Health News

Health News

 
text size

Should you be sipping aloe vera juice this summer?

Updated: Monday, July 14 2014, 08:53 AM CDT

Those prone to sunburn are no strangers to the healing properties of aloe vera. After all, the soothing succulent has been used to treat inflamed complexions for over 6,000 years.

But some enthusiasts have begun to incorporate the plant into not only their beauty routines, but also their diets. Katharine L’Heureux, who founded cult skincare line Kahina Giving Beauty in 2008, happily admits she's drunk the Kool-Aid.

"We all know [aloe vera] heals sunburns, so it obviously has therapeutic properties," she said.

"In terms of cosmetic use, it's great," L'Heureux said. "It's lightly moisturizing without being greasy."

The plant's restorative potential so convinced L'Heureux that she based two Kahina products on it. Aloe vera leaf juice is listed as a lead ingredient in both Kahina Toning Mist and Kahina Night Cream. But while she had long used it "on its own" as a cooling treatment, L'Heureux had never sipped the hallowed stuff until a few weeks ago.

Last month, celebrated French facialist Kristina Holey prescribed L'Heureux the aloe-based elixir and guaranteed her a perceptible difference in the clarity of her skin.

L'Heureux confirmed that the practice, which is said to support good digestion, has had the promised effect: "It's a holistic approach to skincare," she said. "I just love it."

Sabrina DeSousa. co-owner of health-conscious eatery Dimes in New York, is a believer as well.

"I take an ounce of aloe juice in the morning with apple cider vinegar," said DeSousa, who blends aloe juice into the shop's signature rose-water spray. "It's not something I necessarily do every day for long periods of time. But I've been doing it on and off for about two years now."

Rattling off the health benefits most often associated with the vitamin-rich juice and touted by L'Heureux and DeSousa, Real Nutrition founder Amy Shapiro, a registered dietician, told ABC News that she recommends a shot of it to dull-skinned patients seeking brighter complexions.

"It's a great source of vitamin B-12 -- especially for vegetarians and vegans, because that tends to be a vitamin that they're lacking," she said. The wonder plant, which is available at specialty stores and trendy outfits such as The Juice Press and Liqueteria, is also rich in antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, which are thought to combat free radicals.

"It's 99% water, but it contains healing properties that act as an anti-inflammatory in the body," said Lauren Felts, founder of The Holy Kale. Felts noted that the glycoproteins and polysaccharides that occur in aloe vera can help reduce swelling, calm intestinal disorders such as Crohn's disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and even stabilize blood sugar.

Just don't expect the tincture to go down easy.

"The flavor can be a little much for some people," Shapiro said, which is why she advises that first-time imbibers mix it into a green juice or dissolve it in lemon water.

"The outside of the leaf can have a laxative effect, so start slowly," Shapiro cautioned.

Converts claim the payoff is worth it. Shapiro emphasizes to clients that digestive health and radiant skin "go hand in hand." Felts reminds them that many are more dehydrated than they realize.

Aloe vera "is extremely hydrating," she said. It holds off thirst that can cause symptoms of exhaustion, fatigue and hunger. According to Felts, "an improvement in digestion" is the first benefit that those who drink it are going to enjoy.

"Eighty percent of your immunity lives in your gut," DeSousa noted. "It’s just one of the things that you should definitely take care of. This is one good way to do it." Should you be sipping aloe vera juice this summer?


Advertise with us!

Health Watch

  [ - ] Video Stories Only  [ - ] Text Stories Only  [ + ] Show All

ABC National Health News

Human Trial for Ebola Vaccine to Begin This Week
The first human trial for an investigational Ebola vaccine is set to begin this week.
10 Types of Hunger and How to Control Them
To help you decode what your body and brain are really saying, you've got to learn the difference between the types of hunger—from real to boredom to stress. Here's how.
12 Surprising Things That Mess With Your Memory
Here are some unexpected things that impact your memory in both good and not-so-good ways.
'Ebola Is Real' on Streets of Monrovia
Denial continues to fuel the deadly outbreak in West Africa.
Ebola Outbreak Spreads: Senegal Reports 1st Case
The Ebola outbreak is expected to reach 20,000 in six months.
Ebola Survivor 'Walked Through the Valley of Death'
Dr. Philip Ireland remembers the moment he realized he had Ebola.
Brain-Eating Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water Supply
The rare amoeba can cause a deadly form of meningitis.
US to Test Ebola Vaccine in Humans Amid Growing Outbreak in West Africa
American scientists will begin testing an Ebola vaccine in humans next week, U.S. health officials announced today. But it could take 11 months to learn whether the vaccine is safe as the virus’s toll in West Africa continues to rise.
Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone Tied to Healer's Funeral
By mapping Ebola's deadly genetic details, scientists seek answers to what makes it tick
A Look Inside a Slum Cut Off by the Ebola Outbreak
Quarantined West Point residents are desperate for food amid the Ebola outbreak.
Surgeons Get 'Dress Rehearsals' with 3D-Printed Body Parts
Boston Children's Hospital prints replicas of patients' body parts for practice.
Behind the Gates of an Ebola Ward With a Burial Team
Blue steel gates guard the back entrance to an Ebola treatment center, where new patients flood in faster than bodies are removed. Today, I met a burial team tasked with collecting and burning the bodies – a dangerous but crucial job amid the worst-ever outbreak.
How Nail Polish May Fend Off Sexual Assault
This nail polish changes color on contact with date rape drugs.
Congo Reports First Ebola Cases as Outbreak Continues
Ebola continues to spread and ignite fears with the Democratic Republic of Congo reporting its first cases over the weekend. The Congo is hundreds of miles away from the nearest affected country, but officials there say they suspect they've had more than a dozen Ebola deaths. At last count on Friday, the virus had killed at least 1,427 people and sickened 1,188 more – numbers thought to “vastly underestimate� the outbreak’s true toll, according to the World Health Organization, which is expected to release updated case counts soon.
Troubled College Football Player Had CTE
Ex-Missouri State player Michael Keck, who died at 25, diagnosed with CTE.
Ebola Outbreak: Dr. Besser's Look at Life Inside the Hot Zone
Dr. Richard Besser reports on the growing outbreak from Monrovia, Liberia.
Watch: Inside the Triage Unit Where Patients Find Out If They Have Ebola
ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser gets a behind-the-scenes look at Ebola crisis at JFK Medical Center in Liberia.
5 Weird Ways Stress Can Actually Be Good for You
Here, then, are five reasons you should rest easier when it comes to everyday stress—and how a little short-term anxiety can actually benefit your brain and body.
7 Ways Debt Is Bad for Your Health
Regardless of who you are—or why you owe money—science suggests that being in debt could be affecting your physical and mental health. Here are just some of the reasons to get back in the black.
10 Weight Loss Mistakes Most Women Make
Dropping pounds boils down to a simple-sounding formula: burn more calories than you take in; eat less and move more. But anybody who has ever cut calories and ramped up an exercise plan in an effort to slim down knows it's a lot harder than it sounds. All dieters inevitably make mistakes along the way—and most of the time they don't even realize it. Here are the 10 flubs that everyone makes when they're trying to shed fat.
9 Worst Eye Care Mistakes You're Making
Here’s what not to do to make sure your vision stays healthy well into your golden years.
 

Enrollment for healthcare exchanges as part of healthcare reform begins October 1 in states where exchanges will be set up. Expect special reports each week from us about what you need to know about 'Obamacare' and the ongoing political fight about its future.

To Learn More About Health Care Reform, Click Here

Navigation

Sacred Heart Health System - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cardiology - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cancer Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Orthopedics - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vein Institute - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
The Endoscopy Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vascular & Interventional - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Stand Up Open MRI - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Advertise with us!

Tonight on ABC 3

06:30PM Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
07:00PM Extreme Weight Loss
09:00PM Celebrity Wife Swap
10:00PM Channel 3 News

Complete ABC 3 Schedule