Aloe

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How does Aloe work?

Aloe gel might cause changes in the skin that might help diseases like psoriasis. Aloe latex contains chemicals that work as a laxative.

Are there safety concerns?

Aloe gel appears to be safe for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.

Aloe latex might not be safe when taken by mouth. In 2002, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of aloe latex in laxatives due to a lack of safety data.

Taking large amounts of aloe latex by mouth is not safe. Aloe latex can cause some side effects such as stomach pain and cramps. Long-term use of large amounts of aloe latex might cause diarrhea, kidney problems, blood in the urine, low potassium, muscle weakness, weight loss, and heart disturbances. Taking aloe latex 1 gram per day for several days can be fatal.

Taking aloe by mouth might not be safe for children.

There have been a few reports of liver problems in some people who have taken an aloe leaf extract; however, this is uncommon. It is thought to only occur in people who are extra sensitive (hypersensitive) to aloe.

Do not use aloe if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have intestinal conditions such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or obstruction.
  • You have hemorrhoids.
  • You have kidney problems.
  • You are scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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