@bythewell - Well, the mother of one of my friends absolutely swore by aloe vera juice and I know she would say the health benefits are worth it.
I met her daughter while she was an exchange student (their family is from India) and she actually tried to keep eating a bit of aloe every day while she was here.
It took a few weeks for her to realize though that what she thought was aloe vera on the side of the road was actually another kind of aloe that just looked like aloe vera.
So, if you are hoping to look to the local environment for aloe vera, make sure you know how to identify it. There are a lot of different kinds of aloe and some of them look a lot like aloe vera but only that particular kind is beneficial.