Aloe Vera Gel

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Aloe Vera Side Effects and Precautions

Although aloe vera use may have significant health benefits, it does also come with certain drawbacks. These side effects and precautions should be taken as warnings against certain uses of aloe vera, or using the herb in particular circumstances. Please note that this is not a complete list of side effects and other cautions. Also, some side effects may come after prolonged use of aloe vera, while others are not so. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional advice.

In addition to this page, you may also wish to read the aloe vera interactions list for information on that topic.

Topical usage, such as aloe vera gel or cream, is not typically associated with any major side effects.

Orally ingested aloe vera juice, caps, and other forms may have particular side effects, including the following:

Abdominal cramping
Blood electrolyte imbalances
Colorectal cancer
Decreased potassium blood levels
Diarrhea (due to laxative effect)
Lowered absorption of a variety of medications
Lowered blood glucose levels (blood sugar)
Muscle weakness and abnormal heart rhythms (from lowered levels of potassium)
Rash, such as or similar to hives and eczema
Worse constipation or dependency after use for 7+ days as a laxative

Aloe vera juice and other oral forms are also contraindicated for:

Allergic individuals - garlic, tulips, onions, and Liliaceae plant family allergies
During lengthy periods between bowel movements
Individuals taking herbs, supplements, or medications which affect blood sugar
Individuals with heart disease, kidney disease, or thyroid disorders
Patients with diabetes
Patients with electrolyte imbalances
Prior to exposure to the sun (may lead to rash)
Severe abdominal pain
Surgical wounds (may impair/slow healing process)
Temporary bowel paralysis (ileus)
Women who are in pregnancy or are breastfeeding

Continue reading the aloe vera interactions page for specific situations which may have contraindication for ingestion.

Aloe vera injections are to be avoided. In particular incidents they have been associated with fatalities, although it was unclear whether or not the injections played a role in the cases.

Return home to continue reading other aloe vera topics.