Aloe Vera plant

Aloe Vera Side Effects

Aloe vera can have side effects and some of them can be serious. However the worst reactions are usually associated with poor quality aloe vera or aloe vera that is promoted for use in some very questionable ways.

Of the visitors to The Aloe Vera Site who filled in the survey Your Experience with Aloe Vera, 11% said they had side effects and 89% said they felt no side effects.

Side effects, temporary reaction or a true allergy?

It is extremely important to note that many people have confused an allergic reaction with the normal action of Aloe Vera starting to work or with a reaction to a product the Aloe has been mixed with. Here are two examples:

  • Dr Jeffrey Bland of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in California tested Aloe Vera on ten patients. He noted "One person complained of gas and another of transient gut pain which after continued supplementation throughout the week diminished". His work can be found in Prevention Magasine 1985.
  • Dr Peter Atherton, in The Essential Aloe Vera, wrote "Most commonly, allergic reactions are due to such added substances as lanolin or parabens in cream ... I have seen only one reaction to a drink ... the most likely culprit being the sodium benzoate used as a preservative".

In his research Dr Atherton also found "The leading authority on toxicology in this country [The United Kingdom] is the Poisons Unit at Guy's Hospital in London. [They said] that some whole leaf products had been shown to produce abdominal pains and diarrhoea in some people"



Some common reactions to and side effects from Aloe Vera

The table below outlines some of the most common side effects of Aloe Vera and why they occur. Note that good quality aloe vera used correctly will make the side effects listed below highly unlikely to occur.

Allergic Reaction

  • Some people are allergic to eggs, some to grass and some to aloe vera. Allergic reactions are usually seen visually as skin rashes but be careful not to confuse this with aloe vera actually working (see below)

Skin Rashes

  • A genuine allergic reaction to aloe vera
  • Often occurs when you first start drinking aloe vera as it detoxifies the body. As this occurs toxins can be pushed out through the skin and may persist for several days. If you are concerned consider drinking less aloe vera every day to slow down the natural process that is taking place internally.

Feeling Sick and Vomiting

  • A genuine allergic reaction to aloe vera
  • The aloe vera juice is off. Like milk or fruit juice aloe vera is a natural product and if left exposed to the air it will go off.
  • The aloe vera juice is made from 'Whole Leaf'. See Good Quality Aloe Vera for more details
  • The aloe vera juice is poor quality or with a large number of additives. See Good Quality Aloe Vera for more details
  • Too much aloe vera juice was taken at one time. How to Use Aloe Vera

Stomach Pains

  • The aloe vera juice is off. Like milk or fruit juice aloe vera is a natural product and if left exposed to the air it will go off.
  • The aloe vera juice is made from 'Whole Leaf'. See Good Quality Aloe Vera for more details
  • The aloe vera juice is poor quality or with a large number of additives. See Good Quality Aloe Vera for more details
  • The aloe vera is probably working but you may be drinking too much at one time. See How to Use Aloe Vera

Diarrhea