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Aloe Vera Juice: The Gut-Friendly, Detoxifying Drink

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Aloe vera juice - Dr. Axe

The aloe vera plant has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and to improve skin and hair health. Each leaf of the plant has three layers: the inner clear gel, middle layer of latex and outer rind.

Aloe vera juice comes from all three layers of the leaf, which are crushed, ground and then filtered to create a thick, gooey liquid. This means that you are getting all of the impressive aloe vera benefits from ingesting the plant’s juice.

From fighting infections and boosting the health of your skin, to relieving constipation and promoting detoxification — consuming juice made from aloe leaves can be a great addition to your daily health regime.

What Is Aloe Vera Juice?

Aloe vera juice is made with the leaves of the aloe plant. The whole aloe vera leaf is crushed and ground to produce a juice.

This is followed by the filtration and stabilization process that’s used to achieve the desired texture, which is usually a thick liquid.

Drinking aloe vera juice alone or adding it to other liquids, like smoothies or green juices, has become a popular way to boost hydration and nutrient-intake, support digestive health and promote skin health.

Aloe Vera Juice vs. Aloe Vera Water

Aloe vera juice and aloe vera water are essentially the same thing. Both are terms used to describe crushed and ground aloe gel.

You may see it described as either name on products in your health food or grocery store.

Nutrition

Every part of the aloe vera leaf is beneficial and filled with nutrients. The outermost layer is actually 15 cells thick, and it contains all 75 nutrients that are present within the plant.

The sap is rich in anthraquinones, which are organic compounds that have laxative effects. The sap layer actually acts as the plants circulation system, and it carries materials up to the leaves and down to the roots.

The inner part of the leaf, which is the gel, is where the leaf stores all of its nutrients, including polysaccharides and anthraquinones.

To make aloe vera juice, all parts of the leaf are used, which adds to its beneficial effects. Part of the 75 nutrients that are found in the leaf include several vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Choline
  • Folic acid
  • Alpha-tocopherol
  • Beta-carotene

Aloe vera also contains 19 required and seven essential amino acids that are required for the body to form the building blocks of proteins. And it provides enzymes that aid digestion, sterols that work to reduce inflammation, salicylic acid that has pain-killing properties, and two types of sugars — monosaccharides (like glucose) and long-chained polysaccharides.

When it comes to amount of sugar and calories in juice made from aloe leaves, the amounts will vary depending on the product and added ingredients. When purchasing aloe very water or juice, read the nutrition label and ingredient list carefully to be sure it isn’t made with added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

Benefits

1. Rich in Nutrients

There are 75 nutrients present in the aloe vera leaf, including a range of vitamins and minerals. Aloe vera juice contains vitamins A, C and E, which all serve as important antioxidants that are needed to fight free radical damage within the body.

It’s also one of only a few plants that contains vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 benefits your mood, energy levels, digestion and memory.

As described above, aloe vera juice also provides anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as bradykinase, an enzyme that’s known for its ability to reduce skin inflammation, anthraquinones that work as laxatives and fatty acids. It contains required and essential amino acids, anti-inflammatory sterols and pain-reducing salicylic acid.

2. Supports Digestive Health

In traditional Indian medicine, aloe vera is used to treat constipation and other gastrointestinal complains. Juice made from the plant’s leaves helps to keep your digestion regular by maintaining the water content in your intestines.

This promotes the elimination of stool and helps to relieve constipation.

Research also indicates that consuming juice from aloe vera reduces abdominal pain and discomfort, as well as flatulence, in patients suffering from IBS symptoms.

3. Promotes Skin Health

Juice made from aloe vera leaves is high in antioxidants and vitamins that boost the health of your skin. It’s also water-dense and works to hydrate the body, which also improves the health and appearance of your skin.

Studies conducted on mice have shown that ingesting aloe vera gel is effective for wound healing. And topical application of the plant’s extract have shown to improve sunburn and skin conditions like herpes, psoriasis, frostbite, lichen planus and skin inflammation.

4. Boosts Immune Function

Aloe vera juice has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. By ingesting it or adding it to DIY skin and hair recipes, you are boosting your immune system and fighting infections.

Research shows that using juice or gel from the plant’s leaves helps to control the growth of organisms that can cause inflammation and infections.

And an in vivo study published in Annals of Dermatology found that supplementing with aloe gel works to improve facial wrinkles and facial elasticity. Ingesting aloe helps to increase collagen production and improve the health of human skin that’s been damaged by UVA and UVB rays.

5. Promotes Detoxification

Because aloe vera juice is water-dense, it keeps you hydrated and even promotes detoxification. By increasing your water intake, you’re flushing toxins and other impurities out of the body naturally.

This boosts the health of your kidneys, liver, blood and skin.

If you are doing a liver cleanse, adding aloe vera juice to raw vegetable juices is an excellent way to boost your nutrient intake while supporting a healthy digestive tract.

Related: Homemade Detox Drinks: 5 Major Health Benefits, Including Weight Loss

6. Supports Dental Health

Because of its antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, aloe vera juice can play a significant role in dentistry. According to research published in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences, aloe vera may help to improve dental issues like periodontitis, lichen planus, oral submucous fibrosis and recurrent canker sores.

Using the juice or gel of aloe vera helps to control bacteria that causes cavities. You can swish the juice in your mouth, just like you would a mouthwash.

Studies show that it’s effective in controlling the growth of organisms that lead to dental infections. It can also help to properly clean dental impacts and control oral inflammation from bacteria contamination.

Aloe Vera Juice Recipe

There are two ways to enjoy aloe vera juice — you can purchase it from a trustworthy company or make your own. You’ll be able to find juice from aloe leaves in most health food stores.

You’ll want to opt for an organic, purified and safety tested product.

Although there are several benefits of aloe vera juice, when it goes through the filtration and stabilization process to achieve a certain consistency, it can lose the presence of many active ingredients, including polysaccharides. Some aloe vera juices are also made with fillers, like maltodextrin, glucose, glycerin and malic acid.

In order to keep the integrity of aloe vera products and ensure that they provide benefits to consumers, the International Aloe Science Council developed a certification program that’s meant to validate and approve aloe vera commercial products. So if you are purchasing aloe vera juice, look for this certification on the bottle.

You’ll also want to check out the ingredients on a store-bought aloe vera water or juice. Some of them contain added sweeteners, which would increase its sugar and calorie content. It’s common for sweeteners to be added because crushed aloe gel alone has a pretty bitter taste, but a juice sweetened with lemon, lemon or another natural sweetener is your best option.

To make your own juice from aloe, you’ll need a large aloe leaf and filtered water. Then follow these steps:

  1. Let the aloe leaf sit in water or wash it by hand thoroughly.
  2. Peel the skin or crystal from the leaf on both sides, until you expose the slimy inner gel.
  3. Once the green peel has been removed, cut the inner part of the leaf into cubes.
  4. Place about 6 cubes into a blender with about 6 cups of cool filtered water and blend until the gel and water is well combined.
  5. For extra flavor, squeeze in some lemon or lime juice.

You can make a pitcher of aloe vera juice that you drink throughout the week. You can also freeze aloe gel cubes and pop them in a blender with fruit and veggies to make smoothies.

Risks and Side Effects

Drinking aloe vera juice is safe when you are ingesting appropriate amounts. If you drink too much of it, you may experience digestive issues, such as diarrhea, so stick to using it in moderation.

Drinking about eight ounces a day or adding it to your smoothie or fresh juice shouldn’t cause digestive issues, but if you experience cramping or diarrhea, then reduce the amount of juice you’re consuming in a day or week. Remember that aloe contains anthraquinone, which acts as a laxative and can cause side effects when it’s ingested in high amounts.

If you are taking medications that depend on Cytochrome P450 3A4 and CYP2D6 enzymes, then talk to your doctor before ingesting aloe juice, as it may increase the risk of experiencing adverse side effects.

Final Thoughts

  • Aloe vera juice is made with the leaves of the aloe plant. The aloe leaf is crushed and ground to produce a juice that can be ingested or applied topically.
  • The thick, gooey and even bitter juice from aloe is consumed for its impressive nutrition profile, including high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, anti-inflammatory enzymes and amino acids.
  • What are the benefits of drinking aloe juice? Juice from crushed aloe can help to reduce inflammation, improve skin health, promote detoxification, aid digestive concerns like constipation and IBS symptoms, and improve dental health.
  • It’s easy to make your own aloe juice — simply peel the green outer skin with a knife, cut the thick inner gel into cubes and blend it with cold water.
Josh Axe

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