Aloe vera has been used as a family cure for many ailments. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities make topical aloe vera especially valued for wounds, open sores, and skincare. By mouth, it may protect against diabetes, enhance constipation, and ease heartburn. Read on to learn more about the potential uses and side effects of aloe vera.
What’s Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis miller) is a shrubby green plant. It develops in the arid regions of America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. A lot of individuals have used aloe for its beauty, wellbeing, and medicinal consequences for centuries.
Types of Aloe Vera
- Gel: aloe vera gel may be applied onto the skin to help decrease inflammation, clear skin, and heal wounds.
- Juice and Nutritional supplements (capsules): aloe vera can be taken orally through juice or supplements to stop constipation, increase the immune system, or reduce diabetes symptoms.
Aloe vera leaves have three layers:
- Rind (outer coating) — It shields the plant, transfers substances (starch and water ), and generates proteins and carbohydrates.
- Latex (middle) — It comprises glycosides (sugars bound into another chemical ) and anthraquinones (phenolic compounds). Barbaloin/aloin, isobarbaloin, and emodin are the key active chemicals.
- Gel (indoors) — It includes water, sugar, amino acids, fat, and vitamins. Glucomannan, salicylic acid, and phytosterols are the main active compounds.
The latex and gel comprise the majority of its active compounds. Aloe vera’s vitamins and anthraquinones have antioxidant properties. Its enzymes, glycoproteins, fatty acids, and hormones are anti-inflammatory.
- May help with wounds, sores, and skin swelling or dryness
- May lower blood sugar and fat levels in diabetics
- Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity
- May help with eczema and constipation
- Comparatively secure when applied on the skin
- Insufficient evidence for some benefits
- Regular oral doses may cause digestive difficulties
- Prolonged use may cause electrolyte deficit leading to heart problems
- Serious unwanted effects reported from high oral doses
- Oral aloe vera Isn’t safe for pregnant women and kids
- Possible interaction with blood thinners
Possibly Successful for:
In 3 studies of 80 burn patients, aloe vera gel aided treat burn wounds better than two antibacterial lotions (nitrofurazone and silver sulphadiazine). The aloe vera helped regrow new skin faster and alleviated pain better compared to lotions. Aloe gel was also powerful in 12 burn patients who experienced split-thickness skin grafts.
In a different analysis of 18 facial scarring patients, topical aloe vera gel helped cure skin more quickly. The treatment also reduced pain in their wounds better than the antibacterial ointment. In the same way, aloe vera juice powder enhanced wound healing, pain, and bleeding in a trial on 60 individuals with anal fissures.
Aloe vera gel also helped with chronic wounds in two trials on 137 people. It was at least as effective as two gels (phenytoin and betamethasone).
Aloe vera also sped up the healing of surgical wounds. It had been effective in two clinical trials on 80 girls who experienced a cesarean section and 49 people recovering from hemorrhoid removal.
However, there are conflicting results from other studies. In a trial on 21 girls with surgical scars, employing aloe vera gel on their own skin significantly postponed wound recovery when compared with a typical ointment.
Aloe vera’s components, glucomannan (glucose ) and gibberellin (a plant growth hormone) interact with growth factors, which might stimulate skin cell activity and development. This is the way topical and oral aloe vera can stimulate collagen formation and heal wounds.
Furthermore, aloe vera enhanced collagen makeup, which helps heal wounds quicker.
Overall, the evidence indicates that aloe vera can accelerate wound healing. You may discuss with your physician if it may be helpful in your case.
2) Skin Health
In a study of 30 participants with dry fingers, aloe vera gel (by wearing a barbell for 2 hours every day) enhanced dry skin after about 4 times. There was a substantial improvement after 10 times in skin strength, wrinkling, and reddening. In the same way, topical aloe vera moisturized the forearm skin of 20 female volunteers.
In a report of 41 psoriasis sufferers, aloe vera gel decreased redness, peeling, and pain by 72.5%. On the other hand, the placebo was more effective in lowering psoriasis symptoms (82.5%). Another aloe vera gel was more effective than a topical corticosteroid (triamcinolone acetonide) in a clinical trial on 80 people with mild to moderate psoriasis.
In the same way, a gel with aloe vera among other ingredients was effective at improving mild to moderate seborrheic dermatitis in a small trial on 25 individuals.
Aloe vera gel application on rat skin improved the formation of metallothionein, an antioxidant protein. The protein stops UV ray-caused oxidative damage, prevents antioxidant suppression, and reduced immunosuppressive cytokine (IL-10) release.
Sugars from aloe vera may help moisturize the skin by stimulating skin cells. The increase in collagen and elastin may soften skin, make it more elastic, and reduce wrinkles.
Though limited, the evidence suggests that aloe vera might help moisturize, improve inflammatory conditions, and reduce oxidative damage in the skin. Talk with your health care provider if it may help you as a complementary approach to your case.
In a clinical trial on 30 types 2 diabetic patients (with high cholesterol), aloe gel capsule supplementation helped restrain diabetes. Accepting 300 milligrams of aloe gel capsules twice daily for 2 months lowered blood glucose, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. It also lowered HBA1c, a long-term step of blood glucose.
Similarly, two aloe vera leaf gel products lowered blood sugar, insulin, and cholesterol (total and LDL cholesterol) in a clinical trial on 45 people at risk of type 2 diabetes. In a second trial on 136 obese prediabetic people, an aloe vera gel complicated reduced body weight and insulin immunity.
A meta-analysis of 9 studies found that diabetic patients had maximum improvement in blood glucose after taking aloe compared to healthy patients.
In human cells, an aloe vera compound (aloe-emodin glycosides) raised sugar uptake and glycogen synthesis. This may decrease glucose levels and help stop insulin immunity.
Again, limited evidence suggests that oral aloe vera can help lower blood glucose and fat levels in people with type two diabetes. You may consult with your health care provider if aloe vera is recommended on your case. Significantly, never take aloe vera in place of the antidiabetic medication prescribed by your physician.
Insufficient Evidence for:
1) Mouth Sores
In a study of 40 patients with canker sores (minor aphthous lesions), aloe vera gel decreased recovery time. It decreased pain and wound dimension.
In a different study of 90 patients, aloe vera gel fully healed 76 percent of their patients’ canker sores. It was especially efficient at decreasing ulcer size, redness, and oozing.
At a clinical trial on 26 neck-and-cancer sufferers, a mouthwash using aloe vera was effective as the anti-inflammatory benzydamine in relieving mouth problems brought on by radiotherapy. However, another trial on 58 people found aloe vera gel inefficient. This may be due to a low cumulative radiation level since aloe vera (added to mild soap) was only capable of high doses in another trial.
In conclusion, the results concerning canker sores are promising but limited while those on radiotherapy sores are mixed. There’s inadequate evidence to support this use of aloe vera until the additional clinical study is conducted.
In a study of 40 volunteers, topical aloe vera gel reduced UV-ray induced inflammation when applied in their backs. Aloe vera gel has been better at reducing redness and inflammation than hydrocortisone cream.
In mice, its application on the ears reduced inflammation caused by an irritant.
In human colon cells, aloe vera gel dose-dependently inhibited inflammation. This suggests that aloe vera has possible in treating inflammatory bowel disease.
Aloe vera gel additionally suppressed inflammatory markers in human immune cells.
Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory effects come from its ability to reduce PGE2 creation and stop the cyclooxygenase pathway.
It includes C-glucosyl chrome, an anti-inflammatory compound.
Although promising, the evidence is inadequate to assert that aloe vera assists with inflammatory conditions. More clinical research is required to establish how to use it therapeutically.
In a clinical trial on 390 people, aloe vera mouthwash was effective as antibacterial chemicals in eliminating plaque. After 30 days, the aloe vera band also had healthier teeth and less plaque when compared with the controls .
Herpes simplex is a virus that could lead to chilly sores and other diseases in the mouth. Aloe vera gel murdered herpes simplex virus without being toxic to other tissues.
Aloin (extracted from aloe vera) inactivated several viruses (flu, herpes simplex, and varicella-zoster).
Water and alcohol aloe vera extracts inhibited gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, although the alcoholic infusion was more efficient. The extracts inhibited Enterococcus bovis, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Proteus Vulgaris, P. mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Morganella morganii, and Klebsiella pneumoniae in test tubes.
Purified aloe vera protein also inhibited fungal growth (Candida paraprilosis, C. krusei, and C. Albicans).
Aloe vera contains antimicrobial compounds (phenols, sulfur, salicylic acid, lupeol, urea nitrogen, and cinnamic acid), which inhibit viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Aloe vera divides bacterial cells to prevent their growth.
Even though the results are promising, a single clinical trial and a few cell-based studies can’t be regarded as adequate proof to back the use of aloe vera from infectious diseases. More clinical trials on infected people are required to confirm these preliminary results.
Aloe vera may help alleviate constipation. In a study of 35 chronically constipated patients, aloe vera and fiber pills helped reduce constipation over the control pills. The patients experienced more regular bowel movements, softer stools, and required laxatives less often.
In rats, aloe-emodin extracted from aloe vera had such a strong laxative effect that it even induced diarrhea.
Phenolic compounds from aloe vera latex are liable for its laxative effects. They excite the intestine, raise intestinal water, also stimulates contractions (peristalsis).
A tiny clinical trial and some animal and cell research are clearly inadequate to support this use. Larger, more robust human studies are required to confirm these preliminary findings.
Significantly, because the safety of oral aloe vera was not well recognized, the FDA required that over-the-counter laxatives with aloe vera be either reformulated or taken out of the industry in 2002.
In a pilot study of 79 acid reflux patients, aloe vera was successful in relieving heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. In comparison to this group who received Omeprazole (a commonly prescribed heartburn medicine), the aloe vera band also had reduced heartburn, gas, vomiting, nausea, gasoline, and other symptoms. Aloe vera has been well taken and had several negative consequences.
A single clinical trial is insufficient to claim that aloe vera assists with heartburn. Further clinical investigation is required to confirm its outcome and evaluate aloe vera’s safety when used for this function.
Animal and Cell Research (Lack of Proof)
No clinical evidence supports the use of aloe vera for an immunity boost. Below is a summary of the present animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies shouldn’t be interpreted as encouraging of any health advantage.
Aloe vera contains several antioxidants — Vitamin C and E, flavonoids, tannins, and carotenoids. By stopping oxidative damage, the antioxidants can protect the immune system.
In guinea pigs, androgen (an aloe vera constituent), inhibited mast cell creation. Mast cells are white blood cells that may cause inflammation and hypersensitivity or allergic reactions. After alprogen inhibited mast cell formation, it prevented histamine and leukotriene release and prevented allergic reactions.
Aloe vera extract also caused mice white blood cells to discharge interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor, which stimulates the immune system.
Aloeride, sugar out of aloe vera juice, also activated white blood cells (macrophages), which also stimulates immune system function.
Limitation & Caveats
Besides its own topical application and oral intake for diabetes, the remainder of the potential advantages has been insufficiently investigated. Further clinical research is necessary to verify the preliminary results on other potential uses of aloe vera.
Side Effects & Precautions
This listing doesn’t cover all possible side effects. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any side effects.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. In the united states, you may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. Back in Canada, you may report side effects to Health Canada in 1-866-234-2345.
Common side effects of topical aloe vera comprise:
- Skin rashes
- Burning and stinging
When taken by mouth, aloe vera has been reported to trigger:
- Stomach cramps
- Constipation (in rare cases)
The majority of these effects may cause electrolyte imbalance, especially if used for a long time. Electrolyte deficiency (particularly potassium deficiency) because of protracted aloe vera use may cause irregular heart rate and increase the risk of heart failure.
In various case studies, high oral doses of aloe vera caused kidney failure, hepatitis, liver disease, and maybe even hyperthyroidism.
High levels of aloe vera diminished brain activity in mice. After 90 days, it also damaged sperm, decreased red blood cell count, and improved cell death.
Two decades of aloe vera leaf infusion management in drinking water caused rats to come up with tumors within their intestines. Aloin was identified since the chemical responsible for inducing pancreatic cancer.
People that are allergic to Liliaceae plants (onions, garlic, tulips, etc.) ought to avoid using aloe vera.
Pregnant women are also advised not to take aloe vera. It may have toxic effects on their embryo and fetus. It might also lead to contractions.
On account of this absence of safety data, kids must also avoid oral aloe vera.
People with kidney or heart problems ought to be cautious taking aloe vera as it can create an imbalance in the body’s electrolytes and cause potassium deficiency.
Supplement/Herb/Nutrient-drug interactions could be dangerous and, in rare cases, even life-threatening. Always ask your doctor before supplementing and let them know about all medications and nutritional supplements you are using or considering.
Aloe vera might have antiplatelet action, meaning it may lead to blood thinning. In 1 case, a girl taking aloe vera supplements experienced severe bleeding after oral surgery. Aloe vera interacted with sevoflurane to boost bleeding. However, no other studies have shown these effects.
Aloe vera gel raised the production of GLUT-4, a protein required to get glucose into cells, in mice.
Processed aloe vera gel decreased the production of SREBP-1a, FAS, and GPAT in mice. These enzymes are known to have a direct impact on fat synthesis.
Sugars from aloe vera gel forced MMP-3 and TIMP-2 manufacturing in rats. This may help with wound repair and collagen formation.
Because aloe vera is not accepted by the FDA for any condition, there’s no official dose. Users and nutritional supplement manufacturers have established unofficial dosages according to trial and error. Discuss with your health care provider if aloe vera may be useful as a complementary approach in your case and dose you should take.
Topically, aloe vera may be applied topically on the skin to reduce dryness, soften skin, and decrease wrinkles.
When using to deal with constipation, 0.04-0.17 grams of dried aloe vera juice is recommended. Furthermore, a combination of 150 mg dried juice, psyllium (50 mg), also celandine (300 mg) seems to be a safe choice.
Individuals normally drink 5-15 mL of aloe vera juice twice daily to help with diabetes.
Aloe vera injection isn’t recommended.
Most users applied aloe vera on the skin to enhance wounds, sunburns, and open sores. They often reported satisfactory outcomes.
But not all users were satisfied. One with open sores whined that aloe enhanced wound healing but had no effect on pain.
People with sensitive skin used aloe vera for skincare and normally reported good results.
A couple of users took in oral aloe vera for digestive issues, also reporting good results in general. But some of them complained about digestive issues such as diarrhea, nausea, and cramping.