Aloe vera is a succulent plant often found in tropical climates. Its use has been recorded as far back as Egyptian times. Aloe has been used topically and orally.
Its extracts are often used in cosmetics and can be found in everything from fragrances to moisturizer.
Aloe vera gel is found when you break open the leaves. It’s widely recognized as a home remedy for minor scrapes and burns.
Some people believe that juice from the aloe vera plant may have a similar soothing effect for people with acid reflux. Aloe juices are found in the aloe latex. This is derived from the inner lining of the plant’s leaves.
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties. This is why it’s often used to treat sunburns or other minor irritations.
The juice is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Because of this, the juice is said to detoxify the body when taken internally. It may boost digestion and eliminate waste.
Aloe vera juice may also help:
- lower cholesterol
- reduce blood sugar levels
- promote hair growth
- rejuvenate skin
Recent research suggests that decolorized and purified aloe vera juice may be a safe and effective treatment for reducing reflux symptoms.
The 2015 study found that the juice effectively reduced the symptoms of acid reflux as well as certain traditional medication without any reported side effects. In some instances, the juice was more effective than traditional medication.
Researchers concluded that aloe vera may work by reducing acid production and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Risks and warnings
Most people can ingest decolorized and purified aloe vera juice without experiencing any side effects. Other forms of aloe vera juice may not be as well-tolerated by your body.
For example, non-decolorized aloe vera juice can cause diarrhea. This is because the juice contains anthraquinone, which is a potent laxative. Animal studies show anthraquinones are an intestinal irritant. This irritant may lead to intestinal cancers or tumors.
People with diabetes shouldn’t drink aloe vera juice without first consulting with their doctor. The juice can amplify the effects of medication for diabetes. This can lead to hypoglycemia.
Women who are pregnant shouldn’t drink aloe vera juice. The juice may induce miscarriage.
You shouldn’t drink aloe vera juice if you’re taking diuretics or laxatives.
Traditionally, acid reflux is treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications that either block stomach acid or reduce the amount of acid your stomach will produce.
OTC options include:
- antacids, such as Tums
- H2 receptor blockers, such as famotidine (Pepcid)
- proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec)
In some severe cases, acid reflux can be treated with surgery.
If you’re interested in adding aloe vera juice to your acid reflux treatment regimen, you should talk with your doctor. They can help you decide whether this is the best treatment for you.
If you decide to try this treatment, remember:
- Only decolorized and purified aloe vera juice is recommended for consumption.
- You should begin with one two-tablespoon dose per day to determine if it causes any adverse side effects.
- If you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant, you should discontinue use.