Aloe Vera is a spiky succulent plant that grows in dry tropical climates. It also has a few other unusual names. It is alternatively called the ‘burn plant’, ‘lily of the desert’, and ‘elephant’s gall’. In ancient times, it was called the ‘plant of immortality’ because of its healing properties. Over the years, aloe vera has become extremely popular. It has various beauty, health, and medicinal benefits. The plant has more than 300 species but ‘Aloe barbadensis’ is what we know as aloe vera. Aloe vera juice is extracted from the innermost part of the aloe leaf. The juice is thick and gooey and has various health benefits. It is bitter but many brands mix sugar in it to make it sweet. Aloe vera juice is full of antioxidants and medicinal properties.
Nutritional Facts of Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice is loaded with nutrients. It contains essential vitamins and minerals for our body.
Aloe Vera juice is also an excellent source of:
- Vitamin C, A, and E
- Folic acid
One glass of pure aloe vera juice contains:
- Calories: 8
- Protein: Less than 1 gram
- Fat: Less than 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 3 grams
- Fibre: 2 grams
- Sugar: Less than 1 gram
9 Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
1. Relieves Constipation
Constipation is not only uncomfortable, but it can have adverse effects on intestinal and digestive health. Aloe vera gel can be used as a natural laxative and help move bulk along the digestive tract.
The latex or the part of the plant in between the skin and gel contains anthraquinones, which is a compound that is responsible for the laxative effect. If you are taking aloe vera gel for constipation, be sure to start with a small amount (8 oz or around 200ml juice) in order to allow your system to get used to the laxative effects.
2. Relieves Heartburns
Heartburn or acid reflux is the condition where the acid leaves the stomach and travels up the esophagus. Aloe vera juice can ease heartburn and provide relief to the stomach. It is also helpful in treating gastric ulcers.
3. Provides Hydration
Hydration is very important for overall health. Aloe vera juice is a great alternative to sugary drinks and fruit juices that can negatively affect your health.
Aloe vera juice is low in sugar and calories and can thus be consumed directly or mixed with other juices and smoothies.
4. Keeps Liver Healthy
Aloe vera juice hydrates the body and is rich in phytonutrients. Our liver can only function properly if the body is sufficiently hydrated. Aloe vera juice maintains the water content in the body and helps the liver detoxify the body.
5. Improves Skin Health
Aloe vera gel is a water-based moisturizer that can have many positive effects on the skin. Collagen is an important protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin. A study showed that when applied topically, aloe vera gel can actually increase collagen production of the skin.
Aloe vera has also been known to improve skin conditions such as erythema (redness of the skin), and has some evidence of improving psoriasis.
6. Aids Digestion
Aloe vera helps in breaking down the sugar and fat in our body. It controls acid production in the stomach and keeps our intestines healthy. It promotes the growth of good bacteria in our gut. If you have any digestive issues, include aloe vera juice in your diet regularly.
7. Rich in Vitamin C
Aloe vera is enriched with vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential to boost our immunity. Vitamin C is also essential for the absorption of iron in the body.
8. Reduce Inflammation in Gums
Preventing plaque build up is key to preventing cavities and dental issues like gingivitis and abscessed teeth. Streptococcus mutans and Candidas albicans are the main cause of plaque in the mouth. The antibacterial compounds in aloe vera target these two strains of bacteria and yeast.
In a study, Aloe vera juice was been compared to a standard ingredient in medical grade mouthwash, chlorhexidine. In fact, aloe juice was proven to be just as effective as mouthwash in reducing plaque.
9. Control Blood Sugar Levels
Aloe vera has been proven to have “some” beneficial effects in improving conditions such as prediabetes and diabetes type 2.
A study has shown that when subjects ingested aloe vera in liquid and powder form, it helped improve the regulation of blood sugar levels.
Side Effects of Aloe Vera Juice
Even though aloe vera is considered safe enough for consumption, it’s not 100% safe for these reasons:
- Long term consumption of the latex of aloe vera has been known to cause effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort, kidney issues, muscle weakness and arrhythmia.
- Consuming aloe vera gel containing latex while pregnant is not safe and if consumed over a long period, can be fatal.
- Those with IBS, or other digestive disorders should exercise caution when consuming aloe vera gel with latex as it could worsen the condition.
- The aloe vera gel itself may not be safe for those taking certain prescription medication and may cause interactions.
- Do not eat aloe vera topical gel as it contains other substances that can be toxic.
- In general, aloe vera gel, without latex is safe to eat. If you are unsure whether or not you can consume aloe vera gel, consult your doctor.
Right Way to Extract Aloe Vera
The thick and green leaves of aloe vera are the real powerhouse. They contain all the essential medicinal and healing properties. Aloe vera juice is easy to extract at home and is made from the pulp of the aloe leaves. Homemade juice ensures that all essential nutrients are present without any added sweetener or artificial color.
What do you need?
- 1 large aloe vera leaf
- A sharp knife
- Small bowl
- 3 cup water
Method of Preparation:
- Cut one large and healthy leaf from your aloe plant
- Remove the outer thorny layer of the leaves with the help of a sharp and pointy knife. This step will expose the latex of the leaves (a yellow layer that resides directly underneath)
- Cut through the latex of the leaf with the same knife and scoop out the inner clear aloe vera gel with the help of a small spoon
- Transfer the gel into a small bowl
- In the next step, examine the gel for any latex remnants
- Removing the latex is important as they carry strong laxative properties
- For making the juice, take out two tablespoons of the aloe gel and put it into a blender
- Add water and blend it on a low setting for 2-3 minutes
- Pour out your juice in clear glass. You can add a dash of lemon or ginger for added flavor.
- Your soothing glass of aloe juice is ready. If you wish, you may also dilute this juice with any other fresh vegetable/fruit juice or coconut water to enhance its taste or flavor
- You can also consume it in its natural state, but be aware of its laxative effect
How to Store Aloe Vera Juice?
- It is very important to know how to store aloe vera juice properly. The fresh juice made at home should be consumed immediately or refrigerated to keep it fresh. But consume as soon as possible to avoid any degradation of nutrients.
- If the juice is store-bought, then read the label of the bottle carefully to know storage instructions. Readymade aloe vera juice contains preservatives to increase its shelf life. They can be stored for several months depending on the manufacturing date.
- Fresh aloe vera juice should be consumed within 30-40 minutes before it is contaminated. Old or expired aloe vera juice can cause serious health problems like diarrhea, hypersensitive reactions and so on.
Aloe Vera Juice for Weight Loss
An unhealthy gut is not helpful for those who want to lose weight. Aloe vera can be used as a digestive aid to assist in healthy digestion, metabolism, and excretion.
The laxative properties of aloe vera ensures thorough digestion and reduces water retention. Aloe vera can help with both metabolic processes. The B-vitamins and enzymes in aloe vera make it excellent at burning fat. When actively losing weight, your body naturally goes into detox mode.
Aloe vera contains a complex carbohydrate called acemannan which helps in the detoxifying process. That, combined with its laxative properties, is a great reason to consume aloe vera juice while detoxing.
Ways to Consume Aloe Vera Juice for Weight Loss
Recipe 1: Aloe Vera Lemonade Slush
A soothing and refreshing drink to uplift your mood
- Raw honey – 1 tbsp
- Filtered cold water – 2 cups
- Aloe Vera Juice – 12 oz
- Lemon juice – ¾ cup
- ice cubes – 2 cups
- A small handful of fresh mint
- Pour honey, aloe vera juice, lemon juice, and water into your blender along with a small handful of fresh mint. Blend well until smooth.
- Add the ice. Blend on low speed to break up the ice, then increase the speed and blend until reached a uniformly slushy texture.
- To serve, use a spoon to scoop the slush into glasses.
- Garnish each glass with a mint sprig and serve immediately.
Recipe 2: Green Drink with Aloe Vera Juice
A healthy green drink to detox your system
- aloe vera juice – 1 cup
- baby spinach – 1 cup
- Banana – 1
- Cucumber – ½
- Fresh blueberries or any seasonal fruit – ½ cup
- protein powder (Optional) – 1 tablespoon
- Ginger – 1-inch piece
- Salt – 1 pinch
Method of Preparation:
- Blend all ingredients in a blender till smooth.
- Serve immediately
Aloe vera juice is one healthy drink to start your day. It is full of health benefits and essential nutrients. You can take aloe vera juice twice a day to reap all the good benefits. Removal of the gel from the aloe leaf and the process of making juice must be done as quickly as possible as aloe vera gel tends to oxidize quickly.
Though aloe vera juice has great health benefits, it also comes with some side effects. While making aloe vera juice make sure to remove the latex from the leaves as it can cause severe diarrhea and stomach problems.
Pregnant women should avoid aloe vera juice as it can cause contractions and labor. If you face an allergic reaction, nausea, vomiting, or stomach problems, consult a doctor before drinking aloe vera juice. Therefore, always consume it in small quantities to avoid side effects. Too much aloe vera juice can lead to diarrhea, electrolyte imbalances, and kidney issues.
Like all things good, aloe vera juice should be drunk in moderation. Also, please be aware that internet chatter is not to be trusted always. So, understand your health and include the good things, only if they are good for you.
Aloe Vera – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Can aloe vera juice help in weight loss?
A. Aloe vera is rich in antioxidants. It boosts your metabolism and helps you lose weight. Aloe vera also helps to break down the fat and sugar in your body. It keeps the sugar levels in check and keeps the intestines healthy. Drink one to two glasses of aloe vera juice daily to lose that unwanted weight.
Q. Can aloe vera juice cause any negative side effects?
A. Like all good things, aloe vera juice also comes with some side effects. Consuming too much aloe vera juice can cause severe diarrhea and other stomach-related problems. It can also cause electrolyte imbalance in the body and even affect your kidneys. Aloe vera juice can cause contractions and early labor in pregnant women.
Q. How much aloe vera juice can be consumed in a day?
A. You can drink aloe vera juice twice a day to reap all its health benefits. Do not consume more than two glasses of aloe vera juice per day as it can cause diarrhea. If you are extracting aloe vera juice at home, make sure you remove all the latex from the leaves. This latex can cause diarrhea and other stomach-related issues.
Q. What are the health benefits of aloe vera juice?
A. Aloe vera juice is full of health benefits. The juice provides hydration to your body. It keeps constipation and heartburns at bay. The juice also keeps the liver healthy and aids digestion. It is also great for the skin and is rich in vitamins & minerals. It controls blood sugar levels and provides relief in gum inflammation.
Q. How to extract aloe vera juice?
A. Extracting aloe vera juice at home is very simple. Take clean aloe vera leaf. After cutting through the latex of leaves, simply extract aloe vera gel and blend it with water to get the juice. For a detailed recipe, follow the instructions given in the article.