Aloe Vera Juice – Benefits, How to Make & Side Effects
Aloe vera juice is an extremely popular health beverage, and it has become even more of a phenomenon in recent years, as more studies are done on the active ingredients, nutrients and health potential of this plant juice. Aloe vera is a particular species of plants from the Aloe genus that grows well in tropical regions. Aloe vera leaves are where the majority of the active ingredients are located, so they are widely harvested wherever this plant grows. For thousands of years, Aloe vera plants have been used in traditional medicine practices, and the extract of this plant is extremely potent. The most important components of the leaves of this plant are saponins, amino acids, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin E, lignins and other minerals and enzymes.
Aloe vera juice is made from the leaves of the Aloe vera plant, and unlike processes to acquire the extract of this plant, the juice made by crushing, grinding and blending the entire leaf, which contains the viscous juice. After several filtering steps, the juice can be consumed for its concentrated nutrient content. While the smell of this plant can be potent, the juice is quite mild and easy to drink, which is why it has recently become so popular as a health supplement or dietary drink.
Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
The most impressive benefits of aloe vera juice include reducing inflammation, speeding healing, stimulating digestion, detoxifying the body, boosting immunity, protecting the heart, increasing hydration, soothing the skin and relieving heartburn, among others.
Immune System: With an impressive list of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins E, C and B, as well as copper, calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium, this juice can do wonders for your immune system. Additionally, there are phytonutrients and other antioxidants that can provide support against pathogens and chronic illness.
Heart Health: Aloe vera juice can protect cardiovascular health in a number of ways. By boosting circulation, this juice can prevent blood clotting and reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood. This is particularly good news for people with atherosclerosis, diabetes, or other conditions related to the heart.
Skin Inflammation: The nutrients and antioxidants present in this juice affect more than the stomach; the physical side effects can also be seen! Regular consumption of this juice can help give your skin a natural glow and reduce signs of aging.
Digestion: Studies have shown that aloe vera juice can improve your digestive processes and relieve constipation by lubricating the intestines. This can increase nutrient uptake and prevent discomfort, bloating, cramping and flatulence.
Healing Process: Known as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substance, aloe vera juice can speed the healing process following an extended illness, injury or recovery from surgery.
Detoxifying the Body: Due to the high water content of aloe vera juice, it can help to keep you hydrated, and will also stimulate urination, which can help relieve the body of excess toxins, fats and salts.
Gut Irritation: The best environment for your gut is a balanced pH, but many people tend to have overly acidic stomachs. Aloe vera has alkalizing properties, making it ideal for keeping your stomach operating normally, and maintaining a proper microflora balance.
Side Effects of Aloe Vera Juice
Despite the many health benefits, there are some potential side effects to drinking aloe vera juice that must be taken into consideration, including its laxative effects, negative interactions with certain medications, skin inflammation, allergic reactions, complications with pregnancy and diabetes, and possible effects on the heart.
- Laxative – One of the active ingredients in aloe vera juice is a chemical called anthraquinone, which can have laxative effects on the body. While small amounts of aloe vera juice can help with digestion, pure aloe vera juice in large quantities can cause diarrhea. Furthermore, anthraquinone is carcinogenic in nature, so some commercial varieties of aloe vera juice offer low-anthraquinone varieties.
- Medications – Certain medications can negatively interact with the active ingredients in aloe vera juice, and the two treatments should not be combined. If you are on any prescribed medications, speak with your doctor before starting an aloe vera juice regimen.
- Allergic Reactions – Some people have natural allergies to aloe vera juice or the chemicals it contains, which can result in irritation or swelling on the face, lips and tongue. Discontinue use immediately if these symptoms appear.
- Skin Irritation – Although the juice is consumed internally, it can manifest in the form of itchy, red or blotchy skin, particularly for those with a sensitive stomach.
- Pregnancy – Research has shown that this juice has stimulant qualities, and can cause uterine contractions. Pregnant women are strictly forbidden from drinking aloe vera juice, as it can cause serious complications with your pregnancy, even a miscarriage.
- Diabetes – If you are already taking blood sugar-lowering medication, this juice may cause your blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels. Speak with your doctor about any new herbal or natural supplements you are taking, particularly if you have a chronic disease.
- Cardiovascular Side Effects – Due to its stimulant properties, aloe vera can cause an excess of stress hormones in the body, namely adrenaline. For people who have experienced cardiovascular episodes in the past, or are at high risk for heart problems, use this juice with caution.
How to Make Aloe Vera Juice
While there are plenty of companies that produce aloe vera juice, it is also possible to make your own at home. This way, you can also be assured of the purity of what you are drinking. All you need to make your own aloe vera juice at home is an aloe vera leaf, water and a blender!
- 1 large aloe vera leaf
- 3 cups of water (filtered)
Step 1 – Using a sharp knife, remove the outer layer of the aloe vera leaf, which often has thorny on it.
Step 2 – The second layer of aloe vera leaves is the latex of the leaf, which is typically yellowish in color.
Step 3 – Cut through the latex layer of the leaf, which will reveal the clear aloe vera gel inside.
Step 4 – Scoop out as much of the gel as possible and transfer to a small bowl.
Step 5 – Measure out two tablespoons of aloe vera gel and add it to the water in the blender.
Step 6 – Blend thoroughly for 2-3 minutes, until the liquid has a uniform consistency.