Acid reflux can be irritating, uncomfortable, and downright annoying to anyone who experiences it, especially if it’s recurring. This condition has a large range of triggers, like eating a large meal, smoking, vaping, pregnancy, stress, age, medications, excess caffeine, or enjoying spicy foods. Needless to say, with so many triggers, it can be difficult to maneuver through life with frequent heartburn and discomfort.
While it’s always important to talk to your doctor if you have any severe or lasting pains, researchers have found that purified and decolorized aloe vera acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, helps reduce acid production, and may provide relief of symptoms of acid reflux without adverse side effects.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is an herbaceous, perennial plant, grown in tropical areas, that has been used orally and topically throughout history. When you break open one of the stalks, you’ll find gel on the inside which is widely recognized as a home remedy for things like scrapes and burns. Its extracts are often used in cosmetics, fragrances, and moisturizers.
While we familiarly think of aloe vera being used for skin, research has discovered that it may be beneficial for internal conditions as well. Aloe juice is found within the aloe latex, derived from the inner lining of the plant leaves. The juice has been found to have an internal soothing effect, much in the same way that we feel relief from using the gel for topical discomforts.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), or chronic acid reflux, is where acidic contents in your stomach consistently leak into your esophagus. This typically happens because a valve at the end of your esophagus doesn’t properly close once food has reached your stomach.
Acid reflux is common, and happens to everyone from time to time, but if you’re having symptoms more than twice a week over the period of several weeks, and finding that you’re taking antacids or medications with returning symptoms, it may be time to seek the counsel of a healthcare provider to avoid more serious problems down the line and begin treatment. Some people may experience persistent heartburn, while others might have chest discomfort, hoarseness when waking up, or pain swallowing.
Benefits of Using Aloe Vera for Acid Reflux
Aloe vera is a medicinal plant, packed full of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, and research has found it to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-viral, and antiseptic with wound healing properties and aiding in ulcer prevention.
When used internally, it can help lower small intestine bacterial growth and reduce acid reflux occurrences to begin with. Furthermore, bad bacteria produce gas, causing bloating and belching, which can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter that keeps your stomach contents in place. Poor digestion can also cause acid reflux, and aloe vera has been found to boost blood circulation within the digestive system which alleviates the frequency of heartburn and indigestion.
Chronic acid reflux does damage to the esophagus over time, and with aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties, it may reduce the pain and help soothe an inflamed esophagus. Aloe vera also has been found to boost the immune system due to its polysaccharides, which stimulate white blood cells, as well as improve blood circulation. When paired with the anti-inflammatory benefits, aloe vera may aid in repairing damage done due to persistent acid reflux.
How to Use Aloe Vera for Acid Reflux
Before taking any sort of natural supplements, always make sure to read all product labels. Dosage will vary depending on the manufacturer, the potency, and the individual using the product. In order to get the maximum benefits with little to no side effects, it’s important to consider asking a healthcare provider or pharmacist the correct dosage for you. Look at labels and read ingredients making sure that your aloe juice is the best quality, and ensure it is latex-free as aloe latex and aloin can have certain risks.
There are some beneficial ways you can use aloe vera to help treat acid reflux symptoms:
- Softgels can be taken throughout the day, specifically before meals, to help prevent heartburn and help with digestion. They also can be taken when heartburn or indigestion begins.
- Aloe vera gel, juice, or powder mixed with water, and used similarly before eating a meal, or after to help alleviate symptoms. Aloe vera tends to have a bitter taste but can be successfully masked when made as a refreshing drink using other ingredients that won’t flare up your acid reflux.
Stop taking the aloe if you feel any stomach discomfort or experience diarrhea. While it’s rare to see these side effects, aloe vera can act as a laxative. Stop use for a few days to see if the aloe vera was causing the pain, but if problems persist, visit your doctor.
Risks and Warnings
Most people consume purified aloe vera products and see few side effects, but any time you introduce a new supplement to your body, know the risks and warnings to avoid adverse effects.
- Pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant should avoid using aloe vera internally. If you’re struggling with acid reflux problems during your pregnancy, consult your doctor for the best treatment.
- Aloe vera can be used externally on children and infants, but use under doctor’s supervision if being used as a supplement orally.
- Medications already prescribed can be affected by aloe vera use, therefore prior to taking aloe vera, consult a healthcare provider.
- Diabetics or anyone using medications to manage their blood glucose should consult a doctor as aloe vera can dangerously lower your glucose levels.
- Aloe vera has its medical benefits but is known to also worsen other medical conditions such as Crohn's disease, hemorrhoids, or ulcerative colitis.
- If you are allergic to any plants in the lily family, avoid using aloe vera as it may cause side effects
Choosing Quality Aloe Vera Products
When looking for high-quality aloe vera products, especially when seeking to help better your body, you want to choose a company that takes pride in producing quality organic aloe vera, from plant to finished product.
At Aloe Laboratories, we maintain our own aloe vera farm and production site, allowing us to craft the best products possible while keeping bulk and wholesale prices low. We proudly produce aloe vera gel, juice, and powder specific to every client’s needs.
If you'd like to learn more about how aloe vera gel can enhance your products or your life, or if you have some ideas of your own, reach out to us today.