You probably know that aloe vera is one of nature’s coolest and most fascinating plants. Maybe you’ve even used it on a scratch or sunburn. But in this interview, Dr. Michael Haley teaches us there’s so much more to this miraculous plant. Known by his colleagues as “Organic Mike”, Dr. Haley emphasizes a healthy lifestyle and clean diet as a means of achieving optimal physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Listen in below, or keep reading to find out how it can be used both topically and internally for a variety of conditions and health improvements!
How did you become “Organic Mike“?
Up until recently, the word “organic” still meant earthy and all-natural, but it wasn’t applied to food. There was no such thing as “certified organic”. I took an organic chemistry class while in chiropractic school, which was the most difficult course I’ve ever taken. After getting a C in the class I decided I wanted to master organic chemistry. So I spent the whole summer dissecting my textbook so I would be able to tutor it. Within a few weeks back in school, I was teaching 80 people at a time organic chemistry. After all of this time studying organic chemistry, I picked up the nickname “Organic Mike”.
People come to me for gut health, and I see so many people who have destroyed their guts with chemistry. Some people can get away with it, but not everyone. In the process of helping people get clean from all of these chemicals they’ve been ingesting, I’ve taught myself how to eat clean as well. These chemicals can be in the form of herbicides, pesticides, preservatives, chlorine, and more.
Aloe- what is it?
Aloe is the most gut-healing food on the planet, but it’s not a drug. Don’t think that you can just include aloe and everything is fixed. We want to change what got you there. If your habits don’t change, chances are all of your symptoms will come back if you stop taking aloe. So you need to be thinking not only about what you need to change in your diet but also what you want to get out of it.
We know that your skin will heal faster if you put aloe on it, and it has a similar effect when you ingest it. When you ingest it your insides aren’t being coated like your skin, but it’s actually being absorbed. The benefits will help your body work more like it’s supposed to.
There was a study done on 240 chemotherapy patients who all had stage-four cancer. About half were given 1 ounce of aloe a day in addition to their chemotherapy, and half were not. The patients who took aloe had more than three times the complete result, which is amazing. People that have diabetes can consume aloe and lower their blood sugar levels. There are so many scientifically documented benefits to consuming aloe vera.
How can we find high-quality aloe products?
I’ve likened aloe to intimacy. Sometimes intimacy is better than at other times, but it’s rarely really bad. There are different levels of aloe and different parts of the plant to keep in mind.
The inner gel of the plant will help with gut healing, blood sugar, and your immune system. The outer leaf acts as a laxative. When you’re shopping you’ll see some aloe products that say “whole leaf” which will give you more of a laxative effect than products with just the inner leaf. You used to be able to purchase capsules of just the outer leaf, but that can be dangerous to use in such high potency.
One of the biggest differences in quality is the filtering of the aloe vera. We don’t filter our aloe at all, so we have to be very sterile and clean as we harvest and package it. Other brands will filter their aloe tremendously, so they can put whole aloe leaves into a tank. From there they mix it with different chemicals, pasteurize it, then preserve it. This can take out a lot of the good nutrients as well as the bad. These aloe products aren’t necessarily fake, but a lot of the benefits of raw aloe will be stripped.
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How would you recommend preparing aloe?
The biggest problem people encounter when they try to consume aloe vera is the yellow sap. There is this yellow sap that bleeds out of the outer leaf that tastes absolutely horrid. It has a tannin quality that tightens up the tissue on your tongue as soon as you taste it. The tiniest amount will ruin an entire batch to drink. When you cut the leaf and it’s all gooey, you want to let those long tubules in the green leaf bleed out all of the yellow sap. Give it a good rinse, and the gooey experience will be a lot better. It’s more slimy than sticky, and it’s virtually tasteless. It’s been likened to drinking out of a garden hose- it doesn’t taste bad at all, but it doesn’t taste like filtered water either.
About Dr. Michael Haley
Dr. Haley is a passionate bone moving chiropractor and health coach. As a certified GAPS practitioner, he emphasizes a healthy lifestyle and a clean nutrient-dense diet as a means to achieve optimal physical, mental, and emotional well-being. His health principles are based on science, tradition, and in line with the scriptures. Dr. Haley is considered an expert in phytonutrition and superfoods and the leading authority on Aloe vera.