If you ever wondered why aloe is used so often for sunburn, dry skin and soothing rashes, it’s because it contains so many skin-loving nutrients. But Aloe is not just one plant! There are many in the Aloe family that you wont be using on your skin. The type that you can use is called Aloe barbadensis.
Called the plant of immortality by the ancient Egyptians. Alexander the Great used aloe to heal his soldiers wounds. It’s used in Indian ayurvedic medicine for its unusual combination of 4 flavours: sweet, sour, bitter and astringent. (There are only three plants known to have all four flavours – aloe, rose petals and guggal).
Today we still use aloe gel or liquid for razor burns, cuts etc. If aloe grows in your climate, you can slice off a leaf and apply the inner gel directly to your skin.
Aloe is magnificent for dry or sensitive skin. It pairs well with rose water and hyaluronic acid.
What is aloe barbadensis leaf juice?
It is the filtered juice extracted from the aloe leaf. It does not contain the irritating parts of aloe that you’ll get by making your own.
It’s the part that you buy to drink in your smoothies and home remedies. It’s also used in skincare and body care products such as night creams, shampoos, cleanser and gels.
Is Aloe barbadensis leaf juice safe for skin?
Yes. You can use bought from the store or if making you own from your own plants, carefully fillet it so that you don’t include the bitter aloin. Aloin blocks 30% of the UV rays yet some studies show it may irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Aloin, is present only in the outer part of the leaf, specifically the cells that line the inside surface of the peel of the aloe leaf, not in the gel located inside the leaf.
Studies show that aloe vera may be effective in helping reduce the appearance of psoriasis, dermatitis, frostbite, burns, and inflammation. But aloe is most commonly used as first aid, for sunburn and minor burns. It does this by helping to cool down the skin and replenish the skin’s moisture and vitamin content. My tip? Keep a tube of aloe gel handy at home and on camping trips!
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) inside the juice, reduce water loss (TEWL), so that helps keep your skin hydrated. GAGS also support your collagen and elastin
Is Aloe barbadensis leaf juice the same as aloe Vera?
Aloe Vera is the name of the entire plant – the label may say Aloe Vera top save on space. It will be the juice or inner gel inside the product.
The gel or juice can be freeze dried for shipping to manufacturers who will then rehydrate the aloe. This reduces transport costs as water is heavy and bulky. Freeze dried aloe also does not need to be preserved when kept sealed and air tight.
Is Aloe barbadensis aloe vera leaf juice safe?
Yes, it has the aloin removed.
What is inside aloe juice?
The plant is made up of three layers: the outer rind, the middle layer that is where latex is derived, and inner gel which is made up of 98–99.5% water.
So 98% of leaf juice is water – the remaining 0.5-2% is made up of Acetylated Glucomannan, Acetylated Mannan, Aldopentose, Aloe-emodin, Aloetic Acid, Alkaline Phosphatase, Alanine, Aloin, Amylase, Anthranol, Antracin, Antranol, Arachidonic Acid, Arabinogalactan, Arginine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Auxins, Barbaloin, Basitosterol, Bradykinase, Campestrol, Carboxylase, Carboxypeptidase, Catalase, Cellulase, Cholesterol, Choline, Chrysophanic Acid, Cinnamic Acid Esters, Cinnamonic Acid Ester, Cyclooxidase, Cyclooxygenase, Cysteine, Emodin, Ethereal Oil, Folic Acid, Galactan, Galactogalacturan, Galactoglucoarabinomannan, Gibberillin, Glucogalactomannan, Glucose, 8-C-Glusoly-(2′-O-cinnamoly)-7-O-methlyaloediol, 8-C-Glucosyl-(S)-aloesol, 8-C-Glucosyl-7-O-methylaloediol, 8-C-Glucosyl-noreugenin, 8-C-Glucosyl-7-0-methylaloediol, Glutamine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Histidine, Isoaloeresin D, Isobarbaloin, Isoleucine, Isorabaichromone, Kolin, Lectins, Leucine, Lignins, Linolenic Acid, Lipase, Lupeol, Lysine, Mannan, Mannose, Methionine, Neoalosin A, Pectic Substances, Peroxidase, Phenylalanine, Phosphoenolpyruvate, Potassium Sorbate, Proline, Resistannol, Rhamnose, Salicylic Acid, Salts of Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc, Saponins, Serin, Sitosterol, Superoxide Dismutase, Threonine, Triglycerides, Triterpenoid, Tyrosine, Uric Acid, Valin, Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin 12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Xylan.
Aloe and cancer
Aloe has anti-tumour properties in the case of glioblastoma multiforme, a serious form of brain cancer. The discovery comes from the Italian researchers of the Pozzilli IRCCS who analyzed the effects of aloe extract, aloe-emodin, both in vivo and in vitro, obtaining decidedly positive results but needing further studies.
Aloe has been used as a cure all for diseases including cancer, by Father Romano Zago – mixed with acacia honey, aloe and grappa (or cognac)