Originally published September 6 2007
Innovative dried aloe vera gel product now available from Good Cause Wellness
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) This article introduces a significant new natural health product that has never before existed in the marketplace. It's made of aloe vera, an herb with strong anti-cancer properties that also treats gum disease, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, Crohn's disease, IBS, celiac disease, digestive disorders and even blood disorders (like "sludge blood" or "sticky blood"). Aloe vera is one of the best-known healing herbs in the world, and it's useful for treating a surprising number of afflictions and health conditions (both internal and external).
This new product is made of low-temperature dried flakes of the aloe very leaf gel with a high concentration of medium-weight polysaccharides. Very few people are aware of the true healing potential of aloe vera gel. They think it's only good for burns (it is!) but nothing else. In fact, aloe vera gel has dozens of uses both externally and internally, with health benefits that would astound you such as extending lifespan, accelerating wound healing, destroying cancer tumors and much more. Click here to read "The Aloe Vera Miracle" article that describes many of the known healing effects of aloe vera.
Powder concentrate vs. aloe vera liquidsAloe vera liquids have been available in health food stores for a long time. While there are some quality products on the market, many of them are gimmicks made mostly of water and containing very little aloe vera juice. In fact, did you know it's perfectly legal for an aloe vera juice product to claim "Made with 100% Aloe Vera" on the front of the bottle when, in reality, it's made from 99% water and only 1% aloe vera juice? That's why you see so many aloe vera juice products using thickeners on the ingredients label. They contain only a small amount of aloe vera juice, and they have to thicken it up to make it resemble a gel. Typical thickeners are carageenan, guar gum and xanthan gum. Many of the aloe vera gel products on the market are little more than expensive water blended with cheap thickeners and a touch of aloe vera.
I'm not going to name all the brands here, but you can read the ingredients yourself to determine which products are quality vs. those that are mostly purified water and carageenan thickeners. When you buy aloe vera juice, you could either be buying a quality product or expensive fillers, depending on the manufacturer. In either case, the liquids usually don't taste very good. Fresh aloe vera leaves taste neutral, but the processed aloe vera liquids I've tasted are terribly bitter. Aloe vera rapidly oxidizes when exposed to the air, and the liquids seem to possess a biting taste that simply isn't present in fresh aloe vera gel.
What's great about this new dried aloe vera gel from Good Cause Wellness (www.GoodCauseWellness.com) is that it's the best-tasting aloe vera gel I've tried yet. It's still not as good as fresh aloe vera gel (fresh is always the best), but growing your own aloe vera is only possible if you live in a climate that does not freeze. In some parts of the country, you can successfully grow aloe vera in containers by keeping it outside during the summer and bringing it inside during the winter months, but this is a bit rough on the plant and it typically does not flourish under such circumstances.
The Aloe Vera 100 Drink MixThe GCW aloe vera flakes -- named Aloe Vera 100 because it's 100% aloe vera -- is highly concentrated. One serving is only 300mg, but it's equivalent to a sizeable piece of aloe vera gel from a live plant. These tiny serving sizes make the product seem somewhat expensive in terms of the actual product mass, but that's only because all the water has been removed and there's no filler used at all. Aloe vera gel is a complex water storage matrix containing something like 98% water, so when you take out the water, you get flakes that are only 1/50th the weight of the original gel.
Mixed into water or blended into a smoothie, these aloe vera gel flakes quickly expand into a true aloe vera gel with most of the healing polysaccharides intact. Drinking this is the next best thing to drinking raw aloe vera gel from a live plant, and it's far superior, in my opinion, than drinking many of the aloe vera liquids available on the market.
It's also incredibly easy to store (because the package is small), carry on an airplane (because the flakes contain no liquid), and ship (making it less costly to buy online). It stores in less space and has far longer shelf life than aloe vera liquids, and because there's no water in the product, there's no need to add preservatives like sodium benzoate which are a serious health concern. Check the labels on some of the aloe vera liquids on the market and you'll see chemical preservatives. It's best to avoid those. Definitely avoid any that are made with chemical sweeteners (sucralose) or processed sugars (fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, etc.).
Stabilizing aloe vera gelThe aloe vera product I'm recommending here uses a low-temperature drying technique. Most aloe vera on the market is dried at much higher temperatures. In fact, click here to read an interesting patent on stabilizing aloe vera gel using high-temperature drying that goes up to 80 degrees Celcius. The patent makes for interesting reading if you're curious how aloe vera gel is typically harvested and packaged.
Now, I don't mean to imply that the GCW aloe is raw, because it isn't. It's pasteurized for two minutes at a higher temperature than 108(F). That's unfortunate, since raw is always superior to pasteurized, but at least the pasteurization time is short enough to keep much of the original nutrition intact. From there, the low-temperature drying process preserves the nutrition, making it a far superior product to others that are dried using a high-temperature, long-duration process. Click here to read the technical details on the drying process. Still, the fact that the aloe is flash pasteurized does alter the taste a bit. It's not quite as good as raw aloe vera. As I've stated elsewhere, it's the "next best thing." You should always eat raw aloe vera if you can get that, but when you can't, this aloe vera flakes product provides a convenient solution that's almost as good.
Far more convenient than harvesting aloe yourselfPersonally, I'm using a lot of this Aloe Vera 100 flakes product even though I have lots of aloe vera in my yard. Why? Because of the convenience factor. It takes time to fillet an aloe vera leaf (click here to see my step-by-step photos of how to accomplish this), but tossing in a teaspoon of aloe vera gel flakes takes no effort at all. When I'm in a hurry, I reach for the flakes. But on a Saturday, when I'm not on deadline to produce another NaturalNews article, I often harvest fresh aloe vera leaves.
I also like aloe vera gel for use when traveling. You can add a teaspoon of this Aloe Vera 100 product to a bottle of water, close the lid, shake the bottle vigorously, and you have an aloe fruit drink. You might add a touch of stevia to sweeten it up, too, since the aloe isn't sweet by itself. If you want a really great-tasting drink buy GCW's Aloe Vera Raspberry Drink Mix (click here to view them). It's incredibly delicious even without sweeteners. It's my favorite instant drink mix!
By the way, Good Cause Wellness has a special offer coupon for NaturalNews readers. The code is AV20 and it gets you an exclusive 20% discount off the product price. We negotiated this discount on behalf of our readers. As always, we earn nothing from the sale of these products, and we have no financial stake whatsoever in their sale. (This is true for all nutritional and supplement products we recommend.)
Good Cause Wellness donates 10% of its revenues to non-profit organizations and is a sponsor of the Organic Consumers Association (one of my favorite pro-consumer organizations, led by Ronnie Cummins, see it at www.OrganicConsumers.org ).
How to use aloe vera gelUsing aloe vera gel flakes is easy. Here's what to do:
• Blend them into any smoothie or superfood drink.
• Add to your water bottle, shake it up, and enjoy!
• Stir in with your other favorite beverages: tea, sports drinks, etc. (it's not so good with coffee, however).
• To use it topically, just add a teaspoon of water to a pinch of aloe vera flakes, then wait for it to reconstitute into a gel. Once it has partially solidified, you can spread it on a cut, scrape, burn or other minor wound for an instant healing effect (for serious wounds, of course, go visit the emergency room). Just remember: A little goes a long way.
Gel concentrate vs. "whole leaf" supplementsWhole leaf aloe vera supplements have been available on the market for a long time, but many of the common aloe vera supplements are a bit misleading, in my opinion. "Whole leaf" means they grabbed the entire aloe vera plant, blended up the whole thing (gel, sap and leaf skin), then dried it into a powder and packed that into capsules. At first, it sounds great... until you realize that the sap of aloe vera causes diarrhea. It's true: The sap or resin (also called latex) of aloe vera is a dark brown liquid that was traditionally used by American Indians to treat severe constipation. That's why people who take "whole leaf" aloe vera supplements have such a terrible time with the pills.
The primary healing part of aloe vera is the gel, and only the gel. A quality product needs to separate the gel from the rest of the leaf, then prepare the gel into a supplement or liquid. This process is obviously labor intensive. It can't be done by machine because if you simply squeeze the leaf, you'll get both gel and resin out of it. To get just the gel, you actually have to hire a team of aloe vera gel fillet workers to slice each leaf and carefully remove the gel. This is exactly how the aloe vera gel is processed in the Good Cause Wellness product. I know because I had a long conversation with the manufacturer of the aloe vera flakes, and I've seen pictures of their operation: It's a large aloe vera leaf fillet factory!
Unlike the gel, the skin and sap of the aloe vera leaf are not food. In fact, they're extremely bitter precisely for the reason of discouraging desert rabbits from eating the plants. Here in the desert, rabbits and Javelina will eat just about anything: Palo Verde leaves, prickly pear cactus pads, flowers and roots. But they won't eat aloe vera because the leaf and resin are too tough and bitter. If you slice open an aloe vera leaf, however and place that on the ground, the desert animals will gladly eat the gel! (I know because I've tried this experiment. Rabbits love the gel!)
So when it comes to aloe vera, what you want is the gel, not the leaf or the resin. "Whole Leaf" aloe vera products are sort of a marketing gimmick. Eating whole leaf aloe would be like eating whole-plant corn: The stalk, the husk, the cob... everything! But you don't want the whole corn plant, you only want the corn kernels, right? With aloe vera, you only want the inner gel.
How to get this low-temperature dried aloe vera gelRight now, the only company I know of that's offering this product is Good Cause Wellness (www.GoodCauseWellness.com) which also donates 10% of sales to natural health causes and non-profits. Alan Friedman, the founder of GCW, has just launched this line of 100% aloe vera gel flakes.
In addition to being an outstanding supplement to add to any smoothie, it would also make a perfect product for first aid use, by the way. Simply add water to the aloe vera gel flakes and you have a natural band-aid that kills bacteria and seals the wound. I discuss this in greater detail in my previous article about aloe vera.
Another important use for aloe vera gel is in curing gum disease. Simply adding some aloe vera flakes to your toothbrush each day, then brushing your teeth with aloe vera, will have a dramatically positive impact on your gum health. In fact, I highly recommend that when you're drinking an aloe vera beverage, swish it around your mouth a few times before swallowing. This will coat your gums with aloe vera gel, inhibiting the growth of damaging bacteria and providing healing nutrients to delicate gum tissues. (It's one of the little-known dental health secrets that should be common knowledge, but isn't.)
I'm fairly certain that the customer response to this product will be strong, which means GCW will probably be temporarily wiped out of inventory after this article gets published, but Friedman will no doubt replenish his inventory and have more aloe available within a few weeks. There's no shortage of aloe vera in the industry, it's just a question of how much of it is available in this unique dried format.
Is the aloe organic?Bugs and insects don't eat aloe vera plants. The skin is too tough. So there's no need to use pesticides and, in fact, this aloe from GCW is certified pesticide-free. But it's not certified organic. In my view, there's no need to certify it as organic because I'm quite familiar with the process of growing aloe vera (I grow it myself), and believe me, you don't need to spray it with anything at all.
(Even the local Javelina don't eat aloe, and they're hungry little monsters who will eat practically anything. Once I tossed the rind of a canteloupe in my back yard, and a group of javelina came along and ate the whole thing. They also love carrots, by the way, and will destroy any sort of vegetable garden you try to plant in the desert. They're lovable little creatures, but they have poor table manners: They'll root out anything edible and leave you with nothing more than a mound of dirt.)
What about the price?This highly-concentrated aloe vera gel isn't cheap. Not by the ounce, at least. But that's because all the water has been taken out. If you rehydrate it, you'll find that it's actually competitive with the liquid aloe vera products commonly sold in health food stores. That's because most "gel" products are made primarily of water. Take the water out and there's not much product left in most of those bottles.
The GCW aloe vera is the most concentrated form of aloe vera gel flakes you can buy. Add water and it expands and thickens rapidly. Remember: The aloe vera plant uses the gel as a water storage matrix. That's its job! And it does it well. A tiny amount of powder makes a whole lot of gel. So once you consider the concentration of this product, it's really not as expensive as it first seems based on the physical size.
Of course, growing your own is free. And I always recommend growing and harvesting your own herbs any time you can. Fresh mint is better than dried mint. Fresh peaches are far more delicious than canned peaches, and fresh aloe vera is superior to dried aloe, even low-temperature dried aloe. So if you can grow it, I encourage you to do that first. If you can't, then get the gel powder. It's my top choice for an aloe vera supplement.
Resources:Good Cause Wellness: www.GoodCauseWellness.com
• 25% discount on this Aloe Vera 100 product for NaturalNews readers (use code NTAV25)
• GCW was founded by Alan Friedman, who also carries several other fascinating products such as Incan berries, chia seeds, superfood powder, nopal cactus powder (for blood sugar balance), and now cacao nibs. (Check his site for details.)
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