Aloe Vera Interactions and side effects

by Sana Al Hadethee

Just because a little is beneficial, doesn’t mean that a lot is more beneficial. Aloe Vera  is an incredibly potent plant and should be used with a level of respect for its potency. Long-term use can lead to loss of electrolytes, especially potassium. We should treat this plant as a medicine, and not to use according to our body needs. These are some of the cautions when consuming Aloe Vera:

  • Some people may develop an allergic reaction such as skin rash when using Aloe Vera
  •   Pregnant women should not consume aloe vera to avoid possible uterine contractions or miscarriage.
  • Breastfeeding mothers should avoid consuming aloe vera juice because its effects and safety for babies and children is still unknown
  • Stop taking aloe vera few days before If  you are scheduled for surgery or dental procedure, to minimise the risk of bleeding during surgery.
  • Aloe should not be combined with  Glyburide – medication for treating Type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels when using aloe.
  • Aloe should not be combined with Digoxin – medication for treating congestive and irregular heart rhythms.
  • Aloe vera latex should not be used with other laxative herbs, which may also lead to excessive potassium loss.
  • Regular use of the entire leaf—which includes the latex—can deplete potassium in the body. Electrolyte imbalances can lead to muscle weakness and cardiac problems. According to the NIH, ingesting one gram of aloe latex for multiple days can be fatal.
  • There is a possibility of  increasing the absorption of steroid creams (hydrocortisone) if aloe used topically.

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