Aloe vera has been found to contain 75 potentially active constituents – these include vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugar, amino acids, salicylic acids, lignin, and saponins. In this post, we talk about the important benefits that make aloe vera a good addition to your routine, dosage, side effects and much more. Keep reading.
Table Of Contents
What Is Aloe Vera Juice?
In simple terms, it is the juice made from aloe vera, the plant that grows in tropical climates across the world. It is widely used for its benefits and decorative purposes (where it is grown indoors as a potted plant).
The extract of the plant is used in numerous health and skincare products – some of which include skin lotions, oils, cosmetics, and certain other medicines.
Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera Juice
1. Treats Digestive Issues
The juice has laxative properties that can aid in digestion. It encourages gut bacteria and regulates bowel movements. It also has been found to soothe and cure stomach ulcers.
Aloe vera juice can cleanse the digestive tract, which is vital for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (which occurs due to the build-up of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract). Though other forms of aloe vera also help in this regard, the benefit of the juice is it can be absorbed by the stomach much easily. The juice even stimulates the production of bile in the gall bladder – this breaks down the fats in the body that otherwise can get accumulated and cause constipation.
According to an Iranian study, aloe vera juice can reduce abdominal pain and flatulence in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (2). However, more research is required in relation to stool consistency in these patients. And not just the juice, even the latex of the aloe vera plant can help cure constipation (3).
As per another Indian study, aloe vera is extensively used in the treatment of peptic ulcers. It exhibits antibacterial properties against H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for gastric infections (4). Another Indian study states that the use of aloe vera for digestive ailments has no adverse effects (5). But a major portion of this research is based on personal experiences (and not on scientifically documented evidence), which is why more studies are warranted.
Though the juice can have an anti-inflammatory effect on people suffering from ulcerative colitis, it might also cause diarrhea (6). Hence, practice caution.
As we have seen, the juice has laxative properties – the anthraquinones and barbaloin in aloe stimulate the bowels and increase its tone (7).
You can also use aloe vera to cleanse your colon, by injecting it into the colon with water. This process is called an enema.
2. Reduces Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera can help treat irritable bowel syndrome (8). As per a Mexican study, the anti-inflammatory agents in aloe vera can also tread edema (9). Decolorized aloe was also found to reduce skin inflammation, especially when used by podiatric (specialists in foot care) physicians (10).
Another German study had also revealed the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera on skin. The gel (and potentially the juice too) had reduced UV-induced erythema (11).
A hormone called gibberellin in aloe vera juice is found to fight inflammation in individuals who had diabetes. The study was conduced on diabetic animals with poor anti-inflammatory capabilities. With aloe vera ingestion, they were able to fight inflammation better (12). And aloe vera helps cure not just internal inflammation, but also the pain associated with it (13).
Aloe can immensely benefit people with joint pains too. According to one study, aloe vera can be used in the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain, and particularly one that is caused by osteoarthritis (14). But still, long-term studies are required to prescribe aloe vera juice as a treatment for osteoarthritis. Topical administration of aloe vera can also inhibit pain related to arthritis (15).
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the juice can provide relief from joint immobility. The aloe vera juice (and the gel) also acts as an effective base to prepare a compound called nimesulide emulgel, which possesses significant anti-inflammatory properties and could be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Promotes Heart Health
As per a report, a set of 5,000 patients (suffering from chest or heart pain for five years), upon intaking aloe vera, had shown a reduction in the pain symptoms. And not just that, they also exhibited reduced levels of cholesterol and blood sugar (in diabetes patients) (16).
An Indian study conducted on rats showed that aloe vera could mitigate heart problems that usually were a side effect of the drug doxorubicin (used for cancer treatment) (17).
In another study, patients with higher blood cholesterol showed a 15% decrease in their levels post treatment with aloe vera for 12 weeks.
And another Indian study had stated the cardioprotective activity of aloe vera (18). Supplementation of aloe vera, along with appropriate nutritional counseling, had lowered blood pressure levels in people with diabetes (19).
According to an Iranian study, aloe vera can prevent atherosclerosis (20). The juice has been shown to prevent fatty streak development, thereby halting plaque formation and ultimately protecting the heart.
Aloe vera had also shown to lower cholesterol levels of the liver (21). The group supplemented with aloe, in the study, had shown a 30% reduction in hepatic cholesterol levels.
Aloe vera juice also dilates capillaries and enhances the arterial walls – and the vitamin C in aloe vera helps lower blood pressure. Vitamin is important in the synthesis of collagen, the protein required in blood vessels.
4. Detoxifies The Body
One Italian study focused on the efficacy of aloe vera in detoxification – stating that it helps flush the toxins out of the body (22). The juice of the plant has also been found to be effective in this process (23).
The liver is one of the important organs involved in the detox process – and as per a study, aloe vera exhibits hepatoprotective activity (24).
Also, aloe vera possessing laxative properties, can clear the ingested toxins away from the digestive system (25).
As per another Turkish study, aloe vera has a protective effect on the liver in diabetes patients (26). This is specifically true in the case of patients with type 2 diabetes.
The potassium in aloe vera juice helps it to stimulate the liver and kidneys, two vital organs of detoxification (27). Aloe also contains uronic acid that eliminates toxins within the cells.
5. Aids In Weight Loss
One way aloe juice could help in weight loss is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is linked to weight gain and metabolic issues, and in this way, aloe vera juice could play its part in promoting weight loss.
Aloe vera juice also contains aloin, which is a potent laxative (we already saw aloe’s laxative effects). This could also aid in weight loss. But hey, there is not much evidence with respect to this.
Another animal study found that aloe vera contains potent sterols that can improve body composition. Obese rats fed with these sterols had lower levels of body fat after 35 days. A similar effect is possible in humans as well.
And as per a Japanese study, ingestion of aloe vera can prevent diet-induced obesity (28). It achieved this by stimulating energy expenditure and reducing accumulation of body fat.
Aloe vera had beneficial effects also on obese individuals with prediabetes or diabetes (29).
There’s more to aloe vera juice than meets the eye. Keep reading, and you will know what we mean!
6. Supports The Immune System
Aloe vera juice can work great for your immunity. You can take a shot of the juice before hitting the bed – the juice will work its way through your system as you are asleep. You should be seeing the beneficial effects (like improved overall well being, reduced frequency of sickness) in a month – if you are regular.
As per a Polish study, ingestion of aloe vera could stimulate cellular and humoral (related to bodily fluids) immunity (30).
According to the National Cancer Institute, aloe vera gel can act as an immune system enhancer (31). And same could be said about the juice as well.
7. Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Preliminary research suggests aloe vera juice intake can help improve blood glucose levels (32).
As per another analysis, people with diabetes with fasting blood glucose of more than 200 mg/dl can benefit the most from oral aloe vera treatment. Aloe vera juice also contains chromium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese – all of which improve the effectiveness of insulin. However, as we have seen, further research is required.
Another American study talks about UP780, an aloe based composition, which has been found to aid in the maintenance of healthy blood glucose levels (33). Similar effects could be possible with aloe vera juice. And given its ability to reduce blood glucose, aloe vera is commonly used for diabetes treatment (34).
8. Helps Fight Cancer
Most anti-cancer agents have their origins in plants, and aloe vera is one of them. As per a UAE study, aloe vera can inhibit cancer cell growth and even increase the effectiveness of cancer drugs like cisplatin (35).
Accumulating scientific evidence throws light on the preventive and therapeutic potentials of aloe vera juice against various forms of cancer. Aloe contains bioactive compounds like aloin, lectin, and aloesin, which have shown anti-proliferative effects (36).
Aloe vera juice can also halt the growth of cancer tumors. It even lubricates the digestive tract and prevents colon cancer. More importantly, aloe vera can even maximize the effects of anti-cancer herbs.
Acemannan, a phytonutrient in aloe vera, is garnering attention in the recent times in the scientific spheres. The study showed the cancer tumors shrinking post treatment with the phytonutrient, along with enhancing post-treatment survival of the individual.
Aloe vera also heals pre-cancerous lesions, as per a study. The juice has also been found to reduce the damage done to the body by radiation therapy. It even reduces metastases, thereby halting cancer proliferation (37).
That’s one part of it. On the other hand, it is important to note that there is no extensive research on aloe vera juice and its cancer-curing properties (38). Certain laboratory studies have also shown that intake of aloe can enhance immunity that can, in turn, kill the cancer cells. But again, we don’t have enough research.
9. Promotes Alkalinity
Aloe vera juice is alkaline, and hence balances your body’s pH levels. A body with an acidic pH can attract disease.
10. Hydrates The Body
Aloe vera juice contains nearly 200 active components, and it undoubtedly replenishes the body (39). The juice is very much hydrating. It holds off the thirst that might otherwise cause exhaustion and fatigue (40). And since it contains a decent amount of potassium too, you get an added advantage. Potassium can boost your energy levels.
As per a Brazilian study, aloe vera can improve skin hydration too (41).
11. Improves Oral Health
Aloe vera juice can also act as an efficient mouthwash, without any side effects (44). In one study it had significantly reduced plaque and gingivitis.
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera can also play a role in treating plaque-induced gingivitis (45).
12. Enhances Skin Health
Aloe vera can heal wounds and soothe the skin. It even has shown its efficacy in treating eczema, dandruff, skin ulcers, and canker sores. It even helps treat sunburn – it exhibits its healing activity at the epithelial layer of the skin. This is recommended by dermatologists to remove tan as well.
The juice can also moisturize your skin without making it feel greasy. It also prevents the skin from drying.
The two hormones in aloe vera, auxin and gibberellins, which help heal acne and even treat the scars.
Aloe vera can also help hide the stretch marks caused during pregnancy, or by rapid weight gain or weight loss. And its antibacterial properties that ease psoriasis as well.
Aloe vera has its uses in beauty as well. You can use it to remove your makeup. It’s a better alternative to all those other makeup removers that contain harsh chemicals. And not just that – how about aloe vera face wash? You can mix it with 1 teaspoon each of almond milk and lemon, and use it as a face wash. Let it sit on your face for a few minutes before you rinse.
What more – you can even use it as eyebrow gel. You can simply dip a clean mascara wand in the juice sweep over your eyebrows.
Aloe vera can even promote the growth of new skin cells. And more interestingly – it can absorb 20 to 30% of the UV rays (48).
Aloe can be an excellent treatment for acne too, given it contains substances that can reduce pain and inflammation. You can simple dab a thin layer of the juice on the affected areas of your face.
Not just that, aloe vera also can act as an antiseptic (49). And it works great in slowing down the aging process. The juice stimulates the fibroblasts (that produce collagen and other elastin fibers) making the skin much more elastic and reducing wrinkles. The juice can also heal sunburns as aloe has good cicatrization (forming a scar after an injury, and accelerating the healing process) effects (50).
Aloe vera could also help relieve eczema symptoms. Though most of the information we have in this aspect is just from personal testimonies, logic supports aloe vera. Given its anti-inflammatory properties, it is quite logical to believe that it can aid in eczema treatment. Eczema even manifests itself as dry patches on the skin – and since the aloe vera juice is extremely hydrating, it can work wonders in relieving the related itchiness. Though it can offer a proper cure, the juice can sure be used to aid in the treatment. Aloe vera juice also activates internal cleansing (it detoxifies, basically, as we have seen), and this can have a beneficial effect on psoriasis.
13. Treats Heartburn
As per studies, aloe vera juice can be more effective than certain medications for treating heartburn or acid reflux. This holds true particularly with purified and decolorized aloe vera juice. In a 2015 study, aloe vera juice had reduced the symptoms of acid reflux better than certain traditional medications, and that too, without any side effects.
And since the aloe vera juice has the ability to soothe the gastrointestinal tract, it can assuage the symptoms of heartburn.
According to another study, aloe vera is a safe treatment for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) symptoms – and the juice is well tolerated too (51).
14. Promotes Hair Health
The enzymes and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera juice soothe and moisturize the scalp. This can treat itchy scalp and dry hair as well.
The juice also contains protolitic enzymes that eliminate the dead skin clogging the hair follicles. The alkaline characteristic of aloe vera also balances the pH level of the hair.
The juice can also act as a good conditioning agent, as it adds shine to your hair and controls frizz. And the vitamins and minerals in the juice strengthen your hair.
According to an Iranian study, the antibacterial properties of aloe vera help treat dandruff as well (52).
15. Provides The Essential Amino Acids
Aloe vera juice offers 20 of the 22 amino acids, including 7 of the 8 essential amino acids (53). These amino acids, apart from promoting overall health, can also help in muscle building.
And because of its detoxifying effects, the juice also helps build lean muscle mass.
16. Improves Brain Health
In one study, individuals given diets including aloe vera performed better on tasks of memory recall and recognition, and more importantly, reported reduced incidences of tension or low mood (54). These effects could be attributed to the saccharides in aloe vera.
Side Effects Of Aloe Vera Juice
- Potassium Deficiency
Though aloe vera juice might help in weight loss in a way, it can act adversely too. It is a laxative and acts as a diuretic – though this can cause short-term weight loss, it can be harmful in the long run as it can lead to potassium deficiency (impairing muscle and heart function) (55).
- Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Aloe vera can be potentially dangerous when taken by mouth. One report links aloe vera with miscarriage. The juice can also increase the risk of birth defects. Avoid use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Allergic Reactions
Some individuals could be allergic to aloe. This could be true especially with individuals who are allergic to garlic, onions, or tulips. The symptoms include rashes, hives, swollen or itchy skin, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Topical use of aloe vera may also cause a stinging sensation (56).
- Kidney Issues
This could be severe. Aloe vera juice can cause potentially dangerous kidney injury. The latex it contains can be hard on kidneys (57). Hence, if you have any kind of kidney disease, avoid using aloe vera.
- Digestive Problems
The laxative effects of aloe vera may also lead to constipation in certain individuals. It may also cause abdominal cramps (muscle weakness) and electrolyte imbalances (58). One study shows that this laxative effect can cause dehydration (59). Another digestive problem aloe vera can cause is diarrhea (60).
- Irregular Heartbeat
The possible electrolyte imbalances with aloe vera intake can also lead to irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia (61).
- Liver Toxicity
Excess aloe intake can also lead to liver damage and toxicity (62). Individuals with liver issues must be careful.
But that’s not all.
- Drug Interactions
Aloe vera can decrease blood sugar, and this could cause a problem with diabetes medications.
Aloe vera can also interact with sevoflurane (used as anesthesia during surgery) and warfarin (used as a blood thinner).
There are numerous other drugs aloe vera interacts with (63).
For general usage, 300 mg of aloe vera per day could be the ideal dosage. But do check with your doctor once as the dosage might depend on your individual condition (64).
It’s unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, so avoid use. Aloe vera must also be avoided in children below 12 years of age.
And if you are wondering where to buy the ideal aloe vera juice, we have it covered.
Where To Buy Aloe Vera Juice
One option is heading to the nearest supermarket. The other is placing an order online. Whatever mode you choose, these are a few brands you can look for –
– Patanjali Aloe Vera Juice
You might also want to check Baidyanath Aloe Vera Juice.
In case you have a few more questions, here you go –
Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions
Which of the two is better – colored or decolorized aloe vera juice?
As per studies, purified and decolorized aloe vera juice is the better option. Unpurified or colored aloe vera juice contains anthraquinone, which can 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 is rich in lectin, calcium, iron, amino acids, and potassium – and it has a pH level of 4.5 to 5.5.
Like we have seen, research sways on both the sides. Hence, what we can conclude is this – aloe vera juice is absolutely great. You can use it for its benefits. But if you are someone with any medical condition, it is just as important to avoid use and consult your doctor first.
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