The gel of aloe is thought to contain substances that can speed the healing of wounds by improving circulation of blood and preventing cell death; It would also promote changes in the skin, which is useful in the case of diseases such as psoriasis. The aloe gel also seems to possess antibacterial and antifungal properties. The latex of aloe is instead equipped with laxative properties.
What is Aloe?
The latex form of alow seems to be useful in case of constipation, herpes labialis, lichen planus, and psoriasis. Scientific evidence seems to be leaning towards the ineffectiveness of treatment against HIV infection, skin damage caused by radiation therapy and skin burns.
There is not yet enough evidence to certify the effectiveness in the treatment of burns , alveolitis, stomatitis, dental plaque, diabetes, diaper erythema, dry skin, frostbite, gingivitis, hepatitis, hyperlipidemia, oral mucositis, bedsores, dermatitis seborrheic, ulcerative colitis wounds and as an insect repellent or as an adjunct in chemotherapy against lung cancer.
How should Aloe be taken?
Aloe is commercially available for oral or topical use to be applied on the skin.
Side effects associated with Aloe
The aloe latex can have a laxative effect and trigger abdominal pain and cramps. Its intake is considered potentially dangerous at any dose; while long-term use may cause the following side effects:
- Kidney problems
- Blood in urine
- Potassium deficiency
- Muscle weakness
- Weight loss
- Heart disease
At a dose of 1 gram per day taken for several days it can be fatal.
The application of the gel of aloe on the skin is considered rather safe although it may sometimes trigger heartburn and itching. In addition, its oral intake is probably devoid of risks. However, it could be dangerous during pregnancy, lactation and infancy. In children under the age of 12 it may cause:
- Abdominal pains
- Abdominal cramps
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Aloe
Prior to taking aloe it is important to inform your doctor if:
- You have any allergies to the active substance or other ingredients
- You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, especially digoxin, antidiabetic, sevoflurane, stimulant laxatives, warfarin, diuretics, horsetail and licorice
- You are suffering (or have suffered) from diabetes, intestinal problems such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, and kidney disease
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
In addition, the aloe intake should be discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to any surgery.