Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that grows in tropical climates across the world. It has been widely used for its health benefits for centuries. In the recent times, the juice of aloe vera is also gaining popularity.
Aloe vera juice contains over 75 potentially active constituents, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugar, amino acids, salicylic acids, lignin, and saponins (1). While topical application of the juice is known to promote skin health and heal sunburns, its intake also seems to offer numerous health benefits.
In this post, we have discussed the important benefits of drinking aloe vera juice. We will also look at its dosage and the potential side effects it may cause. Read on!
Table Of Contents
Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera Juice
1. May Treat Digestive Issues
Aloe vera juice may cleanse the digestive tract. This may help in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (4). Though other forms of aloe vera may also help in this regard, the juice is believed to get better absorbed in the stomach. The juice also stimulates the production of bile, and this promotes liver health (5).
According to an Iranian study, aloe vera juice can reduce abdominal pain and flatulence in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. However, more research is required in relation to stool consistency in these patients (6). The latex of the aloe vera plant may help treat constipation. However, more research is needed.
As per an Indian study, aloe vera juice can be extensively used in the treatment of peptic ulcers. It exhibits antibacterial properties against H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for gastric infections (7).
Another Indian study states that the use of aloe vera for digestive ailments may have no adverse effects (8).
However, it is important to note that a major portion of this research is based on personal experiences. Hence, more studies are needed to understand the effectiveness of aloe vera juice in treating digestive issues.
The juice can have an anti-inflammatory effect on people with ulcerative colitis (9). As there have been cases of diarrhea as well, practice caution.
You may also use aloe vera to cleanse your colon by injecting it into the colon with water. However, this process is to be carried only under medical supervision. There is very less research on its effectiveness.
2. May Reduce Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera juice may help in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (10). As per a Mexican rat study, the anti-inflammatory agents in the juice can also treat edema (11).
Decolorized aloe was also found to reduce skin inflammation, especially when used by podiatric (specialists in foot care) physicians (12).
A German study had also revealed the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera juice on skin. The gel (and potentially the juice too) had reduced UV-induced erythema (13).
Gibberellin, a hormone in aloe vera juice, was found to fight inflammation in diabetic animals (14).
Aloe vera may also be used in the treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis (15). However, long-term studies are required to prescribe aloe vera juice as a treatment for osteoarthritis.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the juice can provide relief from joint immobility. The aloe vera juice (and the gel) also may act as an effective base to prepare a compound called nimesulide emulgel. It possesses significant anti-inflammatory properties and could be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (16).
3. May Promote Heart Health
Aloe vera gel was found to reduce the development of fatty streaks in rabbits. The gel (and the juice) may reduce the development of atherosclerosis in humans (17).
An Indian study conducted on rats showed that aloe vera juice could mitigate heart problems that usually were a side effect of the drug doxorubicin (used for cancer treatment) (18).
Another study showed the cardioprotective activity of aloe vera in diabetic rats (19). Supplementation of aloe vera juice, along with appropriate nutritional counseling, could lower blood pressure levels in people with diabetes (20).
Aloe vera juice had also shown to lower cholesterol levels in the livers of rats. The group supplemented with aloe had shown a 30% reduction in hepatic cholesterol levels (21).
Aloe vera juice may also dilate capillaries and enhance the arterial walls. However, research is limited in this regard.
4. May Detoxify The Body
An Italian study focused on the efficacy of aloe vera in detoxification. The leaf extracts were found to flush out wastes from the body (22). The juice of the plant may also be effective in this process (23).
Aloe vera juice also exhibits hepatoprotective activity. This may further improve detoxification, as the liver is one important organ involved in the process (24).
The laxative properties of aloe vera juice may clear the ingested toxins away from the digestive system (25).
Another rat study states that the juice can have a protective effect on the liver during diabetes (26).
5. May Aid Weight Loss
Inflammation is linked to weight gain and metabolic issues (27). Aloe vera juice may play a beneficial role due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Te laxative properties of aloe vera juice may help with weight loss. However, there is no evidence supporting this.
In a rat study, ingestion of aloe vera was found to prevent diet-induced obesity. It achieved this by stimulating energy expenditure and reducing accumulation of body fat (30).
Aloe vera juice had beneficial effects on obese individuals with prediabetes and diabetes. It reduced body weight, body fat mass, and insulin resistance in these individuals (31).
6. May Support The Immune System
A mice study states that ingestion of aloe vera juice could stimulate cellular and humoral (related to bodily fluids) immunity (32).
Aloe vera juice may act as an immune system enhancer. However, we need more research in this regard.
7. May Control Blood Sugar Levels
Preliminary research suggests that aloe vera juice intake may help improve blood glucose levels. However, the safety of aloe vera juice in this regard is yet to be established (33).
Certain nutrients in the juice are thought to improve the effectiveness of insulin. These may include chromium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. However, further research is required to establish the link.
An American study discusses UP780, an aloe based composition, which may work as a natural supplement to maintain healthy blood glucose levels (34). Similar effects could be possible with aloe vera juice.
8. May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
As per a UAE study, aloe vera can inhibit cancer cell growth. It also can increase the effectiveness of cancer drugs, like cisplatin (35).
Aloe juice contains bioactive compounds, like aloin and lectin, that have anti-inflammatory properties (36). These may also help reduce cancer risk.
Aloe vera contains acemannan, a phytonutrient. Studies state that this phytonutrient may shrink cancer tumors (37).
Aloe vera juice was also found to reduce the spread of cancer (38). However, more research is needed to establish the anticancer properties of the juice.
9. May Hydrate The Body
Aloe vera juice contains nearly 75 active components that can replenish the body (5). It is believed to hydrate the body and relieve exhaustion, though research is limited in this regard.
As per a Brazilian study, aloe vera can also improve skin hydration (39).
10. May Improve Oral Health
An Indian study states that aloe vera juice could have unlimited use in the field of dentistry. Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can help treat gingivitis, plaque, and periodontitis. Its antiviral properties can help heal oral infections as well (40).
Aloe vera juice may also act as an efficient mouthwash without any side effects (41).
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera juice can also play a role in treating plaque-induced gingivitis (42).
11. May Promote Hair Health
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera juice may soothe and moisturize the scalp. The juice may also treat an itchy scalp. However, research is limited in this area.
The antibacterial properties of aloe vera may help treat dandruff (43).
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the juice may also keep the dead skin cells from clogging the hair follicles. The alkaline nature of aloe vera juice may balance the pH levels of the hair and act as a good conditioning agent.
Aloe vera juice may add shine to your hair and control frizz. The vitamins and minerals in the juice may strengthen your hair. However, studies are limited in this area, and more research is required to know about these benefits.
12. May Provide The Essential Amino Acids
Aloe vera juice offers 16 of the 22 amino acids, including 7 of the 8 essential amino acids (44). These amino acids promote overall health and may also aid muscle growth.
13. May Improve Brain Health
Individuals given diets including aloe vera performed better on tasks of memory recall and recognition in a study. These participants also reported reduced incidences of tension or low mood (45). These effects could be attributed to the saccharides in aloe vera juice.
14. May Treat Heartburn
In a case of gastroesophageal reflux, aloe vera juice could reduce the symptoms. It also was well tolerated (46). The juice may also soothe the symptoms of heartburn.
According to another study, aloe vera syrup was found to be a safe treatment for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) (47).
Aloe vera juice is a convenient way of ensuring optimal health for yourself and your family. However, not everybody can consume it as it may cause certain adverse effects.
Side Effects Of Aloe Vera Juice
- Potassium Deficiency
Aloe vera juice is a laxative and acts as a diuretic. Though this may lead to short-term weight loss, it can lead to potassium deficiency in the long run (1).
- Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Aloe vera can be potentially dangerous when orally taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women. One report links aloe vera to miscarriage (48). Avoid use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Allergic Reactions
The intake of aloe juice may cause allergies in some individuals. The symptoms may include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and red urine. Some may also experience aggravated constipation (1).
- Kidney Issues
The juice may result in kidney injury if it contains latex. However, research is lacking in this aspect. Those with a history of kidney issues must avoid aloe vera juice.
- Digestive Problems
The laxative effects of aloe vera juice may also lead to constipation in certain individuals. It may also cause abdominal cramps (muscle weakness) and electrolyte imbalances (1). Another digestive problem aloe vera juice can cause is diarrhea (49).
- Irregular Heartbeat
The possible electrolyte imbalances with aloe vera juice intake can also lead to irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia (50).
- Liver Toxicity
Excess aloe juice intake can also lead to liver damage and toxicity (51). Hence, individuals with liver issues must be careful.
Aloe vera juice can decrease blood sugar, and this could cause a problem with diabetes medications (1).
Aloe vera juice can also interact with sevoflurane (used as anesthesia during surgery) (52). The juice exerts anti-platelet effects and may interfere with drugs like warfarin (used as a blood thinner) (53).
Juice from 300 mg of aloe vera may be beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels (54). For further information on the ideal dosage, consult your doctor.
Aloe vera juice could be unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. The juice must also be avoided in children below 12 years of age.
Where To Buy Aloe Vera Juice
You can either pick a bottle of aloe vera juice from the nearest supermarket or place an order online. Following are the brands you may look for.
Aloe vera juice has similar benefits to the gel. However, the juice may get better absorbed in the system. Aloe vera juice may also be much easier to carry and consume. There is a huge body of research on the benefits of the aloe vera plant.
Be careful about the potential side effects the juice may cause. If you are generally healthy, including aloe vera juice in your regular routine can help. Make sure you consult your doctor before consuming aloe vera juice.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Which of the two is better – colored or decolorized aloe vera juice?
Purified and decolorized aloe vera juice could be the better option. Unpurified or colored aloe vera juice contains anthraquinones, which may cause side effects. Hence, while shopping, check for the following statements on the label:
– Safety Tested
What is the pH of aloe vera juice?
Aloe vera juice has a pH level of 4.5 to 5.5.
Does aloe vera juice promote alkalinity?
Aloe vera juice is alkaline and may promote body alkalinity.
Does drinking aloe vera juice enhance skin health?
Aloe vera juice intake may promote skin health. However, there is lack of direct research in this regard. The topical application of the juice has several benefits. It may promote healing and moisturization and may also reduce stretch marks caused during pregnancy. Its antibacterial properties may help treat eczema and psoriasis.
Other benefits of the topical application of the juice include reduced signs of aging, UV protection, and reduced skin inflammation.
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