Aloe vera supplements are taken to alleviate a number of ailments including constipation, digestive disorders, stomach inflammation and ulcers. Aloe vera uses also include immune system improvement and easing arthritis symptoms. It has also been shown to balance the blood sugar level and decrease body odor. The plant contains many substances such as enzymes, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins among others.
Even though only the leaves of the plant are used for medicinal purposes, the leaves are used for many different purposes. For instance, aloe vera gel is commonly integrated into creams, lotions and ointments and used to treat minor burns and cuts and to soothe lesions and rashes. Not only is it believed to speed the healing process of irritations such as these and insect bites, but it also relieves dandruff and itching. Aloe vera juice has been used as a laxative substance. The supplement has also been made into chunks, liquids and powders and is often made into soothing dairy-based beverages.
Aloe vera supplements may have various side effects. For example, when used as a topical treatment for itching or rashes, one can have an allergic reaction. Overusing the juice can cause imbalances in the electrolytes leading to diarrhea or severe intestinal cramps. People taking arrhythmia medication, diuretics, drugs causing potassium loss and oral or topical steroids should not take the substance. Furthermore, aloe in the form of latex rather than the gel can be dangerous, especially when taken orally.
Still, some may try oral dosages of aloe latex to treat asthma, bleeding, colds, colitis, constipation, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, hemorrhoids, missed menstrual periods, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, varicose veins and vision problems such as glaucoma. However, aloe latex in high doses has been linked to cancer and kidney disease, so those who may want to try the substance should speak with a health professional first to discuss its safety.