The Wonder Beverage

So often, I’d see a cluster of them, standing grimly on the shelves of the Asian supermarket we went to. But I’d walk on by, never picking up one of the light-green bottles, leery of the product inside, afraid that it may not be hygienically made.

I must have seen them at Trader Joe’s and at Whole Foods as well, but they didn’t ever catch my eye—till they caught my fancy, that is.

The other day, M. offered me a glass of a beverage I hadn’t tried before. Hesitantly, I took a sip and asked her what it was.

“Aloe vera,” she said, smilingly. It was nectar.

Oh, wait—you want to know what it is? It’s the juice extracted from the succulent leaves of the aloe vera plant and is touted to have many health benefits.

Never try anything new, for you may cotton to it and forget the old. My old favorite, Turkey Hill’s iced tea, went untouched for several days. And when I did open the refrigerator door to take a swill of it, I discovered with a heavy heart that it’d gone past its expiration date.

It may only be a drink, but I’ve been riven with guilt for having ignored it. Perhaps one way to atone for my mistake was to desultorily read up on my newfound liquid joy, not knowing what I’d find.

I came upon research that rather dispirited me, but also relieved me in a twisted way. Despite its being an astonishingly refreshing beverage, aloe vera, I learned, has very little therapeutic value. Worse, it may even be bad for you.

I could give it up without remorse. My iced tea, has, therefore, romped to victory.

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