5 Benefits of Drinking Aloe Vera Juice

Discover the benefits and risks of drinking aloe vera juice. How to make homemade aloe vera juice, which products to buy, and how much to drink.

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Published:
July 19, 2024
August 28, 2023
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In the realm of natural remedies, few plants have garnered as much attention and acclaim as the aloe vera plant, a succulent species hailing from the genus Aloe. Grown mostly in tropical climates, this remarkable plant has a history in ancient medicine that spans centuries. 

Recent research has revealed many benefits associated with this plant, particularly its antioxidant properties that can potentially contribute to improved health and wellness. 

Possible benefits of drinking aloe vera juice include promoting oral hygiene, radiant, healthy-looking skin, supporting digestion, and even regulating blood sugar levels.

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What Is Aloe Vera Juice? Nutrition & Uses  

Aloe vera has been used as a natural remedy for many conditions throughout the ages. The gel-like substance found within its leaves has been harvested for its potential medicinal properties and used in several cultures, including Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan, and China. Historically, aloe vera was widely known for its topical benefits, soothing burns, and nourishing the skin.1

In today’s modern world, aloe vera juice has gained popularity as a natural health supplement. Aloe vera juice is derived from the gel-like substance within the aloe vera plant leaves.

The juice form of this medicinal plant offers a convenient way to reap the potential benefits of consuming the plant orally.

Nutritional Profile of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera juice is not just a trendy wellness fad; it's a potent source of essential nutrients vital to health and well-being. Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, aloe vera juice provides a robust dose of antioxidants, which play a crucial role in combating oxidative stress and boosting the body's defense mechanisms. 

The translucent elixir also boasts an array of minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and zinc, which all play significant roles in important bodily functions.

Aloe vera juice also contains a group of compounds called polysaccharides. These complex carbohydrates are believed to support immune function and aid digestion, enhancing the body's ability to absorb nutrients efficiently. Additionally, aloe vera juice contains enzymes that might facilitate the breakdown of sugars and fats, potentially improving digestion.2

Let’s dive deeper into the specific health benefits of aloe vera juice.

What Is It Good For? 5 Aloe Vera Juice Benefits

Aside from being rich in important nutrients, research shows that using aloe vera topically or drinking aloe vera juice may benefit digestive, skin, and dental health and improve blood sugars.

  1. Boost Your Intake of Important Nutrients

Drinking aloe vera juice can help you increase your intake of vitamins A, C, and E, important antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress and bolster the body's defenses. It’s also rich in magnesium, calcium, and zinc.2

The antioxidant polyphenols found in aloe vera may also have anti-inflammatory properties.3

  1. Supports Digestive Health

Aloe vera contains plant compounds called anthraquinone glycosides that have a laxative effect, making aloe vera a possible remedy for treating constipation. However, it’s important to know that existing research on aloe vera as a constipation reliever is outdated, and the safety of its use for this purpose is unknown.4

Recent research explores using aloe vera syrup to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Research in this area is still new, so whether aloe vera is an effective treatment for these conditions remains to be seen.5,6

The polysaccharides in aloe vera may aid in digestion, enhancing the body's ability to absorb nutrients efficiently. Aloe vera’s enzymes may also play a role in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats, potentially improving digestion.2

  1. Improves Skin Health and Appearance

While there is plenty of research on the topical application of aloe vera, more research is needed on oral supplementation with aloe vera.

Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties have made it popular for treating burns and other skin disorders like atopic dermatitis.7,8

Two studies have found oral supplementation with aloe vera to provide anti-aging benefits, such as improved skin elasticity, increased collagen production, and fewer wrinkles. These studies examined the use of aloe vera supplements, not aloe vera juice.9,10

  1. Supports Dental and Oral Health

Some studies suggest that aloe vera may have a role in dentistry. Because of its purported antibacterial properties, aloe vera may help treat some dental and oral conditions.13

It is also believed that aloe vera may reduce oral plaque and manage pain and swelling following oral surgery.14

  1. May Help Manage Blood Sugar

Some older research suggests that aloe vera gel and aloe vera juice may improve blood glucose control in people living with type 2 diabetes.4,11

Another study showed that consuming aloe vera juice decreased blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels in people with prediabetes. 

While this research sounds encouraging, some studies suggest the opposite. More large-scale research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of aloe vera juice as a treatment for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. 

Currently, aloe vera juice is not considered a safe or effective treatment for diabetes. 

Side Effects And Risks of Aloe Vera Juice

While aloe vera is often associated with various health benefits, including its use in skincare and potential internal consumption, drinking too much aloe vera juice can lead to various side effects and risks. 

Consuming too much aloe vera juice may cause unwanted digestive symptoms like stomach cramping and diarrhea. If diarrhea remains chronic, electrolyte imbalances and dehydration may occur.4

Some people may experience allergic reactions to aloe vera. Consuming larger amounts of aloe vera increases the risk of allergic reactions such as skin rash, itching, or even more severe symptoms like difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.

Certain compounds in aloe vera, such as aloin, have been linked to liver inflammation and potential damage. Chronic consumption of aloe vera juice, especially products not properly processed to remove these compounds, could increase the risk of liver issues.

Aloe vera may interact with certain medications. If you are taking medications for diabetes, heart conditions, or diuretics, talk to your doctor before ingesting aloe juice, as it may increase the risk of adverse side effects.

How Much Aloe Vera Juice Should You Drink Daily?

Before starting aloe vera juice, check with a health professional to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for you, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions, are taking medications, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. They can provide personalized advice based on your individual health needs.

Start your aloe vera intake slowly and increase gradually. Start with two to four ounces daily, and see how your body tolerates it. It is not recommended to drink more than 8 oz daily as it is more than your body can absorb and may cause laxative effects. 

How Can You Make Aloe Vera Juice?

You can make aloe vera juice at home or buy it ready to drink. 

  1. Harvesting the Aloe Vera Leaves

Choose mature and healthy aloe vera leaves for optimal potency and quality. It's best to select leaves from the outer part of the plant. Using a clean, sharp knife, carefully cut the selected leaves close to the base of the plant.

  1. Extracting the Gel

Place the cut leaves upright in a bowl or container for 15 to 20 minutes. This allows the yellowish sap, known as latex, to drain out. The latex can taste bitter and cause digestive discomfort for some individuals.

Once the latex has drained, rinse the leaves thoroughly under running water to remove any remaining sap. Lay the leaves flat on a clean surface and carefully slice off the thorny edges of the leaves using a sharp knife.

Using a knife or spoon, gently peel off the outer skin of the leaves to reveal the clear gel inside. Be cautious not to include any parts of the skin, as it can be bitter and potentially cause digestive issues.

  1. Blending or Juicing

Transfer the extracted aloe vera gel to a blender or juicer. If you're using a blender, consider cutting the gel into smaller pieces for easier blending. Blend the aloe vera gel until it becomes a smooth and consistent liquid. If the consistency is too thick, add a small amount of water to thin it out. Alternatively, you can add a splash of citrus juice (such as lemon or orange) to enhance the flavor and preserve the juice.

  1. Straining and Storing

While aloe vera gel generally blends smoothly, you can strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any remaining small pieces or fibers.

Pour the strained juice into a clean glass container with an airtight lid. Store it in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life. Homemade aloe vera juice doesn't contain preservatives, so it's best to use it within a week or two.

Tips for Consuming Aloe Vera Juice

If you’re sold on the possible benefits of drinking aloe vera juice and want to try it out for yourself, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Consult with your healthcare provider before using aloe vera juice to ensure it is safe and appropriate. 
  • Purchase aloe vera juice only from reputable brands.
  • Choose USDA-certified organic aloe vera juice free of additives, preservatives, and added sugar.
  • Look for aloe vera juice that contains less than 10 PPM of aloin. 
  • Start with a small amount, about 2 to 4 oz, to ensure your body tolerates aloe vera juice well.
  • Drink aloe vera juice plain or add it to smoothies for a nutrient boost.
  • Once opened, refrigerate aloe vera juice to preserve its effectiveness and prolong its shelf life.

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References

  1. Surjushe, A., Vasani, R., & Saple, D. G. (2008). Aloe vera: a short review. Indian journal of dermatology, 53(4), 163–166. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5154.44785
  2. Liu, C., Cui, Y., Pi, F., Cheng, Y., Guo, Y., & Qian, H. (2019). Extraction, Purification, Structural Characteristics, Biological Activities and Pharmacological Applications of Acemannan, a Polysaccharide from Aloe vera: A Review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(8), 1554. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081554
  3. Hęś, M., Dziedzic, K., Górecka, D., Jędrusek-Golińska, A., & Gujska, E. (2019). Aloe vera (L.) Webb.: Natural Sources of Antioxidants - A Review. Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 74(3), 255–265. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-019-00747-5
  4. Foster M, Hunter D, Samman S. Evaluation of the Nutritional and Metabolic Effects of Aloe vera. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 3. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92765/
  5. Panahi, Y., Khedmat, H., Valizadegan, G., Mohtashami, R., & Sahebkar, A. (2015). Efficacy and safety of Aloe vera syrup for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a pilot randomized positive-controlled trial. Journal of traditional Chinese medicine = Chung i tsa chih ying wen pan, 35(6), 632–636. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0254-6272(15)30151-5
  6. Størsrud, S., Pontén, I., & Simrén, M. (2015). A Pilot Study of the Effect of Aloe barbadensis Mill. Extract (AVH200®) in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Journal of gastrointestinal and liver diseases : JGLD, 24(3), 275–280. https://doi.org/10.15403/jgld.2014.1121.243.sst
  7. Luo, X., Zhang, H., Wei, X., Shi, M., Fan, P., Xie, W., Zhang, Y., & Xu, N. (2018). Aloin Suppresses Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammatory Response and Apoptosis by Inhibiting the Activation of NF-κB. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(3), 517. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23030517
  8. Kudłacik-Kramarczyk, S., Głąb, M., Drabczyk, A., Kordyka, A., Godzierz, M., Wróbel, P. S., Krzan, M., Uthayakumar, M., Kędzierska, M., & Tyliszczak, B. (2021). Physicochemical Characteristics of Chitosan-Based Hydrogels Containing Albumin Particles and Aloe vera Juice as Transdermal Systems Functionalized in the Viewpoint of Potential Biomedical Applications. Materials (Basel, Switzerland), 14(19), 5832. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14195832
  9. Kaminaka, C., Yamamoto, Y., Sakata, M., Hamamoto, C., Misawa, E., Nabeshima, K., Saito, M., Tanaka, M., Abe, F., & Jinnin, M. (2020). Effects of low-dose Aloe sterol supplementation on skin moisture, collagen score and objective or subjective symptoms: 12-week, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. The Journal of dermatology, 47(9), 998–1006. https://doi.org/10.1111/1346-8138.15428
  10. Tanaka, M., Misawa, E., Yamauchi, K., Abe, F., & Ishizaki, C. (2015). Effects of plant sterols derived from Aloe vera gel on human dermal fibroblasts in vitro and on skin condition in Japanese women. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 8, 95–104. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S75441
  11. Suksomboon, N., Poolsup, N., & Punthanitisarn, S. (2016). Effect of Aloe vera on glycaemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics, 41(2), 180–188. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpt.12382
  12. Alinejad-Mofrad, S., Foadoddini, M., Saadatjoo, S. A., & Shayesteh, M. (2015). Improvement of glucose and lipid profile status with Aloe vera in pre-diabetic subjects: a randomized controlled-trial. Journal of diabetes and metabolic disorders, 14, 22. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40200-015-0137-2
  13. Sujatha, G., Kumar, G. S., Muruganandan, J., & Prasad, T. S. (2014). Aloe vera in dentistry. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR, 8(10), ZI01–ZI2. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2014/8382.4983
  14. Gupta, R. K., Gupta, D., Bhaskar, D. J., Yadav, A., Obaid, K., & Mishra, S. (2014). Preliminary antiplaque efficacy of aloe vera mouthwash on 4 day plaque re-growth model: randomized control trial. Ethiopian journal of health sciences, 24(2), 139–144. https://doi.org/10.4314/ejhs.v24i2.6

About the author

Victoria Whittington earned her Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition from the University of Alabama and has over 10 years of experience in the health and fitness industry.

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