You’ve probably dabbed a little bit of aloe vera gel on a cut or scrape, and you might have used it to help a sunburn heal faster, too. But what about uses for aloe vera juice? Not surprisingly, this beautiful succulent plant is just as good for your insides as it is for your skin. Whether you’re trying to get rid of constipation or treat indigestion naturally, aloe juice can help. Let’s take a closer look at the many benefits of aloe vera juice.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a spiny succulent plant that is widely cultivated for ornamental, medicinal, and agricultural uses. If you’ve ever had a potted aloe plant, it’s likely that your plant is either related to or the same as those used to produce aloe drinks and other wonderful aloe-based products.
In case you’ve never seen an aloe plant, here’s a quick description. Aloe is a stemless or nearly stemless succulent plant with long, fleshy spike-shaped leaves that feature sharp serrated edges. When split or cut, the leaves produce a thick, clear to yellow-green gel that can be applied to minor cuts and burns.
Besides its usefulness in traditional medicine and cosmetics, aloe finds its way into yogurts and desserts, along with the popular aloe drink we’re about to discuss.
What is Aloe Vera Juice?
Before taking a closer look at aloe juice benefits, it’s important to provide a definition. You might think that aloe juice is simply aloe gel that has been watered down for drinkability, but in fact, this supplement is made from whole aloe leaf that has been ground, pulverized, or crushed before having been purified and filtered to remove toxic, potentially harmful aloe latex.
Aloe juice should be organic, pure, and uncolored (decolorized), as well as low in anthraquinone and aloin. Labels or sales materials should mention that the brand in question has been tested for safety. Look for 100 percent pure aloe vera juice and be sure to check that the brand you’re considering has no added fillers.
There are quite a few good aloe juice brands on the market and many larger supermarkets as well as most health food stores carry this supplement. If you’re looking for a more convenient way to buy aloe vera juice, you can easily order it online.
If you grow your own aloe, you can consume the clear gel from the inner leaf fillet, but be very careful to consume the clear gel only and avoid the leaf and the latex or sap from the leaf. A little bit of leaf or latex probably won’t harm you if eaten just once but as you’ll see when you read through the section on aloe juice side effects, these substances can cause severe discomfort and they’re potentially carcinogenic. For this reason, it’s not a good idea to make aloe juice at home simply by putting leaves through your juicer. Quality commercial aloe drinks have been carefully purified to remove harmful substances and leave only the nutritious, beneficial superfood behind!
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
Many people are familiar with topical aloe vera benefits, but these are quite different from aloe vera drink benefits.
Nutritious, Hydrating Superfood
Like other succulent plants, aloe vera resists drought by holding its water reserves in its leaves. Aloe juice is ultra-hydrating and it’s full of vitamins and minerals. With the exception of those discussed in the section on aloe juice side effects, most people will find that aloe drinks help boost rehydration after workouts, during hot weather, or anytime you need a natural pick-me-up. Aloe vera juice is a good source of vitamins C, E, and folic acid. It also contains copper, chromium, calcium, selenium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese, and a trace of sodium.
Aloe vera juice is a good source of B vitamins, and it’s one of the only known plant sources of vitamin B-12. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, this alone might be a great reason to add aloe juice to your daily regimen. Since different brands offer different nutritional profiles, be sure to check your overall B-12 intake. You may need to continue supplementing with B-12 from other sources.
Many people start taking aloe vera juice as a way to ease digestive complaints like heartburn. This is often effective, since aloe offers natural acid-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties that can bring rapid relief. A one to two ounce aloe drink is often enough to help you feel better. You will want to have your health care provider look into the underlying cause of your indigestion if it happens frequently; often, painful digestive complaints are symptoms that something else is wrong.
Natural Liver Detox
You probably know how important it is to treat your liver with TLC by staying away from toxins and not overdoing it with alcohol. Despite our best efforts, our livers are always hard at work, pulling toxins from food, helping with nutrient metabolism, and producing bile. Aloe vera juice treats your liver to extra hydration and essential phytonutrients while helping to flush away impurities.
Relief from Constipation
Aloe vera is a natural laxative, and aloe juice is a milder form than treatments made with whole aloe. This remedy works by adding moisture to your stool and increasing natural intestinal contractions, so bowel movements occur regularly and stool is easier to pass. If you want to try aloe juice for constipation, start with a dose of about 3 tablespoons of aloe juice three times daily, on an empty stomach.
Relief from Ulcer Pain
If you have a gastric ulcer, you might find that drinking aloe juice helps ease the pain. Since aloe offers natural antibacterial properties, it is generally considered safe for soothing ulcer discomfort. Remember to have your health care provider give you a solid diagnosis and look into the underlying cause of ulcers if you have them. Aloe vera juice has a healing effect but it may not be enough to cure ulcers.
If you want to try aloe vera juice for ulcers, you’ll want to take it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and just before bed. The smallest effective dose is about three tablespoons.
Good for Your Heart
If you’re not taking blood thinners and you want to treat your heart to a healthy boost, consider adding a drink of aloe vera juice to your daily routine. Aloe increases red blood cell efficiency, so each cell transports more oxygen. This makes things a bit easier on your cardiovascular system and can benefit every organ in your body.
Additionally, studies have shown that aloe vera juice might help reduce triglycerides and overall cholesterol, helping your heart even more. Keep in mind, aloe isn’t a panacea; you’ll need to follow a heart healthy diet and treat yourself to plenty of exercise if you want to make the most of this incredible aloe juice benefit.
Stabilize Blood Sugar
While it’s important to avoid aloe vera juice alongside diabetes drugs, people who have prediabetes may benefit by taking an ounce or two of aloe juice after each meal. Diabetics including those who do not use medications may try this as well, but ought to monitor blood sugar carefully and check in with their health care providers beforehand.
Aloe vera juice can reduce blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin sensitivity and making it easier for cells to metabolize glucose correctly. At the same time, it’s vital to take corrective action including enjoying a low GI diet, getting the right amount of exercise, and losing excess weight. Diabetes is a serious disease that can kill you. Even though aloe juice may be beneficial, it’s just one small piece of a much larger puzzle!
Clear, Beautiful Skin
If you have a skin condition such as acne, psoriasis, or general dermatitis, you might find that aloe vera juice helps clear things up when enjoyed on a regular basis. Just like aloe vera gel, aloe juice is good for insect bites, psoriasis, rashes, stretch marks, and little bumps, bruises, scratches, and scrapes. Apply it a few times daily or whenever you feel irritation. You may find that it speeds the healing process while cooling and soothing the pain and perhaps even reducing the appearance of scars.
Prevent and Repair Visible Signs of Aging
Many people appreciate aloe vera juice for its ability to plump up skin, and over time, consumption may even help repair UV damage as well as fine lines and wrinkles. The hydrating effect of aloe juice combined with its many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are to thank for this beautiful benefit!
Since ancient times, aloe has been used for stimulating blood flow to hair follicles, which in turn may speed up hair growth. It’s also fantastic for dandruff, and many people find that it can help prevent premature hair loss. To enjoy these unique benefits, simply rub aloe vera juice or gel into your scalp before bed and rinse it off during your morning shower. If you like, you can mix aloe vera juice with an equal amount of water and use it as a very lightweight leave-in conditioner.
Relief from Radiation Burns
If you have cancer and are undergoing radiation, burns are a possibility. Many patients use aloe vera juice for radiation burns from cancer treatments by applying it topically. At the same time, many who aren’t taking medications contraindicated for use with aloe juice take aloe internally as a way to help speed healing while serving as a source of easily digested nutrients. If you apply aloe or aloe juice to radiation burns from cancer, be very careful to avoid pulling the skin since this can increase pain. Very gently pat the gel or juice onto the affected area and your skin will absorb it on its own.
Painful Gums and Mouth Sores
Many people use aloe vera juice for chemotherapy mouth sores, and some use it to sooth occasional irritated gums. If you burn your mouth, you can quickly ease the pain and promote faster healing by swishing with aloe vera juice, ensuring that you get the juice into the spaces between your teeth and focusing on any areas that feel particularly uncomfortable. As a side benefit, aloe vera juice can help keep teeth and gums cleaner. You don’t want to skip brushing as usual, but you might notice that your teeth feel cleaner!
For this remedy, use about a tablespoon of aloe vera juice. Swish it around for about one minute, and then spit it out. Follow up with a drink of aloe vera juice in the amount you prefer – anywhere from one to eight ounces depending on your overall needs.
There are so many causes of nausea: Morning sickness, chemotherapy, and dietary indiscretion top the list. Luckily, aloe vera juice can often provide relief. Start with just a small amount – about three tablespoons or so – and see if it helps. If you are pregnant and have morning sickness, aloe vera juice can help but shouldn’t be taken in large amounts since too much can cause diarrhea, which brings added complications all its own. If your nausea is from chemotherapy, aloe vera juice is likely to prove very helpful not just for your aching tummy, but for your entire digestive system. Try the smallest dose and see how it affects you before taking more.
Lightweight Moisturizer and More
Not only is aloe vera juice good to drink, it’s also useful for a variety of topical applications. Try it for use as a lightweight moisturizer that won’t block your pores, and try it on irritated skin. It’s also a nice remedy for sunburn, although actual aloe vera gel is quite a bit stronger and perhaps preferable. You can use aloe juice as a natural, lightweight conditioner too; it works wonders on dry, itchy scalps, particularly if you add a drop or two of rosemary or peppermint essential oil.
Ways to Drink Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe juice has a mild, interesting flavor that’s fresh and leafy if a touch medicinal. Some people like to drink aloe plain, simply consuming it chilled. Others prefer to mix it with water or juice before drinking it down, and still others prefer to mix their daily dose of aloe vera juice into a smoothie before consumption. All methods are equally effective so choose the one that appeals to you most!
If you’re not a fan of the taste of aloe vera juice or if you find that your schedule interferes with regular consumption, you might consider taking organic aloe vera capsules instead. These treat you to all the benefits of aloe juice so long as they’re offered by a reputable supplement provider.
How Much Aloe Vera Juice Should I Drink?
The answer to this question depends on your reason for drinking aloe juice. If you’re looking for relief from GERD or acid reflux, Chron’s disease, colitis, celiac, irritable bowel syndrome, or another digestive complaint, then you might want to drink up to three 8-ounce servings daily until your symptoms subside and then cut back to a single six- to eight-ounce serving per day or a few smaller servings that add up to a six- to eight-ounce daily dose of aloe vera juice.
Larger people often need a bit more than smaller ones, i.e. a 120-pound person may need less aloe than someone who weighs over 200 pounds. Many people start with a few glasses of aloe juice per day and then adjust depending on the way that they feel.
Aloe Vera Side Effects
While the benefits of drinking aloe vera are many, there are also just a few side effects to be aware of. Most people won’t experience any of these however they do happen from time to time.
- Abdominal cramps
- Dehydration if diarrhea occurs
Additionally, aloe vera drinks shouldn’t be consumed by people who have latex allergies. While the clear gel that goes into drinks and remedies is different from the yellow latex that the plant produces, contamination can and does happen.
Aloe Vera Drug Interactions
Aloe vera juice benefits most people but you might want to reconsider this supplement if you’re taking any of the following drugs, as there is potential for an adverse interaction.
Anticoagulants, blood thinners, and anti-platelet drugs, supplements, and herbs including some anesthesia drugs:
When taken orally, aloe may slow blood clotting. When taken alongside other substances that prevent clotting, there is a higher risk of increased bleeding. If you have surgery planned, let your doctor know that you drink aloe vera juice. It’s likely that you’ll be asked to stop drinking it for some time prior to your procedure.
Never take aloe vera gel or juice in combination with diabetes drugs, as doing so can increase your risk of hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar).
Since aloe vera taken orally can decrease potassium levels and low potassium may increase digoxin’s side effects, it shouldn’t be combined with digoxin (Lanoxin).
Since oral aloe supplements ca decrease potassium levels, they shouldn’t be combined with diuretics (water pills) as this might cause potassium depletion.
Since aloe vera can stimulate your bowels, pairing it with a laxative may lead to overstimulation, severe diarrhea, and dehydration. If this happens, you may require a potassium supplement.
Everyone Should be Careful When Choosing Aloe Supplements
There’s a very good reason why you should purchase aloe juice from a trusted source if you decide that this supplement is one you’d like to try: Products containing aloe latex may be unsafe, particularly when taken in high doses or consumed daily. While it is true that some laxatives do contain processed aloe latex, the unprocessed variety can cause acute kidney failure when consumed at a rate of just one gram per day over the course of several days. Taking the wrong kind of aloe orally can even lead to death.
If you decide to drink aloe juice on a regular basis, then make sure to choose a brand that contains no aloe latex. Even processed, aloe latex has been linked to cancer when ingested frequently.
Never give aloe latex or whole leaf aloe extract to children under the age of 12.
Unless you’re someone who should avoid this natural tonic due to potential drug interactions or an underlying condition that precludes it, you’re likely to find that the benefits of aloe vera juice far outweigh potential side effects.