Can You Use Aloe Vera to Relieve Constipation?

When talking about bowel movements, there is nothing like normal pattern. Some individuals pass around one stool a day while others may pass three stools in a day. Generally speaking, you are constipated in case you pass fewer than 3 stools per week for at least three months in the last 6 months and also strain while passing them. Herbal laxatives including aloe vera are recommended by alternative medicine practitioners to ease constipation; however, evidence related to their safety and efficacy is inconclusive and complicated.

Can You Use Aloe Vera for Constipation?

Aloe Vera is being used since times immemorial to cure practically all conditions. However, modern science doesn’t agree with the ancient wisdom as there is still not enough evidence to prove the claims that are made regarding aloe vera.

What Is the Current Knowledge?

  • A bitter, yellow colored liquid obtained from skin of leaf of Aloe contains an ingredient referred to as Anthroquinone Glycosides. This has purgative properties.
  • In a study, a medicine that contained aloe latex along with psyllium husk and Celandine was found effective in treating chronic constipation. However, it wasn’t known for sure which of the three ingredients in the medicine had the effect.
  • How aloe vera affects the digestive system of healthy people was studied. It was found that stools became bulkier and the movement of food through the intestines also became faster.
  • Aloe latex acts as a powerful laxative; however, it is not recommended due to its adverse effects.
  • Aloe latex is no longer permitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an OTC laxative due to lack of availability of safety data.

How to Use Aloe Vera for Constipation?

If you decide to use aloe vera, here is the way.

Purchase your aloe gel, juice or capsules. Pure aloe gel, aloe juice or aloe capsules are easily available at health food and grocery stores. They are required to be mixed into tea or another juice.

  • You will most likely get pure aloe gel, aloe capsules and 100% aloe juice at health food stores. You may also find pure aloe gel, aloe capsules and aloe juice at certain retailers who sell nutritional supplements.
  • These products, particularly aloe juice are also sold by grocery stores.
  • Ensure that you purchase pure gel of aloe and not topical gel that is for soothing sunburn. You should not ingest this product and it may harm you in case you ingest it in place of pure gel of aloe.
  • Cramping may be produced by aloe capsules. You may purchase a tea such as peppermint tea or calming herb such as turmeric to avert the side effects.

Prepare and consume aloe gel or juice. Prepare either aloe gel or aloe juice two times a day in case you choose to take them instead of aloe capsules. This will help in relieving constipation within some days.

  • The dose of juice of aloe vera for constipation is ½ quart (2 cups or 16 oz) in morning upon waking and ½ quart in evening before going to bed.
  • Aloe juice has a strong taste; hence, it is better to mix with eight oz of fruit juice to dilute its taste.
  • The dose of aloe gel is two tbsp (29.7 ml) each day mixed with a fruit juice of your choice.

Take aloe capsule. Take aloe capsule thrice daily with a calming tea or herb in case you decide to take aloe capsule instead of aloe gel or aloe juice. This will help in relieving your constipation within some days.

  • The dose of aloe capsule is one capsule of 5g of aloe concentrate thrice daily.
  • Take herbal tea such as peppermint or herb such as turmeric to decrease adverse effects of capsules of aloe.

Keep the Side Effects and Warnings in Mind

Adverse Effects of Aloe Vera for Constipation

  • In some individuals diarrhea and abdominal cramping have been reported.
  • Dependency may result if aloe vera is used for greater than seven days.
  • Using aloe vera for long duration is NOT advised as it may result in depletion of potassium, which can lead to irregular heartbeat.
  • Using aloe vera regularly may result in dehydration and alter the electrolyte balance of the body.
  • Using laxatives containing anthroquinione for greater than one year is linked to a raised risk of colon cancer.
  • Aloe vera should not be used by diabetics as it has been found to reduce blood sugar.
  • Aloe vera should be avoided by pregnant females, as it can result in contractions of the uterus.
  • No studies exist to show whether aloe vera is passed from a lactating mother into her breast milk or not.

What Are the Conclusions Regarding Using Aloe Vera for Constipation? 

Though ingesting aloe vera occasionally for constipation is ok, you should not take it for longer than one week. If you still suffer from constipation, consult your physician.

Don’t consume it if you suffer from any other health problem particularly cardiac or kidney disease, intestinal conditions or diabetes without consulting your physician.

Know More About Constipation

In case you are suffering from constipation for 2 weeks or greater than that, visit your physician. They will not only help rule out a serious problem such as obstruction of bowel but also prescribe more safe and effective treatment for bowel evacuation.

How to Prevent Constipation

If your constipation is finally relieved and you want to prevent its recurrence consider making certain dietary and exercise changes. These may help you prevent the recurrence of constipation.

  • Ensure to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet that has plenty of dietary fiber from vegetables, fruits and whole grain cereals such as bran and breads.
  • Drink lots of water (at least 1,000 to 2,000 ml, 1.5-2 US quarts or 48 oz to 64 oz) and other liquids per day.
  • Do regular exercise. Doing even simple exercises such as walking can help you prevent constipation.
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