Whole-Leaf Aloe Vera, Almost A
By Bruce Eric Hedendal, D.C., Ph.D.
An Overview of One of the Most Accepted, Yet Misunderstood, Medicinal
Plants in History
There is a voluminous amount of anecdotal evidence showing that authentic, properly
prepared Aloe vera has powerful healing properties in humans and animals. The virtues of
Aloe vera have been recorded for thousands of years by many ancient civilizations, including
Egypt, Persia, Greece, India and Africa. Although today it is found throughout the world as a
common household plant, Aloe is, without doubt, one of the most accepted, yet misunderstood
medicinal plants in history. It is not just “good for burns.”
Historical evidence indicates that Aloe vera originated in the warm, dry climate of Africa,
although today the plant is found worldwide. From Europe, the Spanish carried Aloe to their
New World possessions in South America and the Caribbean. Spanish missionaries in the west
always planted Aloe around their settlements and carried it on their journeys to aid the sick.
Today Aloe is used worldwide, particularly in the U.S. and Canada, both internally as a drink
and in cosmetics and ointments. Japan currently imports over fifty million dollars of Aloe per
year to treat people with ulcers and digestive problems.
Although the modern medical community has given the health benefits of Aloe vera limited
official standing, there have been numerous worldwide scientific studies by authoritative and
respected medical researchers revealing Aloe’s ubiquitous health benefits for people and
animals as well.
Let’s briefly examine how it could be that H. R. McDaniel, M.D., pathologist and researcher at
the Dallas-Fort Worth Medical Center, has said, “The use of Aloe vera will be the most
important single step forward in the treatment of diseases in the history of mankind.”
In clinical studies of whole-leaf Aloe vera’s internal and external uses during the past six
months, I have personally witnessed mitigations or complete resolutions of the following:
Abrasions Colds Herpes simplex & zoster Staph infections Acne Colic Hypertension Stings
Actinic keratoses Constipation Infections Sunburns AIDS Contusions Insect bites Tendinitis
Allergic reactions Dandruff Menstrual cramps & irregularity Ulcerations (reversal of
anaphalaxis) Allergies Denture (gum) sores Nausea Ulcerative colitis Arthritis Dermatitis
Parasites Vaginitis (especially protozoan infections) Boils Diabetes Peptic & duodenal ulcers
Varicose veins Bruises Edema Psoriasis Viral infections Burns Epstein-Barr virus Radiation
dermatitis Warts (chronic fatigue syndrome) Bursitis Fungal infections Rashes Yeast infections
Candida Genital herpes Reflex esophagitis Carbuncles Gingivitis Seborrhea Chapped/cracked
skin Hemorrhoids Sprains
One brand of cold-processed whole-leaf Aloe vera (“Brand A”) demonstrated the highest
in active polysaccharides in independent lab tests by Ivan Danhof, M.D., Ph.D.
I know you must be thinking that no one plant or product could affect - in some positive way -
all of the above. If so, it would be a miracle. Webster defines a miracle as “an extraordinary
event manifesting outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment; and a divinely
natural occurrence that must be learned humanly.” By this definition, it is no wonder why
thousands of Aloe vera users worldwide have commonly referred to it as a “miracle plant.” Is
Aloe vera really a miracle plant? Many facts and continued research are available, so you may
decide for yourself. Organized medicine and pharmacology have not embraced Aloe, because it
cannot be patented and its usage threatens literally hundreds of prescription and non-prescription
drugs. Aloe vera is hypoallergenic and has no known side effects even in large doses.
Taken internally, Aloe vera generally makes people feel better. “Feeling better” may not seem
scientific enough, but may relate to Aloe’s ability to detoxify the body, a phenomenon reported
by Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., formerly of the Linus Pauling Institute, in his scientific paper, “Effect
of Orally Consumed Aloe Vera Juice on Gastrointestinal Function in Normal Humans,”
published in 1985. Dr. Bland studied for one week the effects of Aloe vera juice consumption on
urinary indican, stool specific gravity and gastric and bowel motility.
Urinary indican values decreased, indicating lowered bowel bacterial conversion of tryptophan
and possible improved protein digestion and absorption, as well as reduced bowel putrefaction.
This change, by itself, could help prevent colon cancer.
Specific gravity of the stool was reduced on the average of 0.37 with decreased stool transit
time, without diarrhea. Stool cultures were generally more normal, especially in the two-thirds of
test subjects that had, prior to the trial, high amounts of bowel yeast (Candida albicans). Aloe
promoted a more favorable balance of gastrointestinal symbiotic bacteria and decreased yeast
populations. All subjects who had indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and gastritis
reported symptomatic relief after this short, seven-day research study.
The Aloe vera in this 1985 study was yellowish in color, had a somewhat bitter taste, was
pasteurized and contained preservatives. Since this study, new 1990’s technology has improved
the healing potential of Aloe with the advent of whole-leaf processing. This technique removes
only the aloin (a cathartic). But uses the entire whole leaf instead of merely the clear inner gel.
Scientific research has proved that the outer leaf and rind, which previously were thrown away,
contain 200% more of the active therapeutic ingredients.
However, over 95% of the Aloes on the market today still use only the inner gel and stabilize the
Aloe in a high-heat process that degrades some of the enzymes, polysaccharides and
mucopolysaccharides. High heat (pasteurization and/or autoclave methods) break down the
constituents in Aloe that are the most valuable for healing. Heat also kills the live enzymes
necessary for digestion. Most Aloes are heat processed.
“Brand A” whole-leaf Aloe concentrate is one of only a few Aloes that are cold-processed.
There is no FDA control of Aloe labeling as it is an FDA-approved food. With only 10% Aloe
and 90% water, companies can label their product a 100% Aloe drink! Most of these Aloe vera
products are very low or even devoid of these active enzymes and polysaccharides that scientists
feel are essential for the anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, immune-enhancing and tissue-healing
effects of real Aloe vera.
Aloe vera’s mucopolysaccharides are long-chain sugars found in large amounts in the plant and
properly prepared whole-leaf Aloe juice and juice concentrates. We have just begun in the last
few years to recognize the major role that mucopolysaccharides (MPS) play in human and animal
Carrington Laboratories, Inc., has isolated one of these and trademarked it “Acemannan.” They
are working for FDA drug approval as a potent immune-modulating and anti-viral material. It
works by interacting with the immune system, enhancing rather than overriding it. Acemannan
is a potent stimulator of macrophage activity. In animals, this naturally occurring polysaccharide
has been shown to increase production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 by the
macrophage. In fact, on November 4, 1991, Carrington Laboratories, Inc., announced approval
by the USDA to market Acemannan as an aid in the treatment of canine and feline
fibrosarcoma. Currently, there is no effective treatment for this disease. Acemannan causes
tumor necrosis to occur in this form of fibrosarcoma, with encapsulation of cancerous tissue,
facilitating surgical removal.
This unique mechanism of this major active ingredient of the Aloe vera plant, coupled with its
direct anti-viral activity, explains why whole leaf Aloe, in addition to wound care, shows
promise in a wide range of human and animal diseases including AIDS, cancer and ulcerative
colitis. Other aspects of MPS are that they are found in every single cell in the body. They play
a crucial role in performing bodily functions by:
● Forming a lining throughout the colon to keep toxic waste from re-entering the body.
● Providing a life-saving barrier against microbial invasion for each cell (especially
● Providing critical lubrication of joints.
● Helping to maintain the capacity of movement of fluids.
● Allowing the transfer of gases in the lungs.
● Facilitating absorption of water, electrolytes and nutrition in the GI tract.
MPS are as vital to a healthy body as bricks are to a brick house. The human body stops
manufacturing MPS around puberty. After this, one must begin to receive the MPS from outside
sources. One of the very best sources comes from whole leaf Aloe vera. Experts agree that MPS
contribute to good health and their deficiency can produce drastic degenerative diseases. But not
all Aloes are alike. Consumers of Aloe are beginning to learn that if an Aloe product looks like
water (instead of yellowish or reddish), it probably is water or heavily diluted.
As discussed, “100% Aloe vera” can be put on the label of an Aloe beverage or product that
only contains a fraction of Aloe. A manufacturer can put one gallon of pure Aloe in 100 gallons
of water, mix it, and call it “100% Aloe vera;” and it’s legal. Where is the FDA when you really
To repeat, real Aloe vera does not look like or taste like water. This fact is emphasized because
even if the consumer has no other information to judge the Aloe he is buying (although
independent lab tests are now available), then the product’s appearance and taste are the first
line of defense against being defrauded. If an Aloe is not at least yellowish in color, you are not
buying Aloe vera, no matter what the seller claims. You have the right to ask the seller for
proof. Hopefully, the FDA will demand this in the near future.
Scientific studies on Aloe vera have been published for decades proving its effectiveness in
a multitude of conditions: radiation and other burns, cancer in animals, HIV, digestive
problems, skin ulcer and wound healing, immune modulation, infections (virus, bacteria and
fungus), toxicity, pruritis, hyperglycemia, hypercholesterolemia, and inflammatory conditions
(external or internal), to name a few.
The references at the end of this article highlight just some of the international scientific
research studies on Aloe vera over the years and the studies are accelerating in 1992.
Cold processed whole leaf Aloe vera is perhaps my number one daily health supplement that I
take without fail, and the one I prescribe most frequently for most patients, as well as members
of my family. My own skin, scalp, digestion, elimination and energy have all improved since I
started on Brand “A” whole leaf Aloe products. My own research with “God’s miracle plant”
will continue. “So far, so good,” is an understatement.
With all the chemicals being used in apples today, I think a new maxim will emerge:
“Drinking Aloe today, keeps the doctor away.”
All copyrights respected and author's rights acknowledged.