Aloe vera Safety
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Nata
Posted on: August 29, 2012

Would you please tell me if the Aloe vera plants that Richters sells are the barbadensis variety. It is my understanding that this variety is the only one that is safe for both external and internal use. Is this correct? Are there other varieties that are safe for external and internal use as well?

Aloe vera is a synonym for Aloe barbadensis. We used to list our plant as Aloe barbadensis and got lots of inquiries asking if this was the true Aloe vera. Yours is the first of the reverse question! Just to set the record straight, Aloe perfoliata variety vera is another synonym for the same species, Aloe barbadensis.

As far as we know there are several species that are used to produce the purgative "aloe" from the yellow sap just under the skin of the plants, but we do not know if those species can also be used to produce the healing gel found in the interior of the leaves of Aloe barbadensis. The species also used for the purgative "aloe" that are listed in Hortus Third are Aloe ferox (Cape aloe) and Aloe perryi (Socotrene aloe or Zanzibar aloe).

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