Aloe vera is known all over the world as the “wonder plant” – and for good reason! Aloe vera juice is an excellent health tonic that you can include in your healthy lifestyle. It’s a helpful addition to any Candida elimination diet (or your ongoing Candida prevention plan), and also contains significant amounts of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Aloe is gentle on the body – both inside and out. It harbors powerful properties to get your Candida under control and stimulate your immune system. It acts as an antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. In fact, aloe has been used in traditional medicine since the 4th century BC for treating everything from minor burns and wounds to gastrointestinal issues such as stomach ulcers and constipation.
Here are a few of the benefits of aloe vera:
- Antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties
- Contains lots of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes
- Stimulates the immune system
- A prebiotic to support good gut health
- A mild laxative
- Can help to repair the intestinal wall
How Does Aloe Vera Work?
The leaf of the aloe vera plant is known to contain over 240 nutritional and medicinal components, including a host of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It also contains a variety of useful enzymes.
In recent years, scientists have found that aloe vera gel contains an active protein known as 14 kDa, which harbors powerful antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Another important ingredient contained within aloe vera is acemannan, which has also been shown to stimulate the immune system and fight off harmful yeast infections such as Candida overgrowth.
However, it’s believed the therapeutic activities of Aloe vera is due to a variety of its compounds working together, rather than a single active ingredient. It’s Mother Nature’s all-rounder!
Digestive Aid And Candida Fighter
Aloe vera is renowned for its benefits to the digestive system. It contains a variety of enzymes that can help to break down fats and sugars in food, which aids nutrient absorption in the gut.
Aloe vera is also a prebiotic. Prebiotics are a non-digestible type of food that that “feed” probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics help to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines, which in turn reduce the levels of bad bacteria and yeast such as candida.
Another of aloe’s powers is its anthraquinones. These have a mild laxative effect, which can help to speed up a sluggish bowel transit time and even alleviate constipation. This reduces the potential for the Candida yeast to proliferate and spread in your intestines. In this way, aloe helps to loosen any toxic buildup in the colon, allowing it to be flushed out of the system.
And that’s not all! The special gel in aloe vera’s leaves contains nutrients that help to repair and seal the intestinal wall. This can prevent Candida yeasts from attaching to the wall of the gut and penetrating through to your bloodstream.
Immune System Booster
By encouraging the elimination of toxins from the digestive system, aloe vera helps to reduce the workload of the immune system. There’s also scientific evidence that consuming aloe vera juice can improve the immune system by boosting the number of macrophages produced by the body. These are the white blood cells that which fight off infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and other harmful organisms including Candida albicans.
Aloe has long been used as a topical treatment to soothe inflammatory skin conditions such as itching, burning, or insect bites. It’s also safe and effective for embarrassing problems such as rectal itching.
How Do You Take Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera juice can be found at any health food store. If you don’t like the taste, you can add a squeeze of lemon. Dosage should not exceed a quarter of a cup per day.
If you’re taking it for the first time, start with half the recommended dose and build up gradually in order to avoid gastrointestinal distress. It’s also helpful to divide the doses out over the day to allow your body to absorb the therapeutic properties.
A more convenient way of taking aloe vera is in the form of concentrated capsules. These are also great for travel.
Aloe Vera Side Effects
Although generally considered safe, prolonged use of aloe vera can produce symptoms such as hives or rash in some people. Those with heart disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, or electrolyte abnormalities should also avoid taking aloe vera. Some of the compounds in aloe may also interact with certain medications such as prescription drugs for diabetes, digestive problems and heard conditions.
Aloe vera is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is best to consult with a health professional before giving it to young children.
While aloe vera has many digestive system benefits, it should be used with caution by those who have a sensitive digestive system or are prone to diarrhea. Aloin, one of the compounds in aloe, can irritate the digestive system in some people. If this is you, look for a juice or gel made from the inner leaf, where the aloin concentration is lowest.
For lots more information on how to choose the right antifungal, plus how to support good gut health at the same time, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment plan.