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Aloe Tips

Common Aloe Misconceptions

Aloe Plant Graphic with Question Marks

The Internet has a lot to say about Aloe vera, and we’re happy to clear up the common misconceptions that continue to pop up in the community. From what it is, to how it’s used, aloe has proven to be a diverse plant with an abundance of awesome facts to be shared. After all, we are the aloe experts!

False: Aloe Is Only For Sunburns

While Aloe vera is great for cooling down sun-exposed skin, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy its many hydrating properties. For continued topical use, try our 99% Aloe Vera Gelly for hair care, body scrubs and exfoliators, or as primer before putting on makeup. It helps lock in our natural moisture and restore the hydration that was lost in both hair and skin alike.

But that just scratches the surface! Aloe vera’s benefits go further than just skin deep. It is also known to be a natural digestive aid, immunity booster, and overall promoter of whole body health. Lily’s organically-grown juices and gels are specially formulated to be consumed in a few ounces at a time for lasting everyday support.

False: Whole Leaf Products Can Be Toxic to Ingest

One reason why you avoid ingesting home-grown Aloe vera is due to the yellow aloin found between the outer rind and inner fillet. This aloin, also known as anthraquinones or “aloe latex”, is a sap-like substance that may be harmful when consumed in high doses. On average, unfiltered aloe contains approximately 10,000 parts per million of aloin.

Based on the fact above, many people wonder whether it’s safe to use our Whole Leaf aloe products due to the way it’s processed. Although it’s always good practice to investigate what parts of the plant are used in aloe products, each item in the Lily of the Desert line is guaranteed to reduce the aloin to a safe level of less than 1 part per million. In fact, you can read more about a recent safety study on our products here!

False: Aloe Causes A Laxative Effect

Studies show that while Aloe vera can help with occasional digestive situations such as constipation and indigestion, it is not meant to cause a laxative effect.

When using Lily of the Desert products for the first time, we suggest taking 2 ounces (4 Tbsp) per serving, alone or mixed with a favorite juice. Then gradually work your way up to 8 ounces daily. We recommend you take the aloe 15-30 minutes before each meal to help with digestion and nutrient absorption.

False: Aloe Is A Cactus

Often mistaken for a kind of cacti, the origin of the aloe plant has been widely debated. It’s actually closely related to the onion. Aloe was previously considered a member of the Lily genus, and was historically referred to as the “lily of the desert.” Sound familiar?

However, according to recent articles, the Aloe vera plant is unique in that it possesses several characteristics that may be attributed to that of a succulent. But one thing’s for sure: it’s got even more health benefits than those other plants combined!

False: All Aloe Vera Species Are The Same

There are 500 varieties of Aloe vera plant that can be found throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and America. Lily of the Desert uses barbadensis Miller, which is clinically shown to provide the most nutrients to our bodies. Another species you may recognize is that of aloe arborescens, which some claim to be more potent, but not as good for commercial use.

The Truth About Aloe Vera

Have an aloe question or assumption we didn’t cover? Shoot us a message on Lily’s official Facebook and we can help you out.

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Answering Commonly Asked Aloe Questions

Aloe Plant on Purple Background Graphic

As a leader in the aloe industry, we get a lot of frequently asked questions about our favorite organically-grown plant. There’s a lot to learn, so if you’re interested in the benefits of aloe and are curious to find out more, this is the blog for you! We’ve gathered our top 10 most commonly-asked questions to help give you better insight into what makes Aloe vera so awesome.

FAQ #1: What Are the Benefits of Aloe Vera?

Aloe vera naturally contains over 200 biologically-active components that help our bodies function at our full potential. This includes essential elements like vitamins, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and polysaccharides that work together harmoniously to support our overall health.

This incredibly helpful plant has many benefits, but its most popular are:

  • Digestive Health: Aloe is able to work with your own stomach acid to help keep it in balance for optimized digestion. This assists your body in absorbing the nutrients it needs to function. Balanced digestion also helps with avoiding occasional heartburn and indigestion and assists with good regularity.

 

  • Immune Support: Aloe is naturally an adaptogen, which means that it can help the body find balance when faced with outside stress. Aloe naturally contains the critical polysaccharide, acemannan, which is also known to help aid the immune system. Our own brand of Aloe vera has been clinically proven to help increase white blood cell counts in the body, which act as our bodies first line of defense to the immune system.

 

  • Detoxification: Our bodies can often end up with an excess of waste and toxins that cause our cells to not receive the essential nutrients needed to help our bodies work properly. Aloe is able to help the body reduce the toxic levels of nitrates in your body so that you can stay healthy.

 

  • Nutrient Absorption: Oftentimes, our bodies need a little help in order to get the most use out of the nutrients from our diets or supplements that we use daily. Aloe is able to help maximize your nutrients and carry them to your cells. Our brand of Aloe vera has been clinically shown to help increase nutrient absorption.

 

  • Skin Health: Aloe is perhaps best known for its topical benefits. Aloe vera is known as nature’s best moisturizer for good reason. It has humectant properties, helping your skin retain its own moisture while also helping to hydrate at least 3 epidermal layers. It’s no wonder that Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years and was even known to be used by Cleopatra herself.

 

FAQ #2: Can I use aloe internally and topically? Can I use the same product for both purposes?

As mentioned above, aloe is best known for its topical use. But drinking aloe on a daily basis yields amazing benefits as well. While some customers are able to use the aloe juice and gel topically without any issue, those products pH have actually been lowered, so it is best to test on a small portion of your skin before use. We do make a topical aloe called 99% Aloe Vera Gelly and it is a best seller and summer must-have!

FAQ #3: What is the difference between Whole Leaf and Inner Fillet? Juice and Gel?

You want to buy an aloe product, but which one?! It’s really going to come down to preference. The Whole Leaf products contain the outer rind of the aloe leaf as well and the inner gel portion of the plant. (Don’t worry, there are no chunks!) The Inner Fillet products contain the inner gel portion. So which one should you use? They both are equally beneficial when it comes to our own brand. We just know that customers have their preference so we make both.

With aloe gel vs. aloe juice, again, both will be equally beneficial. However, some customers feel that when they drink the aloe gel it helps coat their throat and stomach and they find that helpful.

FAQ #4: How should I use an aloe product?

When drinking aloe vera juice or gel, you can drink 1 to 8 oz a day (2 TBS to 16 TBS). Both can be used on its own or mixed with another juice is fine; you can even find some amazing smoothie recipes on our blog ALOE TODAY. Since everyone’s body is different, the amount you need to drink daily will be different. We suggest starting out with a small amount, maybe 1-2 ounces a day and work your way up. Look for any change in your regularity to know that you may be using too much.

For digestive health, try to use the aloe product about 15-30 minutes prior to meals. For topical use, you can apply the aloe daily underneath any SPF moisturizers and make up. You can even use the topical aloe for styling your hair, shaving gel and after-shave.

FAQ #5: Do I need to refrigerate my aloe product?

Topical aloe like our 99% Aloe Vera Gelly does not require refrigeration, though you can refrigerate if you want to add even more of a cooling effect for your skin. However, our aloe juices and gels need to be refrigerated after opening. Once opened, our USDA organic preservative free aloe juices are good for 30-45 days; meanwhile our preserved juices and gels can be good for up to 6 months.

FAQ #6: Who can use aloe?

When it comes to topical use, just about anyone in the family can use aloe. When it comes to ingesting aloe it is important to be cautious if you are taking any medications, pregnant, or nursing. You need to check with your physician prior to use to ensure that there is not any chance of the aloe interacting with your medications, pregnancy or children. Speaking of kids, our aloe juices and gels are best used by those over the age of 13.

FAQ #7: What are aloe polysaccharides and Aloesorb?

You may recognize the other elements listed above, but what in the world are polysaccharides? Well, polysaccharides are carbohydrates that are known to support a healthy digestive and immune system.

The biggest polysaccharides do tremendous work in helping the body maintain a balanced stomach pH and inspire the growth of healthy bacteria. They’re also clinically proven to help increase white blood cell counts for improved immune support!

In fact, we’ve harnessed these powerful polysaccharides into one place in our patent-pending Aloesorb infusion process. This allows you to enjoy all of our Aloe vera products with even more efficacy and boosted benefits. Check out our previous blog for a more in-depth look at why polysaccharides are an aloe lover’s best friend.

FAQ #8: Does aloe have any aloin/anthraquinones/yellow sap that can be harmful?

You may have heard or read the term “decolorized” when speaking about aloe products. Here’s what that means: if you cut open an aloe leaf, you may be able to see a small sliver of yellow between the outer rind and the inner fillet. This sap, also known as “aloe latex”, consists of the potentially harmful substance anthraquinones/aloin.

When ingested in high doses, aloin can be a major cause for concern leading to health problems. On average, unfiltered aloe contains approximately 10,000 parts per million of aloin.

All Lily of the Desert aloe products have reduced the aloin to a safe level of less than 1 part per million, making them decolorized and completely safe to use daily. Read more about a recent safety study on our products here.

FAQ #9: Which aloe species is most beneficial?

You may or may not know that Aloe vera has more than 400 different types of species. Aloe barbadensis Miller is the most prolific species used in products since it is best known for its beneficial properties. It is also the most studied plant.

FAQ #10: Why should you use Lily of the Desert products?

It should be no surprise that we take our role as the #1 seller of aloe in the natural products industry very seriously.

We pride ourselves on going beyond expectations in three key ways: our innovative in-house methods, signature Aloesorb infusion process, and the fact that we’re the only natural products company to have “Gold Standard” clinical studies conducted to back up the claims behind our products.

Interested in our aloe? Visit our store locator to find the closest retailer near you and start living a healthy and active lifestyle with aloe on your side.

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Holiday Detox Smoothie Recipe

Detox Smoothie Recipe with Aloe

 

The Holiday season is upon us, and with it comes wonderful time spent with friends and family, eating delicious foods and treats piled on top of each other in ginormous mounds, forcing us to loosen a few buttons on our pants.  We all do it, even though we know we shouldn’t and it is not good for us to pile on the calories like that, but it only comes a couple times a year, so we just let ourselves go.  But then the guilt comes; “Why did I have 3 helpings of stuffing ladled on top of mashed potatoes?!”.  But with all the goodies that come during a holiday meal, it is easy to get way off course. Our bodies are in overload, shocked that they could fit that much food into one meal.  You need to bring balance back your system so that it can go back to absorbing the necessary nutrients to keep you healthy.  Time to detox.

Toxins play a big role in keeping your cells from absorbing nutrients when they need them, causing your body to have oxidative stress and be more susceptible to illness.  And this time of year, with cooler temps and everyone else around us getting sick, we have to keep our health in check even more.

Here is a simple recipe for a detox smoothie that includes our Aloe Vera Juice made with Aloesorb that has been clinically proven to help reduce toxins in the body.

LILY DETOX SMOOTHIE

-1 apple, cored and roughly chopped

-1/2 of a cucumber

-3 stalks of celery

-1 slice of avocado

-1 cup of spinach or other leafy greens

-Squeeze of a Lemon

2 ounces of Lily of the Desert Preservative Free Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice

Add items to blender and blend until smooth.  Ice and cilantro optional.

 

FIND OUR ALOE VERA JUICE NEAR YOU!

 

 

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Vanilla Pumpkin Smoothie

There are only two weeks until Halloween, and around here the chill of fall has finally truly settled in. That means we’re in luck because when you add those two factors together, it becomes the perfect setting our annual pumpkin carving party. An assortment of pumpkins are downstairs, piled precariously together on the table — everything from the garden variety orange Jack-o-lantern pumpkins, to the daintier sugar pie pumpkins, and even a couple of my all-time favorite, the mystical and marvelously-colored fairytale pumpkins. On Thursday evening, friends and family will gather together and we’ll take turns stoking a cozy fire in the fireplace while painting and carving silly-scary faces, witches of the good and evil persuasion, black cats and ghoulish goblins. It’s something we’ve been looking forward to all month.

It’s no wonder then that in preparation for this event we’ve had nothing but pumpkin on the brain. This is a good thing because it’s challenged us to be creative with this harvest crop all-star. That’s why this week we are sharing with you a healthy smoothie that pays homage to the humble pumpkin. Whip this bad boy up for breakfast, or for a lean, nutritious snack in the middle of your day and let the fall flavors inspire you on to your own pumpkin designing greatness! (Send us some pictures of what you created while you’re at it.)

Vanilla Pumpkin Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 ounces Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice

Directions: Blend all ingredients together with ice. Serve with a dash of cinnamon on top.

Lily of the Desert's Vanilla Pumkin healty seasonal smoothie

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Achy Breaky Parts

Lily of the Desert's blog Aloe TodayWho doesn’t love fall—the colors change and the temperatures finally cool down.  But many of us actually feel the weather changes down to our bones with the occasional muscle and joint pain that colder weather brings. No matter the age, our bodies naturally experience wear and tear that can really be a setback in our daily routine.

This pain can often involve more than one muscle or joint, and can be caused by many different types of injuries or conditions. But you can look to nature to find a helpful remedy.  Aloe vera naturally offers a soothing effect to inflamed tissues, not to mention that eight of the amino acids found in aloe gel have natural anti-inflammatory properties, as well as several of its enzymes.

We always think of Aloe vera as a summertime necessity, slathering it on our sun-kissed skin after a too-long afternoon in the garden or at the seaside. In reality, aloe has also long been a natural source of aid to non-chronic joint and muscle pain. According to a published study, researchers in Korea claim that Aloe vera showed strong antioxidant effects and potentially blocked pain messages.

If you find yourself needing to take a break because your muscle and joint pain is slowing you down, consider mixing 2 ounces of Lily of the Desert’s Aloe vera Juice in with your morning glass of orange juice.  Aloe vera naturally has 200 nutrients, including essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help keep your body healthy, and our polysaccharide-rich enhancement Aloesorb will help amplify those benefits, so that you’re not giving up the things in life that you want to do.

 

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How to Survive a Week of Sick Co-Workers

Have you noticed that everyone at work is sick this week? Not like, in bed for three-days-straight, flash back to a scene from The Exorcist sick, but … you know, sick. What makes the situation harder for everyone is they come back not even knowing what is wrong. Hello germs! Come on in and stay a while. You know what happens next; everyone else in the office starts dropping like flies not really knowing what they got from Victim #1 who started the office pandemic. Call in the CDC. But maybe it could be easier to know what you are dealing with if you understand the differences between health issues like the common cold and the vicious, want-to-crawl-in-a-hole FLU. What should I really be worried about, and what can I do to keep my immune system in tip-top shape?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses, but they’re caused by different viruses. What’s tricky is that both have similar symptoms, so sometimes it’s hard to differentiate the two. (See the differences in the chart below.) But that doesn’t mean you need to spend your days isolated away in fear of being sneezed on. There are natural ways to help boost your immune system, making it harder for those pesky viruses to settle down at home in your body.

Step 1: Make sure you’re washing your hands. How often do you touch your face in a given day? It can be anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 times a day. Or if you are like me…10,000!
Step 2: Arm yourself with produce! Eat lots of fruits and veggies that are loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants like broccoli, carrots, peepers, spinach, grapefruit, papayas and oranges. First of all, they taste great; second, they are considerably less expensive than a visit to the doctor’s office. Don’t forget that aloe is a natural immune booster too!
Step 3: Get your beauty sleep! Your body must have downtime in order to keep you healthy. Aim for at least 8 hours a night. (This may involve kicking the kids out of your bed. Or a spouse that snores way too much.)
Step 4: The word we all hate to hear…EXERCISE. I know, I know, you don’t have time or you are so stressed out with work and chores at home. But exercise is vital to maintaining good health. This doesn’t mean you have to train for a half-marathon, but aim for 30 minutes a day. You can do it.

Alright so maybe I should stop being so anti-social by ostracizing myself from the whole office, but I don’t think keeping a fresh supply of sanitary masks behind my desk is overboard… do you?

On a final note, our aloe vera products have been clinically proven to increase white blood cell count. View our studies here.

Gellys6

(Below is a chart from Syracuse University’s health services that may help you differentiate between what you may feel when you have a cold or the flu.)

Symptoms Influenza Cold
Fever Usually present Rare
Aches Usual, often severe Slight
Chills Fairly common Uncommon
Tiredness Moderate to severe Mild
Symptom onset Appear within 3 to 6 hours Symptoms appear gradually
Coughing Dry, unproductive cough Hacking, productive cough
Sneezing Uncommon Common
Stuffy nose Uncommon Common
Sore throat Uncommon Common
Chest discomfort Often severe Mild to moderate
Headache Common Uncommon

http://health.syr.edu/education/cold-and-flu.html

 

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Aloe 101: Back to Basics

No matter how old I get, no matter how long it’s been since I stepped foot into a classroom, this time of year will always remind me of how I felt on each First Day of School I ever had. New books, new friends, new teachers … it’s a unique combination of nerves and excitement that never quite goes away.

In honor of the first few weeks of classes, we’re getting back to the basics of aloe vera. After all, just because we’re not in school anymore doesn’t mean we should stop learning, and the aloe plant continues to be a source of fascination to us. Don’t worry — there won’t be a pop quiz later. (But knowing this stuff could definitely help you get to the head of your health class…)

Fun Facts About Aloe Vera:

·         There are over 500 species of aloe throughout the world. Lily of the Desert uses barbadensis Miller, which has been clinically shown to have the most nutrients.

·         Aloe vera is made up of 99.5% water, but the .5% solid portions are known to have the most active nutrients.

·         Aloe vera was depicted on 4,000 year old Sumerian clay tablets as having digestive benefits.

·         It is said that Alexander the Great once conquered the Island Socotra in order to have access to its precious aloe resources.

·         Aloe was used to heal wounds of both humans and livestock throughout Africa.

·         Aloe contains over 200 biologically active components including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to keep you healthy.

·         In addition to the above, aloe is made up of large-chain molecules called polysaccharides, the driving force behind distribution of nutrients through the body.

It goes without saying, at Lily of the Desert aloe polysaccharides are one of our favorite subjects because they are what make our products so unique. For more information about polysaccharides, head over to a new website we just launched: www.aloeamplified.com. It answers all your questions about how Lily of the Desert uses them to amplify the natural benefits of our aloe vera products. Consider it your extra credit assignment.

Class dismissed!

 Aloe Fact # 1

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The Bitter, Sweet Truth About Aloe

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.
-Denis Diderot

You probably know that the word “aloe” comes from the Arabic term alloeh, which means “shining bitter substance,” and “vera” comes from the Latin word veritas, meaning “truth.” It’s true that bitter is an adjective that can really pack a negative punch, but to say that bitter is always a bad thing is a shameful generalization.

Aloe may have been originally named after the acrid taste of the inedible part of its leaves, but the sweet truth of the matter is that it has for centuries been used to improve the health of its enthusiasts — as a burn remedy, as a moisturizer, or for its digestive benefits, to name a few. The 200-plus nutrients that make up the powerful inner gel have long been looked to for benefiting the body both internally and externally.

Likewise, modern research has revealed to us the truth about another bitter that you will be all the better for getting a taste for — bitter greens. These include members of the chicory genus (endive, escarole), dandelion and turnip greens, kale and cress … and that’s just to start with. Nutritional studies are showing that, while these dark vegetables may take your palate some getting used to, they are loaded with multiple vitamins, high in fiber, are a source of anticarcinogens, and much, much more.

So even though it gets a bad rap, it can be said that bitterness truly has a sweet side … namely, that digesting it is something of a cleansing experience — whether we’re talking about a bitter truth, or a heaping bowl of fresh, bitter greens. We need that astringent element to balance out our lives every now and again.

In keeping with the theme, and as a nod to our favorite “bitter” plant, aloe vera, we have created a spinach and bitter green salad with a fresh raspberry-aloe vinaigrette. Try this recipe the next time your everyday routine needs a bracing, bittersweet smack in the face.

For the salad:

  • 3 cups  fresh baby spinach

  • 1 endive, chopped

  • ½ head escarole, chopped

  • handful arugula

  • ½ small radicchio, ,chopped

  • handful watercress, coarse stems discarded, leaves chopped

  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

  • 1 large ripened heirloom tomato, sliced

For the Dressing:

  • ½ pint raspberries

  • 2 tablespoons Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice or Gel

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot

  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar

  • coarse salt and ground pepper

This will make about four servings: wash all the greens and toss into a large salad bowl. In a mixing bowl, whisk together extra-virgin olive oil, minced shallot, vinegar, salt, and pepper. In a separate bowl, roughly mash raspberries with a fork. Pour dressing mixture over berries, stir together, and let sit in refrigerator for up to 2 hours to let the flavors blend. Before serving the salad, take dressing from the refrigerator, give it one last whisk, and serve over your beautiful bitter greens!

Traditional Aloe Vera Juices

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Rise and Shine

Lily Sunrise Breakfast Drink

A sunrise is a beautiful thing: it signals the start of a new day and another chance to get things going on the right track, no matter what your yesterday looked like. For the days that you need help turning over a brand new leaf, try our simple and nutritious Lily Sunrise breakfast drink.

We start with a little bit of freshly squeezed orange juice, (if you don’t have time to juice the oranges yourself, don’t worry — just look for a brand that doesn’t add a lot of sweeteners or other additives), then add 100% cranberry juice (stay away from “cranberry juice cocktail” if you can), and 1-2 tablespoons of Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice. Mix together well and serve over ice with mint and blueberries as a garnish. Enjoy alongside a healthy breakfast to get your new day started right!


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Refresh Yourself

Apple Refresher JuiceThat’s right, you heard me. Just pause for a moment to take inventory. Have you been over-doing it in the Be Everywhere At Once Department lately? And what happened to that much-needed trip to the lake that you promised yourself you were going to take? After all, summertime should be kick-back-for-a-week vacationtime, right? Unfortunately, the day to day grind can get in the way of a little break during the hot months — we’re just not twelve years old anymore. Well, before you crash face first into an all out exhaustion coma, take some time out to recharge yourself with our invigorating Apple Refresher Juice.

This recipe couldn’t be easier: mix one part quality pineapple juice to one part quality apple juice, then stir in 2 tablespoons of Lily of the Desert’s Aloe Vera juice and serve over ice. With the help of our signature all-aloe ingredient, Aloesorb, our aloe products have been clinically proven to bump vitamin absorption by up to 2000%. This means your body will soak up more vitamin C, which means you’re in for one heckuva pick-me-up.

Maybe a couple of jet skis and an uninterrupted reading of War and Peace are in your near future; maybe they’re not. Regardless, remember to take some time to refresh yourself with this summer getaway in a glass.

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