Allow me to take some attention off apple cider vinegar for a moment and shed light on another drink that's been popping in conversations and is even included in some of our favorite cold-pressed juice blends: aloe vera.
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 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.
Digestion: Historically, aloe vera has been used as an effective natural laxative, since the juice of the plant encourages the bowels to move and helps with elimination. 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 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. Once again, more studies are needed to see if aloe fulfills this promise!
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 or our avocado, spinach, and aloe smoothie, which is perfect for a day of detox. The recommended serving size for aloe one tablespoon up to two times a day.
— Additional reporting by Michele Foley