What Is Aloe Vera Juice?
The extract of the plant is used in numerous health and skin care products – some of which include skin lotions, oils, cosmetics, and certain other medicines.
Also called ghritkumari in Hindi (and sothu kathalai in Tamil), the plant, in its various forms, has been widely propagated as a healthful ingredient. Especially the juice of the plant, about which we are going to talk about here.
Coming to the question we posed at the very beginning – is this juice good for you?
Is Aloe Vera Juice Good For You?Before we even answer that question, we need to look at what the juice contains. Aloe vera has been found to contain 75 potentially active constituents – these include vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugar, amino acids, salicylic acids, lignin, and saponins (1). Briefly put, the vitamins in aloe vera juice include vitamins A, C, and E, folic acid, vitamin B12, and choline. It also contains minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, selenium, sodium, zinc, and potassium.
There is research that speaks loads about the goodness of aloe vera juice. But there is some contradictory evidence too – which carries equal importance. Some studies have been performed on animals, and similar beneficial results on humans are uncertain. Also, certain studies on animals have shown harmful effects. But worry not, we will cover all of that in this post.
Aloe vera juice has digestive and immunity-boosting benefits. It helps treat intestinal issues and builds immunity. The plant is good for the heart too – it aids in cholesterol and blood pressure reduction. Other benefits include balancing the body’s pH levels, improving skin health, and treating bad breath. It can also stimulate the uterus and improve menstrual conditions. In fact, aloe vera juice has been mentioned in Ayurvedic texts too. As per Ayurveda, aloe vera juice can benefit the eyes and help prevent various eye disorders. It is also useful in treating jaundice and bronchitis.
You can consume aloe vera juice along with certain other ingredients as well – this can add up to the benefits.
One such ingredient is amla. Amla is rich in vitamin C (it contains eight times the amount of the vitamin in one orange) and is a potent antioxidant. Consuming the two can have great benefits on your skin and prevent inflammation.
You can mix aloe juice with honey too – it is low in sugar than most other drinks, and you have the advantage of phytonutrients. So is the case with aloe juice and lemon – it can be incredibly refreshing.
You can take aloe vera juice before going to bed as this has shown to aid belly fat reduction.
In some parts of the world, aloe vera juice is also called aloe water. So, if you come across someone serving you aloe water, you know what that is.
Now, we get to the details – the benefits of aloe vera juice drink, and what they can mean to you.
Benefits Of Aloe Vera Juice
1. Treats Digestive IssuesThe juice has laxative properties that can aid digestion. It encourages gut bacteria and regulates bowel movements. It has also been found to soothe and cure stomach ulcers.
Aloe vera juice can cleanse the digestive tract, which is vital for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (which occurs due to the build-up of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract). Though other forms of aloe vera also help in this regard, the benefit of the juice is it can be absorbed by the stomach much easily. The juice also stimulates the production of bile in the gallbladder – this breaks down the fats in the body that can otherwise get accumulated and cause constipation.
According to an Iranian study, aloe vera juice can reduce abdominal pain and flatulence in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (2). However, more research is required in relation to stool consistency in these patients. And not just the juice, even the latex of the aloe vera plant can help cure constipation (3).
As per another Indian study, aloe vera is extensively used in the treatment of peptic ulcers. It exhibits antibacterial properties against H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for gastric infections (4). Another Indian study states that the use of aloe vera for digestive ailments has no adverse effects (5). But a major portion of this research is based on personal experiences (and not on scientifically documented evidence), which is why more studies are warranted.
Though the juice can have an anti-inflammatory effect on people suffering from ulcerative colitis, it might also cause diarrhea (6). Hence, practice caution.
As we have seen, the juice has laxative properties – the anthraquinones and barbaloin in aloe stimulate the bowel and increase its tone (7).
You can also use aloe vera to cleanse your colon by injecting it into the colon with water. This process is called an enema.
2. Reduces Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera can help treat irritable bowel syndrome (8). As per a Mexican study, the anti-inflammatory agents in aloe vera can also treat edema (9). Decolorized aloe was also found to reduce skin inflammation, especially when used by podiatric (specialists in foot care) physicians (10).
Another German study revealed the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera on the skin. The gel (and potentially the juice too) had reduced UV-induced erythema (11).
A hormone called gibberellin in aloe vera juice is found to fight inflammation in diabetic individuals. The study was conducted on diabetic animals with poor anti-inflammatory capabilities. With aloe vera ingestion, they were able to fight inflammation better (12). And aloe vera helps cure not just internal inflammation, but also the pain associated with it (13).
Aloe can immensely benefit people with joint pains. According to one study, aloe vera can be used in the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain, and particularly, one that is caused by osteoarthritis (14). But still, long-term studies are required to prescribe aloe vera juice as a treatment for osteoarthritis. Topical administration of aloe vera can also inhibit pain related to arthritis (15).
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the juice can provide relief from joint immobility. The aloe vera juice (and the gel) also acts as an effective base to prepare a compound called nimesulide emulgel, which possesses significant anti-inflammatory properties and could be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Promotes Heart HealthAs per a report, a set of 5,000 patients (suffering from chest or heart pain for five years), upon consuming aloe vera, had shown a reduction in the pain symptoms. And not just that, they also exhibited reduced levels of cholesterol and blood sugar (in diabetic patients) (16).
An Indian study conducted on rats showed that aloe vera could mitigate heart problems that usually were a side effect of the drug doxorubicin (used for cancer treatment) (17).
In another study, patients with higher blood cholesterol showed a 15% decrease in their cholesterol levels post treatment with aloe vera for 12 weeks.
And another Indian study had stated the cardioprotective activity of aloe vera (18). Supplementation of aloe vera, along with appropriate nutritional counseling, had lowered blood pressure levels in diabetics (19).
According to an Iranian study, aloe vera can prevent atherosclerosis (20). The juice has been shown to prevent fatty streak development, thereby halting plaque formation and ultimately protecting the heart.
Aloe vera had also shown to lower cholesterol levels of the liver (21). In the study, the group supplemented with aloe showed a 30% reduction in hepatic cholesterol levels.
Aloe vera juice also dilates the capillaries and enhances the arterial walls – and the vitamin C in aloe vera helps lower blood pressure. Vitamin C is important for the synthesis of collagen, the protein required in the blood vessels.
4. Detoxifies The BodyOne Italian study focused on the efficacy of aloe vera in detoxification – stating that it helps flush the toxins out of the body (22). The juice of the plant has also been found to be effective in this process (23).
The liver is one of the important organs involved in the detox process – and as per a study, aloe vera exhibits hepatoprotective activity (24).
Also, as aloe vera possesses laxative properties, it can clear the ingested toxins from the digestive system (25).
As per another Turkish study, aloe vera has a protective effect on the liver in diabetic patients (26). This is specifically true in the case of patients with type 2 diabetes.
The potassium in aloe vera juice helps it to stimulate the liver and kidneys, two vital organs of detoxification (27). Aloe also contains uronic acid that eliminates toxins within the cells.
5. Aids Weight LossWhat are the benefits of aloe vera juice for weight loss? One way aloe juice could help in weight loss is through its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is linked to weight gain and metabolic issues, and aloe vera juice could play its part in promoting weight loss.
Aloe vera juice also contains aloin, which is a potent laxative (we already saw aloe’s laxative effects). This could also aid weight loss. But hey, there is not much evidence with respect to this.
Another animal study found that aloe vera contains potent sterols that can improve body composition. Obese rats fed with these sterols had lower levels of body fat after 35 days. A similar effect is possible in humans as well.
And as per a Japanese study, ingestion of aloe vera can prevent diet-induced obesity (28). It achieved this by stimulating energy expenditure and reducing the accumulation of body fat.
Aloe vera also had beneficial effects on obese individuals with prediabetes or diabetes (29).
6. Supports The Immune SystemAloe vera juice can work great for your immunity. You can take a shot of the juice before hitting the bed – the juice will work its way through your system as you are asleep. You should be seeing the beneficial effects (like improved overall well-being, reduced frequency of sickness) in a month – if you are regular.
As per a Polish study, ingestion of aloe vera could stimulate cellular and humoral (related to bodily fluids) immunity (30).
According to the National Cancer Institute, aloe vera gel can act as an immune system enhancer (31). And same could be said about the juice as well.
7. Controls Blood Sugar LevelsPreliminary research suggests aloe vera juice intake can help improve blood glucose levels (32).
As per another analysis, diabetics with fasting blood glucose of more than 200 mg/dl can benefit the most from oral aloe vera treatment. Aloe vera juice also contains chromium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese – all of which improve the effectiveness of insulin. However, as we have seen, further research is required.
Another American study talks about UP780, an aloe based composition that has been found to aid in the maintenance of healthy blood glucose levels (33). Similar effects could be possible with aloe vera juice. And given its ability to reduce blood glucose, aloe vera is commonly used for diabetes treatment (34).
8. Helps Fight CancerMost anti-cancer agents have their origins in plants, and aloe vera is one of them. As per a UAE study, aloe vera can inhibit cancer cell growth and increase the effectiveness of cancer drugs like cisplatin (35).
Accumulating scientific evidence throws light on the preventive and therapeutic potentials of aloe vera juice against various forms of cancer. Aloe contains bioactive compounds like aloin, lectin, and aloesin, which have shown antiproliferative effects (36).
Aloe vera juice can halt the growth of cancer tumors. It also lubricates the digestive tract and prevents colon cancer. More importantly, aloe vera can maximize the effects of anti-cancer herbs.
Acemannan, a phytonutrient in aloe vera, is garnering attention in the recent times in the scientific spheres. The study showed the cancer tumors shrinking post treatment with the phytonutrient, along with enhancing post-treatment survival of the individual.
Aloe vera also heals precancerous lesions as per a study. The juice has also been found to reduce the damage done to the body by radiation therapy. It even reduces metastases, thereby halting cancer proliferation (37).
That’s one part of it. On the other hand, it is important to note that there is no extensive research on aloe vera juice and its cancer-curing properties (38). Certain laboratory studies have also shown that intake of aloe can enhance immunity that can, in turn, kill the cancer cells. But again, we don’t have enough research.
9. Promotes AlkalinityAloe vera juice is alkaline, and hence balances your body’s pH levels. A body with an acidic pH can attract disease.
10. Hydrates The BodyAloe vera juice contains nearly 200 active components, and it undoubtedly replenishes the body (39). The juice is very much hydrating. It holds off the thirst that might otherwise cause exhaustion and fatigue (40). And since it contains a decent amount of potassium too, you get an added advantage. Potassium can boost your energy levels.
As per a Brazilian study, aloe vera can improve skin hydration (41).
11. Improves Oral HealthAloe vera can also be used to eliminate the disease-causing bacteria in the mouth (42). One Indian study states that aloe vera could have unlimited use in the field of dentistry (43).
Aloe vera juice can also act as an efficient mouthwash, without any side effects (44). It had significantly reduced plaque and gingivitis in one study.
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera can also play a role in treating plaque-induced gingivitis (45).
12. Enhances Skin HealthAloe vera can heal wounds and soothe the skin. It has also shown its efficacy in treating eczema, dandruff, skin ulcers, and canker sores. It even helps treat sunburn – it exhibits its healing activity at the epithelial layer of the skin. This is recommended by dermatologists to remove tan as well.
The juice can also moisturize your skin without making it feel greasy. It also prevents the skin from drying.
The two hormones in aloe vera, auxin and gibberellins, help heal acne and treat the scars.
Aloe vera can also help hide the stretch marks caused during pregnancy, or by rapid weight gain or weight loss. And its antibacterial properties ease psoriasis.
Aloe vera has its uses in beauty as well. You can use it to remove your makeup. It’s a better alternative to all those other makeup removers that contain harsh chemicals. And not just that – how about an aloe vera face wash? You can mix it with one teaspoon each of almond milk and lemon, and use it as a face wash. Let it sit on your face for a few minutes before you rinse it off.
What’s more – you can even use it as an eyebrow gel. Simply dip a clean mascara wand in the juice and sweep it over your eyebrows.
As per studies, aloe vera also improves wrinkles and enhances the elasticity of photoaged skin (46). And according to an Iranian study, aloe vera can accelerate the wound healing process (47).
Aloe vera can even promote the growth of new skin cells. And more interestingly – it can absorb 20 to 30% of the UV rays (48).
Aloe can be an excellent treatment for acne, given it contains substances that can reduce pain and inflammation. You can simply dab a thin layer of the juice on the affected areas of your face.
Not just that, aloe vera can also act as an antiseptic (49). And it works great in slowing down the aging process. The juice stimulates the fibroblasts (that produce collagen and other elastin fibers), making the skin much more elastic and reducing wrinkles. The juice can also heal sunburns as aloe has good cicatrization (forming a scar after an injury and accelerating the healing process) effects (50).
Aloe vera could also help relieve eczema symptoms. Though most of the information we have in this aspect is just from personal testimonies, logic supports aloe vera. Given its anti-inflammatory properties, it is quite logical to believe that it can aid eczema treatment. Eczema manifests itself as dry patches on the skin – and since aloe vera juice is extremely hydrating, it can work wonders in relieving the related itchiness. Aloe vera juice also activates internal cleansing (it detoxifies, as we have seen), and this can have a beneficial effect on psoriasis.
13. Treats HeartburnOne of the effective health benefits of aloe vera juice is treating heartburn As per studies, aloe vera juice can be more effective than certain medications for treating heartburn or acid reflux. This holds true particularly with purified and decolorized aloe vera juice. In a 2015 study, aloe vera juice had reduced the symptoms of acid reflux better than certain traditional medications, and that too, without any side effects.
And since the aloe vera juice has the ability to soothe the gastrointestinal tract, it can assuage the symptoms of heartburn.
According to another study, aloe vera is a safe treatment for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) symptoms – and the juice is well tolerated too (51).
14. Promotes Hair HealthThe enzymes and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera juice soothe and moisturize the scalp. This can treat itchy scalp and dry hair as well.
The juice also contains protolytic enzymes that eliminate the dead skin clogging the hair follicles. The alkaline characteristic of aloe vera also balances the pH of the hair.
The juice can also act as a good conditioning agent as it adds shine to your hair and controls frizz. And the vitamins and minerals in the juice strengthen your hair.
According to an Iranian study, the antibacterial properties of aloe vera help treat dandruff as well (52).
15. Provides The Essential Amino AcidsAloe vera juice offers all the essential amino acids, which your body cannot produce (53). These amino acids, apart from promoting overall health, can also help in muscle building.
And because of its detoxifying effects, the juice also helps build lean muscle mass.