If you are growing Aloe Vera for a while, or perhaps you at least use its properties to maintain your hair and skin in a good condition (with the help of some amazing natural creams, such as this one), there is a high chance that you hear some rumors about the safety of this plant, and especially the yellow liquid inside it. But what is truth, and what are only myths, when it comes to the health risks associated with Aloe Vera? We will have a look at it on the following lines.
Aloe Vera is a type of succulent plant. As you know, succulents are sappy and store the liquid in their leaves and stems–this is nothing that should scare you, generally speaking. Talking about Aloe Vera in particular, its yellow liquid will ooze out as you cut the leaf. Many people wonder, and this might include you, whether this substance is safe or not. Let me clarify this straight away.
Latex containing aloin, not entirely safe
The yellow liquid in aloe vera is a latex which contains the anthraquinone glycoside ‘Aloin’. Okay, I know this doesn’t tell you much, so let me explain :). 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. It may surprise you, but Aloin was formerly sold as a laxative, just to be later retrieved from the market due to its painful effect on the intestine. * Special Tip: If you have problems with going to toilet regularly and look for a more natural remedy, you can check this amazing product on Amazon: Swiss herbal laxative.
Does this mean that aloe vera in general is dangerous? Not really, at least not for adults. A child may find the yellow liquid attractive and taste it, so can an animal, so you should be careful once cutting your Aloe vera. Worries aside, 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.
In the liquid in Aloe Vera the substance we use in cosmetic products?
I have mentioned this earlier but I want to elaborate on it a bit more. 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, whereas the gel is almost odorless.
You should do your best to avoid contact with the yellow substance. Why it isn’t going to cause you any severe harm, it can cause skin irritation and when ingested, it can potentially cause diarrhea due to its laxative effect. So take it easy, and get the best out of your Aloe Vera plant–the gel.
Have any people died after consuming the yellow liquid from Aloe Vera?
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. In the past, we relied much more on natural medicine as we do today. If you told your neighbor that you took some liquid from Aloe Vera to help your constipation, they would think you were crazy. In the past, however, such practice would be considered completely normal..
Having said that, the regular ingestion of this yellow substance would not be without side effects. It could have a negative effect on your health in the long run, especially on your intestine. So it is better to avoid altogether, unless you are in for some crazy experiments… 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.
If you ingest it accidentally in any statistically significant quantity (not one drop), 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 you can realistically face this situation 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 (check these beautiful gardening gloves on Amazon if you do not have any) when doing so. It is the first defense against skin irritation caused by the Aloin.
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 (* you can check my favorite cream here on Amazon, this is an affiliate link, so if you decide to get it I’ll earn a few cents as a support for running this website). However, there is a part in this miraculous plant that could potentially bring problems to health if ingested in large amounts, and that’s exactly the yellow substance we talked about.
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, and washing your hands once you are done with harvesting. I hope this helps, and do not forget to check also other interesting posts about Aloe Vera:
Q: How do you know if Aloe Vera has gone bad?
A: 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–that’s because they add certain substances to them that prevent them from changing the smell.
Q: How long can aloe vera leaf last in the fridge?
A: 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. So make sure to keep your aloe safely stored in the fridge…