Keen to try out aloe juice for yourself, but not sure where to start? In this article we’ll take you through some common questions about aloe vera, including how much aloe juice to drink daily.July 05, 2021 2:52 pm July 07, 2021 2:51 pm
A quick recap on aloe juice
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’ve already heard something about aloe vera juice.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of taking aloe vera juice regularly, let’s have a quick recap on why aloe is so good for you.
Aloe vera juice is special because it contains myriad micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and polysaccharides with beneficial health effects.
Aloe juice contains vitamins A (as beta-carotene), B12, C and E as well as folic acid and choline.(1)
It’s even more impressive for its mineral content, which comprises calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. Not bad for one plant!
However, many of aloe’s health effects are attributed to micronutrients which are less well-known to most of us. Several of them have properties which fight infections and inflammation, which may be why aloe has such a reputation for being soothing and healing.
The gel part of the aloe plant contains plant steroids such as cholesterol, campesterol and lupeol, all of which act as anti-inflammatories.(1)
Meanwhile saponins, which make up about 3% of aloe vera gel (and give it a slightly slippery texture) have antiseptic properties.(1)
What are aloe vera’s health benefits?
Luckily, we have a whole article you can check out on aloe vera’s health benefits.
Here, we’ll limit ourselves to a reminder that aloe is linked with skin healing, supporting your natural immunity, acting as an antioxidant and fighting off infection from bacteria and viruses.
If you drink aloe vera juice regularly, you can count on a hearty dose of all those vitamins, minerals and healthy micronutrients which will help support your overall wellbeing.
What’s more, aloe might even be able to help you squeeze more nutritional value out of the other foods you eat.
One study looked at whether aloe could help people better absorb other micronutrients. The researchers found that aloe vera gel (from which aloe juice is made) increased the absorption of both vitamin C and E by over 300%. They recommended that aloe vera gel be taken as a complement to these vitamins.(2)
Is aloe vera juice a laxative?
Aloe vera has a reputation as a laxative because of substances called anthraquinones. These encourage your intestine to push food through to your gut more quickly and also increases the amount of water in your system, helping to smooth the journey.(1)
Anthraquinones are found in the latex part of the plant. This is the yellow, sap-like substance you can find under the outer rind of the plant.
Some brands of aloe juice available on the market do contain this sap. This type of aloe juice will be labelled as ‘whole leaf’ juice.
However others, such as Erbology Organic Aloe Vera Juice, are made only with the part of the plant known as the ‘inner leaf’.
This refers to the translucent gel in the centre of the aloe leaf. The green outer rind and the yellow latex are both removed.
As such, this type of juice is a great option if you’re keen to get the nutritional benefits of aloe, but want to avoid its rather potent effects on your digestive system.
What to look for in aloe juice
We have a few tips to help you choose the best quality aloe vera juice.
Firstly, make sure your aloe is organic. Many of us drink aloe vera juice to support our overall health and wellbeing, so it’s important to make sure the product doesn’t contain pesticides or chemicals. Many people are keen to avoid artificial preservatives; our aloe juice does contain 0.2% citric acid and this is a completely natural method of improving aloe juice’s shelf life.
Next, choose your preference of whole leaf or inner leaf juice. This will depend somewhat on the effects you hope to see. For long term use, we recommend the inner leaf juice as it is gentler on your system but still contains all those healthy nutrients.
If you’re able to, try and find out about any other measures the producer takes to produce high quality aloe juice.
For example, at Erbology we only use aloe plants which are more than three years old. This is because younger aloe plants don’t have such a high concentration of beneficial nutrients.
Many aloe juice brands also add sugar to their product. We recommend avoiding this; there’s no health benefit, only extra calories and opportunities for tooth decay!
Similarly, check for added water or other types of fruit juice (such as apple or orange). This will only serve to dilute aloe’s health benefits, so make sure your product is undiluted.
Finally, look for a product with a high level of compounds called acemannan polysaccharides. We’ll explain a bit more about them below.
"Aloe vera juice contains sugars including acemannan polysaccharides. Recent scientific research has linked these special sugars with the ability to modulate the immune response.(3)"
What are the active components of aloe juice?
The aloe vera plant contains a whopping 75 potentially active components.(1) These include the vitamins, minerals and saponins mentioned above.
An ‘active’ or ‘bioactive’ component is simply a compound which has an effect in the body.
Other active components of aloe include hormones and enzymes. Several of these have their own anti-inflammatory properties or can assist in wound healing.(1)
Aloe also contains several different types of amino acids. It provides 20 out of the 22 amino acids we humans use, and 7 of the 8 so-called ‘essential amino acids’.(1) These are amino acids we cannot synthesise in our own bodies, so we have to source them from our diet.
Further, aloe vera juice contains sugars including acemannan polysaccharides. Recent scientific research has linked these special sugars with the ability to modulate the immune response.(3)
One study found that mice exposed to radiation were 60% more likely to survive if they had previously been treated with acemannan.(3)
Another discovered that acemannan was able to promote immunity by supporting the action of dendritic cells.(3) This type of cell acts as a messenger, recognising invaders and informing the rest of the immune system.
Erbology Organic Aloe Vera Juice contains an average of 1600mg of acemannan polysaccharides per litre of juice.
How much aloe juice to drink daily
So, now you’ve found the right product for you, let’s talk about how to get the best effects from it.
The amount to take daily will depend on the type of product you choose. If you are using a whole leaf juice, it’s a good idea to start small and see how you feel. You can increase the amount you take over time, if you feel you want to. However, taking a large quantity when you’re not used to it might produce some unwanted digestive effects.
Follow the directions given on the packaging of your whole leaf juice. If there are none available, try starting with a tablespoon per day and see how you get on.
If you’re going for an inner leaf juice, you don’t need to worry about the laxative effects of anthraquinones. Thus, you have a bit more freedom in terms of how much you take. There are no side effects of drinking inner leaf juice.
However, all aloe juice has a rather bitter flavour, which will put a natural limit on how much you’ll want to consume.
The trick is to take enough to get the health effects, while keeping the experience enjoyable.
We recommend taking 40-60ml (around 1.5oz) of our Organic Aloe Vera Juice per day. This is the equivalent of 2-4 tablespoons.
When should you take aloe vera juice?
There isn’t a specific time to take aloe vera. Rather, focus on finding a time that works in your routine.
Many people who use aloe vera juice traditionally like to take it first thing in the morning, but it’s not a hard-and-fast rule.
For example, it’s fine to take aloe in the afternoon or evening if you prefer; there’s nothing in the juice that would prevent you getting a good night’s sleep.
A final tip: if you’re trying whole leaf juice, it may be a good idea to time it judiciously for the first couple of uses, just so you can get an idea of how your body is going to respond.
Should you take aloe on an empty stomach?
Many people swear by taking aloe juice on an empty stomach, but the reasons for this are largely traditional.
In traditional medicine, aloe vera is seen as a cleanser and detoxifier, so taking it in the morning is thought to clear out your system in order to start the day ahead.
Some users also suggest avoiding eating anything else for around an hour after you’ve taken your aloe vera, in order to flush the body of any toxins.
We haven’t been able to find any scientific studies which support taking aloe vera specifically on an empty stomach. As a result, we recommend finding a time and a method of taking aloe vera that works with your own routine.
How long can you take aloe vera juice?
Erbology Organic Aloe Vera Juice is suitable for long term use.
If you’re keen to try whole leaf juice, you should only use it as and when needed. Don’t take it every day.
This is because the laxative effects of whole leaf juice can also lead to unwanted side effects such as diarrhoea and cramps.
There are also some concerns that whole leaf extracts may be carcinogenic.(4)
If you are taking whole leaf juice to treat constipation, the European Medicines Agency recommends using it for no longer than a week. It also states that using it only two to three times within that week is likely to be sufficient for mild cases of constipation.(5)
Can you mix aloe juice with other drinks?
As mentioned above, aloe has quite a bitter natural flavour. If you don’t love the taste on its own, mixing aloe juice into another drink is a fantastic way to take advantage of its health benefits.
If you don’t mind the flavour but would prefer a milder version, mix it into your water or juice. We also love adding it into smoothies, such as our delicious green smoothie recipe.
However, there are also ways you can accentuate and complement aloe’s natural flavour.
With its light and vegetal flavour, it has a particular affinity for flavours such as cucumber and watermelon. Alternatively, add a refreshing top note to your juices and cocktails. Aloe vera complements pomegranate and orange perfectly in our tasty mocktail recipe. Remember: making your own juice at home allows you to control how much aloe juice you drink daily, so it’s preferable to buying pre-made drinks.
Can you use aloe juice on your skin?
Yes! Aloe vera juice is a great addition to your skincare routine.
As previously mentioned, aloe is renowned for its soothing and healing properties on the skin. Usually, aloe vera gel is used to treat skin issues such as sunburn, skin inflammation and minor cuts and scrapes. However, inner leaf aloe vera juice is derived directly from the gel, making it a good option as well.
We particularly love to use aloe vera juice as a refreshing toner or facial spray. It is just the ticket on hot days, when the warmth outside brings a touch of redness to your skin. We love to keep a spray bottle in the fridge for a refreshing spritz!
Alternatively, add a tablespoon into a homemade face mask mixture to reap the benefits of aloe’s anti-redness properties.
How long does aloe take to work?
If you’re taking whole leaf juice, and you’re taking it steady as we suggest, then you should start to feel some relief from constipation within a day or two.
If you’ve chosen inner leaf juice, the effects will be more gradual and individual. You should consider inner leaf aloe juice as part of a balanced, healthy diet which will support your overall wellbeing.
Alternatively, if you’re using aloe vera juice to calm your skin, you should feel the refreshing and soothing effects immediately. Apply periodically until any skin redness – for example from sunburn – settles and your skin returns to its normal appearance.
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