Mention Aloe Vera to your friends and the most often response is likely to be in relation to skin cream. It’s often found as an ingredient in soothing lotions for sunburn or acne.
But did you know it’s also a proven aid for controlling the symptoms of gerd and acid reflux in its gel and juice forms?
We’ve taken a closer look at the fruits of this cactus like plant, and its benefits for those of us suffering from gerd and acid reflux.
We’ve also reviewed the aloe vera products available, and found what we consider to be the best aloe vera gel, and the best aloe vera juice around at this time. For more information, read on below…
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What Is the Aloe Vera Plant?
The Aloe Vera plant is a succulent, grown in many places around the world including Florida, Texas and Arizona in the USA. It has been used as a basis for treating a wide variety of ailments for a very long time.
Its’ two main products in this context are a latex, and a gel, both taken from the thick, dark green leaves.
The latex, found just under the skin of the leaf, has been used as a laxative. However, it’s not recommended for consumption in its unprocessed form and does not form the best aloe vera juice.
The gel, in contrast, is found deeper within the leaf and is considered safe for most people to consume. The exceptions are listed below.
Some Aloe Vera products are produced from the whole leaf, and contain both substances; others are derived from gel, and are termed “inner leaf”. When purchasing the best aloe vera gel, it’s recommended to go for the inner leaf products.
What Are The Benefits of Aloe Vera?
The best aloe vera gel is said to possess a wide range of nutritional benefits, including vitamins and minerals. The best aloe vera juice has the added benefits of making a refreshing, easily consumed drink.
Here, though, it’s of more interest for its claimed medicinal and treatment properties. According to WebMD¹ it is “possibly effective” for:
- Genital Herpes
- Mouth Rashes
- Weight Loss
How Does It Help With Acid Reflux?
A 2015 randomized controlled trial² of 79 subjects took either Aloe Vera, omeprazole (a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) or ranitidine, for a period of 4 weeks.
Eight main symptoms of gerd (heartburn, food regurgitation, flatulence, belching, dysphagia, nausea, vomiting and acid regurgitation) were assessed and their frequency measured.
The results showed Aloe Vera was safe and well tolerated and reduced the frequencies of all the assessed acid reflux symptoms. It was concluded Aloe Vera may provide a safe and effective treatment for reducing the symptoms of gerd and acid reflux.
Are There Any Problems With Aloe Vera?
As pointed out above, the unprocessed latex is considered to be unsafe in the longer term. In particular, WebMD lists special precautions and recommends that aloe vera is not taken in the following situations:
- Pregnancy or breast-feeding
- Diabetes: Some research indicates that aloe vera might lower blood sugar, which could be dangerous in diabetics.
- Intestinal conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or obstruction: Aloe vera latex is a bowel irritant. Products made from whole aloe leaves will contain some aloe vera latex.
- Hemorrhoids: Do not take aloe latex if you have hemorrhoids. It could make the condition worse.
- Kidney problems: High doses of aloe latex have been linked to kidney failure and other serious conditions.
- Surgery: Aloe vera might affect blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery.
- Interactions with other medicines: Aloe vera can interact with other drugs – in particular laxatives.
If you are in any doubt about taking aloe vera, check with your physician first.
What are Users Saying About Aloe Vera?
WebMD has a number of positive reviews from people taking Aloe Vera to manage their acid reflux symptoms:
The Best Aloe Vera Gel
Highly recommended by their users, aloe vera juice can be found here:
|Aloe Vera Juice Max Strength – 1litre (UK)|
|George’s Aloe Vera Supplement, 64 Fluid Ounce (US)|
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