Juice or gel? Aloe vera facts

Scientific evidence for the cosmetic and therapeutic effectiveness of aloe vera is limited. But, the cosmetic and alternative medicine industries regularly make claims regarding the soothing, moisturising and healing properties of aloe vera. Aloe vera gel is used as an ingredient in commercially available lotions, yogurt and beverages, and is recommended by many nutritionists. 

Aloe vera juice is often suggested to improve circulation, regulate blood pressure, heal bones and joints, strengthen the immune system, defend the body against bacteria, heal internal tissue damage, heal ulcers, improve and even eliminate constipation, and reduce itchiness in psoriasis. Aloe vera is said to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Some even argue that aloe vera works to reduce and stabilise the body mass index by stimulating the metabolic rate in the liver cells so that more energy is burnt. Carrisyn, an extract of aloe vera, is believed to stimulate the production of infection-fighting blood cells and, in so doing, strengthens the immune system.

Aloe vera juice contains 19 amino acids and 20 minerals such as calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, chromium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc.

Aloe vera has been used externally as a soothing balm and a remedy for cuts, scrapes and burns.

But there are certain precautions one must take before consuming aloe vera juice/ extract:

*First, get the ‘go-ahead’ from your physician.

*One of the most common side effects of consuming aloe vera juice is stomach pain or abdominal cramps. Since aloe vera juice contains laxative compounds, diarrhoea and electrolyte imbalance are common side effects. So, aloe vera juice is not recommended for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, hemorrhoids, or ulcers.

*Consumption of aloe vera juice can result in the lowering of potassium levels. This is generally seen in people suffering from diabetes, heart trouble, or kidney ailments.

*People suffering from thyroid trouble should refrain from drinking aloe vera juice.

*Consumption of aloe vera or aloe vera juice is not advisable during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It can cause cramps, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and uterine
contractions, which can lead to abortion in pregnant women. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid consumption of aloe vera juice as it could cause complications for the newborn.

*Often, an allergic reaction occurs when one starts drinking aloe vera juice. Rashes, if any, could last for a few days.

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