Who can use Aloe Vera
On the skin in creams, gels, juices and lotions or in it's raw form no adverse side effects have ever been recorded and this is why it can be found in so many shampoos and cosmetics. But just like any other natural product there are some people who can be allergic to it. For Aloe Vera unofficial estimates suggest about 2% of any given population.
As an indication of it's general safety in Aloe vera: a systematic review of its clinical effectiveness (British Journal of General Practice 1999;49:823-828) over 700 patients used Aloe Vera topically (on the skin). The report noted:
Tolerability was good and all reported adverse effects were reversible. No patients withdrew from the trials because of adverse effects associated with aloe vera.
When drinking Aloe Vera it is crucial to understand that it will make changes in your body as described in How does Aloe Vera work?. This means that the following people should be cautious.
Pregnant women and Aloe Vera
Pregnant women should never make any major changes to their diet as they may be allergic to new foodstuffs. The same goes for Aloe Vera. If you have never drunk Aloe Vera do not start while you are pregnant.
Diabetics and Aloe Vera
Because Aloe Vera cleans the digestive tract it is highly likely that your body will start absorbing more vitamins and minerals than it did before. These will come both from your daily diet and from the Aloe Vera juice itself and can cause your long term blood sugar balance to change.
Before you start drinking Aloe Vera consult your doctor and suggest more regular checks for the first 3 months. Many diabetics have found they can reduce the number of injections they need to take but this has to be done carefully with good medical supervision.
People on medication and Aloe Vera
If you are on medication you should consult your doctor before starting to drink Aloe Vera. This is for the same reason as those with Diabetes - it can change and increase what your body absorbs and that includes medication.
Some people have found they can reduce their medication after drinking Aloe Vera because the body is absorbing more of the drug that originally passed through the digestive tract without being properly broken down. But once again this should only be done with qualified medical supervision.
People suffering an illness and Aloe Vera
If you are also on prescription medication your doctor aware of the fact that you will also be using Aloe Vera. He may not even be aware of what it is but this is common courtesy.
Note Aloe Vera is often referred to as a 'complementary medicine'. This means that many doctors use it along side conventional drugs and proceedures rather than as an absolute alternative.