Aloe Vera Juice » Ciccone Wellness Center

Ciccone Wellness Center


Aloe Vera Juice

Historically, aloe has been predominantly used on the skin to aid with healing, but in more recent times it is being used more frequently for its lesser-known beneficial effects on the gut and metabolism.  Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, such as Ulcerative Colitis, have been shown to improve with regular consumption of aloe with statistical significance (see the link to the study below).  For those suffering from constipation, aloe is great as a laxative and interestingly enough, it can also help with diarrhea.

Those suffering from IBD have been shown to demonstrate an increased number of mast cells within their intestines.  Mast cells are what cause anaphylactic responses.  In the case of a classic peanut, bee sting, or shellfish allergy the activation of mast cells are what closes up our airways, dilates our blood vessels, and causes a racing heart rate.  If we look at tissue analogues in the intestines we can get a sense of how certain foods can have an effect.  The walls of our intestines are made up largely of smooth muscle tissue just like the bronchioles in our lungs.  If the mast cells are triggered, that will cause the smooth muscle to contract, sometimes violently.  Depending on where in the intestines this happens in relation to your digesting food, it can either force it out more quickly causing diarrhea, or hold it in making you constipated.  Think of how it matters where you squeeze a tube of toothpaste.  Aloe’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to calm the immune system and keep the mast cells from freaking out and causing this cascade of events.

Other mechanisms of aloe that can keep diarrhea and constipation at bay are its probiotic and nutritive qualities.  It aids the bacteria Lactobacillus brevis, which selectively inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria that cause watery stools.  In addition to quelling diarrhea, it can also relieve constipation by providing healing nutrients to the cells of the gut and stimulate mucus production.  The added hydration and mucus production help to “grease the chute” and free the stool.  I see a new slogan for our next marketing campaign!