Aloe vera is a lot more than that bright green goop you run on a sunburn. It’s a very versatile plant that can be turned into a good-for-you drink.
Here’s everything you need to know about aloe vera juice, including a deep dive into the benefits and potential side effects.
Psst. We also have a fun step-by-step guide to help you make aloe vera juice at home!
Here’s a rundown of the six health benefits of aloe vera juice.
Aloe is a solid source of polyphenols, which are packed with antioxidants. These healthful compounds can protect your bod from free radicals (aka oxidative stress). Free radicals have been linked to lots of health concerns, including certain types of cancer and heart disease.
Aloe also contains aloin, a compound that boasts anti-inflammatory properties. That means aloe might benefit those with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Just keep in mind that we need more research to know this for sure.
2. Healthy skin
Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a dope natural remedy for certain skin conditions. Specifically, studies show it can have a positive impact on burns and other wounds.
Some research also shows that oral aloe vera supplements can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.
FYI: Most research on aloe vera’s effects on the skin involves topical creams or oral supplements, not juice.
3. Digestive health
Got poop probs? Aloe vera might help. Aloe contains a plant compound called anthraquinone glycosides that can relieve constipation. Additionally, some peeps use aloe vera to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But again, we need more research to show the full effects.
PSA: As of 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) no longer approves aloe vera laxatives for over-the-counter (OTC) sales. Also, a lot of the research that shows aloe vera can help constipation is outdated.
4. Oral or dental health
Some studies show that aloe vera juice can be good for your gums and teeth.
In a 2016 study, 74 people with chronic inflammation and pain of the mouth took 1 ounce (30 mL) of aloe vera juice twice a day for three months. At the end of the study, researchers said this method was as effective as hydrocortisone injection treatments.
Another study found that aloe vera mouthwash helped reduce oral mucositis pain in participants with neck and head cancers. Oh, and some research also backs the idea of aloe vera reducing dental plaque.
FYI: We need more research to show if aloe vera juice on its own has a positive impact on oral or dental health.
5. Pre-diabetes or diabetes
Aloe vera juice is a low calorie, low-sugar alternative to other types of juices. (We’re looking at you, OJ.) This makes it a good option for folks who have prediabetes or diabetes.
Additionally, some believe aloe vera is a natural alternative treatment for controlling blood sugar. But the jury is still out on this one.
In a 2016 meta-analysis, researchers found that aloe vera might be able to control blood sugar in folks who have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. A 2015 study also found that aloe vera juice improved blood fatty acid and blood sugar levels in participants with prediabetes.
However, other researchers have noted that aloe vera is not a safe diabetes treatment. That said, you should def talk with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your treatment plan.
6. Source of nutrients
Aloe vera contains various vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can be good for your health. This includes:
- fatty acids
- vitamins A, B12, C, and E
- 20 of the 22 human required amino acids
- hormones like auxins and gibberellins, which can help with wound healing
- healthful enzymes including aliiase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, peroxidase
You can find aloe vera juice in grocery stores or online. But if you want to DIY it, you’re in luck. Aloe vera juice is very easy to make at home. All you need is an aloe vera leaf, water, and a blender. *sings*
This is how you do it:
- Buy a large aloe vera leaf at the grocery store. Or, if you’re a plant bae, use some from your personal plant.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the skin to reveal the gel center. Be very careful, though. The gel is super slippery.
- Using a mesh strainer, rinse the gel in cool water. This helps remove the yellow latex that surrounds the gel and contains most of aloe vera’s laxative properties. If you don’t have a strainer, soak the gel in cool water for an hour. Then gently pour the excess water out.
- Blend the gel with about 8 cups of water. You can let the blender run until the juice is completely smooth. Or, give it a quick blitz if you like the chewy bits.
Pro tip: Aloe vera juice is pretty bitter on its own. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon and a teaspoon of honey for flavor.
There’s no universally recommended daily intake of aloe juice. Just remember that drinking aloe vera juice in excess can have a laxative effect. This side effect is more intense in some than others.
To play it safe, start with 2 fluid ounces once a day and see how you feel. Over time, you can build up to 4 fluid ounces twice a day. Just be sure to cut back or cease use if you experience abdominal cramps or diarrhea.
Aloe vera can be bought as a juice or gel. The gel is the thick, goopy stuff that comes from the inside of the plant. This is typically used as a topical treatment. The juice, which is sort of like a sap, comes from the plant’s leafy parts.
Some studies suggest drinking aloe vera juice — or taking aloe vera supplements — can benefit your health. However, a lot of the research comes from small or non-human studies. We def need a lot more large-scale human trials to explore all the pros and cons.
Since a lot more info is needed, it’s always best to chat with a healthcare professional before switching up your diet or supplement routine.
You should ask your doctor if it’s OK to use aloe vera if you’re nursing or pregnant. Also, ask if any of the medications you take could have a possible interaction.
What is aloe vera juice good for?
Aloe vera juice is a low-sugar drink that’s been linked with various health benefits. It might:
- ease constipation.
- soothe IBS or GERD symptoms.
- benefit overall dental and oral health.
- have a positive effect on wounds and burns.
- reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve skin elasticity.
- help control blood sugar in those who have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
- stave off free radical damage or oxidative stress thanks to antioxidant content.
Reminder: We need more research to show if these benefits are 10/10 legit.
Is it good to drink aloe vera juice every day?
Most folks can tolerate a small serving of aloe vera juice once a day without experiencing side effects like stomach cramps or diarrhea. However, everyone is different. Stop drinking it right away if you have any discomfort.
What are the disadvantages of aloe vera juice?
Overall, aloe vera is a safe and healthy drink. However, you need to keep your serving sizes in check. Consuming a lot of aloe vera can lead to tummy troubles and discomfort.
Who shouldn’t drink aloe vera juice?
You should talk with your healthcare professional before drinking aloe vera juice if you’re pregnant or nursing. Not enough studies have been performed to show if aloe vera is safe for your bébé.
You should also talk with a doctor about potential drug interactions.
Aloe vera juice has been used as a natural remedy for lots of health concerns for centuries. It might have benefits for your overall health thanks to its antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also a decent source of other vitamins and nutrients.
You can buy aloe vera juice at your local grocery store or online. You can also DIY some at home — it’s super easy!
Aloe vera is normally safe to take in the correct dosage. Be sure to stick to small amounts until you know for sure if your body tolerates it well. Drinking too much can cause digestive symptoms like stomach cramps and diarrhea.