Aloe vera FAQs from the International Aloe Science CouncilGENERAL INFORMATIONWhat is aloe vera?Aloe vera is the common name of one particular species of the genus Aloe. A member of the Xanthorrhoeaceae family, aloe vera is one of approximately 400 or more species of Aloeand the most commonly used in consumer products. The proper scientific name is Aloe vera(L.) Burm. f. The synonym Aloe barbadensisor Aloe barbadensis(Mill.) or (Miller) is commonly used to refer to aloe vera and can also be seen on many product labels.Are there standards established defining what is and isn't aloe vera?The IASC, and other countries such as the European Union, China, and Korea, have established standards to define what is (and what is not) "aloe vera" in finished products. The IASC standard states that only products containing acemannan, or the beta 1-4 acetylated glucomannans, can be accurately labeled as aloe vera. Acemannan is a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is present in aloe vera and is used as an identifier of the botanical by analytical means. Products that do not contain acemannan are not considered to be true aloe vera based on this standard.What parts of the plant are used in products?The primary component of the plant used in most products is the leaf, which can be processed in two ways to make aloe vera juice. Aloe vera juice can then also be converted to powder or concentrated. More information on this can be found under "Processing". The other substance found within the leaf that has been used in commerce, primarily as an OTC laxative drug, is the aloe latex. This substance is found between the rind and the inner leaf material, and is a bitter, yellow-brown to reddish substance that contains anthraquinones, including a powerful constituent called aloin which acts as a laxative. As noted in the processing section below, manufacturers remove this substance during raw material processing and the IASC standard for aloin in products for oral consumption is less than 10ppm (parts per million).For products for topical usage, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review established a limit of 50ppm of aloin, which is the accepted industry standard.