Clear gel from the pulp of the meaty leaves of aloe vera has been used topically for thousands of years to treat wounds, skin infections, burns, and numerous other dermatological conditions. Dried latex from the inner lining of the leaf has traditionally been used as an oral laxative.
While aloe vera is a safe plant, it can have some side-effects of drinking if consumed without being adequately processed after being extracted from the latex. These side-effects of aloe vera juice can lead to major health risks.
The laxative present in aloe vera can cause diarrhoea if taken in large amounts. Some people drink the juice before having their meals to help the digestive system absorb nutrients and breakdown the foods. While limited amount may help stimulate bowel movements or reduce constipation, an overdose of it can cause diarrhoea and cramping.
If you are undergoing medical treatment for an ailment or taking prescription drugs, the side-effects of drinking aloe vera juice can hit you harder. It may react with your medicines and the laxative present in the juice can inhibit absorption of some drugs in the body. Not just medicines, aloe vera juice does not go well with fenugreek or garlic. Low blood sugar and potassium levels in the body are some side-effects of drinking aloe vera juice with these herbs or drugs.
If you allergic to plants from the Liliaceae family (like onions, garlic, tulips, lilies etc), you are more likely to develop allergic reactions to aloe vera juice whether it is taken orally or topically. This side-effect of aloe vera juice in the form of allergic reaction can cause skin rash, chest pain, difficult breathing, swollen skin and hives. If you want to ward off such side-effects of drinking aloe vera juice, perform a simple patch test on your skin before directly applying the gel to your skin.
Women who are pregnant are strongly advised against drinking aloe vera juice for its powerful laxative properties which can lead to miscarriage and birth defects. The side-effects of aloe vera juice affect lactating mothers too because it may get passed on to the child through the milk and cause diarrhoea in the latter. Also, children below 12 years of age are advised against drinking aloe vera juice.
Drinking aloe vera juice can aggravate irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal problems in people who have them. Side-effects of drinking aloe vera juice don’t end here. The high amount of laxatives present in unprocessed juice can also cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in the body. A change in your urine colour to pink or red can also be a side-effect of aloe vera juice.
Aloe vera juice can cause your body to produce excessive amounts of adrenaline which can be harmful for people who suffer from heart problems. It lowers the potassium levels in the body, causing irregular heartbeats, weakness and soft muscles. It is therefore, not recommended for children and elderly people.
Drinking aloe vera juice can lower blood sugar levels in your body. If you are taking any medications to regulate blood sugar or diabetes, you should not consume aloe vera. People who regularly take medications such as insulin may experience blood sugar imbalances as well, so they need to be very cautious about side-effects of drinking aloe vera juice.
Prolonged use of aloe vera juice can increase the risk of constipation. An overdose can also cause blood to build-up in the pelvis, leading to kidney damage. It is best not to drink aloe vera juice unless under medical supervision.
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