Aloe vera juice, or aloe latex, is a bitter yellow liquid derived from the Aloe vera plant. While many alternative healing groups claim that aloe juice has restorative or medicinal properties, the only scientifically proven use for aloe juice is as a laxative. While some research has indicated that drinking aloe juice may be helpful for diabetics, more research is necessary to determine whether this treatment is safe or effective. Until more information is available, you should only drink aloe juice under the supervision of a doctor for its laxative properties.
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Things you need
- Aloe vera juice
- Electrolyte-enriched drinks
- Potassium-rich foods (e.g., bananas, avocados or apricots)
Visit your doctor to discuss using Aloe vera juice as a laxative. Be sure to mention all the herbal supplements and medicines you are taking, so your doctor can check for possible drug interactions.
Drink small amounts of aloe juice, as directed by your doctor, when necessary for constipation or digestive irregularity. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Aloe vera juice as an over-the-counter laxative, but the Mayo Clinic cautions that aloe is a strong laxative that can cause painful cramping. Keep in mind that herbal supplements, like aloe juice, are not strictly regulated by the FDA and the concentration and purity of the juice may vary from brand to brand.
Stay hydrated and increase your potassium intake when using Aloe vera juice. Drink sports drinks with electrolytes to stay hydrated, and eat bananas, apricots or avocados to avoid low potassium levels, which can be caused by Aloe vera juice.
Stop using aloe immediately and visit your doctor if you experience severe stomach cramping or diarrhoea. Never drink aloe juice for extended periods of time, as prolonged use has been linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer and hepatitis.
Tips and warnings
- Drinking Aloe vera juice, especially without a doctor's supervision, can lead to serious health complications. Diabetic individuals may experience dangerously low blood sugar, or hypoglycaemia. People with heart disease, kidney disease or thyroid disorders should take aloe juice only under strict physician supervision.
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