Aloe Vera Gel & Digestion

Aloe Vera Leaves

Summer is coming my friends and I have seen many people running around with sunburns already. Many of us know about the incredible healing benefits of aloe vera gel on our sun kissed skin. So I am sure that an aloe plant would be a great staple to add to your home décor leading into the summer months. 

Beyond the topical use for our skin, did you know that this same plant can be just as healing to our insides as it is on our outsides? Think about what aloe does to the skin when we have a burn, it can have a similar effect on our digestive tract. One great way to include it in your diet is putting it into a smoothie. It can be quite bitter and if you take the gel right out of the aloe leaf it can be slimy - so this makes it a lot more appetizing.

The aloe vera plant is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, which aid in: 

  • Improving digestion

  • Decreasing inflammation 

  • Balancing PH levels 

  • Encouraging growth of beneficial bacteria, and 

  • Regulating bowel movements

In the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences a study was published that investigated the effects of aloe vera juice in the treatment of IBS patients. It found that 30 milliliters of aloe vera juice twice a day decreased the level of discomfort in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Flatulence was also decreased for the participants. Aloe vera has also been used to provide relief for those suffering with ulcers. Because of the antibacterial agents and natural healing properties aloe can help restore the integrity of the stomach lining. Aloe has even been shown to bring relief to people suffering from Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and all illnesses with painful or uncomfortable digestive symptoms.

When practitioners are dealing with digestive issues and an elimination diet is administered.  Aloe vera in conjunction with other supplementation is often used for a short period of time to help with the integrity of the gut lining before foods are re-introduced. In addition, aloe is rich in vitamin A, B12, C and E and contains a wide range of minerals (sulfur, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and chromium). So when you enjoy a smoothie that contains aloe vera gel or juice you can feel good that you are not only supporting your digestive system, but you are also consuming a natural multi-vitamin. If an individual needs a therapeutic dose of aloe vera gel, it is important to do this with the guidance of a qualified health practitioner. In higher doses it can cause some laxative side effects, digestive upset and can interact with some medications. It is also not recommended for children. 

You can include 1 ½ fl oz. in a smoothie or fillet 1 leaf and place the clear slimy gel into our smoothie. I find aloe gel is best consumed in a smoothie with coconut milk, pineapple, mangos and/or limes. Play around and have fun.