You have no doubt seen the aloe vera plant growing. Chances are you, a friend, or a relative is growing one right now in a pot or in their garden, especially in the hotter climates of the world. (I will post soon on how to make aloe vera juice at home if I can find enough information about it – check back soon for updates!) It’s a herb which displays remarkable synergy between all of its chemical components (nutrients) and it continues to defy synthesisation in a laboratory, precisely because its complexity is part of its effectiveness. The benefits of aloe vera juice internally and as a topical application are much more far-reaching than a pill or tablet could ever reproduce. A researcher named Robert David (Ph.D), an endocrinologist-biologist, has explained that no less than fifteen different compound nutrient groups work synergistically to make this plant effective in promoting health within the body.
Aloe vera is well-known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and is a general health tonic to the whole body; this is, it promotes vitality and health on all levels. Aloe vera has been used in the past and is used today for the following complaints (and more: digestive tract irritations such as colitis, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, cleansing stomach, liver, kidneys, spleen, bladder and colon, arthritis, asthma, bladder and kidney infections, cancer, constipation, diverticular disorders, haemorrhoids, heartburn, heart disease, HIV, immune stimulation, indigestion, insomnia, kidney disease, leg cramps, leukemia, skin health, stomach distress, tumours, vaginitis, vaginal douche, viruses, and white blood cell production.
A word on the benefits of aloe vera juice internally. Although the juice is very good for all of the above-mentioned uses, it also contains a digestive stimulant called aloin which can potentially cause you problems. Don’t fear aloe vera because of this, but keep it in mind. Here are the potential issues with aloin. Aloin in a powerful laxative meaning it can end you up in diarrhoea. That’s good if you are constipated and genuinely need a laxative, but many aloe vera drinkers are simply trying to get the benefits of aloe vera without requiring a laxative. For these people, dehydration could result from diarrhoea, especially if you kept drinking it and drinking it while taking no heed of your body’s increasing diarrhoea. But most people aren’t that stupid, as I’m sure you’re not, so if you notice a laxative effect from aloe vera, simply increase your water intake to make up for lost fluids, and of course cease drinking the aloe vera for a while! (And maybe go easy next time.)
It’s not too complicated… although in the instance that you are pregnant, do avoid this juice. If you’re pregnant, a potent laxative may be enough to cause your body to go into labour, in which case, your preterm baby would be in trouble. So just avoid aloe vera in pregnancy, to be safe. One other thing to keep in mind is that if you are taking any sort of drug and you get diarrhoea, from aloe vera or from anything else, then your drug may not be as effective since your body will be flushing it out before you can absorb it. So if you’re on essential drugs for medical conditions, then avoid aloe vera or go very carefully and stop as soon as you notice any laxative effect. Finally, the use of oral corticosteroid prescription drugs may contraindicate the consumption of aloe vera; it can cause toxic effects from the drug within the body, and a potassium deficiency may also result.
Of course, many countries now ban the sale of aloe vera drinks and internal aloe vera concoctions unless the aloin is removed during processing, so if you can find an aloe vera product without aloin in it, then you might be safe to drink it even if you are pregnant (but still stay on the safe side and avoid it should you be using oral corticosteroid prescription medication). But do be careful, as with all things, and if in doubt when safety is concerned, avoid, and remember that you can get similar benefits from aloe vera juice internally from drinking the juice of other plants and herbs as well, if aloe vera is off the list for you. I’m not 100% sure about this one yet, but in terms of how to make aloe vera juice at home, I’ve heard you should be cautious for the same reason as above – the natural aloin in the aloe vera. So I won’t be telling you how to make aloe vera juice at home today, although once I find out more information, I’ll write a most on this including safety information.
Now, you can always drink a multitude of other juices which will also give you nutritional benefits, and I always tell people that if they are not sure what is safe, stuck to a juice made from celery stalks, carrots, and apples. It’s hard to go wrong with that combo – and remember – any juice is better than no juice!