February 27, 2021 2 min read
Aloe Vera has gained worldwide popularity for its many benefits, from soothing sun exposure to immune support. In fact, with so many uses for overall wellness, this unique plant can be helpful for almost anyone. But what about undesired side effects?
Whether used specifically for the intention, or avoided as an undesired side effect, Aloe Vera has gained some notoriety for its laxative properties. Needless to say, those who ingest Aloe Vera for other needs may see this as cause for concern.
The truth is that Aloe Vera gel itself does NOT have laxative effects, however, the outer skin of whole leaf or raw Aloe contains a compound called Aloin which DOES have laxative effects.
Aloin is found in the latex coating just underneath the skin of the Aloe Vera leaf. This latex layer on the inner rind of the plant's leaves is made up of a yellowish sap.
While some have found aloin useful as a stimulant-laxative used to relieve constipation, the negative side effects of consuming aloin outweigh their benefits. The chemical is potentially dangerous to ingest and is often advised against.
While many still seek aloin to use for its laxative properties, it is potentially dangerous due to the harsh effects it has on the human digestive system. Many who try to use aloin encounter several unwanted side effects, including dehydration, diarrhea, cramps, and electrolyte imbalances.
In 2002 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a ruling stating that aloin was no longer "generally recognized as safe" and aloin is no longer allowed in products for human consumption. Any processed Aloe products sold in stores will not contain aloin.
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