Aloe Vera - Internally

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Aloe vera is said to be a wonderful healing remedy for external skin, but two FDA advisory panels concluded that there was insufficient evidence that aloe vera was useful for treating minor burns, cuts, or abrasions, or for treating minor vaginal irritations. Prolonged use of aloe applied to the skin can cause hives, allergic skin reactions, redness of the skin and eyelids, delayed wound healing, hardening of the skin, Henoch-Schönlein purpura (purple spots on the skin), skin dryness, skin inflammation from sun exposure, soreness, splitting of the skin, stinging, and widespread skin inflammation. I do not recommend aloe for healing postoperative incision.

False advertising claims for aloe are common. Aloe products for internal use have been promoted for constipation, coughs, wounds, ulcers, diabetes, cancer, headaches, arthritis, immune-system deficiencies, treating the AIDS virus, or other chronic and debilitating conditions. However, the only substantiated internal use is as a laxative.

Aloe vera juice contains a substance called anthraquinone, a laxative, which can cause diarrhea. The FDA has approved aloe latex (a harsh stimulant laxative) for OTC use as a laxative ingredient. Severe diarrhea can cause pain, cramps, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in the body. It also changes urine color to pink or red in color. People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal problem, should not drink aloe vera juice, as it contains high amount of laxatives which can increase the severity of the problem. Prolonged usage of aloe vera juice can increase the risk of constipation. The chemicals in aloe vera can produce painful cramping and the product is not recommended for use as a laxative because of the significant digestive side effects that follow and it can cause dependency if used as a laxative. Aloe latex in the juice causes a loss of potassium in the cells lining the intestines. With continued use as a laxative, it can cause a kind of paralysis of the intestines, Also, intake of aloe latex can cause depletion of the potassium from the cells of the intestinal lining.

I can tell you from my personal experience taking aloe vera for many months that you don't want to drink aloe vera juice. I thought the healing properties that work so well on external skin would help heal my leaky gut and chronic constipation, but it ripped my intestines to shreds and distressed my liver. Here's what I know about internal aloe vera side effects, which far outweigh the benefits I have heard attributed to aloe.

Aloe vera juice contains anthroquinones and anthrones in the aloe latex, ingredients which have many health risks associated with it. It can aggravate health problems like leaky gut, colitis, Crohn’s disease, appendicitis, diverticulosis, intestinal obstruction, hemorrhoid, stomach pains and ulcers.

Aloe vera juice lowers blood sugar levels by decreasing insulin resistance in the body. Thus, people who are undergoing treatment for hypoglycemia or diabetes should consult their physician before consuming aloe vera juice.

Consuming aloe vera juice, for more than a year can cause pseudomelanosis coli, a condition which increases the risk of colorectal cancer. There are even possibilities of developing carcinogenic risk if consumed in high amounts. Injection of aloe vera is illegal in the United States, but some desperate cancer patients have died who were treated with aloe vera intravenously in other countries where there is less regulation.

It is said that aloe vera contains anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that aid the immune system to cleanse the body of toxins and invading pathogens. My experience is that aloe harms beneficial bacteria populations and encourages pathogens to mutate. This harms the immune system.

Drinking aloe vera juice can also result in allergic reactions like
internal skin rash or hives, itchy or swollen skin, causing inflamed bowel, lung inflammation that causes difficulty breathing, chest pain, and throat irritation.

There are also reports which suggest hepatitis is caused by consumption of aloe vera juice, becoming a cause of concern for people with liver problems. The United States National Library of Medicine reports that taking internal aloe vera may lead to liver injury, often between 3 and 24 weeks after consumption.

Aloe vera juice may cause adverse reactions when consumed along with medications. Aloe vera may inhibit or increase the effects of some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

Aloe may increase the risk of bleeding.

Overdose of aloe vera juice can cause blood build-up in the pelvis, which leads to kidney damage.

Consumption of aloe vera juice can lead the body to produce excessive amounts of adrenaline, which can be harmful for people suffering from heart conditions. It can also lower potassium in the blood, causing irregular heartbeats, weakness and soft muscles. Hence, it is not recommended for children and elderly people.

Consuming aloe vera can cause thyroid dysfunction, uterine contractions, liver toxicity, urinary stone, and kidney failure.

It is considered unsafe for children below 12 years of age.

Products derived from aloe vera and intended for internal use have not been proven effective against any disease and the effectiveness of aloe skin-care products is uncertain. I advise that you avoid aloe vera in all its forms for any use. It is a nice house plant.