Do you think drinking aloe vera juice is a new health fad? Well, you couldn’t have been more wrong. This succulent plant has been used for medicinal purposes in various cultures for centuries. Though it is believed to have been originated in Sudan, it grows in other parts of Africa and India as well. Ancient Chinese, Egyptians and Indians used this succulent plant for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Aloe vera juice benefits your health in several ways from providing glowing outer skin to improved immunity from inside.
Aloe vera is a succulent species from the genus Aloe, and it grows in tropical climates. The leaves of this plant contain amino acids, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin E, lignins and many other minerals and enzymes.
Aloe vera juice benefits include boosting immunity, improving digestive system, protecting the heart and improving skin. In fact, the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries use the extract of aloe vera for many products. Let’s read aloe vera juice benefits in detail.
How to make aloe vera juice?
Though aloe vera juice is available easily on the market, it is the best to consume fresh aloe vera juice as many nutrients lose their potency when the juice is processed.
- One fresh fleshy aloe vera leaf
- 100 ml of water
- One tablespoon of honey(optional)
- Wash a thick, fleshy, mature leaf of the aloe vera plant and place it fat side up.
- Slice off the top layer to expose the transparent flesh underneath.
- Scrape off this clear pulp with a spoon. This fresh aloe vera gel has a mild taste and is neither bitter nor sour.
- Put two tablespoons of this gel and 100 of water in a blender and blend it until it is well mixed.
- You can add a tablespoon of honey to this mixture to sweeten it.
- You can also add this mixture to smoothies and lemonades.
- Don’t drink more than one cup of this mix during the day.
Aloe vera juice benefits
1. Alkalizing effect
Our blood should be slightly alkaline for our body to be healthy. While blood pH of 7.35 to 7.45 is considered healthy, anything below 7.35 makes our body prone to diseases. This is known as acidosis.
While foods of animal origin have an acidifying effect on the body, vegetables and citrus fruits improve the alkalinity of the body. Aloe vera juice benefits your body by providing an alkalizing effect.
So, if you are feeling under the weather, drink a cup of aloe vera juice to restore the pH balance of the body and immediately feel the difference.
2. Boosts immunity
Aloe vera is an excellent source of zinc, which plays an essential role in maintaining the immunity of our body. Aloe vera contains enzymes that help to break down the protein that we consume into amino acids.
Aloe vera is also becoming popular for use in dentistry because of its anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties (1). According to a 2014 study, not only is aloe vera completely natural, but it also has proved to be nonallergic.
3. Prevents dehydration
The aloe vera plant is very water dense and can prevent dehydration. The aloe vera juice contains potassium and does an excellent job of maintaining blood fluid balance. Keeping your body hydrated helps it to detox as well.
- Also read: How Much Water Should I Drink a Day?
4. Helps relieve constipation
Drinking aloe vera juice helps increase the water content in the intestines. According to research anthraquinone glycosides present in aloe latex increases intestinal water and increases intestinal peristalsis (contractions that help to break down food and mix the chyme).
5. Helps in digestion
Drinking aloe vera juice helps maintain alkaline/acidic balance, lowers yeast formation, and encourages digestive bacteria. According to a study on 33 Iranian patients with irritable bowel syndrome, an eight-week treatment with 30 ml of aloe vera juice proved to be effective in reducing pain and discomfort of patients (3).
According to another study done on rats, the gastric acid levels in rats treated with aloe vera were significantly less. Though further human research is needed, this proves that aloe vera can be used to heal and soothe stomach ulcers because of its antibacterial and healing properties (4).
6. Reduces inflammation
Aloe vera juice is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals that help to reduce inflammation and prevent damage from free radicals. Vitamin A found in aloe vera helps keep our eyes and skin healthy and helps with the neurological function.
Vitamin C in aloe vera helps prevent cardiovascular diseases and prenatal health problems. Vitamin E helps slow down the aging of the cells.
Aloe vera also contains some amounts of calcium, copper, chromium, sodium, selenium, zinc. It is also the only plant source of vitamin B 12.
7. Helps treat heartburn and GERD
According to recent research decolorized and purified aloe vera juice may be helpful in reducing the symptoms of acid reflux. According to this 2015 study, 79 people were given aloe vera syrup over a period of four weeks.
The acid reflux symptoms like heartburn, nausea, flatulence, belching and acid regurgitation of these subjects reduced significantly, without any side effects (5).
Aloe vera juice is very hydrating, which helps in keeping our kidneys functioning well and helps our liver to get rid of waste. Aloe vera is rich in phytonutrients help to reset liver enzymes which may have become elevated.
Aloe vera juice also contains many vitamins and minerals that help keep our liver healthy.
9. Skin benefits
Aloe vera juice is also used for the treatment of acne. Auxin and Gibberellins, the two hormones found in aloe vera, have anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing skin inflammation.
The antioxidants found in aloe vera also help in reducing and repairing the damage caused by the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. This helps in reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
Aloe vera is a rich source of vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene, which are known to nourish the skin and prevent aging.
10 Helps to reduce menstrual pain
Aloe vera juice contains anti-inflammatory properties which help in reducing stomach pain during menstruation. When mixed with honey, aloe vera juice becomes even more effective in reducing menstrual pain.
11. Can treat diabetes
Aloe vera juice has also been used as a traditional remedy for treating diabetes in Latin America and the Arabian Peninsula. According to some human and animal trials, Aloe vera can treat chronic hyperglycemia and perturbed lipid profile, which can lead to cardiovascular complications in patients with diabetes mellitus.
According to one trial, 72 women with diabetes were given one teaspoon of aloe vera gel for six weeks. Their blood glucose levels and serum triglyceride levels were significantly reduced with aloe vera treatment (6).
Side effects of aloe vera
Although, aloe vera juice benefits on our health cannot be ignored. But there are chances that it may not suit you and can lead to harmful side effects. Generally, decolorized aloe vera juiced is considered safe. Nondecolorized aloe vera juice can have some side effects.
1. Allergic reaction
Drinking aloe vera juice can cause an allergic reaction in some people. This allergy is common in people who are allergic to plants from the Liliaceae family like onion, garlic, hyacinths, and tulips. These people may develop rashes on the skin, swelling of the face or may have difficulty in breathing.
2. Low blood sugar
If you have diabetes, be careful while drinking aloe vera juice. According to some research aloe, vera may cause a drop in blood sugar levels, which can be harmful to patients with diabetes.
3. Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
If you make juice from the whole leaf rather than just the gel of the aloe vera leaf, it may cause abdominal cramping and diarrhea. If you drink this juice for an extended period, it can lead to laxative dependency and can cause constipation once you stop drinking it.
4. Uterine contractions
Pregnant and lactating mothers should not consume aloe vera juice. It can stimulate contractions in pregnant women and can cause miscarriage.
Sevoflurane is used as an anesthetic during surgery. It also decreases clotting of the blood. Aloe may reduce the clotting of the blood and can lead to excessive bleeding during surgery. You should avoid having aloe vera juice at least two weeks before you are due to have your surgery.
2. Antidiabetes drugs
Diabetes drugs are taken to reduce the blood sugar levels. Aloe vera juice is also known to lower blood sugar. If you take aloe juice along with anti-diabetes medications, it may cause your blood sugar levels to go too low.
Some antidiabetes drugs that may interact with aloe juice are glimepiride, chlorpropamide, pioglitazone, insulin, and glyburide.
3. Cytochrome drugs
Avoid aloe vera juice if you are taking medications that are substrates of Cytochrome P450 3A4 and CYP2D6. Aloe vera can increase the risk of side effects of these drugs (7).
Final thoughts on aloe vera juice benefits
Though aloe vera juice has numerous health benefits, it can also cause many side effects and interact with prescribed drugs. If you are under medication, it is always better to consult with a doctor before you start taking aloe vera juice. An overdose of anything can be bad for health so we recommend that you should not drink more than four ounces of aloe vera juice in a day.