The aloe vera gel many Americans buy to soothe damaged skin contains no evidence of aloe vera at all.
According to the Chicago Tribune, if you bought Target Up & Up Aloe Vera Gel, Walgreens Alcohol Free Aloe Vera Body Gel, CVS Aftersun Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel, or Wal-Mart Equate Aloe After Sun Gel, you are basically just rubbing maltodextrin and an emulsifier on your skin.
This is just the latest example of herbal supplements that don’t live up to their labels. In 2013, Canadian researches found that a third of the herbal supplements they tested don’t contain the herb on the label. In 2015, the New York Attorney General tested herbal supplements from GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart, and found that 80% of them just contained houseplants.
Featured image: “Aloe vera leaf” from Wikimedia Commons.
Yesterday the New York Attorney General reported the results of its tests on herbal supplements purchased at GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart:
The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.
You read that right. Houseplants.
Many were adulterated with ingredients not listed on the label, like rice, soybean and wheat, which are used as fillers.
In some cases, these fillers were the only plant detected in the bottle …