POPSUGAR Celebrity

The Latest Trend in Healthy Drinks Aids in Digestion, Ends Constipation, and May Even Lower Blood Sugar

Jun 22 2016 - 11:17am

Allow me to take some attention off apple cider vinegar [1] 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 [2]: aloe vera.

As a topical agent, aloe vera can alleviate general discomfort [3] 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 [4] 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 [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!

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 for aloe one tablespoon [11] up to two times a day.

— Additional reporting by Michele Foley

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