The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) has released a monograph on the botanical materials aloe vera leaf, aloe vera leaf juice, and aloe vera inner leaf juice. Aloe Vera Leaf Juice and Aloe Vera Inner Leaf Juice is the first monograph of this kind on aloe vera (Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f., or Aloe barbadensis Mill.), which is one of the oldest and most widespread botanicals in the world.
The AHP monograph, which was supported by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC), establishes independent standards for the identity, analysis, and quality control of aloe vera juices. These standards include limiting the concentration of potentially carcinogenic phenolic compounds (aloins), while ensuring a minimum requirement of polysaccharides, the putative beneficial constituents of the juice products. The monograph also contains detailed analytical testing methods for the detection of adulterants that may appear in commercial aloe vera leaf and inner leaf juice products.
"The AHP monograph will be a tremendous benefit to those who grow and manufacture aloe vera and will help foster significant growth for the entire industry," said Devon Powell, executive director of the IASC. "The monograph will help create a self-regulatory mechanism that ensures the quality and safety of aloe vera juice products. It's a huge step forward."
The monograph represents the most comprehensive current good manufacturing practice compliance standards for aloe vera leaf juice and inner leaf juice in the English language. It addresses aloe's historical uses and contains an identification section that includes detailed photographs and images to assist with identification specifications. Reviewers of the monograph include some of the preeminent botanical experts from around the world.
A 2011 National Toxicology Program study raised concerns regarding the potential carcinogenicity of aloe vera. However, according to Roy Upton, executive director of AHP, the aloe type used for the study was different from that used in the many aloe vera juice products on the market. He believes the monograph can provide clarification to the issues raised in the study.
"I am ecstatic that AHP is the first pharmacopoeial standard developed for aloe vera leaf and inner leaf juice as these are important herbal products worldwide," said Upton. "I am also happy that we can clarify the distinctions between the high-aloin-containing products for which safety concerns have been noted and help establish the standards for ensuring the identity, purity, quality, and safety of aloe juice products."
The monograph is available for purchase from the AHP website.