You probably know that aloe vera gel soothes skin irritation. But did you know aloe vera can soothe your esophagus too? Aloe vera juice for heartburn is an effective treatment and natural home remedy. There can be adverse effects associated with the consumption of aloe vera juice, so make sure you know what to look out for.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is the burning sensation you feel in your chest as a result of acid, and possibly food regurgitation, refluxing from your stomach back up into your esophagus or food pipe.
If you have heartburn, you may also suffer from these common ailments of the digestive tract:
- irritable bowel syndrome, which causes changes in your bowel movements
- h. pylori, a bad bacteria which is a major reason you get stomach cramps
- peptic ulcers
- stomach ulcers
If left untreated, you may get gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus or in rare cases, esophageal cancer.
What is aloe vera?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant which grows in tropical climates. The efficacy of aloe vera is well known. The use of aloe vera leaves has long been used as a treatment for burns and skin irritation.
Health benefits of aloe vera juice
Aloe juice has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties which can help your acid reflux symptoms. It helps by reducing acid production in your stomach and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent, which reduces your pain.
Aloe vera is a highly nutritious medicinal plant, so drinking the juice is very good for you, whether you are using it to treat heartburn or not.
It’s juice contains 75 different nutrients that are beneficial for your health; including many vitamins, folic acid, a host of minerals, enzymes that aid digestive health, and most of the essential amino acids.
Aloe vera juice for heartburn
When you break open aloe vera leaves, you can see the clear gel. Aloe juice, which is what you use for heartburn treatment, is found within the gel.
Compared to conventional medicine, there are rarely adverse side effects from consuming aloe vera juice if taken correctly.
A clinical study of 79 participants was conducted to compare the efficacy of aloe vera juice (or syrup) to conventional heartburn medication (H2 blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors). It was found that while aloe vera was a good treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, it wasn’t as effective as conventional medication.
It should be noted however, that there were no side effects in the group that took aloe vera, whereas, some adverse effects were seen in the groups that took conventional medication.
Aloe vera juice is a safe, effective and well-tolerated treatment for GERD. You just need to know how to use it correctly.
Warnings about aloe vera juice
Between the green skin of aloe vera leaves and the clear gel, you will find aloin, which is a bitter yellow-brown sticky substance.
In small amounts, aloin is a potent natural laxative. In large doses it may give you cramping, diarrhea and electrolyte imbalance.
If you consume aloin over a long time, it may also cause colon cancer. Due to this link, you shouldn’t use aloin as a laxative, and it’s no longer medically recommended as a laxative anyway.
Fortunately, aloin can be removed for safe consumption.
Aloin is said to be safe for you at 10 ppm (parts per million), but most manufacturers report that their aloe vera juice contains around 1ppm. The safety of aloe vera syrup can be confirmed by checking the information on packaging.
When you buy aloe vera juice for heartburn, you need to look for aloe vera juice that has been decolorized and purified, or is latex free.
Also, aloe vera drinks are not suitable if you are:
- pregnant – can cause miscarriage
- diabetic – interferes with medication and can cause hypoglycemia
Aloe vera allergy
Aloe vera drinks are usually well tolerated, but if you are one of a very unlucky few, you may be allergic. If you suffer cramps or diarrhea after drinking, you should stop using aloe vera juice immediately.
If your symptoms persist, it’s probably not caused by aloe vera, but seek medical advice if you are concerned.
How to use aloe vera juice for heartburn
You can buy aloe vera juice from your grocery store or health food store, but make sure you get one that that is decolorized and purified, or is latex free. You can also make your own aloe vera juice for heartburn, which I’ll get to shortly.
The amount you should drink really depends on the brand you have bought and how concentrated the juice is. But mostly, it is suggested you drink between 1 to 8oz of aloe vera juice for heartburn per day.
Usually, taking aloe vera juice alone will not cure your heartburn – be sure to eliminate the heartburn foods and triggers from your diet. Also, try and follow a healthy lifestyle in order to stay on top on your health.
There are additional tips for you at the end of this article that will go a long way to curing your heartburn .
If your heartburn persists, then such natural remedies might not be enough for you. In that case, you will have to turn to your chosen healthcare provider for help.
Other ways to drink aloe vera juice for heartburn
You don’t have to drink your aloe vera juice neat, unless you like it that way of course. You can try adding aloe vera juice to:
- smoothies – choose ingredients that don’t trigger your heartburn. Here’s a good article for you about the best milks for acid reflux, and a yummy smoothie recipe. Or, try non-acidic fruits like papaya, melons or apple juice.
- non-acidic juices such as carrot and apple; why not try making fresh carrot, apple and ginger juice? Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and small amounts may also reduce the chances of stomach acid refluxing.
Store bought vs home made aloe vera juice for heartburn
Store bought aloe vera juice is convenient, but good quality brands can be expensive. It may also contain preservatives or a lot of sugar. Did you know that sugar converts to acid in your stomach? So, too much isn’t good for your acid reflux. Artificial sweeteners are even worse.
Remember to only buy aloe vera juice that has been decolorized and purified, or is latex free to minimize aloin, which can be toxic (if you missed it, read about the dangers associated with aloin above).
On the other hand, if you make your own aloe vera juice for heartburn, you control the ingredients that go in it. If you make it according to the recipe below, you will notice that your aloe vera juice has already been diluted, so you might be able to drink one 8oz glass per day.
Don’t drink too much, and if you’re in doubt, consult your healthcare provider.
Making your own juice is inexpensive, or free if you have an aloe vera plant. They are very easy to propagate, but just make sure you note the warnings below.
How to make aloe vera juice for heartburn
If you’re feeling adventurous, you may like to try making your own fresh aloe vera juice. It’s easy and you only need 2 ingredients: inner leaf aloe vera and water. Any other ingredients you add are optional.
There are 2 things you need to be aware of when making aloe vera juice:
- Make sure you cut off all the green skin as it’s very bitter.
- You need to thoroughly remove all the brown sticky gel on the leaf because this is aloin, a very strong laxative which is toxic. You can do this by rinsing the inner leaf in water.
The following recipe and video are republished courtesy of yummymummykitchen.com. I have made a few comments to help you adjust the recipe to make it more suitable for heartburn treatment.
1/2 large aloe vera leaf
1 quart (or 1 liter) of filtered water (or tap water)
2 limes, juiced (optional) – if you have heartburn, you may be able to tolerate the lime juice. Even though it’s acidic, small amounts of acidic juice help neutralize stomach acid.
2 tablespoons agave syrup (optional) – try a small amount of maple syrup for heartburn, or leave the sweetener out. You’ll be surprised how quickly you get used to the taste.
- Cut a large aloe vera leaf in half.
- Use a sharp knife to carefully remove the skin. Be careful, as the aloe is very slippery. Discard the skin.
- Rinse the aloe vera gel thoroughly to remove the aloin and bitterness.
- Place the peeled and rinsed clear gel in a blender. Add fresh water, lime juice, and sweetener, if using.
- Blend into a juice. Some people like to aloe vera completely dissolved, while others prefer little chewy bits. Strain the juice if you prefer it that way.
- Taste the aloe juice and add more sweetener or lime juice if needed. Serve immediately over ice or refrigerate for up to one week.
Other benefits of aloe vera juice
Aside from heartburn, there are many other ways you can use aloe vera:
- Healing wounds due to antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties.
- Reduces dental plaque
- Treats canker sores
- Helps constipation
- Improves skin
- Lower your blood sugar levels
Other ways to reduce heartburn naturally
If you’re going to use aloe vera juice for heartburn, it should be done in conjunction with natural remedies:
- avoid your acid reflux trigger foods, including fatty foods and spicy foods
- eat small meals
- allow 3-4 hours after eating/drinking before you lie down
- elevate your head and torso when sleeping
- do exercises that don’t aggravate your heartburn most days
- reduce stress by trying yoga or meditation for heartburn
- avoid alcohol, or drink moderate amounts of alcohol that doesn’t cause heartburn
- try natural acid reflux remedies such as apple cider vinegar or herbal teas
- quit smoking
The final word on aloe vera juice for heartburn
The consumption of aloe vera juice for heartburn is a safe, effective and well-tolerated treatment that can improve the health of your digestive system. It’s very nutritious and is a good natural home remedy for you to try in conjunction with the other ways mentioned above.
The only thing you need to concerned about is making sure that your aloe juice doesn’t contain aloin, which can cause adverse events such as cramping, diarrhea and electrolyte imbalance. Also, is taken for a long time, aloin may give you cancer.
If natural acid reflux remedies don’t work, you should see your healthcare provider.