Aloe is typically used for minor burns, and wounds. When taken by mouth, it can be used to treat constipation. Don't take for longer than 1-2 weeks as a laxative, without asking your doctor.
Aloe is a plant. The gel obtained from the inside of the aloe leaves is used in medicine.
Aloe is used most often for constipation, minor burns, and wounds.
When taken by mouth for constipation, aloe is thought to work by stimulating motility of the colon and by drawing water into the large intestine.
When applied to the skin, aloe is thought to accelerate wound healing. Aloe is thought to work by blocking thromboxane A2, a substance, which contributes to tissue damage in wounded areas of the skin.
Common side effects of aloe when taken by mouth include diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
Common side effects of aloe applied to the skin include contact dermatitis, itching, and burning sensations.
Aloe Cautionary Labels
When taken by mouth, aloe is used most often for constipation.
When applied to the skin, aloe is most often used for minor burns, wounds, cold sores, and psoriasis.
Aloe has not been proven effective for all of the uses listed above. Aloe may be used for other conditions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Side Effects of Aloe
When taken by mouth, common side effects of aloe include the following:
- abdominal cramps
When applied to the skin, common side effects of aloe include the following:
- contact dermatitis
- burning sensation
This is not a complete list of aloe side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)
- Medications used for diabetes
Diarrhea, caused by the laxative effect of oral aloe vera, can decrease the absorption of many drugs.
There are no known drug interactions when aloe is applied topically to the skin.
This is not a complete list of aloe drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Special precautions & warnings:
- Aloe should be used as a laxative only if a change of diet or bulk-forming laxatives have not been effective.
- Chronic use of aloe as a laxative may cause dependence, need for increased dosages, and electrolyte imbalances.
- Do not take aloe as a laxative if you have intestinal obstruction, chronic constipation, or if you have an inflammatory intestinal disease such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, appendicitis, irritable bowel syndrome, or diverticulitis.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using aloe if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to become pregnant.
- You should not use Aloe Vera Gel if you are allergic to plants in the Liliaceae.