Is the yellow liquid in aloe vera poisonous? If you are growing aloe vera at home, you might also ask the same question. In this post, I will share with you some important facts about aloe plants.
If you are growing aloe vera for a while, or at least use its properties to maintain your hair and skin, there is a high chance that you hear some rumors about the safety of this plant.
Aloe vera is a type of succulent plant. As you know, succulents are sappy and store the liquid in their leaves and stems. But what differs aloe vera from the rest of the family is its yellow liquid that oozes out as you cut the leaf. Many people wonder, and this might include you, whether this substance is safe or not.
So, is the yellow liquid in aloe vera poisonous? The yellow substance in aloe vera is a latex which contains the anthraquinone glycoside ‘Aloin’. In a small amount, this substance is not toxic but can potentially cause skin sensitivity. If ingested, however, it can cause intestinal pain and severe laxative effect. Aloin was formerly sold as a laxative but it was then retrieved from the market due to its painful effect on the intestine.
Does this mean that aloe vera in general is dangerous? Not really. Aloe vera has several benefits for the hair and skin. What you can do to avoid the Aloin is to get just the gel and stay away from the yellow liquid. You can do this by peeling the leaves to remove the latex and scrape the gel.
What is the Yellow Liquid in Aloe Vera?
I have mentioned this earlier but I want to reiterate. The yellow liquid in aloe vera that oozes from the cut of the leaf is a latex. This is not the aloe gel that you want to use for your hair and skin.
The gel is a clear and thick liquid substance. The other distinctive feature of the yellow fluid is its smell. It has a funky smell. While the gel is almost odorless.
This yellow substance is something you don’t want to get in contact with. It can cause skin irritation and when ingested, it can potentially cause diarrhea due to its laxative effect.
Is the Yellow Liquid in Aloe Vera Poisonous?
The Aloin or the yellow substance in the aloe leaves will not cause sudden death if accidentally ingested. In fact, for decades, many people around the world use it as a laxative. It does a good job of treating constipation.
However, this does not mean that the regular ingestion of this yellow substance is without side effects. It could have a negative effect on health in the long run. So it is better to avoid it than putting yourself in harm.
Some of the potential side effects of latex ingestion are kidney problems, irregular heartbeats, stomach cramps, and weakening of muscles in the body. Aloe vera latex is even more dangerous for pregnant women.
People who are taking regular medications for kidney failure, diabetes, and health disease, are also vulnerable to the effect of the Aloin. If you are one of those that have health issues, be very careful not to ingest this substance.
If you ingest it accidentally, I recommend that you seek advice from a medical professional. Although it is not entirely fatal, it is better to be safe than taking it for granted.
The only time that this could happen is when harvesting aloe vera. To avoid it, what you can do is to cut the leaf and allow the yellow liquid to just ooze out. After 10-15 minutes, rinse the leaf to clear the yellow substance. Make sure that you use gloves when doing so. It is the first defense against skin irritation caused by the Aloin.
Final Thoughts on Is the Yellow Liquid in Aloe Vera Poisonous
Aloe vera plants are some of the miraculous plants that have many benefits for humans. Aloe vera has been known for its ability to treat human hair and skin. But this plant has a substance that could potentially bring problems to health if ingested in large amounts.
Aloe vera contains yellow liquid, a latex that contains Aloin. This substance has a laxative effect that if ingested in large amounts, can cause intestinal pain and diarrhea. It can also cause skin irritation.
Although the effect is not fatal, keeping yourself safe from it is always the best idea. When harvesting or cutting aloe vera leaves, make sure that you observe protective measures such as wearing a glove.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading this short post.
How do you know if aloe vera has gone bad?
If you are using aloe vera that you made for your own use, the best indicator that it has gone bad is the smell. If it has a bad smell, it indicates that the substance is not usable anymore. Aloe vera products that you bought from stores normally don’t drastically change when they expire.
How long can aloe vera leaf last in the fridge?
An aloe vera leaf can last up to one week in the fridge and eight months if frozen. However, if stored at room temperature, it can only last for about 1-2 days.