Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
Aloe Vera and Gut Health
Aloe vera has a long history of use as a therapeutic agent and is commonly used orally and topically around the world. The products aloe vera gel and latex are sourced from the leaves of the aloe vera plant. There is some supporting evidence to suggest that the consumption of aloe vera products might be beneficial to health by helping to heal the gut.
Aloe vera has been found to be an effective treatment in those suffering with gastric and duodenal ulcers. These anti-ulcer effects have been attributed to the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of aloe vera as well as its ability to inhibit gastric acid secretion. Aloe vera has also been found to be an effective anti-inflammatory in the Helicobacter pylori (H.Pylori) infection. H.Pylori is a common pathogen which can be responsible for causing gastric ulcers.
Aloe vera contains compounds known as anthraquinones which have a laxative effect on the body through increasing the water content in the intestines and playing a role in the contraction and relaxation of the intestinal muscle. Therefore aloe vera is commonly used in the treatment of constipation.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Aloe vera is often considered as an alternative therapy for those suffering with IBS, particularly when constipation is the predominant symptom. However, one study comparing the effectiveness of aloe vera against a placebo in those suffering with IBS found that the consumption of aloe vera failed to show any improvements in the quality of life in these individuals.
How can I include aloe vera in my diet?
One of the most easily accessible forms of aloe vera in the diet is through aloe vera juice or capsules. Aloe vera juice is now becoming relatively easy to source in the UK market and can be purchased from a range of health stores as well as in the world foods section of many supermarkets. However, make sure to pay close attention to the ingredients as many of these products are packed with added sugar. Aloe vera capsules are available in different strengths from a wide range of health stores and can be taken daily as an alternative therapy for some of the conditions above.