Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind whenever people talk about aloe vera is how rubbing the gel on sunburn (or any kind of mild burn) can be soothing and speed up healing time. I know a few people who have an aloe vera plant on their windowsill in the kitchen for those accidental cooking burns. But the benefits of aloe vera juice–that's right, drinking aloe!–go way beyond the topical skin-soothing.
Aloe vera gel is derived from the center of the leaves and contains polysaccharides and glycoproteins that are credited with skin healing and pain-reducing qualities. Aloe vera juice comes from the outer parts of the leaves, which, along with the good stuff, also contain toxins. Therefore, never try to make your own aloe vera juice by tossing a few leaves into a blender! Choose a commercially prepared brand of aloe vera juice, such as Lily of the Desert, to ensure you get juice that is safe.
10 Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
1. Provides antibacterial powers. Aloe vera contains an array of beneficial substances, including polyphenols, sterols, fatty acids, organic acids, and indoles, among others. These plant factors can help fight the growth of certain disease-causing bacteria, such as S. aureus, S. pyogenes, E. coli, and P. aeruginosa.
2. Fights dental plaque. Use of aloe vera juice can prevent the accumulation of plaque on your teeth and thus help fight cavities and gingivitis. In a study that compared 100 percent aloe vera juice with chlorhexidine and placebo (saline) over four days, the researchers found that aloe vera juice was as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing plaque. The anti-plaque action of the aloe vera was attributed to the juice’s ability to fight Streptococcus mutans, a plaque-causing bacterium.
3. Aids in detox. The plethora of vitamins minerals and amino acids found in aloe vera juice is a real boost to any detox program. Use of aloe vera juice helps the body eliminate waste materials while also providing anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
4. Eases heartburn. The burning pain and discomfort of heartburn gets a soothing blast from aloe vera juice. That’s because the juice helps reduce inflammation and promotes the healing of skin cells that have been damaged by acid reflux.
5. Provides antioxidants. In a new review published in Pharmacognosy Review, it was pointed out that aloe vera functions as an antioxidant because it can seek out (scavenge) free radicals and superoxides. These cell-damaging factors are responsible for a wide range of diseases and disabilities, such as cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and neurological disorders as well as accelerated aging.
6. Boosts the immune system. Inflammation throughout the body can disrupt the immune system and cause various conditions, such as asthma, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Aloe vera contains a wealth of polysaccharides, which are known to reduce inflammation and assist proper immune system function.
7. Improves absorption of nutrients. Taking aloe vera juice can boost absorption of nutrients from your food. This benefit results from the presence of various enzymes in the juice. In addition to enhancing nutrient absorption, aloe vera juice also provides vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and folic acid, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc.
8. Relieves digestive problems. If you experience digestive challenges such as indigestion or gastritis, you may get relief with aloe vera juice. The juice has both a soothing and a healing effect on the lining of the stomach.
9. Offers joint and muscle support. The anti-inflammatory ability of aloe vera can support healthy joints and muscles by reducing inflammation and pain. A paper published in the British Journal of Community Nursing “suggests that oral aloe vera could be used in the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP), particularly that caused by osteoarthritis (OA),” and that its “perceived benefits” include both fighting inflammation and serving as protection against gastrointestinal irritation associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs taken for arthritis.
10. Lowers glucose in diabetics. People have long used aloe vera to treat diabetes, and in recent years scientists have found evidence to support those claims. Use of aloe vera can improve sensitivity to insulin and improve management of blood glucose levels. A 2015 study found that aloe vera extract corrected impaired blood glucose within four weeks in prediabetics.
Always consult your doctor if you are trying to treat a particular condition and follow your physician's recommendations on how much aloe vera juice you should take. Dosing depends on the potency of the aloe vera product. Aloe vera juice can be taken alone, although it can be bitter and much more palatable when mixed with fruit juice or added to a smoothie.
[Editor's Note: Always choose a high quality aloe like those from our partner Lily of the Desert. They have a variety of juices and aloe waters to choose from.]
Alinejad-Mofrad S et al. Improvement of glucose and lipid profile status with aloe vera in pre-diabetic subjects: a randomized controlled-trial.
Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders 2015 Apr 9; 14:22Cowan D. Oral aloe vera as a treatment for osteoarthritis: a summary.
British Journal of Community Nursing 2010 Jun; 15(6): 280-82Gupta RK et al.
Preliminary antiplaque efficacy of Aloe vera mouthwash on 4 day plaque re-growth model: randomized control trial.
Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences 2014 Apr; 24(2): 139-44
Mercola.com. The many medicinal properties of food.Nejatzadeh-Barandozi F. Antibacterial activities and antioxidant capacity of Aloe vera.
Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2013; 3: 5.Rahmani AH et al. Aloe vera: potential candidate in health management via modulation of biological activities.
Pharmacognosy Review 2015 Jul-Dec; 9(18): 120-126.University of Maryland Medical Center. Aloe