Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Aloe vera - what's in it?

I love aloe vera and I use it in a lot of things I make, but what does it actually bring to our products?

Like shea butter, aloe vera is celebrated as a liquid for all occasions, being blessed with being soothing, anti-itching, burn and wound healing, and UV protecting qualities. But wait, there's more! Aloe vera is also considered anti-inflammatory, cell proliferating, and anti-bacterial. But's also considered very moisturizing and contains a humectant and an anti-oxidant. How can so much great stuff get into such a small plant? And is it all true?

Sort of. Myriad studies have been undertaken of the aloe vera plant, and they all seem to generate different results. Some have shown the aloe vera plant to be fantastic with UV, thermal, and radiation related burns; others have shown no effect. Some have shown it to have great wound healing abilities; again, others show this not to be the case. The key problem for aloe is the same as with any botanical ingredient - there are such variations between species, climate, soil, age of the plant, and so on, it's hard to get any kind of consistent product called "aloe vera" for testing.

So what do we know about aloe vera? We know it contains about 99.5% water, with the rest being polysaccharides, amino acids, quinones, glycosides, minerals, flavones, and salicylic acid. Does it contain allantoin? Apparently, although I can't find any specific numbers on it.

Polysaccharides are hydrating, emollient, anti-inflammatory, and create a barrier on our skin, thanks to the wonders of gelling. (Polysaccharides are technically not water soluble, but they form a gel with things when put into water. This is why "insoluble fibre" in our diets is insoluble. It forms a gel in your intestines, which is excreted with things like too much cholesterol.) The main polysaccharide in aloe is acemannan, a derivative of mannose, which is thought to provide a lot of the beneficial features of aloe vera juice or gel. Acemannan is being studied as an immune stimulating and anti-viral polysaccharide.

Is it wrong that all I could thing of was "Mannose: Polysaccharide of Fate!" when I researched this topic? And look at that molecule. It looks like it's wigging out with all those squirly lines. I think I might be having a weird day today...

Another huge component of aloe vera are the anthraquinones. (Isn't that a pretty, symmetrical molecule? That would make a great bracelet!) Although they can sometimes provoke an allergic response, they are good anti-microbial agents. The main anthraquinones in aloe vera are barboloin, aloe emodin, and aloesin. These phytochemicals absorb UV light around the same range as our skin would (250 to 300 µm), so they may help prevent UV damage in our skin. Aloesin is used as a skin whitener and anti-oxidant.

The anthraquinones have another interesting (non-cosmetic) feature - they are potent laxatives that are no longer generally regarded as safe for over the counter sale. (You might remember when these were taken off the shelves in North America.)

The glycoproteins found in aloe vera contain alprogen, an anti-allergen, and potential skin thickener and cell proliferator.

ß-sitosterol (a phytosterol) can have a huge effect on skin damaged or harmed by environmental influences, such as wind chapping, sun damage, sun burn, and so on. It reduces inflammation and itching, and moisturizes skin by reducing transepidermal water loss, as well as softening hair and reducing the electrical charges!

Flavones offer free radical scavenging, and, depending upon the species and climate and so on, could be as effective against free radicals as BHT and tocopherol.

Choline increases our skin humidity - one study found an increased of up to 40% within 30 minutes of application, and the increase remained for 2.5 hours!

So does aloe vera stand up to our analysis? What are the claims? (Remembering that aloe vera is a tricky plant to study!)
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-reddening: polysaccharides, ß-sitosterol, salicylic acid
  • Anti-itching: ß-sitosterol
  • Cell proliferation (which leads to speedier healing): glycoproteins, glycopeptides, anthraquinones (aloe emodin and aloesin).
  • Anti-reddening: ß-sitosterol, anthraquinones
  • UV protection (during and after sun exposure): anthraquinones, ß-sitosterol
  • Anti-oxidant: flavones
  • Barrier protection: polysaccharides
  • Moisturizing: polysaccharides, ß-sitosterol, choline.
Is the powder the same as the liquid, and is that the same as the gel? The gel straight from the plant is the most effective way to get the benefits of aloe vera, but the liquid aloe vera juice we buy has many of the great properties, although it doesn't tend to contain the oils from the plant and the lovely fatty acids (palmitic acid, for instance). The powder can be on par with the liquid, but definitely ensure the only ingredients in it is aloe vera powder, as it can be adulterated with other polysaccharides.

A note on using unpreserved aloe vera: I bought some unpreserved aloe vera at my local big box retailer, and a few weeks later I found a horrible gooey green mess floating in the bottle. Using mucilage straight from the plant or unpreserved aloe vera gel or juice can lead to serious contamination issues in your products.

Suggested use is 10% or more in leave in products to gain the moisturizing and anti-inflammatory effects. And always use the maximum suggested preservative amount in any creation containing a botanical ingredient like this - we don't want contamination!

Special note: When I talk about using aloe vera in my products, I am referring to aloe vera liquid, not aloe vera gel. There are two types of aloe vera gel - one that you get directly from the plant, and one that we buy at our suppliers that is thickened by a carbomer. Both of these will thicken your product more than I want, so I will suggest that you use aloe vera liquid or aloe vera powder 200:1. 


Mich said...

Alas, some of us are very sensitive to aloe! Rather than calm my skin, it becomes unbearably itchy and red. And, to add insult to injury, almost all the OTC hydrocortisone cremes out there contain ALOE!

It's enough to make a gal break out in a rash and cry...

Hippy at Heart said...

Interesting post, but then all your posts are.

Kay said...

If you use the 100X powdered form, would you need to add water to make up the indicated amount? In other words, if the recipe calls for 10% water, in a 100 gram recipe (for ease of calculation), you would normally use 10 grams of aloe vera juice. To use powder, would you use .1 grams powder and add 9.9 grams water to the water phase? Thanks!

Αντώνης Μαγνήσαλης said...

I find that if I add more than 10% of aloe vera in a recipe I get a shiny film that lasts for hours!

Laura said...

Just read not too long ago a book called something like The encyclopedia of cosmetic ingredients. I can't remember the exact number, but there are many different types of aloe vera plants and only a few of them are known to be medicinal according to the author.

So maybe the problem is with who you got the aloe vera from or just something about your body chemistry, not sure any one can say.

Medicine is an art and a practice not an exact science. So there in is the rub.

Michele said...

In your recipes you cite 1% aloe vera. Are you using juice or gel? For instance the

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Michele! I use aloe vera liquid in my products. The gel is not the fresh-from-the-plant gel - it tends to be made of carbomer and aloe vera juice. (I have no issue with aloe vera gel, it's just more expensive and we don't necessarily need the gelling part.) In that PDF, you can leave it out if you want or increase it to be 10% if you really need moisturizing in your hair!

Mesha said...

A friend recently trimmed her plant and gave the leaves to me to process to use for my lotions etc. Thinking to send her back some of it after it had been scraped out, blended and sieved I put it in a jar for her. Knowing it might be awhile before I could get it back to her I added the appropriate amount of Optiphen mixed well and put it in the fridge. A funny thing happened overnight- it turned pink! I can find no explanation why and I am worried about how it might react in lotion. What are your thoughts?

Aljonor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aljonor said...

hi Susan:

I just finished reading the blog: Aloe Vera. I know that you said you use the liquid form. I currently use the Aloe Vera 200x in powder form. Are you at liberty to say why use choose the gel verses the powder?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Meshor! That pink could be bacteria. I would get rid of anything that took on that colour!

Hi Aljonor! I use aloe vera juice, not the gel. I don't use the gel because (a) it's more expensive and (b) it contains a gelling agent that can interfere with the product I'm trying to make. I don't use the powder because because I find the liquid easy to use and because I don't use much of it when I do use it. For 200x aloe vera powder, I'd have to add 0.5 grams to 95.5 grams water. I don't tend to use 100 grams of aloe vera every time I make products, so I would have to dispose of it. It's just easier for me to use the liquid.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am fron Costa Rica and we use aloe directly from the plant. You can't use all the types if aloe just some. You have to use it immediately or it will change color and turn liquid cause it has so much water and it reacts with the air after a while. What we do is we cut a part if the plant, remove the points, cut in half and place in a cup of water. Then use it directly to te skin. The skin might turn red or green but it washes off. Hope this helps you!

zx li said...

Hi, Susana.I had problem of mixing Aloe vera juice with oil phase. I used to use rose floral water as aqueous phase and mixed with oil phase, and it worked. however, I used same amount of Aloe Vera juicy instead of rose floral water this time, it can't mix with oil phase at all. I just change once ingredient in my recipe, and everything else i keep the same. I wonder what is wrong ?

zx li said...

Hi, Susana.I had problem of mixing Aloe vera juice with oil phase. I used to use rose floral water as aqueous phase and mixed with oil phase, and it worked. however, I used same amount of Aloe Vera juicy instead of rose floral water this time, it can't mix with oil phase at all. I just change once ingredient in my recipe, and everything else i keep the same. I wonder what is wrong ?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Zx Li! What else are you using? What emulsifier? What other oils? How much of each thing? Can you please post your full recipe and process? Thanks!

Mel the Writer UK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Me said...

Hi Susan,

I currently use aloe vera 10:1 juice, sometimes I get it and it's slightly misty, however recently when I get it it's a really dark brown and it makes my leave in milk look weird (at 10%).

I plan to start using aloe vera powder x200, and mixing it myself with water - will I experience the same discolouration? If I mix the product straight away before discolouration occurs and add a preservative and anti-oxidant, will it prevent discolouration?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Me! I would definitely include a preservative and an anti-oxidant as it sounds like your aloe vera might be going bad. (Anyone have different experiences to share?) I had a browny coloured aloe vera once, and it was rotten, and this was only two weeks after opening it. It turns out it had no preservative! Eek! Definitely include a preservative!

Artemis said...

Hi Susan,
I was wondering what aloe vera juice should look like because I've just bought some and it has some kind of cloudy sediment-like stuff just above the bottom. It is preserved and doesn't smell off (although I can't really detect much of a smell), so I'm not sure whether it's mouldy or if it's normal for aloe vera juice to have cloudy bits in it. Thanks!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Artemis! I've included your question in today's Weekend Wonderings. It sounds like you have a normal bottle of aloe vera with some bits in it, but it's hard to say what those bits are. They could be aloe vera or they could be contamination. I've asked the readers of the blog to share more, and if you could visit the post and add more of your description, that would be great!

Nick Conley said...

Hi Susan,

Is an anti-oxidant the best way to keep aloe from browning in a lotion? Have you tested vit E vs C vs BHT? Also, do you know if there is a pH dependence to this browning? I don't see this in commercial formulas.


Dionne Heaven said...

Hi, im so glad I found your site, has helped me so much, I am new to all of these chemicals but learning slowly thanks to you, I was wondering at what stage do I had the aloe Vera...Phase 1 with the sulfates or phase 2 with the oils emulsifiers, not even sure if I have worded this correctly , so hope you can help me :(

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nick. I don't think your aloe is behaving properly, and I wonder if it's going off in your product as browning is not normal. I had it brown in the bottle once, and it was horribly contaminated. I would have that aloe checked out!

Hi Dionne. We add the water soluble things in the water phase and the oil soluble things in the oil soluble phase.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. Please put your name on your comments in the future as I have to delete those that are unattributed. Just a simple "Bye, (name)" works.

Your comment was:
Hi! I am curious... if I add aloe vera POWDER to witch hazel or oils (no added water), do I need a preservative? Thanks!

Yes, for the witch hazel. Witch hazel counts as water.

But you can't mix aloe vera powder into oils as aloe vera powder is water soluble and oils are oil soluble. The two won't mix.

Check out this post on what qualifies as water.

Ryan Kern said...

I've read in your other posts to add the aloe vera liquid in the heated water phase. My question is, do you know if the healing properties and the wonders of aloe vera hold up after being heated?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Ryan. Yes, aloe vera's properties can withstand heating.

Ryan Kern said...

That's good to know. Thanks for the good news.

Valerie said...

I would like to add Aloe to a liquid soap which is mostly castile with some secondary surfactants and glycerin for skin conditioning. The formulation also includes citrus eos. My ph (tested with my meter) is 10.65 so I won't be adding a preservative since none of ones I am intrested in really work at that ph anyway. If I used Freeze Dried crystalline powdered aloe will I need to add a preservative? The mds says their powder is stable and does not need a preservative. If I get the thumbs up to add this, can you suggeest a range of amounts of the dilluted liquid? Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Valerie. Is there value to adding aloe to a soap bar? Will it survive the process of saponification? I'm afraid you'll have to ask someone who has more soap experience than I. May I suggest either Kevin Dunn of Scientific Soapmaking or Anne-Marie of Soap Queen or Brambleberry?

Marina said...

Hi Susan! Please help me understand why emulsions fail when a lot of aloe vera juice is used. I have made a simple recipe:

81% Trader Joe's Aloe Vera Juice (preserved with potassium sorbate)
12% Meadowfoam Oil
3% Olivem 1000
4% Leucidal Liquid SF

and it starts separating after less than 24 hours. The same thing happens when I use Creammaker Liquid Emulsifier (INCI: Sorbitan laurate, polyglyceryl-4 laurate, dilauryl citrate.)

Are there simply too many electrolytes in aloe? Is it because it's too acidic? Is there something I can add to help make the emulsion stable?

Thank you for your help!! :-) Marina

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Marina. Please indicate what your process is as in heating and holding, what phase you heat things in, and so on. (In all honesty, I think it's the aloe. Try using 10% or 20% and more water.)

Marina said...

Dear Susan: Thank you for the advice, Susan. I think I will try 10, 20, and 30% Aloe Vera Juice and the rest distilled water and see how it goes. When I make either of the above recipes with straight distilled water, there is no separation. Just in case you still wanted to know, this is my procedure:

I measured water-based and oil phases in separate glass containers. Using two double boilers, I held the water phase at 75 C for 20 minutes while I held the oil phase between 75-85 C for 20 minutes. After heating and holding for 20 minutes, I added a little aloe vera to the water-based phase to make up for the amount lost due to evaporation. I poured the oil phase into the water phase. I used an immersion blender to reach an emulsion, which took about 45 seconds. I put the emulsion to cool in the freezer. I added the preservative at ~40 C by hand mixing with a spatula for about 45 seconds.

Thank you, Susan!! Marina

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Marina. I think it is the electrolytes in the product. As well, Olivem 1000 is a difficult emulsifier to use.

Free Lion said...

I have been using the aloe Vera gel from Voyageur Soap and Candle in my body butter. The gel includes:
Aloe Barbensis Leaf Extract (and) Aqua (and) Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Cross-Polymer (and) Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate.
I looked up the ingredients on This is a cosmetics database that tells you about the toxicity levels of cosmetics and/or their constitutive elements.
Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate came in as having a moderate hazard rating. According to Skin Deep,
"About SODIUM HYDROXYMETHYLGLYCINATE (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER): Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate is an antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. People exposed to such formaldehyde-releasing ingredients may develop a formaldehyde allergy or an allergy to the ingredient itself. In the U.S. approximately 20% of cosmetics and personal care products contain a formaldehyde-releaser and the frequency of contact allergy to these ingredients is much higher among Americans compared to studies in Europe."

What could I mix the aloe Vera extract that is a non toxic and that will give me the same kind of gel consistency?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Free Lion. I'm afraid EWG isn't a reputable resource, so I don't go by what they suggest. I've written about them extensively on this blog, but the short summary is that they choose old studies and have huge data gaps, but still manage to come to some fairly scare mongering conclusions about ingredients.

Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate is a preservative, not a thickener. The polymer is the thickener. It's hard to find something to thicken aloe vera because of the extreme levels of electrolytes in it. You can check out some of the gums like xanthan, guar, and so on on the blog, but the best choice is the polymer.

Mokhe said...

Question, has anyone found adding aloe juice in place of the water (say 60%) has made their lotion feel sticky? I'm narrowing down my sticky ingredients to trouble shoot. I just purchased this aloe juice from Lotioncrafter.
Thanks! Molly

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Mokhe. Yes, aloe can feel sticky at more than 10%. I don't suggest using it at more than 10% as it really isn't necessary and can be hard to preserve.

Monica Bagrecha said...

My body butter is rock solid. I started out with Shea mango and cocoa butter. Then added olive jojoba and vitamin e. The biggest mistake I committed is adding aloe vera gel which has led me to this situation. Melted and rewhipped it. No respite. SOS!

Uhuru said...

Hi Susan.

How is aloe butter made? I have researched all over the web and it seems there is no information. It is very expensive a pound and works great for winter months.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Monica. You can't add a water soluble thing like aloe vera to an all oil thing, like you've made, without an emulsifier. There is no fix to this problem. I'm afraid it's ruined. If you want to add something like aloe vera to a body butter, check out the posts in the newbie section on making an emulsified body butter.

Hi Uhuru. The stuff I've seen tends to be coconut oil infused with aloe vera, and you can get a version that is aloe vera infused into shea butter. No, you can't make this at home. You could just make a product that contained coconut oil and aloe vera, like a body butter. Again, there's a recipe for newbies for body butter in the newbie section that you might like.

Genevieve Bellerose said...

Good Evening Susan

I have been trying to find a aloe vera liquid from my local supplier to make one of your facial moisturizers. I have 2 options

Aloe Vera. Single Strength (1:1).Single Strength (cosmetic grade). This is not a gel but a liquid. Concentrate (cosmetic grade). This is not a gel but a liquid concentrate obtained from the centre fillet of the plant and preserved with the addition of Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Sodium Benzoate.

Aloe Vera. 10:1.Concentrate (cosmetic grade). This is not a gel but a liquid concentrate obtained from the centre fillet of the plant and preserved with the addition of Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Sodium Benzoate.

I am sorry if I am being alittle stupid in my question, but which one would I choose?

looking forward to your reply. Mel

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Mel. Not a stupid question at all. It's a great question. The answer is up to you, really. I like to use the liquid, but that's because my supplier doesn't have the powder. Either is a good choice. You only need a titch of the powder, but it's going to cost more than the liquid. Or maybe it doesn't where you're shopping. I'm sorry to be so vague, but the reality is they are both good products and it's really up to you which you prefer! If you're having it shipped, go for the powder because it's cheaper to ship. Otherwise, they're both great choices.

Anonymous said...

What happens if you use a lot of aloe in a product? More than 10%. Say 50% or more? Will it be stable? All guesses welcome please.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

It will be hard to preserve and the electrolytes it contains can destabilize many products. It will depend upon the product you're making, but for the most part, 10% is more than enough. This isn't a guess...

Please note, I do not allow anonymous posts on this blog. Please revise the comment with your name or I will have to delete it. Please see the side bar to see what I ask of all readers of this blog.

Valerie said...

Hey, Susan. I was wondering about unpreserved aloe (I will preserve any products I make with aloe, don't worry)... George's Aloe Juice is something I used when I was first starting out in a toner that was just aloe + glycerine. It went bad very quickly but one thing about Georges Aloe always stuck with me. It requires no refrigeration for 5 years, even if it's been opened. I wasn't sure how that was possible when my toner went bad so quickly so I emailed the company, this is the response I got back after I asked them how much water was in their aloe and why it didn't need a preservative:

"I will have to check about the water content. We breakdown the mucopolysaccharide chain extracting the sugars in order to eliminate adding any preservatives and increase the shelf life. Our aloe has a 5 year shelf life either opened or closed. Since we do not add any preservatives or additives the aloe does not have to be refrigerated."

Can you help me understand what that response means? I became so confused and interested after my toner went bad. Both the glycerine and aloe need no preservatives on their own, but mixed together they do. I figured out that the glycerine can act as a preservative when it's over 50%, so that's one piece of the puzzle down, now I just want to figure out the aloe.

Thanks so much for what you do! I just bought your ebook and I adore it so far!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Valerie. I wouldn't trust what the company has to say. They know the water content of their product because it's almost all water. You know that this needs preservatives: You saw it yourself with your product going off. This product needs to be refrigerated after opening and I encourage you to add a preservative to it if you want to keep it longer than a few weeks.

As an aside, I don't think this is aloe vera the way we think of it. They claim they've taken out all of the polysaccharides, which are the things we want in aloe vera! This doesn't appear to be true aloe vera but a distillate of it, so you aren't getting the goodness of the aloe vera for your skin.

Personally, I don't trust a company that claims to be "chemical free" or won't share ingredient lists. But that's just me. I would encourage you, though, to get your aloe from a supplier who does use preservatives and understands why they are necessary.

Valerie Jaquith said...

I was looking around at products today for ideas, and saw this company called AnneMarie, As far as I can tell this product does not contain a preservative? $44.95 us for 200 ml of this lotion:

Aloe vera juice, *sunflower oil, serum blend (*aloe vera juice, *squalane [plant sugar derived], carrageenan [chondrus crispus],non-GMO xanthan gum), *aloe vera juice infused with herbs (*calendula flowers, *gingko leaves, *plantago leaves, *rosemary leaves, *green tea leaves, *thyme), herb infused oil (*grapeseed oil, *calendula flowers, *chamomile flowers, *comfrey leaves, *gotu kola, *green tea leaves, *jasmine flowers, *lavender flowers, *lemon balm, *life everlasting flowers, *plantain leaves, *rhodiola root, *rosemary leaves), *sunflower seed extract, non-GMO plant derived wax (no solvents, no preservatives), aspen bark extract, *plantago extract, sodium ascorbate, non-GMO vitamin E tocopherols, rosewood oil, frankincense oil.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Valerie! Nope, no preservative there. I wouldn't use that product without one.

Valerie Jaquith said...

Thank you Susan! Just wanted to make sure my eyes were not playing tricks on me.

John Heath said...

Hi Susan

Wondered if you could help us understand the ramifications (if any) for cosmetics using aloe vera, in relation to this:


Nena said...

Hi Susan,

I recently bought Aloe Pura's 99.9% Aloe Vera Gel. Thought I'd give it a try after reading about the moisturising properties of Aloe Vera gel or oil. Now when I use it on my face it seems the skin turns very dry, like parchment. Would you have an explanation for this phenomenon based on your studies? The product does not sting my skin or make me break out in a rash. I've been applying borage seed/baobab oil to counteract the extremely dry appearance/feeling of my skin and that takes care of the uncomfortable pulling feeling in no time. But perhaps I should stop using the AV gel...


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nena. Without knowing all the ingredients - if it's a gel, it has to have a carbomer in it if it's thicker than water - I can't really say. You aren't going to get any moisturizing from putting just a liquid or just an oil on your face. You need a lotion that contains the best of both worlds to work.

I think you should stop anything that doesn't make your skin feel nice. Why wait to see what happens?

Nena said...

Thanks, Susan. You're right, it does contain carbomer and now I have this niggling feeling it't not gel straight from the plant at all. Found the ingredients list and it refers to AV juice. As to the oils, I've been using them for quite a number of years along with raw shea and my skin loves it. I can easily let go of the AV gel, but the oils and shea, not so easily. I like to feel something on my skin and most cremes even for dry skin result in a dry feeling. The skin on my forehead used to just crack and bleed except with a 30 spf creme (which made my face look tremendously greasy).
Keep up the great blog. Realy great! Thank you for your efforts.

Rebecca D said...

Good afternoon,
I have read that the " anthraquinones" in aloe vera juice cause tumor or cancer in lab rats. I just bought TraderJoes juice and wanted to find out if it had that in it. Also do the studies I have seen outweigh the benefits?

Iam trying to use the AV juice to help acid reflux.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Rebecca. I'm not going to make suggestions about anything when it comes to digestive issues. Could you please send me a link or two to articles that talk about this matter because it's the first I've heard of it.

As an aside, have you spoken to your doctor about your issues? I didn't think my stomach issues were a big deal, but they turned out to be very serious. Now I consult my doctor because I've realized that I don't have to suffer in silence, and that those symptoms could be much worse than I thought!

Check out this post that notes anthroquinones might have anti-cancer properties

Mike Barfoot said...

Hi Susan
I am fortunate to have a garden full of large Aloes ! am using the bitters as a organic insecticide but would love to know how I could use the flesh into a moisturizer can I apply it in its fresh state to the skin after blitzing in the liquidiser ?
Thank you so much

Alexis said...

I'm unreasonably excited about your MST3k reference. This is officially my favorite blog.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Mike! I'm afraid I can't help you with that as I've never worked with fresh aloe. Sorry!

Hi Alexis! You are the first person to comment on this! I love MST3K so much! We contributed to the Kickstarter as we want to see new episodes.

Alexis said...

Me too! Actually quite a bit of money (blush) - we're going to the premier!!

I forgot to mention, I think that the pink/brown color that you get with aloe is the result of oxidation of the polyphenols, and shouldn't be an indication of spoilage. Looking for a good resource to refer to for confirmation...