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Aloe Vera Juice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

You might have seen a plant that looks prickly on the outside but is soft and mushy on the inside, just like many of us. Here, we are talking about Aloe vera. It is a cactus-like succulent plant that mainly grows in dryer areas of Africa, America, Europe and Asia. You can also find it growing in areas such as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra in India.1

aloe vera juice benefits

The scientific name of aloe vera is Aloe barbadensis miller. It belongs to the family Liliaceae. Its leaves are fleshy with tiny thorns at the edges. Its flowers are like tubes and its fruits have lots of seeds. The aloe vera plant may have a diverse range of potential uses in health, skincare and beauty. Aloe vera has been held in high regard for a long time, about 2000 years ago. It was regarded as the universal panacea by Greek scientists. It has been used by some of the most prominent names in history like Queen Cleopatra, Alexander the great and Christopher Columbus.1

Nutritional Value of Aloe Vera: 

The part of aloe vera that is most commonly used in aloe vera juice is its leaf. Each aloe vera leaf has three parts: 

  • An inner clear gel which mainly contains water 
  • Middle layer of latex 
  • Outer thick layer called the rind.1 

The nutritional composition of Aloe vera is as follows: 

Nutritional Value  Percentage content 
Water  96.2  
Sugars  3.75  
Carbohydrate  3.75 
Sodium  0.08  
Calcium  0.08  
Vitamin C  0.0038 
Iron  0.00152 

The total energy content of aloe vera juice is 15kcal.  

Also Read: Lychee: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Did you know?

  • Aloe vera juice is rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against free radicals. source: USDA
  • Aloe vera juice may aid in digestion and alleviate gastrointestinal issues. source: NCCIH
  • Aloe vera juice can help reduce inflammation in the body. source: NCCIH
  • Aloe vera juice may help lower blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. source: NCCIH
  • Aloe vera juice can be used as a natural laxative to relieve constipation. source: NCCIH
  • Aloe vera juice has been used traditionally to soothe and heal burns and wounds. source: NCCIH
  • Aloe vera juice may help reduce symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. source: NCCIH

The aloe vera plant is packed with many medicinal properties. Some studies suggest that aloe vera gel might aid in wound healing. It is believed that this gel might increase collagen production in wounds, might change collagen composition, and might improve collagen cross-linking, thus promoting wound healing.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Properties of Aloe vera:

The various properties of aloe vera due to which it might be used for different purposes are:

  • It may soften the skin (moisturising effect)
  • It might act against various fungi, bacteria and viruses, and might help to stop their growth (antiseptic property)
  • It might have healing properties
  • It might have inflammation lowering potential
  • It might protect the skin from radiation damage
  • It might boost the immune system
  • It might have an anti-tumour (against tumour growth) action
  • It might act as a chemoprevention agent (prevents ill effects of cancer treatment).
  • It might act as a laxative
  • It might cause increased elasticity and might decrease the appearance of wrinkles (anti-ageing).1

Also Read: Orange: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Potential Uses of Aloe Vera Juice for Overall Health:

Aloe vera juice has many active components in it and may be used for treating various conditions. Aloe vera juice is obtained from the clear gel that is present inside its leaves. Just by scooping up this gel and mixing it with water, you can prepare a glass of refreshing aloe vera juice which might be particularly healthy in summers.3 It might have the following potential uses.

1. Potential Uses of Aloe vera juice for Diabetes:

Aloe vera has been used traditionally for the treatment of diabetes since a long time in different parts of the world. Studies done in animals and even on humans have shown that aloe vera might have a positive effect on the blood sugar level. In some studies, aloe vera gel was administered alone, while in some studies it was mixed with certain other ingredients like psyllium husk (isabgol) and in one study it was given with a medicine prescribed for diabetes.3,4 All of them showed that the consumption of aloe vera might help in lowering blood glucose levels. This may indicate that, aloe vera might be helpful for diabetes.4 However, further studies are needed to ascertain such claims. Moreover, diabetes is a serious condition and must be diagnosed and treated by a dcotor. Kindly ensure that you consult a doctor.

2. Potential Uses of Aloe vera for Cholesterol:

Aloe vera gel might also help in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. In a clinical trial it was seen that the administration aloe vera leaf juice might apparently lower the serum cholesterol and other fats (triglycerides and low density lipoproteins).3,4 It was also seen that due to the combined potential of blood sugar lowering and cholesterol lowering action of aloe vera, the risk of heart diseases due to diabetes might also decrease.4 Further studies in humans are required for concrete proof of its use in lowering cholesterol. Therefore, you should consult a doctor.

3. Potential Uses of Aloe vera for Constipation:

The presence of a bioactive anthraquinone glycosides in aloe vera might be responsible for its laxative potential (promotes passage of stools). In one of the studies, a preparation containing aloe vera was found to potentially help with a range of symptoms that occur due to chronic constipation.4 However, more studies are required to prove such claims.  

4. Potential Uses of Aloe vera for Stomach problems:

Aloe vera might have a potential as a remedy for ulcers of the stomach and inflammatory disease of the bowel.4 Many studies have been conducted to prove the use of aloe vera gel in the form of juice for ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), etc. but the results were not consistent.3,4 There is need for more research as a significant proof for using aloe vera to treat stomach problems.4 You must consult your doctor before using aloe vera for your stomach problems.

5. Potential Uses of Aloe vera for Skin:

Aloe vera juice might help in keeping the skin hydrated. As dehydration causes increased oil production from our skin leading to an acne breakout, aloe vera gel might help with such acne by keeping the skin moist and hydrated. Therefore, drinking aloe vera juice might be helpful for skin health and might give us supple and moisturized skin.3 However, more research is required to prove such claims.

PharmEasy Recommends – Everherb (By Pharmeasy) Aloe Vera Juice With Pulp

6. Potential Uses of Aloe vera for Hair:

In a study done on sheep, aloe vera juice was orally fed to the sheep. Following this, hair growth was seen in areas on the sheep that were balding away. It was hypothesised that this activity may be due to the enzymes, mucopolysachharides and anthranols present in aloe vera plant. This might be an indicator that aloe vera might have potential hair growth action. There is need for further studies in humans to understand the effectiveness of aloe vera for hair growth.5

7. Potential Uses of Aloe vera for weight management:

Aloe vera juice was studied for its effectiveness as a weight loss agent in the laboratory. The tests were aimed to study its activity against pancreatic enzymes which play a major role in absorption of fats from our intestine. The results of the study showed that aloe vera juice might have use as a potent weight loss agent due to its activity against pancreatic enzyme and also due to its activity of lowering fats, triglycerides, cholesterol, etc.6 You must consult your nutritionist and donot make any changes in your diet on your own.

PharmEasy Recommends – Kapiva Thar Aloe Vera Juice (With Pulp)

Aloe vera possesses properties like anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immunomodulatory. These properties might be beneficial in managing certain dental diseases like lichen planus, oral submucosal fibrosis, alveolar osteitis, periodontitis, recurrent aphthous stomatitis, etc.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Other Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice: 

There are a number of conditions on which aloe vera juice might have some effect such as congenital heart failure, varicose veins, haemorrhoids (piles), multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and hepatitis.1 However, there is a lack of scientific evidence of its use for such purposes. You must consult your doctor for proper advice.

Though there are studies that show the potential use of aloe vera juice in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of aloe vera juice on human health. 

Also Read: Beetroot: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

How to Use Aloe vera Juice? 

Aloe vera is available in the market in the form of juice for consumption. You can make fresh aloe vera juice at home as well. Simply scoop the clear gel inside the leaves and blend it with some water. You can add lemon, honey, salt or any other flavouring agents as per your preference. You can consult your Ayurvedic physician regarding the method and dosage of use. Kindly follow your doctor’s advice as they customise the dosage as per your specific body and health requirements.

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor. 

Side Effects of Aloe Vera Juice:

 There might be a few side effects seen with the use of Aloe vera.1 The most common side effects that you might experience:

  • Cramps in abdomen
  • Red urine
  • Hepatitis
  • Loose motions
  • Worsening of constipation
  • Dependency of laxative
  • Low potassium levels (electrolyte imbalance)
  • Using it for a very long time increases the chances of causing colorectal cancer.1

If you experience any side effects, seek immediate medical attention from your doctors who have prescribed it to you. They will be the best guide to provide you with proper treatment.

Also Read: Curry Leaves: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Precautions to Take with Aloe vera Juice:  

For using aloe vera juice for medicinal purposes, it is best to consult your Ayurvedic physician for advice and method of use. However, it is not to be used:

  • If you know that you are allergic to plant and plant products of Liliaceae family.1
  • By pregnant women; it is said to cause contraction of the uterus, and may cause termination of a pregnancy.1
  • It might sometimes cause stomach upset and other stomach problems in nursing infants, so it should not be consumed by nursing mothers.1
  • Without consulting a doctor, people should not use aloe vera juice to self-medicate themselves

Interactions with Other Drugs:

Please make sure that you give your Ayurvedic physician complete information about your health problems and the medicines that you take. This is so that they can take precautions while prescribing aloe vera juice as it interacts with a few drugs.

  • Along with furosemide (which might be prescribed to you for swelling, kidney, liver and heart diseases) aloe vera might cause potassium depletion.
  • It may react with insulin and the medicines that were prescribed to you for lowering blood sugar, as aloe vera causes the decrease of blood sugar levels.1

Also Read: Guduchi: Uses, Benefits, Side effects and More!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) Can aloe vera juice be used by pregnant women?

There is not enough evidence that supports the use of aloe vera juice for pregnant women and due to possible side effects, one must avoid aloe vera juice during pregnancy.

2) What are aloe vera juice benefits for hair?

An animal study has shown that aloe vera when taken orally might help hair growth. Therefore, aloe vera juice might be good for hair growth. There is a need for further studies on humans to be certain.5

3) Can aloe vera juice be used for better eyesight?

No. There were no reports or scientific backing regarding the use of aloe vera juice for better eyesight. More evidence is required in the form of research to prove it as a fact.

4) Does aloe vera juice reduce blood sugar?

A study has shown that aloe vera juice might help in lowering blood sugar and it might also cause a lowering of cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which together might be helpful for people with diabetes and it may also reduce the risk of heart diseases in them.4 However, more research is required. Kindly ensure that you consult a doctor.

5) Does aloe vera lower high blood pressure?

No. There is not enough evidence to prove that aloe vera juice can lower blood pressure.

6) I started drinking aloe vera juice and my urine is turning red. Is it normal?

Red urine is one of the side effects of aloe vera juice consumption.1 Kindly consult a physician for further steps, they will provide you sound medical advice.1

7) Can aloe vera juice be used for treating Alzheimer’s diseases?

Although the use of aloe vera juice for Alzheimer’s disease has been found in literature, there is a lack of enough evidence in the form of research.1 

8) Can aloe vera juice be used for varicose veins?

The use of aloe vera juice for various conditions like varicose veins, hepatitis, depression, etc. have been stated, but there is no scientific backing to these claims. So, the use of aloe vera juice for these conditions cannot be confirmed.1

9) Does aloe vera juice help in losing weight?

Aloe vera juice might be helpful in weight management. It may be due to its action against pancreatic enzymes, thus helping in reduced absorption of fats and calories. Therefore, aloe vera juice might be a potential weight loss agent.1 However, due to insufficient evidence such effects cannot be confirmed, kindly consult a doctor.

10) What are the benefits of drinking aloe vera juice?

Drinking aloe vera juice can be beneficial for our health as it has multiple beneficial effects such as: acting as a weight loss agent, helping in hair growth, may be beneficial for diabetes, cholesterol, skin etc.3–6 However, more research is required to prove such claims and a doctor may be able to advise better on using aloe vera in the correct dosage and form to benefit for different conditions.

References:

1.        Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple D. ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW. Indian J Dermatol. 2008 Oct 1;53(4):163. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/

2.        USDA. FoodData Central Search Results: Aloe vera juice drink [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2022 May 23]. p. 1–4. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170096/nutrients

3.        The Benefits of Drinking Aloe Vera Juice What is aloe vera juice ? [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2022 [cited 2022 May 27]. Available from: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-aloe-vera-drink/

4.        Foster M, Hunter D, Samman S. Evaluation of the nutritional and metabolic effects of Aloe vera. Benzie , IFF ; Wachtel-Galor S, editor. Vol. 1820, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects: Second Edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. 37–54 p. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92765

5.        Noreen S. A Close Look at Aloe Vera Barbadensis and It ‘ s Effect on Hair Health. 2020;(July). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342588964_A_Close_Look_at_Aloe_Vera_Barbadensis_and_It’s_Effect_on_Hair_Health

6.        DISALVA X, SHARANYA M, MAHENDRAN RADHA. Aloe Vera: an Assured Weight Loss Diet – an Approach Toward Improving the Juice Palatability and in Silico Analysis. Asian J Pharm Clin Res. 2019;(August):331–6. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334989163_ALOE_VERA_AN_ASSURED_WEIGHT_LOSS_DIET_-AN_APPROACH_TOWARD_IMPROVING_THE_JUICE_PALATABILITY_AND_IN_SILICO_ANALYSIS

 Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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