Recently I had been experiencing flare ups from my Crohn disease condition that had been plaguing me since childhood. I thankfully had a break for about thirty years. I decided that I needed to have a check in with the Doc for a colonoscopy, which is not one of my favorite things too, do. To reduce the latest flare ups I have been experiencing, I bought Aloe Vera Juice, which has always took the edge off the pain.
When I told my new gastrointestinal Doc this, he almost flipped out! He told me to stop drinking Aloe Juice going forward due to some kind of side effect and that over time it would stop working. As usually I can get rebellious and tend to do my own thing, partially due to how I feel the medical community just wants you sick and miserable so they can enjoy life with thick wallets!
After doing research by looking at medical research sites I found information that helps make sense of why my Doc would react like he did. Like other herbal supplements, taking Aloe Vera internally can cause adverse interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Aloe Vera may inhibit or increase the effects of some drugs, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. For example, it may increase the blood-sugar-lowering effects of some diabetes medications and may cause potassium loss if taken with water pills or diuretics for heart conditions.
Aloe Vera may also cause abdominal cramping, allergic skin reaction, constipation, dehydration, dependency if used as a laxative, delayed wound healing, diarrhea, electrolyte imbalance, excess bleeding, hardening of the skin, Henoch-Schönlein purpura (purple spots on the skin), hepatitis, hives, increased risk of colorectal cancer, increased risk of irregular heartbeat, kidney failure, liver toxicity, low potassium in the blood, muscle weakness, redness of the skin and eyelids, skin dryness, skin inflammation from sun exposure, soreness, splitting of the skin, stinging, stomach discomfort, thyroid dysfunction, urinary stone, uterine contractions, and widespread inflammation of the skin.
The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center warns that drinking Aloe Vera can cause adverse effects such as diarrhea. This occurs because aloe juice and aloe latex contain a substance called anthraquinone, which is a laxative. Severe diarrhea can cause pain, cramping and dehydration. Consult your doctor or nutritionist before ingesting this herb and do not consume Aloe Vera that is not produced for internal use.
Aloe Vera juice contains leaf pulp that is rich in natural nutrients and fiber. This well-known herbal remedy for the skin also has many benefits for internal healing, cleansing and repair when ingested as a nutritional drink. However, it can cause adverse side effects and reactions and should only be taken as directed. Do not consume Aloe Vera that is not made for internal, use and consult your doctor before self-medicating for any reason.
So after reading about all of this research I wondered, could the Egyptians and the ancients have been wrong about this ancient remedy? I read further on to natural health sites and found amazing information that helps back up what I have personally experienced with Aloe Juice and found many additional benefits!
Aloe Vera contains nutrient compounds that help to heal and soothe the skin when used externally. It may also have similar benefits on the lining of the digestive tract, when ingested as a drink. A review published in the “British Journal of General Practice” notes that Aloe Vera decreases irritation and enhances healing and repair of ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Aloe Vera juice also helps to decrease inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and other inflammatory disorders of the gut. Additionally, Aloe Vera can increase healthy bacteria in the intestines that aid digestion.
Research published in the “Journal of Environmental Science and Health” notes that Aloe Vera contains anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that aid the immune system to cleanse the body of toxins and invading pathogens. Additionally, Aloe Vera helps to balance the immune system to reduce the effects of seasonal allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory immune disorders.
Taking Aloe Vera internally may also help improve blood circulation in the body. A clinical study published in the medical journal “Angiology” reported that Aloe Vera may help decrease total fat levels in patients with high cholesterol. This helps to reduce fatty deposits and blood clots in the arteries of the heart and body. The research noted that patients with diabetes showed the highest improvement in cholesterol level; however, the exact mechanism of these benefits are not yet determined.
All of this time I just took this Aloe Vera Juice to avert flare-ups in my gut! I had no idea I would discover so much more about the healing effects of Aloe Vera Juice. I used to take Aloe Gel and wondered what the differences are? I found that the Aloe Vera plant, is a plant with topical and oral value. Both the gel and the juice are beneficial, but come from different parts of the plant and have specific and vastly different uses. Always make sure to talk to a trusted health care adviser before using Aloe Vera as an oral or topical medicine.
The central portion of Aloe Vera leaves contains a clear gel that is often used as a topical ointment. The gel makes a skin-soothing salve for sunburns and is a remedy for minor cuts and burns as well. In fact, the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC, reports that active compounds in Aloe Vera gel known as glycoproteins and polysaccharides may reduce pain and inflammation while stimulating skin growth and healing. Other uses for Aloe Vera gel include treating psoriasis and genital herpes.
Aloe Vera juice is derived from the outer parts of the leaf and is consumed orally as a health tonic. The same skin-healing substances that exist in the gel are present in the juice and have immune-system enhancing effects. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that Aloe Vera Juice is used to treat asthma, epilepsy, diabetes and osteoarthritis.
And while more research is needed to determine its effects as a diabetes treatment, the UMMC notes that preliminary evidence shows it has a blood-sugar lowering effect on type-2 diabetics. Additionally, the skin of the aloe leaf yields a bitter liquid that is a potent laxative.
I learned many health related things about Aloe Vera as a juice and as a gel, after using this natural product for many years, it is good to know the Pros and Cons to Aloe Vera. My take away is to not use it as frequently as every day or several times of day, however use Aloe Vera juice or gel as a break glass when needed.
Thank you for reading!
Neil Saint Angeland
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