Aloe Vera: Uses, Side Effects, Supplementation & More

Amanda Olson - DPT
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Amanda Olson, DPT, PRPC

 

Aloe Vera, a spikey succulent plant that grows in hot, dry climates has been used for its healing properties for over 6,000 years.

Known to most as a translucent gel that helps soothe sunburn, aloe vera is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes that help with a wide variety of health issues including digestive problems, skin conditions, interstitial cystitis, and urinary tract infections.

Traditionally used by Indians, Chinese, Mexicans, and North Americans, it is the gel & latex found inside the green stalks of the aloe vera plant that are thought to be of medicinal benefit.

Read on to discover more about the uses, side effects, and supplementation of aloe vera.

Aloe Vera for Nutrition

In its natural form, aloe vera contains vitamins B, B12, A, C, E, as well as folic acid. It contains small amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium & zinc too, and a lot of water. Previous studies suggest that a daily supplement of such nourishing nutrients helps to optimize organ output and prevents copious diseases from developing.

Furthermore, a daily intake of aloe vera helps to maintain the water content in the intestines as well as keeping the body hydrated.

Aloe Vera for A Healthy Bladder, Interstitial Cystitis & Urinary Tract Infections

Aloe vera has been linked to women’s health for centuries and remains widely used today, mainly in supplement form, for improving pelvic health, bladder control, and conditions like Interstitial Cystitis (CI).

Aloe vera’s natural healing components help to restore and rejuvenate the GAG, which is a mucus-like layer protecting the cells of the bladder from toxins in the urine.

In addition, it is suggested that the D-Mannose molecules contained in aloe vera can help treat Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) by preventing bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder.

Aloe Vera for Gut Health, Digestion & Constipation

As well as the nutritional benefits mentioned above, a daily supplement of aloe vera can also aid in digestion and gut health. Aloe vera is known to help break down fats & sugars and encourage pH balance in the gut, which in turn reduces irritation like bloating & indigestion.

Regular consumption of aloe vera is also known to provide mild laxative properties through the absorption of small amounts of aloin found in aloe latex. Small doses of aloin can help relieve constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and rid the digestive tract of parasites.

Organically made aloe vera capsules from a well-known provider will ensure non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian & vegan-friendly products, and that the correct amount of nutrients & aloin are being absorbed.

Aloe Vera Gel for Skin Conditions

High in vitamin C and A, both of which promote healing, aloe vera is well-known for its cooling and moisturizing effect on skin abrasions, wounds, and mild burns. It is also highly recommended to soothe skin conditions like eczema, genital herpes, psoriasis, and dandruff.

Rich in antioxidants and a quick-acting anti-inflammatory, aloe vera is a respected natural remedy to relieve itching & dryness.

Aloe Vera for Beauty, Skin Care & Reducing Wrinkles

Organic beauty experts claim that a daily application of aloe vera to the skin reduces wrinkles, rehydrates, and improves epidermis elasticity due to the increased production of collagen. For optimal results, it is suggested to consume aloe vera orally, as well as applying its gel to the skin. Thus allowing the benefits to take hold from the inside out, and from the outside in. 

While expensive skincare brands might not necessarily agree with the yet unproven benefits of aloe vera as a beauty treatment, the results of a daily skincare routine using natural vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories generally speak for themselves.   

Aloe Vera for Lower Blood Sugar

Recent clinical trials have found that aloe vera can also help with diabetes through its ability to lower blood sugar levels. This, as previously mentioned, is thought to be attributed to the fact that aloe vera can help break down sugar in the gut, as well aid in reducing cholesterol, and improving Trygliceride levels. 

Conclusion

While more research is needed to confirm the medicinal benefits of aloe vera, it is abundantly clear that the healing properties of this ancient plant have been serving humans for thousands of years. Additionally, it is widely accepted amongst holistic practitioners that a regular intake and correct dosage of aloe vera can naturally aid & improve a myriad of ailments & conditions.

That said, if you are considering adding an aloe vera supplement to your daily health treatment, it is always best to consult with your doctor first.

References:

Healthline

Everyday Health 

Health Benefits Times