POPSUGAR Celebrity

Is Aloe Vera Juice a Miracle Drink?

May 16 2014 - 3:38pm

Allow me to take some attention off coconut water [1] for a moment, and shed light on another drink that's been popping in conversations and is even included in one of our favorite Pressed Juicery blends [2]: aloe vera juice.

You probably already know that, as a topical agent, aloe vera can alleviate general discomfort from a bad sunburn (and has also shown some promise as a treatment for psoriasis), but imbibing this plant is a whole different story. Researchers believe that the complex carbohydrates [3] found in the juice are where this plant's powers truly reside — it also contains a number of digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and a natural form of aspirin. With all this said, there are some promised benefits — with some having more merit than others — so get the facts and drink with care.

Source: Shutterstock [4]

Digestion: Historically, aloe vera has been used as an effective natural laxative [5], since the juice of the plant encourages the bowels to move and helps with elimination [6]. After sipping the juice, it takes about 10 hours for aloe to get things going. Be careful about relying on this as a long-term cure, since using aloe regularly can affect the lining of the intestines.

Blood sugar: Early research suggests that aloe vera juice can help lower blood sugar levels [7] in people with type 2 diabetes. However, more thorough testing is needed to determine how beneficial aloe is in the situation, since studies have had conflicting results.

Cholesterol: Although the data is considered insufficient to support this claim, there is a small amount of evidence that suggests taking aloe orally can lower cholesterol [8]. Once again, more studies are needed to see if aloe fulfills this promise!

Photo: Camilla Salem

You should be forewarned, aloe vera juice has a strong pungent taste: if you can't cope with taking it straight, blend it in a smoothie or juice. Try this fruity strawberry, banana, and aloe vera smoothie [9] or our avocado, spinach, and aloe smoothie [10], which is perfect for a day of detox. The recommended serving size is one tablespoon [11] up to two times a day.

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