Youtube shows videos where the crystal gel of Aloe Vera plant is used for a smoothies. I am confused because some Aloe Vera plants are marketed as not for consumption and some are called medical aloes, I am unsure whether this is just marketing. For example, IKEA's Aloe Vera has a mention not for consumption while Plantagen's Aloe called medical aloe. So

Are all Aloe Veras suitable for consumption? How to choose Aloe Vera plants for consumption and smoothies?

1 Answer 1


The short answer to your question's title is no, not all varieties are safe to consume, because I'm guessing, when you say aloe vera, you mean any aloe rather than that particular variety. There is a great deal of confusion about Aloe and its varietal names. Many people refer to any Aloe as Aloe vera, even though they are not - although they may be Aloe, there are many different varieties. Most varieties are probably harmless if consumed, though the medical fraternity still has some argument about that, but some are actually toxic, so if any Aloe you see is labelled as not suitable for consumption, don't consume it in any way.

Aloe barbadensis (synonymous with Aloe vera) and Aloe arborescens are the two most commonly commercially grown and used by the food and cosmetic industry, so either of those should be fine. It appears that many of the Aloe varieties (and there are an awful lot) have not actually been scientifically evaluated in terms of their toxicity or consumability, so sticking to Aloe vera is probably safest. More info in the link below - I refer you to the section titled Botany of Aloe for a little clarification regarding the varieties of this plant


  • 1
    John Kohler does a great video on this topic: youtube.com/watch?v=rvMUY6TNrR4 Commented May 6, 2016 at 17:45
  • When an Aloe is not suitable for consumption, can it still be used for sunburns? Yes all aloes can be used for sunburns by this video. Thank you for the answer for mentioning toxicity +1 for comsumption.
    – hhh
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 21:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.