By Bill Coats, C.C.N., R.Ph.
President/CEO, Coats Aloe Internations, Inc.
During the past 4000 years, aloe vera has been baked, boiled, dehydrated, powdered and concentrated. Which formulation is the best, and how good is the plant?
Thirty-five years ago I made the decision to devote my time and resources to unlocking the mysteries of aloe vera, and after 35 years of research we still do not know the complete answers to these questions. We find on a daily basis, attributes in this plant which stagger the imagination.
For 25 years the industry discarded, in some cases, up to 80 percent of the activity that is inherent in the plant. Man's attempt to preserve the very delicate chemistry of the plant has destroyed most of its chemistry.
The green portion of the aloe leaf contains tubules that hold a bitter laxative called aloin. Aloin, a yellow crystalline substance obtained from aloe, subsequent in any amount in a finished product is detrimental. The number one use of the plant is for oral consumption, and any appreciable amount of aloin in a drink is undesirable due to its bitter taste and laxative properties. Concentrated aloin will kill skin cells in a test tube, therefore, it is not desirous in skin products either, and recent studies show that the anti-flammatory effect of aloe vera is greatly enhanced when aloin has been removed.
Seven years ago we developed a method to remove the aloin without interfering with the delicate chemistry of the plant. All other aloe vera products on the market contain aloin. Companies do not have to list aloin on the package, because it has not been added to the product.
Today, we sterilize the leaves, place the complete leaf in a grinder and dissolve the cellulose material, preserving its property. The aloin is mechanically removed, then the product is filtered through filters with various pore sizes. This process removes any particles of bacteria, as well as mold and yeast. The finished product is sterile and contains all of the active ingredients mother nature places in the plant.
Immediately following the removal of the aloin, we formulated products that contained aloin and products that did not contain aloin. Both types of products were used on the same patient by doctors in various fields of medicine to determine if by removing aloin, any beneficial properties of the plant were lost.
In dermabrasion one half of a patient's face was treated with aloe vera containing aloin, while the other half of the face was treated with aloe that did not contain aloin. The doctors who participated in the program reported no difference on the two sides of the face. This provided proof that none of the beneficial properties of the aloe vera were removed when the aloin was extracted.
Dr. James Fulton, a dermatologist from Newport Beach, CA, tested the products on his dermabrasion patients. He used aloe vera products formulated by the machine-extraction method on one side of a patient's face, and on the other side he used the whole leaf gel. He documented his results stating that he achieved equal or better results at a 25 percent concentration of the whole leaf gel as compared with a 100 percent concentration of the gel from the machine-extraction method. He also reported a 300 percent increase in cell division. Today he is able to remove sutures from a patient in two days following a dermabrasion treatment. Prior to using the whole leaf, he would remove the stitches in five days.
Dr. Fulton realized superior healing achieved with the whole leaf aloe vera. On one half of the patient's face, Dr. Fulton used the best techniques known to the medical profession, while on the other side he used the whole leaf gel. Healing was achieved at a greater rate on the aloe vera side.
Doctors routinely use aloe vera products for insect bites, skin irritations, fungus and viral disorders. They find that the increase in the healing rate is very beneficial. They also use aloe vera as an aid to facilitate penetration of agents such as hydrocortisone; to bleach chloasma and age spots, because aloe vera contains the enzyme antityrosinase; and to produce a synergistic effect superior to either product used alone, by combining hydroquinone and aloe vera.
Aestheticians can also enjoy these benefits and have reported superior results with the aloe vera products that do not contain aloin.
Enjoy the benefits of the whole leaf aloe vera gel routinely in everyday procedures. To use it beneficially: after extraction in acne patients; after hair removal by hot wax; after dermabrasion or chemical peels; in conjunction with alpha hydroxy acid for acne, wrinkle removal, chloasma and elimination of dry skin; where a bacterial, fungal or virucidal agent is needed; to reduce the inflammation; to stimulate cell division; to reduce pain and swelling; to remove dead devitalized cells; or as a vehicle to carry hydrocortisone deeper into the skin - spray a cooled aloe vera liquid on the involved area, and then apply an aloe vera gel after waiting for five minutes.