism of oxidative stress 4 . Treatment with aloe polysaccharides resulted in a significant decrease in serum LDH and CPK levels, indicating that aloe polysaccharides are capable in stabilizing cardiac membranes from peroxidative damage. Restored levels of endogenous GSH and SOD in a dose-dependent manner were also observed with the treatment of aloe polysaccharides, suggesting that aloe polysaccharides exhibit potent antioxidant properties 4 .

In a study of rats with open cutaneous back wounds, treatment with aloe polysaccharides decreased the levels of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) and induced tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) during the early stage of wound repair, resulting in decreased collagen breakdown and increased preservation of collagen content in the injured area 6 . A study proposes that acemannan, a common aloe polysaccharide, stimulates BMSC proliferation, ALPase activity, expression of VEGF, BMP-2, OPN, BSP, and mineralization leading to osteoblast differentiation and bone formation during socket healing 3 .

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Before aloe vera gel ends up on store shelves, it simply exists in an aloe plant! See how to make aloe vera gel using fresh aloe, so you always have some on hand for homemade hand sanitizers and more.
How to extract aloe vera

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If you like making your own bath and beauty products, you may notice that aloe vera gel is often one of the ingredients. If you are having trouble finding aloe vera, making your own is always an option! If you have ever wondered how to make aloe vera gel, help is on the way.

You can extract the aloe from a live aloe plant, and the entire process only takes about 15 minutes. When you are done, you will have fresh aloe vera to use for all of your beauty DIYS including homemade hand sanitizer.

PLEASE NOTE: There is this misconception that extracted aloe vera is the same consistency as store bought aloe vera gel. Extracted aloe is a bit runnier, typically white in color, and not the thick gel texture. Don’t let this scare you. This is just what aloe vera looks and feels like it its unaltered and additive free form!

Are you ready to make your own aloe vera? Let’s get started.

How to extract aloe vera
How to Make Aloe Vera Gel:

Supplies needed:
– aloe vera leaf or leaves (you can pick from your own aloe plant or you can purchase a large aloe leaf at your local grocery store)
– vegetable peeler (you can find them for $10 or less on Amazon here)
– sharp knife
– immersion blender, blender, or mixer (you can find quality immersion blenders on Amazon for $20 or less)
– bowl
– cup
– towels for hang washing and wiping

How to extract aloe vera
1. Wash your aloe leaf with warm water.
This will help remove any dirt and debris that might be on the leaves and could otherwise get in your aloe mixture. Dry well so you can handle the leaf without it slipping. It is also a great idea to wash hands at this time!

2. Drain the resin.
Cut the leaf long ways and snip the ends. Place the leaf blades is a cup standing upright so the resin can drain. What is the resin exactly? This looks clear upon first glance but if you touch a paper towel to the newly cut leaf, you will notice some yellowish film. You don’t want this yellow substance in your aloe vera.

By draining the plant for a few minutes, you will be able to get the yellow substance to drain away from the leaf.

How to extract aloe vera
3. Prepare to remove the aloe!
Cut the aloe leaf in half (if it is really large) and then use your vegetable peeler to separate the leaf into two sections, almost like two pieces of sandwich bread with lots of gooey gel in the middle! Separate the two pieces and prepare to dig in.

4. Start removing the aloe.
You can now use a spoon, your peeler, or even your hands to start extracting the inner aloe gel. Be warned that it is very slipper, so do not attempt to remove it with a knife. It is best to use one of the tools mentioned above in case you lose your grip.

Start removing the aloe, placing it in a clean bowl as you go. Try to remove as much as you can. Keep towels close because your hands will get very slippery. The aloe is very slick, very sticky, and very goopy!

How to extract aloe vera

How to extract aloe vera

5. Start blending the aloe pulp.
I emptied my aloe leaves right into a mixing bowl to make it easy to transfer it to the stand mixer. You can do the same, or use an immersion blender or regular blender to mix.

You don’t need to add anything to your extracted aloe, simply mix/blend well. You may notice some bubbles or foam appear as you mix. Don’t let this alarm you. As I mix, I like to take small breaks and spoon out any pieces of aloe leaf that might have ended up in the mixture. This usually looks like small green strands and specks.

6. Store safely.
Once your aloe vera is mixed well, you can store it in an air tight jar and keep it in the fridge until use. Refrigerating the aloe vera may help firm and thicken it up, and also helps it last longer. Your aloe can store in the fridge for up to one week.

How to extract aloe vera
A few other tips for making your own aloe vera:

– Removing the jagged edge prior to handling can make extraction easier.

– Make small batches at a time so it does not go to waste. As mentioned this does not keep long so making small batches makes more sense.

– I have heard that some people like adding vegetable gelatin to their mixture to give it more of a gel feel. I have not tried this, but if texture is an issue for you, you may want to look into this!

Uses for Aloe Vera:
People use aloe vera in so many ways. If you want to make your own aloe vera and need some ideas for use, here are a few ideas to get you started.

– Aloe vera may help with soothing sunburn and summer sun irritation
– Aloe vera may take the sting and itch out of bug bites
– Aloe vera may soothe dry skin
– Aloe vera may soften scars and lessen their appearance

And of course, aloe vera can be used in homemade hand sanitizer recipes. Here are two hand sanitizer recipes that you can try!

How to extract aloe vera

How to extract aloe vera

Will you be giving this easy tutorial for how to make your own aloe vera a try? Get your supplies ready, take your time, and start scrapping that goo out! If you give this tutorial a try, be sure to check back and let us know!

On April 23, 2015, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced its intent to list Aloe vera whole leaf extract and goldenseal root powder as carcinogens on its list of Chemicals Known to the State to Cause Cancer or Reproductive Toxicity (Proposition 65 list), pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (commonly known as Proposition 65). Once the chemicals are listed, a product that will expose individuals to either of these chemicals must bear a warning that the product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer.

Basis for Listing

OEHHA cites a mechanism called the “Labor Code Mechanism” as its basis for listing these two ingredients. As a matter of background, Proposition 65 contains a provision requiring that the Proposition 65 list of chemicals includes all substances identified in Labor Code Section 6382(b)(1). This section of the Labor Code identifies substances listed as human or animal carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as presumptive hazards. Therefore, under Proposition 65, all substances identified by the IARC as human or animal carcinogens must be added to the Proposition 65 list.

In 2013, IARC published conclusions after its review of relevant studies relating to the carcinogenicity of Aloe vera whole leaf extract and goldenseal root powder in Volume 108 of the IARC Monographs. 1 IARC classified both ingredients as Group 2B chemicals (“possibly carcinogenic to humans”), based on its findings that there was “sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.” Notably, the only studies cited in the IARC Monograph regarding Aloe vera whole leaf extract involved oral administration of Aloe vera whole leaf extract to rats via drinking water. 2

Scope of the Notice

The Notice of Intent to List (the notice), lays out specific limitations as to the species and the parts of the plant that OEHHA intends to list.

For Aloe vera, OEHHA stresses that this notice does not apply generally to all aloe varieties but applies only to the Aloe vera species, which is also known by the Latin name Aloe barbadensis Miller and the common names Barbados aloe, Mediterranean aloe, True aloe, and Curaçao aloe. In addition, this notice does not apply to all parts or products derived from the Aloe vera plant; rather, this notice applies only to the whole leaf extract, which is sometimes commonly referred to as whole leaf juice or just aloe juice. The notice specifically states that “Aloe vera whole leaf extract is not the same as Aloe vera decolorized whole leaf extract, Aloe vera gel, Aloe vera gel extract, or Aloe vera latex,” which would not be covered by the listing of Aloe vera whole leaf extract.

With regard to goldenseal root powder, the notice specifies that this listing applies to the species Hydrastis canadensis, which is also known by the common names orangeroot, Indian turmeric, and curcuma. The notice specifies that “goldenseal root powder is the powdered dried roots and underground stems of goldenseal plants. Goldenseal root powder is a natural constituent of the goldenseal plant.” OEHHA also clarifies that this listing does not apply to turmeric (Curcuma longa).

Opportunity to Comment

OEHHA is providing an opportunity for public comment on these listings. However, OEHHA has severely limited the scope of comments that will be considered by the agency. Because the ingredients are being listed pursuant to the Labor Code Mechanism, which automatically requires the listing of all ingredients identified as carcinogens by IARC, OEHHA states in the notice that comments must be limited to whether IARC has identified the specific chemical as a known or potential human or animal carcinogen. The agency states that it “cannot consider arguments concerning the weight or quality of the evidence considered by IARC” when classifying the chemicals.

Comments must be received by OEHHA by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Comments can be submitted in either electronic or paper format. We note that with past chemicals listed via the Labor Code mechanism, the time period between the notice of intent to list and the actual listing on the Proposition 65 list has been relatively short.

[ 1 ] Gross, Y. et al., Carcinogenicity of some drugs and herbal products, 14 THE LANCENT ONCOLOGY 807 (2013).