Aloe vera, the miracle plant have been used by us since ages. It is known to be excellent for skin, hair, digestion and general wellness of the body. While this aloe vera plant is full of health benefits but there are possibilities and situations when it has some side effects. These side effects are very rare and in most cases not experienced at all.
Most of the side effects of aloe vera are because of presence of aloin and latex (found just below its skin). Consuming latex can cause irritation in intestine, while aloin is a banned product in many countries because of its side effects. Another important fact is aloe vera when used externally has almost no side effects and almost all side effects are when consumed internally (as juice / powder, etc.).
Major side effects of aloe vera
As mentioned above, major problems associated with aloe vera are because of presence of aloin and latex. In most of the processed aloe vera products these are removed, but care should be taken if one is preparing aloe vera products at home.
- Aloe vera latex can be harmful for people suffering from colitis, appendicitis, stomach pain, haemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome etc. Thus precaution should be taken while taking aloe vera so that latex is removed before consuming
- Aloin can cause abdominal pain and cramps in some cases. It can also lead to intestinal problems.
- People suffering from diabetes and kidney problems can suffer from electrolytic imbalance in blood if aloe vera products with latex are consumed. The latex can also cause unwanted laxative effect.
- If aloin is not removed from aloe vera, and used internally, it can lead to redness in urine, abdominal pains, etc.
- If you are planning to have a surgery soon, you should stop taking aloe vera as it can impact the blood sugar levels, reduce blood clotting which can lead to complications.
- The laxative action of oral aloe vera intake sometimes causes diarrhoea. In such cases the absorption of certain medicine has been found to decrease.
- Some medications interact with aloe vera (oral intake) and can have some side effects. Most of these interactions are because of the laxative action of aloe vera. The medications include – Diuretic drugs, Sevoflurane (anaesthesia in surgeries), anti-diabetes drugs, etc. In general because of laxative action absorption of any medications taken from mouth might decrease.
- In few cases internal consumption of aloe vera has been found to be harmful for pregnant women.
- People allergic to onions, tulips can also develop allergy to aloe vera in some case. In such cases consuming aloe vera can develop mild allergic reactions, itching, rashes, etc.
- If you are directly using aloe vera from the plant (not processed one) make sure the inner layer of the yellow juice be removed and you should only consume the "actual gel". The yellow juice is known to cause dermatitis, if your skin is very sensitive. If you are unsure how sensitive your skin is, try using the extracted gel at a small area before using it extensively.
Having mentioned the side effects of aloe vera above. It should be noted that these are very uncommon. Also it is worthwhile considering the fact that the medicines we take, even for cold / cough / fever are found to have much severe side effects than aloe vera. Thus, while precaution should be taken to watch out for side effects of aloe vera it should not stop us from using it.