Aloe is a great plant to have around the house. Aloe gel, otherwise known as aloe juice, is the jelly like substance inside the aloe plant. This juice is great for soothing skin ailments like sunburn, frostbite, burns, cold sores, and psoriasis. This gel can be store bought or even gleaned from your own home aloe plant. Some studies have even indicated that aloe gel kills bacteria and can increase the skin’s blood circulation. And did you know you can even drink aloe juice?
Though aloe is a great tool in your health care arsenal, there are a few things to consider. Medline Plus writes that the benefits of aloe juice are great, especially for your skin, but using aloe is not without risks.
The Benefits of Aloe Juice
Clinical studies have supported the use of aloe vera for burns. One such study even showed that aloe vera gel was helpful for skin burns in animals that had become infected. Drinking aloe vera may also aid treatment of colitis, though more information is needed. The benefits of aloe juice may extend to people with type 2 diabetes who are following a diet for diabetes, by successfully lowering blood sugar levels when taken by mouth. Finally, research has suggested that aloe has anti-inflammatory properties, may offer psoriasis relief, and could even play a role in stopping the growth of cancer cells.
The Risks of Aloe Juice
Taking aloe juice by mouth is more risky than using it topically. Aloe latex can be used to relieve constipation, but this means that it has a laxative effect that can eventually become harmful. Using aloe juice this way can aggravate IBS and intestinal obstructions and may cause a dangerous decrease in potassium. It is extra risky for pregnant or breastfeeding women to use aloe juice and can even cause miscarriages. Finally, children should not drink aloe juice.
Because using aloe juice has both risks and benefits, its important to consult your doctor before ingesting it for any reason. However, with reason, aloe vera is a great tool.
- “Aloe”, MedlinePlus by U.S. National Library of Medicine
- “Aloe (Aloe vera)”, Mayo Clinic
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