So are the claims about aloe vera juice benefits justified or just hype?
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.
Do you suffer from nightime heartburn? There may be a simple answer to getting relief. Find out more here.
But the evidence suggests that its benefits go further than that.
We’ve taken a closer look at the fruits of this cactus like plant, and its benefits for health.
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.
Aloe vera is the oldest and the most applied medicinal plant worldwide, and it has been used as a basis for treating a wide variety of ailments for a 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 juice, it’s recommended to go for the inner leaf products.
What Are The Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice?
Aloe vera is said to possess a wide range of nutritional benefits, as a result of its vitamins (vitamin C) and minerals. The best aloe vera juice has the added benefits of making a refreshing, easily consumed drink.
For centuries, it has been medicinally used for a variety of ailments such as sexual vitality and fertility problems, mild fever, wounds burns, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, and even cancer.
In the pharmaceutical industry, it has been used for the manufacture of topical products such as ointments and gel preparations.
According to WebMD¹ it is “possibly effective” for:
- Genital Herpes
- Mouth Rashes
- Weight Loss
Aloe Vera Juice and Gel Helps With Stomach Complaints
Well, it looks as though it’s pretty good when it comes to stomach complaints.
In a systematic review of previous studies, a 2018 analysis (²) found that aloe vera is effective and safe for the treatment of patients with IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome) compared to placebo (a substance that has no therapeutic effect, used as a control in testing new drugs).
Aloe vera was also beneficial to people suffering from ulcerative colitis in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 2004(³).
Can It Help With Acid Reflux?
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.
Control of Blood Sugar Levels – Maybe Not So Convincing
Aloe vera has long been used in traditional medicine for controlling diabetes and pre-diabetes. However, the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics conducted a review of the evidence in 2016 and concluded that it was inconclusive, with only some control of blood sugar levels apparent. More studies are required.
Are There Any Problems With Aloe Vera?
As pointed out above, the unprocessed latex is considered to be unsafe in the longer term.
Though anthraquinone is an organic compound naturally found in the leaf of the aloe vera plant, it’s considered toxic and should be avoided.
Non-decolorized (unpurified, high anthraquinone) Aloe vera extracts tested in some studies have resulted in an increased incidence and severity of diarrhea and colon cancers in animal tests.
The compound aloin was specifically identified as a potential cause of cancer. Look out for this ingredient when considering aloe vera juice brands.
WebMD lists special precautions and recommends that aloe vera is not taken in the following situations:
- Pregnancy or breast-feeding
- Diabetes: As pointed out above, some research indicates that aloe vera might lower blood sugar, which could be dangerous in diabetics taking drugs to combat this.
- Intestinal conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or obstruction, could be made worse using unpurified aloe vera.
- 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?
So do users recognise these aloe vera juice benefits?
WebMD has a number of positive reviews from people taking Aloe Vera to manage their acid reflux symptoms:
The Best Aloe Vera Gel
If you want to sample the benefits of aloe vera juice yourself, here are the best highly rated examples we’ve found on Amazon.