Aloe vera is a plant species that has several benefits. This includes both medicinal and nutritional uses. The aloe vera plant has green, gel-filled leaves. The plant of this plant has been used for various purposes over the years, such as for treating wounds, burns, and juice.
It’s a popular choice in many health food cafes and natural food stores. This piece contains some of the benefits and side effects of Aloe vera.
What Are The Benefits Of Aloe Vera?
Aloe is a plant species that is used for various purposes. Some of them include the following:
- Treating constipation: Aloe Vera is a popular choice by people that experiences conditions such as constipation. It’s used because it’s a natural laxative. The outer portion of the plant contains compounds known as anthraquinones that have a laxative effect. It’s important for a first-timer to start with a small serving if considering taking Aloe Vera juice. One serving is usually 1 cup of juice. Although studies and research have shown the efficacy of Aloe Vera as a natural laxative, it’s yet to be established as a safe plant to use for this purpose by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Individuals affected with constipation should speak to their physician about the right laxatives for long-term use.
- For vitamin C: Studies have shown that about 8 oz of fortified aloe vera juice contains 9.1 grams of vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for a person’s overall health, as it’s a natural antioxidant and helps in fighting inflammation. Vitamin has a lot of benefits. This ranges from reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases to improving immune system functions. In addition, getting sufficient vitamin C also improves the body’s ability to absorb iron from plant-based foods. Although vitamin is naturally present in foods such as oranges, green peppers, lemon, tomato juice, and so on. Fortified Aloe Vera is also an important source of vitamin C.
- Staying hydrated: It’s important to drink a sufficient amount of fluids daily. The recommended daily intake of fluid is set at 2.5 liters. Aloe vera juice can be a good alternative to sugary drinks and fruit juices. An 8-oz glass of aloe vera juice contains about 36 calories. However, you should check the label if there are any additives, such as sugar, as this can increase the calorific content. The American Heart Association has recommended the daily sugar intake to no more than 24 grams or 6 teaspoons, a day for females and 36g or 9 teaspoons, a day for males.
- Reducing gum inflammation: Studies have shown that swishing with an aloe vera juice mouthwash helps to reduce gingival inflammation, especially in people who had just undergone treatments to remove plaques from their teeth. In a particular study, 15 participants swished with an Aloe Vera juice mouthwash, and 15 used none. At the end of the study, it was concluded that those who used the mouthwash had less gum inflammation. This was attributed to the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties present in Aloe Vera.
- Controlling blood sugar levels: Research has shown that Aloe Vera may have ‘‘some potential benefit’’ in controlling blood sugar among people. A study carried out on 470 participants. The participants ingested different preparations of Aloe Vera, including juice and powders. The researchers noted that supplementation with Aloe Vera helped improve fasting blood sugar levels among the participants. However, it was concluded that it’d take larger studies to establish the effects of Aloe Vera.
- Preventing stomach ulcers: Aloe Vera has also been shown to have digestive benefits. Some of the benefits of Aloe Vera include reducing stomach ulcers and improving digestion. This has been attributed to the anti-inflammatory compounds in Aloe Vera juice, such as vitamin C.
- In treating anemia: Aloe Vera is useful in the treatment of disorders such as anemia. It’s used in Ayurvedic preparations. Aloe Vera has also been shown to increase the red blood count that helps to keep your hemoglobin levels in check.
What Are The Side Effects Of Aloe Vera?
Although Aloe vera has a lot of benefits. It also has some side effects. Some of the side effects of Aloe Vera include the following:
- Aloe vera leaves contain latex, which comes from underneath the plant’s skin. A lot of people are allergic to latex. Some of the reactions to latex include stomach issues such as irritation, stomach cramps, and low potassium levels. However, Aloe Vera is safe if applied externally and in the right way. More research has to be carried out before Aloe Vera would be established as a treatment option by the Food and Drug regulatory bodies.
- A lot of people are allergic to the Aloe Vera gel, leading to conditions such as skin allergies, redness in the eyes, skin rashes, irritation, and burning sensation. You should immediately stop using; immediately, you notice these changes on your skin.
- The consumption of Aloe Vera may lead to a sudden drop in the blood sugar level. In addition, it also has laxative effects, which may also lead to electrolyte imbalance in diabetics. It’s important to consult your physician before consuming Aloe Vera juice.
- As earlier mentioned, Aloe Vera has laxative effects, which may lead to dehydration. Aloe vera is commonly used as a laxative in improving constipation. However, it could cause dehydration if not used in the recommended amount.
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers have been advised against taking Aloe Vera juice. This is because of its irritant qualities. Aloe vera may stimulate uterine contractions in pregnant women, which may lead to birth complications.
- Aloe vera may also reduce the level of potassium in the body. This could develop into complications such as irregular heartbeat, weakness, and fatigue. In addition, sick people and older adults are advised not to consume it.
- Studies have shown that the bioactive compounds in Aloe Vera may interfere with the liver’s detoxification process, further causing health complications.
- Another common side effect is abdominal discomfort. The Aloe Vera latex can cause excessive cramps and pain in the tummy. You should avoid Aloe Vera, especially when dealing with stomach problems.
Aloe Vera Plant: Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects | BulkSupplements.com. (2019). Retrieved from https://community.bulksupplements.com/aloe-vera/
Cold, F., Health, E., Disease, H., Disease, L., Management, P., & Conditions, S. et al. (2019). Aloe: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-607/aloe
Phiri, A. (2019). What are the Benefits & Side Effects of Drinking Aloe Vera Juice or Gel? Retrieved from https://fitnesspell.com/what-are-the-benefits-and-side-effects-of-drinking-aloe-vera-juice-gel/