The use of botanicals in foods and medicine is as old as humanity. The most ancient written historical record of this practice is approximately 5,000 years old: a Sumerian clay block of 12 recipes for drug preparations referring to over 250 plants.

Many of the botanicals still used today in foods, dietary supplements, and skincare products have a long history of traditional use.

As science and technology evolve, innovative ways to process botanical ingredients have been developed to create safe products with new health benefits. The Aloe vera plant is a prime example of such botanical ingredient.

What Is Aloe Vera Used For?

Nowadays, Aloe vera is used in three main areas:


As early as 1350 B.C., Egyptian queens applied fresh Aloe vera leaf on their skin as part of beauty regimes. Today, research shows that different preparation of Aloe vera has the potential to treat certain skin conditions, such as acne, while also increasing improving skin elasticity.

Wound treatment

Aloe vera helps retain skin moisture, so its application as a complementary treatment is useful to treat burn wounds, postoperative wounds, psoriasis, and chronic wounds, including pressure ulcers.

Digestive health

By the early 1800s, Aloe vera leaf was used orally as a laxative to treat constipation. The bitter yellow substances (aloins) in Aloe vera leaf have a laxative effect when a sufficient amount is consumed orally. However, like for many other plants that are part of the human diet, excessive consumption of aloins may cause adverse effects. For Aloe vera to be safely used in food and dietary supplements, scientists developed a purification process – known as decolorization – to remove the aloins. This process removes the laxative compounds, while still producing Aloe vera juice that has health benefits, such as promoting digestive health and nutrient absorption.

To make smart and informed decisions when choosing a product with Aloe vera for food or dietary supplement, read the ingredients on the label and make sure to choose purified or decolorized Aloe vera.

At Herbalife Nutrition, we use the purification process to make one of our flagship products: Herbal Aloe Concentrate.

Herbalife Aloe Concentrate

What Makes Our Aloe Extraction Process Different?

The purification process is a critical step to remove all the aloins and just leave safe Aloe vera leaf juice. This way, we ensure that our consumers are getting the premium-quality aloe products that they deserve.

Our purification process is comprehensive, which allows us to produce highly purified Aloe vera leaf juice compared to the industry standards. Here is an in-depth look at what it entails:

  1. We source only the finest Aloe vera. We partner with farmers that have been harvesting Aloe vera for decades in Mexico, the biggest producer of aloe in the world. The aloe plants we use are cultivated where weather conditions and unique soil composition make for ideal growing conditions.
  2. The leaf of Aloe vera is washed, sanitized, and ground to produce the liquid juice.
  3. The liquid juice is filtered with food-grade activated carbon to remove laxative components, such as aloins.
  4. A clarifying agent is added to remove the activated carbon.
  5. The resulting purified juice is passed through filter presses to remove solid material.
  6. The purified juice is pH adjusted, filtered to remove any minerals and elements from the soil, pasteurized, and condensed into a concentrate, which is used in formulating the finished Aloe vera food products.

We Continue to Explore Innovative Approaches to Aloe

Because Aloe vera is the main ingredient of one of our flagship products, we continuously invest in research, conduct testing, and seek innovative ways to maximize aloe’s benefits for our customers.

Our recently granted aloe patent is the latest achievement, the fruit of the work of our interdisciplinary scientific team. The patent recognizes a unique composition of purified Aloe vera leaf juice has potential benefits on microorganisms in the gut and favorable immune response. This preliminary research gives us clue on where we can look for future research.

Michael Yatcilla

Michael YatcillaPh.D. – Sr. Vice President, Worldwide Research & Development and Global Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Michael Yatcilla is the senior vice president of Worldwide Research and Development and Global Regulatory Affairs at Herbalife Nutrition. He is a global nutraceutical professional who provides expert insight into product science, formulation, development and manufacturing. He has also held roles as vice president of Innovation and Ingredients, Innovation, Clinical Research and Targeted Nutrition and R&D Supplements. Dr. Yatcilla earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University. He also has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware. He lives a healthy, active life by spending time outdoors and using Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake Mix.