In my opinion, the most beneficial properties of aloe vera are related to its soothing and healing effects on the gastrointestinal tract and the skin. The juice from the aloe leaf has many properties that have been used for hundreds of years to aid in the healing of skin and the soothing of the gut.
Internally, the gel and juice are a wonderfully soothing and healing tonic to the upper and lower gastrointestinal system. It can be used for acid reflux symptoms, ulcers and inflammation in other areas of the bowels.
Topically, aloe vera has been used for thousands of years to aid in the healing of the skin. The fresh juice/gel that is expressed when the leaf is wounded can be applied directly to the skin to add moisture and promote healing. It also has been reported to have a significant pain reducing effect to the skin particularly in the case of burns. Many sunburn products will contain aloe due to this unique property.
Aloe latex usually comes is a dried form and is prepared from a thin layer contained in the leaf of the plant. It is a very strong laxative that can cause cramping and abdominal discomfort. Most aloe preparations do not contain the latex properties and focus on the healing properties of the gel and juice.