For centuries, people have looked to aloe vera for its bountiful healing properties. The outside of these tropical succulents might be spiky and unfriendly-looking, but the gooey, gelatinous inside of the aloe vera leaf is good for more than just soothing summer sunburn. Mildly flavored, though remarkably viscous, the many benefits of drinking aloe vera are most often found when its mixed into shakes, smoothies, or refreshing, efficacious elixirs.
Be aware that the conclusions drawn about aloe vera in this article are not those of medical professionals. Aloe should not be seen as a replacement for medicine or medical care, and any decisions to ingest significant amounts of aloe vera should be made with a doctor’s approval.
That said, here are a few benefits you may get from drinking aloe vera.
Aloe vera is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Aloe isn't just full of nourishing compounds for healthy skin and hair. According to Growfit, it's also full of vitamins and minerals that are good for your blood cells, blood sugar, nerves, gut, bones, and metabolism. It can even provide you with a much-needed energy boost. Aloe contains vitamins B12, A, C, and E. It also has calcium, copper, sodium, manganese, potassium, selenium, chromium, magnesium, and zinc. Nearly all of those minerals help the metabolic process in some way.
Aloe vera helps keep you hydrated.
Like most members of the cacti family, aloe vera is good at retaining water, and it can help you do the same. According to Healthline, aloe vera can help your body to resist dehydration, while enabling you to flush out impurities by boosting liver and kidney function. This means that aloe is actually a pretty effective replacement for the Gatorade or coconut water you might be used to drinking after a workout.
Drinking aloe vera can help regulate blood sugar levels.
According to Medical News Today, aloe vera might have some potential benefits in controlling blood sugar levels. This is important for those suffering from type 2 diabetes, but it’s also important for prediabetics, those who might be on the cusp of developing diabetes.
This conclusion is based on the results of a 2016 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. Participants in the study who ingested aloe vera juice had better fasting blood sugar levels than those who did not. As with most of these studies, more research is needed to determine if aloe’s efficacy can be conclusively proven to be a true hyperglycemic solution.
Aloe vera juice does have some interesting side effects.
According to RxList, aloe isn’t for everyone, as some people experience side effects if they ingest too much aloe. Long-term use and high doses of aloe gel have been known to cause stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea, kidney issues, weight loss, muscle weakness, and irregularity in heart function, though these side effects are rare. The most common problems involve itchiness and burning of the skin. But again, most of the time, the worst thing about aloe is just the taste.
Aloe vera juice recipes:
It’s pretty easy to make aloe vera juice at home. All you need is an aloe leaf and water. Believe us, you’re going to want the water on this one. The aloe vera gel contained within the leaf is highly viscous and water helps to dilute it and make it more palatable.
Also, aloe is naturally bitter, so you’re going to want to blend it with some sort of flavorful fruit juice like pomegranate, pineapple, and a natural sweetener like agave. This recipe from Yummy Mummy Kitchen is perfect for repurposing one’s aloe vera into a delicious and highly hydrating smoothie that even your kids will love.
You can also find bottled aloe vera juice in heath food stores and some supermarkets.