Aloe vera plant has been used for its medicinal, skin care, and health benefits for centuries across the world. Greek healers considered it the panacea for all ills over 2000 years ago, while the Egyptians called it the “the plant of immortality”. And of course, it has a valued place in the ancient science of ayurveda.
What Does Ayurveda Say About Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera has a long history of use in ayurveda. Known as kumari or grita kumari, this beneficial plant is thought to balance all three doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha. It has a tikta (bitter) taste and is considered to have the qualities of guru (heaviness), snigdha (oily, unctuous), and picchila (sticky, slimy). It is considered to have a wide range of therapeutic uses:
- Bhedani – helpful in constipation
- Yakrut Vruddhi Hara – helpful in hepatomegaly, hepatitis
- Gulmahara – helpful in abdominal tumors
- Pleehahara – helpful in splenomegaly, spleen disorders
- Raktapitta Hara – helpful in bleeding disorders like nasal bleeding, heavy periods etc
- Kapha Jwarahara – helpful in fever
- Agni Dagdha – helpful in treating burn wounds
- Granthihara – helpful in fibroids, small tumors, lymphadenitis
- Visphotahara – relieves blisters and boils
- Chakshushya – improves vision, helpful in eye disorders
- Tvak Roga – helpful in skin disorders like psoriasis
- Vishahara – helpful in dealing with toxins
- Balya – improves immunity and strength
- Vatahara – helpful in treating disorders of vata dosha imbalance such as paralysis, neuralgia, bloating, constipation, etc
- Vrushya – improves vigor and acts as an aphrodisiac
- Pittaja Kasahara – helpful in cough and cold caused by pitta imbalance
- Rasayana – has an anti aging and rejuvenating effect
- Shwasahara – helpful in treatment of asthma and other chronic respiratory disorders
Today, aloe vera is a popular ingredient in skin care products and moisturizing lotions. But did you know that aloe vera juice can also offer many benefits? Let’s take a closer look at what aloe vera juice – prepared from the transparent gel within its leaves – can offer us.
How To Make Aloe Vera Juice
- Split the leaf and remove the transparent gel inside. This gel can be diluted with water to prepare the aloe vera juice.
- An ayurvedic doctor may typically recommend consuming 20 – 30 ml aloe vera juice in a day. However, do check with a doctor to determine the appropriate dosage for you as it can vary based on individual characteristics.
While preparing the juice make sure that you do not use the latex (the yellowish sap present in the leaf) as it can have harmful side effects. When aloe vera juice is prepared commercially the latex is usually washed away or phenolic compounds present in it are filtered out with activated carbon in a process known as decolorization.[Processing methods for Aloe vera leaf].The International Aloe Science Council.
What Are The Benefits Of Aloe Vera Juice?
Aloe vera gel and the juice prepared from it offers many benefits.
1. It Is Rich In Nutrients
The clear gel present in aloe vera leaves is rich in beneficial compounds such as glucomannans, lipids, amino acids, vitamins, and sterols. It contains vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid, and B-Group vitamins including vitamin B12. It also contains 19 of the 20 amino acids that we need.Rajeswari, R., M. Umadevi, C. Sharmila Rahale, R. Pushpa, S. Selvavenkadesh, KP Sampath Kumar, and Debjit Bhowmik. “Aloe vera: the miracle plant its medicinal and traditional uses in … Continue reading  Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “Aloe vera: a short review.” Indian journal of dermatology 53, no. 4 (2008): 163.
2. It Helps Heal Wounds
Aloe vera can help with wound healing. Researchers have found that mannose-6-phosphate, which is a sugar present in aloe gel, improves wound healing in animal studies. This compound also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties.Davis, Robert H., J. J. Donato, Glenn M. Hartman, and Richard C. Haas. “Anti-inflammatory and wound healing activity of a growth substance in Aloe vera.” Journal of the American Podiatric … Continue reading So, if you’re prone to nicks and cuts, a little aloe vera juice can help you heal better.
3. It May Help With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe conditions which involve inflammation of the gut such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. People suffering from IBD can experience symptoms like abdominal cramps or pain, bloody or recurring diarrhea, extreme weight loss, tiredness etc.[Inflammatory bowel disease].NHS. And research indicates that aloe vera gel has an anti-inflammatory effect on the colon which may be helpful for dealing with this condition.Langmead, Louise, Richard J. Makins, and David S. Rampton. “Anti‐inflammatory effects of aloe vera gel in human colorectal mucosa in vitro.” Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics … Continue reading
4. It Lowers Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a growing concern with some 422 million people across the world suffering from it.[Diabetes].World Health Organization. But aloe vera juice can help with this condition.
One study found that having 1 tablespoon of aloe vera juice twice a day for two weeks lowered blood sugar in people with diabetes. It also lowered triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a kind of fat present in your blood. High levels of triglycerides can increase your chances of a heart attack, stroke, and heart disease.Yongchaiyudha, S., V. Rungpitarangsi, N. Bunyapraphatsara, and O. Chokechaijaroenporn. “Antidiabetic activity of Aloe vera L. juice. I. Clinical trial in new cases of diabetes mellitus.” … Continue reading [ Triglycerides: Why do they matter?].Mayo Clinic.
5. It Helps With Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, and constipation or diarrhea, or both.[Irritable bowel syndrome]. Mayo Clinic. One study found that having aloe vera juice twice a day reduced flatulence as well as abdominal pain and discomfort in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.Khedmat, Hossein, Ashraf Karbasi, Mohsen Amini, Aghdas Aghaei, and Saeed Taheri. “Aloe vera in treatment of refractory irritable bowel syndrome: Trial on Iranian patients.” Journal of … Continue reading Ayurveda practitioners caution patients with symptoms of diarrhea from consuming aloe vera. They recommend it only for those that display constipation symptoms.
6. It Acts Against Germs
Aloe vera gel has been found to act against a wide variety of germs including bacteria which cause tooth decay and foodborne diseases. Interestingly, it also exhibits antimicrobial activity against multidrug-resistant bacteria. However, do keep in mind that you shouldn’t try to treat yourself at home with aloe vera juice if you catch an infection. It’s best to consult a doctor who will recommend the appropriate treatment for you.Bałan, Barbara Joanna, Marcin Niemcewicz, Janusz Kocik, Leszek Jung, Ewa Skopińska-Różewska, and Piotr Skopiński. “Oral administration of Aloe vera gel, anti-microbial and … Continue reading
7. It Helps Deal With Peptic Ulcers
Infection by a bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a common cause of peptic ulcers. This bacteria can damage the lining of your stomach and small intestine. And a damaged lining allows for the creation of an ulcer (or open sore) by your stomach acid.[Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection].Mayo Clinic. But research indicates that aloe vera gel can act against Helicobacter pylori. Your doctor may recommend using aloe vera juice along with antibiotics to deal with a H. pylori gastric infection.Radha, Maharjan H., and Nampoothiri P. Laxmipriya. “Evaluation of biological properties and clinical effectiveness of Aloe vera: A systematic review.” Journal of traditional and … Continue reading
8. It Boosts The Immune System
A strong immune system helps your body fight infections. And aloe vera juice can help support your immune system. Research indicates that it stimulates cellular and can increase the production of antibodies. Polysaccharides such as mannose-6-phosphate and acemannan present in aloe vera gel are thought to be responsible for its immunomodulatory activity.Bałan, Barbara Joanna, Marcin Niemcewicz, Janusz Kocik, Leszek Jung, Ewa Skopińska-Różewska, and Piotr Skopiński. “Oral administration of Aloe vera gel, anti-microbial and … Continue reading
- Aloe vera gel is usually safe to consume in appropriate doses for a short period. However, it may not be safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.[Aloe Vera].National Institutes of Health.
- Since aloe vera gel can lower blood sugar, check with your doctor before you use it if you use medication for diabetes as it may make your blood sugar go too low.
- Aloe vera gel could slow blood clotting. If you take medication (such as anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs) which has this effect along with aloe vera gel then it could cause increased bleeding. Let your doctor know that you use aloe vera if you plan on having a surgical procedure.
- It is not safe to consume aloe latex or whole-leaf extract. It contains cancer causing compounds and can also cause kidney failure. It may also lead to diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.[Aloe].Mayo Clinic.
- Those suffering from bloodied piles should consult their doctor before using it.
How To Use Aloe Vera Topically
The topical application of aloe vera can help with a wide range of conditions:
- Acne: studies show that using aloe vera gel along with prescription acne medication is more effective at tackling acne than using only the medication.
- Wounds and burns: aloe vera gel helps with wound healing and can help burns heal faster.
- Psoriasis: aloe vera extracts might be helpful in reducing scaling, redness, inflammation, and itching caused by psoriasis.
- Herpes simplex virus: the application of a cream with aloe extract might help lesions heal faster.
- Oral lichen planus: the application of aloe gel can be helpful in reducing the symptoms of this inflammatory condition.[Aloe].Mayo Clinic.
- Topical application of aloe vera gel is usually safe. However, some people experience itching, burning, or eczema with topical use. Test aloe vera gel on a small part of your skin first to make sure that you don’t have an adverse reaction to it.[Aloe Vera]. National Institutes of Health.
|↑1||[Processing methods for Aloe vera leaf].The International Aloe Science Council.|
|↑2||Rajeswari, R., M. Umadevi, C. Sharmila Rahale, R. Pushpa, S. Selvavenkadesh, KP Sampath Kumar, and Debjit Bhowmik. “Aloe vera: the miracle plant its medicinal and traditional uses in India.” Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 1, no. 4 (2012): 118-124.|
|↑3||Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “Aloe vera: a short review.” Indian journal of dermatology 53, no. 4 (2008): 163.|
|↑4||Davis, Robert H., J. J. Donato, Glenn M. Hartman, and Richard C. Haas. “Anti-inflammatory and wound healing activity of a growth substance in Aloe vera.” Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 84, no. 2 (1994): 77-81.|
|↑5||[Inflammatory bowel disease].NHS.|
|↑6||Langmead, Louise, Richard J. Makins, and David S. Rampton. “Anti‐inflammatory effects of aloe vera gel in human colorectal mucosa in vitro.” Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics 19, no. 5 (2004): 521-527.|
|↑7||[Diabetes].World Health Organization.|
|↑8||Yongchaiyudha, S., V. Rungpitarangsi, N. Bunyapraphatsara, and O. Chokechaijaroenporn. “Antidiabetic activity of Aloe vera L. juice. I. Clinical trial in new cases of diabetes mellitus.” Phytomedicine 3, no. 3 (1996): 241-243.|
|↑9||[ Triglycerides: Why do they matter?].Mayo Clinic.|
|↑10||[Irritable bowel syndrome]. Mayo Clinic.|
|↑11||Khedmat, Hossein, Ashraf Karbasi, Mohsen Amini, Aghdas Aghaei, and Saeed Taheri. “Aloe vera in treatment of refractory irritable bowel syndrome: Trial on Iranian patients.” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences 18, no. 8 (2013): 732-732.|
|↑12, ↑15||Bałan, Barbara Joanna, Marcin Niemcewicz, Janusz Kocik, Leszek Jung, Ewa Skopińska-Różewska, and Piotr Skopiński. “Oral administration of Aloe vera gel, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory herbal remedy, stimulates cell-mediated immunity and antibody production in a mouse model.” Central-European journal of immunology 39, no. 2 (2014): 125.|
|↑13||[Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection].Mayo Clinic.|
|↑14||Radha, Maharjan H., and Nampoothiri P. Laxmipriya. “Evaluation of biological properties and clinical effectiveness of Aloe vera: A systematic review.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine 5, no. 1 (2015): 21-26.|
|↑16||[Aloe Vera].National Institutes of Health.|
|↑17, ↑18||[Aloe].Mayo Clinic.|
|↑19||[Aloe Vera]. National Institutes of Health.|