In April I reviewed Aloe Cadabra, a “natural” lube that is based largely on the aloe plant. In my review, I suggested this product caused Pet’s yeast infection and specifically pointed the blame at vanilla essential oil, which is found in the ingredients despite this being the ‘unscented’ version of Aloe Cadabra.
Earlier this week I heard from Brian at Aloe Cadabra with a response to my review. He gave me permission to post it here. Brian said:
We noticed your review and wanted you to know we certainly take concerns with our product very seriously. We’ve sought counsel from an independent medical expert (not related to Aloe Cadabra or parent companies); Noreen Mulvanerty is a Family Nurse Practitioner, Clinician and Master Herbalist; after reviewing your statement and conducting study into Aloe Cadabra, her findings and review are as follows:
“Very unlikely Aloe Cadabra would be the cause of a yeast infection; there was something already seemingly brewing in the woman’s intestinal flora. The essential oils and Vitamin E are protective; the constituents in the oils supersede any sugars (and infections in the vaginal mucosa). There is always a potential for any product to cause irritation but unlikely it could occur that quickly; as well, the woman may easily contract yeast infections…this occurrence is more than likely coincidental.”
I also asked Brian why their unscented product contained vanilla. He said:
Many people who smell raw aloe don’t enjoy the smell of it. We put an extremely small amount, less than .005% of pure vanilla essential oil in the product to balance the scent so it becomes, essentially, unscented. Our formulation experts have indicated to us that this should have no negative impact to the human body. Our other scents, Tahitian Vanilla and French Lavender, are designed to provide sensory experiences (smells) that enhance the intimate experience, should people enjoy that.
As I continue writing lube reviews, I find that my tastes are moving towards products with fewer and simpler ingredients. In particular, I choose to avoid anything with added scents unless I am specifically seeking a flavored lube. For this reason, I still can’t give Aloe Cadabra my recommendation nor will I use it in my bedroom. I will note that some lovers who have experienced Hydra have commented on enjoying its aloe smell. I’ve also been informed that those with garlic or onion sensitivities should probably also avoid products that contain aloe.
Yet Brian and Noreen are right that I have no way to prove that their lube was the cause of Pet’s yeast infection; it could have been caused by many unknown factors. I also applaud Aloe Cadabra for taking the time to follow-up on my review with such care and I am glad I can give them a forum to respond.