We often get asked what the difference between whole leaf aloe and the inner gel. As we know, aloe is such a versatile plant that is known for its external skin use but it is also a functional food. It also triples as a popular house plant, as its very easy to maintain and yields numerous benefits to the home (i.e. improve air quality). Aloe Vera can be broken down two ways, by the whole leaf and the inner leaf. You have your inner pure aloe gel, and you also have your leaf juice. It’s important to remember the inner aloe leaf contains only the pure gel, while the whole leaf aloe contains aloin which is a yellow sap that comes from just under the plant’s skin. While both are beneficial in their own right, they are starkly different.
The Benefits of Pure Aloe Gel
The inner aloe gel is the widely known aloe and is the safest part of the plant, especially for ingestion. It’s well known for its external soothing properties for our skin, and also for its internal health purposes. Aloe vera is most popularly used as a topical ointment to help heal sunburns and sun damage. Although the inner gel has been used by many cultures for thousands of years, it is the rise in our culture as a superfood providing numerous internal benefits such as digestive health and immune-boosting properties, just to name a few. It is well established that the inner aloe leaf possesses the majority of the entire leaf’s benefits, as it contains acemannan, which allows it to be used both externally and internally.
What About Whole Leaf Aloe?
The whole leaf can be used for its external soothing properties to treat your skin and is great for soothing sunburns (although, whole leaf aloe should never be used to treat deep cuts or wounds). But while inner aloe gel is safe to consume, raw whole leaf aloe should not be eaten or used for internal use as it contains potentially dangerous aloin, a bitter tasting chemical with laxative properties that can extremely harsh on the body. So for those asking, “can I just eat an aloe leaf?“, we would say that eating raw whole aloe would likely deliver adverse effects.
Aloe vera can be used a functional food and can be incorporated into a daily diet. Now that you have more knowledge of the ins and outs of the aloe vera leaf, try some of our favorite products that would best suit your needs.