Aloe vera is a tropical plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for at least 6,000 years. Although aloe gel is safe to use topically to treat burns or other skin conditions, orally ingesting aloe juice or latex may cause side effects or health dangers.
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People use the clear gel within the aloe plant as a topical skin ointment. People ingest aloe juice, which is produced by the green part of the leaf, usually to relieve constipation. Aloe juice appears yellow and tastes bitter, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Aloe latex refers to a dried preparation of aloe juice.
Consumption of aloe juice or latex may cause intestinal cramps and diarrhoea. Aloe juice can also cause uterine contractions in pregnant women, which may trigger miscarriage. Pregnant or nursing women should not consume aloe juice or latex.
Aloe juice may interfere with diabetes medications, diuretics and digoxins. In addition, diarrhoea caused by aloe juice can reduce the body's ability to absorb other drugs. Always tell your doctor if you take aloe juice or any other alternative medicine.
Over-the-counter laxatives once contained aloe vera juice. In 2002, however, the FDA ruled that drug companies must remove aloe laxatives from the market. Cascara and senna represent gentler herbal laxatives, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
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