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Aloe Vera: Uses, Side Effects, Benefits and Medical Uses

Team AckoMay 13, 2024

The aloe vera plant stands out as a botanical wonder with healing properties brimming out of its succulent leaves. This natural herb is known for its therapeutic uses in a world full of chemical and synthetic remedies. From skincare to fighting infection, aloe vera emerges as an unsung hero in diverse areas. 

Ancient civilisations in India, China, and Egypt were aware of the magical qualities of this plant and utilised them to their maximum potential. In modern times, we are slowly learning to embrace the miraculous characteristics of the aloe vera plant for our health and overall well-being. Read through this article to discover how this adaptable herb can be integral to your daily life. We have also discussed its ample advantages and whether it has any particular side effects. Take a look!




Aloe Vera Nutritional Value

The first part of our discussion includes the nutritional value of Aloe Vera. The leaf is the portion of aloe vera that is most frequently utilized to make aloe vera juice. Three components make up each aloe vera leaf: 

  • a transparent gel within that is primarily made of water 

  • middle latex layer 

  • the thick outer layer known as the rind

Aloe vera's nutritional composition is as follows: 


15 Kcal









Vitamin C






Uses of Aloevera

Here are some common uses of Aloe Vera. 

1. Skincare

One of the most well-known uses of Aloe is in the treatment of dry skin. Aloe Vera is used as a natural moisturiser to hydrate the skin. Studies also show it to be potentially beneficial as an anti-ageing agent to prevent wrinkles. Aloe Vera gel is also commonly used by patients with acne to soothe the skin. It can also safely be used along with other anti-acne medications.

2. Hair care

Aloe Vera gel is used commonly to treat various scalp conditions and improve the texture of hair. Its calming properties are helpful in treating seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. Being rich in vitamins, it also strengthens the hair and reduces hair fall. For these reasons, it is usually mixed with other ingredients and used as a hair mask. 

3. Aloe juice to lower blood sugar

Consuming Aloe juice or the refined form of Aloe has been found to help diabetics in controlling blood sugar levels.

4. Natural laxative

Aloe Vera should be used very carefully as a laxative as there is much debate regarding its safety and interactions with other medications. It has also been associated with cramps. However, in small quantities of about 0.05 grams, Aloe juice can help improve bowel movements.

5. Antibacterial and antiseptic properties

Aloe Vera gel is commonly applied on wounds. It is also applied to soothe the skin in case of sunburns. 

6. Anal fissures

An anal fissure is a painful condition in which there is a break in the skin near the anal opening resulting in extreme discomfort while passing stools. Aloe Vera gel may help in faster healing of the fissure and reduction in pain and bleeding during defecation.

7. Miscellaneous uses

  • Treatment of mouth ulcers

  • As a mouthwash to prevent dental plaque, improve oral hygiene, and provide relief in patients with bleeding gums

  • As an antioxidant

  • To protect from chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation

  • As a makeup remover

  • Can be used alone or mixed with vitamin E and essential oils as a natural shaving cream

  • It is commonly used in combination with oatmeal or sugar to make body scrubs at home. Body scrubs help exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells leaving the skin feeling soft and glowing.

  • As a lubricant 

  • To relieve itching and pain at the site of insect bites

  • Because of its astringent properties, it is used alone or along with lemon to degrease the scalp. Regular use helps cleanse the scalp and reduces oil production.

  • As a cream to apply over cracked heels

  • As an eyebrow gel to keep stray hair strands in place.

Aloe Vera Uses For Skin:

The juice of aloe vera may aid in moisturizing the skin. Moreover, aloe vera gel for the skin may assist with acne by maintaining the skin's moisture and hydration levels, as dryness increases the production of oil from our skin. So, applying or consuming aloe vera juice benefits skin health and provides us with skin that is supple and hydrated. To substantiate such assertions, more study is necessary.

Aloe Vera Uses For Hair:

Aloe vera juice was given orally to sheep as part of a research project. Subsequently, balding spots on the sheep showed signs of hair development. The presence of enzymes, mucopolysaccharides, and anthranols in aloe vera plants was suggested as the possible cause of this activity. 

Aloe vera products may have the ability to promote hair development based on this indication. More research on humans is required to fully grasp the benefits of aloe vera for hair development.

Side effects of Aloevera use

Here are some common side effects of Aloe. 

  • Applying fresh Aloe Vera directly from a plant can cause skin irritation. To avoid this, always perform a patch test. Take a small quantity of the gel and apply it behind the ear or on the inside of the wrist. Monitor for 24 hours and look out for any redness or irritation in the area. 

  • Oral consumption of Aloe Vera has been associated with diarrhoea and cramps. Therefore, patients with piles are advised to avoid using Aloe.

  • Aloe use also interferes with the action of several medications such as steroids or heart medication. It should also be used carefully by diabetic patients who are already on medication as it can result in a dangerous drop in sugar levels. 

  • Aloe gel when consumed orally can also reduce the absorption of several medications.

  • Aloe Vera has also been linked with electrolyte imbalances and kidney disease. As a general measure, it is best to consume Aloe orally only after consulting a doctor regarding the right formulation and dose. Do not consume it daily for extended periods of time.

  • Commercially available Aloe Vera gel often has added colours and preservatives. If you are using fresh Aloe Vera gel, make sure to freeze it if you want to store it for longer. Refrigerated fresh Aloe Vera gel can only be used for a few days.

  • Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding and below the age of 12 years are advised to avoid using Aloe as its safety in these patients has not yet been established. 

  • It is recommended that people who are allergic to onion, garlic, and tulips should avoid using Aloe.

Indications For Use

Quercetin and other mucilaginous compounds found in aloe vera function as emollients to repair and regenerate damaged skin cells. In addition, it has hormones derived from plants and polysaccharides that aid in hydrating and stimulating the cells.  

Aloe vera gel for skin, when applied topically, promotes skin healing due to its high vitamin content, which includes C, E, B, and zinc, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and phosphate. It works well to boost immunity as well. Aloe vera can be utilised to support healthy skin and hair. 

Anemia, arthritis, headaches, muscle soreness, wounds, illness, sleeplessness, athlete's foot, inflammatory conditions, constipation, and digestive difficulties may all benefit from its use. 

Contraindications For Use

People who are allergic to aloe or any other plant in the Xanthorrhoeaceae group should avoid using aloe vera. For those who have diarrhea, liver issues, intestinal blockages or stenosis, atony (loss of normal muscle motion), appendicitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, unexplained stomach pain, or severe dehydration, aloe vera should not be used. 

It should also not be taken by children under the age of twelve. Always get medical advice before taking aloe vera if you have diabetes, are taking medicine, or use other medicinal plants. This is due to aloe's ability to change how certain medications function.

Aloe Vera Dosage 

Apart from individuals who are inherently allergic to the plant, aloe gel can be administered topically with little negative consequences. Aloe vera content determines the dosage and quantity of skin treatments, lotions, beverages, etc. 

One ounce or two tablespoons of aloe juice is a suggested daily dosage on an empty stomach. Yet, the dosage may vary depending on a number of variables, including symptoms, age, and gender. Consult a licensed ayurvedic physician before including aloe vera in your diet or skincare regimen.

Interactions With Other Drugs

Be sure you fully disclose to your Ayurvedic physician everything about your medical history, including current medications and health issues. This allows them to take extra care when recommending aloe vera juice because it has certain medication interactions. 

Aloe vera may deplete potassium and furosemide, which may be taken for heart, liver, kidney, and edema. Since aloe vera lowers blood sugar, it may interact with insulin and medications you were prescribed to lower your blood sugar.

Is Aloe Vera Ideal For Everyone?

If you have diabetes, stay away from ingesting aloe vera, as it can drop blood glucose levels. Aloe vera acts as a laxative, so keep that in mind if you're taking any medications orally. The medication's absorption may be lowered by diarrhea.

Aloe vera should not be consumed by children under the age of twelve or women who are pregnant or nursing; however, it can be used topically. Additionally, consuming any aloe preparations should be avoided by those who suffer from digestive illnesses like Crohn's.

If you are allergic to plants in the Liliaceae family, which includes tulips and lily blossoms, you can have an allergy to aloe vera. Understanding that aloe vera plants could be poisonous to dogs, cats, and other household members is critical.

How to collect fresh Aloe Vera gel

Growing Aloe Vera plants is quite a simple process. They grow well in warm climates seen in India and other tropical countries, and thrive when kept in indirect sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can dry out the plant.

It is important to remember that Aloe plants do not require much water. Generally, watering about once a week is sufficient. If they are watered too frequently, the leaves start to wither. Make sure to use a pot with holes at the bottom so the excess water can drain out.

When you want to collect fresh gel, simply cut off one leaf from the outer edge of the plant. Keep it on a cutting board and slice it open from one end. The thick, slimy gel can be scooped out or cut with a knife. You can blend the gel and store it in a jar in the freezer for a maximum of one week.

It is important to note that not all Aloe Vera is edible. Make sure to get the correct form if you are purchasing it for oral use.

Also read: Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions and their answers related to Aloe Vera.


How can I get Aloe Vera gel?

Aloe Vera gel can be harvested fresh from an Aloe Vera plant for immediate use. If that is not possible, it can be purchased from any local pharmacy. Make sure to purchase the natural form of the gel.

Will using Aloe Vera on my face make it more oily and sticky?

Although Aloe Vera gel has a slimy texture, it does not leave any oily residue. It may make the skin feel a little tight initially. The Aloe Vera gel can be rinsed lightly under cool water to reduce sliminess.

What will happen if too much Aloe is used?

Applying too much Aloe on your skin can cause irritation. Consuming too much Aloe orally can also have several dangerous side effects from diarrhoea and cramps to electrolyte imbalances.

How is an allergy to Aloe treated?

If you are allergic to Aloe you may get redness, irritation, or a rash at the site. In this case, wash off the Aloe and apply bland petroleum jelly. The allergy should subside in a few hours. If the irritation persists, visit a doctor to assess the need for further treatment.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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