Most people are aware that aloe vera soothes dry skin, sunburn, and other skin irritations, but not many know of the many health benefits the plant offers when it’s consumed. For instance, recent studies have shown that aloe vera helps the immune system, encourages normal blood sugar, and reduces redness and swelling. Best of all it’s natural and totally safe!
More and more products are being created to help people consume aloe vera. One of the most popular is aloe vera juice. The benefits are many, and here are some of the most notable:
• Aids digestion and even relieves occasional constipation
• Eases stomach ache and acid
• Increases alkalization and reduces acidity in the body
• Soothes redness and swelling
• Encourages normal stomach lining
• Supports memory, learning, and overall mood
Surprised? There’s actually more. It’s because aloe vera contains a wealth of nutrients, like vitamins A, C, E, and B12, as well as minerals like potassium, zinc, and magnesium. It also provides powerful antioxidants, helps to balance metabolism , promotes oral health , boosts the immune system , and even supports normal circulation and blood pressure . It’s been reported to promote heart health. In another study, aloe encouraged normal blood sugar.
Even though aloe vera juice is ingested, it still contains many nutrients that make it great for your skin! It remains a powerful tool for irritated skin due to burns, minor cuts and severe dryness. Even when consumed, many of aloe vera’s properties still pass through the body and ultimately aid the skin in the same ways as aloe vera gels and lotions do when they are applied topically. Now, no one is saying that aloe vera is some magic cure-all, but the plant does contain a wealth of nutrients that benefit those who use it.
Why Should You Drink Aloe Vera Juice?
In addition to its many internal health benefits, drinking aloe vera juice is great because it enables you to ingest the plant’s nutrients without dealing with the unpleasant taste of fresh aloe. It also helps to take the guesswork out of what you should actually consume, as the aloe’s inner and outer leaf properties vary greatly. I should also note that there are over 400 different species of aloe, each with their own chemical composition. If you are looking to consume aloe vera juice or any other product, be sure to verify that you’re looking at things made with aloe vera and not any other species of the plant. There are many products to choose from, so be sure to evaluate them carefully before choosing one to take. Of course, if none of the juices you find quite meet your taste, you do always have the option of making your own.
How to Make Your Own Aloe Vera Juice
It’s not hard to make your own aloe vera juice, but before you start, here are a few points to consider. First, you should only use organic aloe vera leaves and make absolutely sure to find a plant marked as “edible”. You can either buy leaves that are already cut or grow your own full plant. Assuming you are using a whole aloe vera plant, you’ll remove the leaf or leaves you’d like to use from the plant. As long as you’re careful, you won’t harm your aloe. After all, this is a resilient species that has a natural ability to heal itself.
If you are removing the leaves from a plant, you absolutely must use a sharp knife. You want to leave a clean cut so that the plant heals swiftly. Begin by cutting the leaf off near the base of the plant. Focus on removing the desirable inner leaf gel. This will need to be done whether you’ve purchased individual aloe leaves or you have a whole plant. Start by splitting your leaf in half lengthwise. This will reveal the juices inside the leaf. Next, scoop out the gel (and only the gel)! Be sure to avoid the firm yellow areas, as this is what we consider the outer leaf. Remember, this does contain different properties and is not the desirable substance you’re after for your juice.
**Pro-tip: Try to limit damage to the outer leaf or rind, as this could enable compounds like aloin or aloe latex to seep into your inner leaf gel.
Once you’ve separated the inner leaf gel, place it into a blender. Add fresh lemon, lime, orange juice or any other citrus flavor to meet your taste. This is a great opportunity to add more organic fruit to your diet. Before you blend, make sure you have about equal amounts of your aloe vera gel and your citrus component. I recommend 2-3 tablespoons of each.
After you’ve blended your original mixture, add it to a cup of cold water. If you find the taste to be too strong, feel free to add more water to dilute. You might also consider adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to help add even more nutrients and a bit more zip to the taste.
Risks of Consuming Aloe Vera Juice
Even though aloe vera does offer many health benefits, you don’t want to get too carried away with taking it. Everything in moderation, right? For one, aloe vera leaves contain a compound called aloin. Aloin can induce a harsh laxative effect. And when taken too frequently, some compounds in aloe vera can create an electrolyte imbalance.
Other Ways to Enjoy Aloe Vera’s Health Benefits
If aloe vera juice is not for you, you can still enjoy its many health benefits. Today, you can get aloe vera dietary supplements in capsule form. But remember to check out the ingredients before you take anything! Not all aloe vera supplements are created equally. They do not contain the same amount of nutrients, proteins, and plant compounds so each can have a very specific effect on your body. Evaluate the ingredients and use this information to help you choose the supplement best suited to give you the benefits you seek. For the maximum health benefit, look for supplements that feature acemannan, a potent plant chemical found in the inner aloe vera leaf.