The aloe vera plant may look unassuming enough, but it’s one of the most powerful remedies nature has to offer. While it’s most recognizable as the cooling salve for a bad sunburn, aloe vera can also heal the body from the inside out.
The plant has been used by humans for almost 6,000 years, since the time of ancient Egypt when it was a go-to topical and oral treatment for a number of aches and pains. While the gel that comes from inside the plant may be most recognizable, in recent years, the blended juice has also gained a lot of attention in health circles—and for good reason.
WHAT IS ALOE VERA JUICE?
Both the gel and juice are produced from the outer green leaves of the aloe vera plant, a species native to Africa. The liquid and pulp are both filled with natural nutrients, minerals, and fiber that are known to provide a number of health benefits.
While aloe vera gel is generally used as a topical remedy, aloe vera juice is more often digested to target internal problems. It’s important, however, to remember that only juice that has been formulated for internal use (and says so specifically on the bottle) should be used—this ensures the purest product and also safeguards against any possible contamination that could come from bacteria or other substances.
Aloe vera juice has been seen to provide improvements to various health issues, but it’s wise not to overdo it. Rather, it’s best to limit usage to what the recommendations are on the packaging, which normally suggests between 2 and 4 ounces each day. Drinking more than that could trigger side effects ranging from an allergic reaction to nausea and diarrhea.
How is aloe vera juice made?
Though it might seem impossible, juice can actually be made from leaves. Here is the typical step-by-step process for making aloe vera juice:
- Leaves are cut off near the base of the plant, with a concerted effort to preserve the more desirable inner leaf
- The leaves are cut in half lengthwise before the gel is scooped out
- While the gel can be bottled and used later for a skin remedy, in order to make the juice, it’s then placed into a blender and pulverized to form a smooth liquid drink—at this point it can also be combined with citrus flavors like lemon, orange juice, or lime juice for enhanced taste
While it’s possible to make your own aloe vera juice at home, the fact is that the risk of contamination is high. Even removing the wrong part of the plant or failure to properly prepare it can lead to potential health risks. As such, using premade supplement grade aloe vera juice is the best way to ensure that there is no risk and that only the benefits of the juice are experienced.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING ALOE VERA JUICE
While using aloe vera gel for burns and skin ailments is fairly common knowledge, some may be surprised by the added benefits of drinking aloe vera juice. Here are just some of the advantages:
Good dose of vitamins and nutrients
Aloe vera juice contains a high number of essential nutrients, including vitamins A and E as well as magnesium and potassium. These are the building blocks of well-being, and can help with everything from lowering blood pressure to improved immune system function and greater vision. Aloe vera also contains vitamin B12, which works to improve metabolic function and decrease lethargy by converting the food you eat into usable energy.
The range of potent antioxidants found in aloe vera juice help ward off free radicals, fight the signs of aging, and combat a number of diseases. The same compounds have been found to support better circulation and support heart health, decreasing the risk for heart attacks and stroke.
Aloe vera can improve the way that the body ultimately digests food. It acts as a coating for the stomach, encouraging the development of a normal stomach lining, which can alleviate any kind of discomfort as food passes through. Drinking aloe vera juice can also help to reduce buildup of stomach acid, improving acid reflux and helping prevent ulcers from developing in some patients. Other studies have found that drinking this juice can help with constipation as well—try this aloe vera herbal stomach relief for even greater effect.
Some evidence shows that regularly intaking aloe vera juice can help to support memory, improve learning, and improve overall mood. The mental benefits that come from ingesting the plant still need to be investigated further, but so far the research is promising.
Immune system protection
Better immunity is often linked to aloe vera juice as well, thanks to the antioxidants, including high levels of vitamin C. Better immune support can reduce the risk of infections, common colds, and the flu, and promote better health overall.
Some studies have found that better oral care is also a direct result of drinking aloe vera juice. In particular, a plant-based compound called acemannan has been seen to make teeth stronger and reduce the risks of cavities and decay.
Blood sugar management
Looking to cut down on blood sugar spikes? A regular shot of aloe vera juice has also been connected to less fluctuations of insulin within the body. This can be welcome news to diabetics that are trying to better manage glycemic levels, and could also help prevent diabetes in those that may be in a prediabetic state. Although more studies are needed to ascertain just how effective aloe juice is in this role, the benefits are promising.
Improved skin appearance
There’s a reason why aloe vera is a common ingredient in soap, body wash, and lotions. It’s hyper moisturizing. And drinking the juice also helps to promote healthier skin by reducing dryness and irritation. Combining the drink with an aloe-based lotion is the best way to get the maximum effectiveness.
Aloe vera naturally functions as a diuretic, which can help the body rid toxins and heal from the inside.