Aloe Ferox (Bitter Aloe)

Health Benefits of Aloe Ferox (Bitter Aloe)

What is bitter aloe? Native to Africa, Aloe ferox (also known as cape aloe or, commercially, as bitter aloe) has been harvested as a medicinal plant for over 200 years. Bitter aloe is among the tallest of the more than 400 aloe species and can be found in the Cape Region of South Africa. Compared to the more widely known Aloe vera, Aloe ferox produces 20 times more bitter sap and has higher nutrient concentrations.

Tweet: #didyouknow The herb aloe ferox has been harvested as a medicinal plant for over 200 years! @BaselineHealth


Aloe Ferox for Natural Colon Cleansing

Colon Corrective from Baseline Nutritionals

It is most notable, however, for its renowned natural colon cleansing benefits. As an effective natural laxative and colon cleanser, it is probably the strongest of the colon stimulating herbs. Aloe bitters drained from the cut leaves of the plant are used mainly for laxative purposes - and, it seems that’s for good reason. A 2004 study looking into the effects of Aloe ferox on irritable bowel syndrome found that 30% of the participants on the aloe showed either clinical remission or improvement. Only 1% of participants on the placebo exhibited the same results. Based on this study, it is thought that taking aloe for four weeks could reduce symptoms of IBS. It’s probably no surprise that you’ll find it as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Colon Corrective formula.

Aloe Ferox as an Anti-Everything…

Like most medicinal herbs, Aloe ferox has a host of other health benefits as well. Numerous scientific studies on aloe gel are demonstrating its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, immune modulating, and anti-tumor activities as well as antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Its juice has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides while demonstrating anti-diabetic activity.

Aloe Ferox for the Immune System

Laboratory experiments have also shown that bitter aloe stimulates the growth not only of lymphocytes, which are an important part of the immunological defense mechanisms, but also of fibroblastic cells in skin and the cells that make up connective tissues and can help soothe and heal tissue in the intestinal tract as well.

Even More Natural Health Benefits of Aloe Ferox

In addition to these benefits, WebMD reports Aloe ferox has been used to help treat the following:

  • osteoarthritis
  • ulcerative colitis
  • fever
  • itching and inflammation
  • stomach ulcers
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • side effects of radiation treatment
  • sunburn
  • frostbite
  • psoriasis
  • cold sores

You may also find it in cosmetics, skin care products, and even in beverages.


Aloe Ferox and Allergy Relief

Aloe ferox may also provide some allergy relief. In an animal study that was evaluating the effects of aloe, symptoms of inflammation and nasal mucus were significantly relieved. More research needs to be done; however, researchers see promise in this area.

Aloe Ferox for Healing Wounds

In other animal studies, Aloe ferox has shown promise as a wound healer as well. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology comparing compounds from Aloe ferox with compounds from other aloe genera on wound healing indicated that it exhibited therapeutic properties, aided in the healing process, and inhibited some microbial growth. This may be because of its similarity to Aloe vera. The glycoproteins in the gel provide wound healing benefits, and because Aloe ferox gel is moist and sticky, it can help insulate and hydrate wounds, which helps heal them.

How to Take Aloe Ferox

You can find aloe ferox in both capsule and crystal form. Today, however, while it is not yet threatened with global extinction, the species has become extinct in several localities where harvesting and urban expansion pose a threat. To combat this threat, Aloe ferox is currently listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and a number of the plants can be found in protected areas within South Africa. Nevertheless, limited amounts of Aloe ferox powder from sustainably farmed plants can be (and are) legally exported (mostly to the European Union) and then re-exported and used in nutritional products worldwide. This is where Jon Barron gets the Aloe ferox that he uses in his formulas.

Learn more about natural colon detoxing.




    Submitted by Joe on
    December 30, 2013 - 1:28pm

    I'm hoping that there's people in all regions trying to establish a seedbank population large enough to defer some of the illegal demand for this product into other (USA for example) sources instead. I'm not exactly in a state well-known as great for growing Aloes. Colorado just gets too cold in the winter to let them grow in inconvenient-to-move but deep outdoor soil. Given that Aloe is notoriously hard to get to bolt (produce seed) without some special methods, this is going to be a challenge, to say the least. Without the deep soil, they just plain don't get big enough to bloom!

    Submitted by Roxanne on
    September 9, 2015 - 12:24am
    Brooklyn , New York

    As a child my grandma would give us to clean the blood as well as bowel and I find it very good

    Submitted by Hermelinda on
    May 25, 2014 - 9:07am

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    Submitted by Jo on
    December 15, 2014 - 5:06am
    Pretoria ,

    Is it safe to use bitter aloe to get your little one to stop breastfeeding? My doc recommended it but based on your article, im not sure if it is safe or not.

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    December 15, 2014 - 1:24pm

    Hi Jo,

    For obvious legal reasons, we cannot diagnose or prescribe for specific medical conditions—merely provide information. We always recommend to talk to your doctor, so he could tell you more about dosage amounts for safety. By the way, we are not sure what part in the article made you concerned. 

    Submitted by Boni on
    March 18, 2015 - 3:24pm
    Johanneburg South Africa ,

    Hello ,
    I would like to know if aloe bitters are safe to use during pregnancy

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    March 19, 2015 - 10:10am

    It’s not recommended to use aloe during pregnancy due as its laxative action, which can potentially cause an increased risk of uterine contractions. Also, any laxative product made with aloe, such as those that contain aloin and barbaloin, can lower electrolyte levels and cause drops in blood sugar.

    Submitted by Sabrina Henry on
    April 18, 2016 - 3:49pm
    Austin , Texas

    Your article about Cape Aloe mentions the bitter part being good for healing the intestinal area. In all of the Aloes I know of, Aloin is the bitter part and is actually dangerous and even lethal over time if ingested. It almost killed my husband from just the traces of it in Aloe juice because drinking gallon a day. Is the bitter part in Cape Aloe different?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    April 20, 2016 - 2:17pm

    Once ingested, aloin increases peristaltic contractions in the colon, which induces bowel movements. Aloin also prevents the colon from re-absorbing water from the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to softer stools. This effect is caused by aloin’s opening of chloride channels of the colonic membrane. In higher doses, these effects may lead to electrolyte imbalance, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, which are common side-effects of the drug. Because aloin can potentially cause uterine contractions, pregnant women should avoid ingesting aloe products.

    As for what happened to your husband, it’s probably worth quoting directly from something Jon Barron has said many times over the years, “Too much of a good thing is bad. Too much of any food or supplement is bad. If you over indulge in something, no matter how beneficial it is, it will result in illness, not health."

    Submitted by Taylor on
    March 21, 2015 - 3:13pm
    Arcatao , Montana

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    Submitted by Michal on
    July 27, 2015 - 3:15pm
    Reykjavik , Arizona
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    Submitted by Jerry Ford on
    September 22, 2015 - 8:39pm
    New Caney , Texas

    I have been using Aloe Ferox for a year, mostly for constipation, and it has been great. It has also given me much releaf from arthritis pain. My skin problems have improved very much. I have not had to have anything for pain since starting AloeFerox

    Submitted by Susan Goldman on
    October 30, 2015 - 4:54am
    Jerusalem ,

    I started using Aloe Ferox (with Fibrix) for constipation and it really works. However, did a doctor or expert tell you that it can be used on a long-term basis. The lady from the company here in Israel said yes and that it has no side effects that she knows about. My dietician says everything usually has side effects and I shouldn't use it long-term. What do you think? I would like to prevent the constipation/impaction from happening. Thanks, Susan, Jerusalem, Israel

    Submitted by ellaineperez54 on
    December 30, 2015 - 3:04am

    aloe is a powerful herb.. just as we need it we also need other herbs.. such as Carica papaya, wormwood tree, cardamom, and fennel seeds.the year is about to end... and there are celebrations every where..we have o take care of our Digestive system...

    Submitted by Ale on
    January 31, 2016 - 8:23pm
    Hialeah , Florida

    Hi! I've been trying to get pregnant for over a year now. I've also been taking aloe ferox for longer. I've read that I shouldn't take it during pregnancy but could it be preventing me from getting pregnant? When I asked my doctor, he had never heard of it...
    I would appreciate any feedback!!!
    Thank you!

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    February 1, 2016 - 12:45pm

    The issue with Aloe ferox is that the anthraquinones in it stimulate muscle contractions in the colon. There is a very slight possibility that can be a problem if you are already pregnant, but is a non-issue in terms of getting pregnant. Incidentally, you might find this newsletter informative.

    Submitted by Sue on
    February 11, 2016 - 10:13pm
    Lake Charles , Louisiana

    I began using Cape Aloes around 1993. I try never to be without a couple bottles of it at all times so that I do not run out. I take 2 tablets a day. I am 66. I am never sick. I have a yearly physical performed and the comments always are to the nature of: "You are so healthy. Your readings are outstanding." I take no prescription medicine. I exercise regularly - water aerobics 2 hrs/day, 3 days a week, and I am a clogger. I practice clogging for at least 1 hr a day, 5 days a week. My skin is healthy. I have no wrinkles on my face. I attribute all these good points totally to taking the Cape Aloes daily. I tell anyone who will listen to me: "Take Cape Aloes. It will change your life and improve your health."

    Submitted by Debbie Grundy on
    April 14, 2016 - 5:16pm
    Colorado Springs , Colorado

    Could I take this for constipation on a regular basis with no side effects?
    Also what are the pills that you take everyday?

    Thanks, Debbie

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    April 19, 2016 - 1:08pm
    Submitted by Sankie Greyling on
    March 30, 2016 - 3:12pm
    Pretoria ,

    I am from South Africa and we grow up with Aloe Vera in all forms. The crystals are taken regularly to prevent parasites and the ointment have multimal uses. We give it to our kids from very young as here in the semi tropics al kind of insect can be found. My son has secle cell anemia and are not allowed any anti maleria medicine. He has been on the crystals almost from birth as it is a good insect repellent. Mossies do not like the bitter taste in the blood. It is very good for improving the immune system. I am 66 and look 15:years younger due to Aloe ferox. I have no arthiritis and still go hiking with my kids. This is the only suppliment I take. No need for any other.

    Submitted by Ray on
    June 25, 2016 - 3:31am
    Johannesburg South Africa ,

    Hi, what really amazes me is the diverse health benefits of aloe ferro bitter crystals, from skin health to asthma relief to a healthy energy boost , the only thing that has brought about relief for digestive tract discomfort which has been slow but constant improvement, have even experienced a healthy but slight loss of weight. Ive enjoyed an increase in vitality and sense of well being and this only from taking the bitter crystals. Just of note i have been battling health issues brought on by asthma medication and have tried every possible health cure after giving up the medication (blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and loss of blood sugar control - all as a consequence of the cortisone based asthma med). Aloe ferrox bitter crystals has given me the most broad spectrum help of all the health reestablishing protocols Ive tried which have included from rife technology to high doses of vitamin C etc etc etc. Strangely most health promoting protocols come with their own side effects so its the aloe that has provided the least complications ie a sense of drowsiness at high doses. And to top it all its by far the cheapest solution Ive come across. This is just a word of encouragement to those seeking to restore their health, nature has a cure ...

    Submitted by Fifi on
    July 6, 2016 - 3:22am
    Sydney ,

    Is Aloe Ferox a herb that the body will get used to so will stop working after a while ? and what is the difference between the herb and the pharmaceuticals used for constipation? as these drugs are bad for the colon. Kind regards Fifi

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    July 6, 2016 - 4:32pm

    Cape aloe (Aloe ferox) is native to Africa and is renowned for its remarkable natural colon cleansing benefits. The main active ingredient, the anthraquinone, aloe-emodin, works as an intestinal anti-inflammatory and effective natural laxative and colon cleanser. Unlike chemical laxatives, which are harsh and direct, the action of aloe is gentler and indirect—in fact, mediated--which prevents the body from becoming “used” to it. Specifically, aloin, an anthranoid glycosides derivative, is metabolized by the colonic flora to reactive aloe-emodin, which is responsible for the purgative activity. This compound possibly exerts its action by disturbing the equilibrium between the absorption of water from the intestinal lumen via an active sodium transport and the secretion of water into the lumen by a prostaglandin-dependent mechanism. 

    In fact, people have used aloe formulas for years at a time, without any indication of tolerance. The one thing to keep in mind is that if you use aloe as an intestinal stimulator, you never want to stop using it abruptly as that can cause constipation. Remember, your intestinal tract is very sensitive to any changes. For some people, simply taking a long trip is enough to initiate constipation. So, when you want to stop using aloe as a stimulant, wean yourself over several days depending on how many capsules you were using--steadily reducing your dosage over a number of days.

    Submitted by Joanne on
    July 31, 2016 - 2:53pm
    San Jose , California

    I was fortunate to find this product by accident. I have had chronic constipation as far back as I can remember. I remember as a little girl of 7 or 8 I use to strain.
    I have been taking Aloe Ferox for some time but my doctor says that is why I am constipated because I am using a stimulant instead of of allowing my bowels to move naturally. So he convinced me to take Metamucil for 2 weeks. I tell you it was 2 weeks of HELL. I strained and strained until the veins popped out in my temples. I was so blocked up I said forget this I went back on Aloe Ferox and the next day I started moving my bowels and I am experiencing a lot of stools, you can imagine of 2 weeks stored up in the intestines, all the toxins just sitting there. I was also told I should stop these stimulants because my intestines are dark in color. I would rather have them dark in color than have the toxins sitting there in my gut. NO THANK YOU!!!!!
    Thank you Aloe Ferox!!!!!!!!!!

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    August 2, 2016 - 4:54pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience. And that’s why Aloe ferox is one of the key in ingredients in Jon Barron’s colon corrective formula.

    Submitted by Mischele Miller on
    October 25, 2016 - 11:19pm
    St. Augustine , Florida

    I have CREST, a rare autoimmonodeficiency disease, and RA, asthma, Copd, Reynauds .my liver, heart, lungs prone to infections. Nearlyvdiedvof pneumonia 12 months ago. Sick all the time. Diarrhea 8 months and on horrible meds with horrible side effects and even hallucinations. Started ingesting aloe barbedensis in my banana, strawberry smoothies for one year now. I am no longstanding meds. Have not been sick in 6 months. Relief from arthritic pain and joint deformation. More energy. Wrinkles on face have disappeared, I just turned 52. I apply ALOE to face and body, like lotion. I drink it every day in my shakes. ALOE saved my life. I now grow ALOE and have approximately 100 plants! I feel so much better. Look better, too!

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