The Grand Aloe Vera Conspiracy
According to a paper published in the British Journal of General Practice in October 1999, “Whether [aloe vera] promotes wound healing is unclear.” Per a passage in the second edition of Herbal Medicine (subtitle: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects), there is “a lack of consistent scientific evidence to support many of the therapeutic claims for Aloe vera.” And according to theBritish Journal of Dermatology, “Oral and topical aloe vera is promoted for a variety of conditions but the evidence to support its use is not compelling.” The few studies that cite the possibility of beneficial effects are even riddled with caveats. For every study that says, hey, maybe there’s something here to this plant, there are several more that find diddly-squat.
Why does any of this matter, you might ask, if aloe vera makes me feel good? Who cares what the nerds say?
Listen, you antiscience monster: These people who sell aloe vera are stealing from you. As of 2004, the market for finished aloe products was worth $110 billion. The aloe barons are taking your money and building gigantic aloe palaces and not helping your sunburn at all. They are probably taking long soaks in great big hot tubs for which you helped pay. And they’re probably wearing lots of sunscreen, too, because they know nothing in their cabinets can heal sunburn.
From “Aloe Vera is a Lie” by Claire McNear for The Ringer, 2016
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