Aloe vera is a type of plant often used in creams and ointments to treat certain skin conditions. It’s a popular natural topical treatment–but when this powerful little plant is taken orally as a juice (similar to coconut water), aloe vera juice benefits may provide even more astounding health perks.
But before you run out to your local health food store to look for prepackaged aloe vera juice, it’s important to weigh its perks against some of the known drawbacks. Despite the health benefit claims natural remedy enthusiasts have been raving about, it’s always best to look for as much proof as possible first before diving into any natural remedy.
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
First, it’s worth knowing that two different substances can be taken from the aloe vera plant: One is a gel-like substance found inside the leaves, while the other is yellowish substance found directly beneath the plant’s skin — called latex. Both are used for medicinal purposes, with the latex (the juice) typically used as the type for oral consumption. Many people claim that aloe vera juice can promote weight loss, improve digestion, boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and even provide a general soothing sensation overall. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough scientific evidence out there to back all those claims.
1. Laxative: Despite the significant lack of evidence for some of the claims about its health benefits, aloe vera has long been used as a natural laxative throughout history for its ability to get the bowels moving and encourage elimination within several hours of consumption. According to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, short-term use of aloe’s latex substance is generally safe, but prolonged use may cause dehydration and an imbalance in electrolytes. There also may be a risk of diarrhea or vomiting, which is typically associated with anthraquinone contaminants of the aloe gel substance. Preliminary evidence also suggests that people who suffer from mild to moderate ulcerative colitis can significantly reduce their symptoms by consuming aloe gel.