Aloe Vera is a short-stemmed shrub that is known for its amazing health benefits and is widely popular in traditional Indian and Chinese medicines as well as some modern medicines.
These benefits are primarily due to the abundance of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, phytonutrients, polyphenols, antioxidants, and other compounds in them.
Some of the benefits provided by Aloe Vera are -promotes weight loss, improves digestive health, strengthens immunity, regulates blood sugar level, promotes cardiovascular health, and so on.
Aloe Vera extract, Aloe Vera gel, and Aloe Vera leaves, all are almost equally beneficial for our health.
Despite all these benefits, it is suggested to consume Aloe Vera in moderation as over consumption could lead to various side effects and health complications.Source-Pixabay.com
Side Effects Of Aloe Vera
Some of the major side effects of Aloe Vera are as follows:-
(1) Aloe Vera And Latex Allergy
The leaves of the Aloe Vera contain latex which is present underneath the plant’s skin. This latex works as a natural laxative and helps provide relief from constipation and other gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
However, some individuals might be allergic to latex and they should avoid aloe vera at all cost. Some of the symptoms of latex allergy are as follows:- skin rashes, redness of the skin, runny nose, sneezing, itching, throat irritation, watery eyes, stomach cramps, and low potassium level, etc.
(2) May Increase The Risk of Hypoglycemia
Regular and moderate intake of Aloe Vera or Aloe Vera juice is very beneficial for people with diabetes, and for those who are at the risk of developing diabetes as it helps in regulating our blood sugar level.
This benefit of Aloe Vera is mainly because of its low glycemic index. Being a low glycemic index means it releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slow pace, prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar level, and thus helps in managing diabetes.
The dietary fibers in it also play a significant role in regulating blood sugar as it slows down the rate at which sugar gets absorbed by the bloodstream.
Although aloe Vera is good for people with diabetes, it is advisable to consume them in moderation, and only after consulting with your doctor.
This is because excessive consumption of Aloe Vera may lower our blood sugar to an abnormally low level, thereby increasing the risk of Hypoglycemia, causing symptoms such as excessive sweating excessive hunger, fainting, fatigue, lightheadedness, shakiness, nausea, vomiting, dry and tingling lips, anxiety, blurred vision, palpitation, and slurred speech, etc.
Also, if you are already taking medicines for managing blood sugar levels, then excessive consumption of Aloe Vera may interfere with the medicines, giving rise to health complications.
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(3) Aloe Vera Gel Allergy
Gel made from Aloe Vera should be used with caution as it may cause allergic reactions in most individuals. Some of the allergic reactions caused by Aloe Vera gel are skin rashes and irritation, redness in the skin, and burning sensation, etc.
If you would like to use Aloe Vera gel, then it is advisable to first test with a minuscule amount, and if you don’t experience any allergic reaction or discomfort, then you can give it a try.
If you experience any allergic symptoms with the use of Aloe Vera gel, then discontinue the use and consult with your doctor.
(4) Not Suitable During Pregnancy And Nursing Stage
During the pregnancy and the nursing stage, it is necessary to keep good care of our health and wellness and ensure that the mother is enjoying a balanced meal full of nutrition as what she consumes not only determines her health, but also the health and wellness of the fetus developing in her womb.
Aloe vera is an excellent source of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and dietary fibers, etc. and the presence of these compounds makes them very beneficial for us as they provide numerous benefits and keeps us healthy.
Even after all the fantastic benefits provided by aloe vera and aloe vera juice, it is suggested not to consume them during pregnancy and nursing period as contain compounds that affects pregnancy negatively. Aloe vera juice and certain aloe vera products may contain “anthraquinones” which can stimulate uterine contraction, and thereby increases the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
Aloe vera juice should be avoided by nursing mothers as it may increase the risk of toxic colitis in breastfeeding babies.
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(5) May Cause Dehydration
Aloe Vera is well known for keeping our skin hydrated and moisturized due to the high level of water in it.
For this reason, Aloe Vera is being used in cosmetic products such as skin creams and skin moisturizers.
Other nutrients like vitamins and minerals also play an important role in managing our skin health as it makes our skin soft, supple, and radiant.
However, excessive consumption of Aloe Vera should be avoided as it may cause dehydration because of its laxative properties.
In moderation, the laxative nature of the Aloe Vera provides relief from constipation, but in excessive quantities, it may absorb too much water from our system giving rise to dehydration.
Prolonged dehydration may cause problems such as urinary tract infections, electrolyte imbalance, kidney stones, and in the worst-case kidney failure.
(6) May Interfere With Liver Detoxification
The liver is a vital organ that plays many important functions in our body, and one such function is detoxification i.e removal of toxins, and unwanted substances from our body.
The detoxifying function of the liver is mainly because of its ability to convert lipophiles (toxins and unwanted substances found in lipids and fats) to water-soluble metabolites which can easily be eliminated from our body through urine.
It has been found that certain bio-active compounds present in the aloe vera could interfere with the liver’s detoxication process, and may cause several health complications.
For this reason, it is suggested to consume aloe vera in moderation, and if you are suffering from any liver disease or are at the risk of development of any such disease, then it is better to refrain from aloe vera.
(7) May Lower Potassium Level
Excessive consumption of aloe vera juice for a prolonged period may lower potassium levels in our body.
Potassium is an essential mineral for our health as it is required by our body for various functions such as maintaining nerve functioning, contraction of muscles, regulating heartbeat, removal of waste products from cells and tissues, managing liver and kidney health, and maintaining electrolyte balance, etc.
It is also needed for the growth and development of bones, and for keeping them stronger.
Potassium is also needed for the proper functioning of the brain, and a lower level of potassium may increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and amnesia, etc.
For this reason, elderly people are advised to avoid consuming aloe vera juice as it may aggravate the onset of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
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(8) May Cause Stomach Discomfort
The latex present in the aloe vera leaves is laxative in nature which means it improves bowel movement and provides relief from constipation and other digestive issues.
However, when aloe vera or aloe vera juice is consumed in excess, then it can cause stomach discomfort and other digestive problem such as excessive cramps, abdominal pain, intestinal gas,intestinal blockage etc.
For this reason, it is suggested to consume aloe vera in moderation, and if you are experiencing stomach problems then it is better to avoid aloe vera.
The information contained in the post is for general purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.