Constipation is nothing new – we have all experienced it at some point in life. People often make light of it, but not being able to pass stool for days on end is no laughing matter.
You not only feel bloated and miserable but sometimes, this much straining may also result in more serious issues like hemorrhoids or rectal prolapse.
Good news? There are several at-home remedies you could try to treat constipation, one of them being aloe vera. Experts recommend aloe vera for constipation because the plant contains natural laxatives.
Read on to find out how you can use aloe vera to relieve the symptoms of constipation.
What Causes Constipation?
When food passes through the digestive system, the large intestine (colon) absorbs water from it, creating stool (waste).
The colon muscles contract and relax to propel the waste and eliminate it through the rectum. If this waste remains in the large intestine for too long, it hardens and becomes more difficult to pass.
Eating food rich in fiber and drinking adequate water may help keep stool soft and easier to pass. When fiber enters the digestive system, it forms a soft, gel-like substance that joins with the stool to increase its weight and soften it. This enables the stool to move through the rectum easily.
Constipation is often caused by poor diet, though it may also result from:
- Lack of exercise
- A change in routine
- Delaying the urge to pass stool
- Certain medications
Symptoms Of Constipation
Bowel movements differ from person to person. Some people will feel to urge to use the bathroom three or even four times a day, while others will go once in two days, sometimes even three, and still feel okay. You know you are constipated if you experience the following symptoms.
- Less than three bowel movements in a week
- Dry stools that are hard to pass
- Pain or straining when passing stool
- Feeling full even after passing stool
- Rectal blockage
Why Experts Recommend Aloe Vera For Constipation
Aloe vera has been used as a remedy for digestive ailments since time immemorial. Constipation and diarrhea are some of the issues the plant has been found to help with.
Aloe vera gel, the viscous, translucent liquid found inside the leaves of the plant has incredible inflammatory properties that may help alleviate inflammation of the gut.
Aloe leaves also contain latex that is rich in natural laxatives. These may help treat constipation. Eating aloe vera or drinking it as the juice will, therefore, soften your stool, soothe the gut, and relieve any discomfort caused by constipation.
However, some safety concerns have been raised regarding using aloe vera juice for constipation. While drinking aloe vera juice has benefits in its own right, consuming too much laxative may worsen your symptoms.
Related: Can You Eat Aloe Vera
How To Safely Use Aloe Vera For Constipation
As stated, excessive consumption of laxative compounds can make your constipation symptoms worse. Here is a quick guide on how to use aloe vera juice for constipation right.
1. Buy Your Aloe Vera
Use commercially produced aloe vera juice instead of blending at home. This is because store-bought aloe juices usually have laxatives removed and are therefore completely safe for more regular consumption.
Homemade juices, on the other hand, will need to be approached with caution and not be ingested as often as their store-bought counterparts because the level of laxatives is notoriously high.
Important Tip: Avoid consuming aloe vera lotions, beauty products, or any other aloe product meant for topical application. These are not intended for internal use and may make you ill.
Related: Aloe Vera Seeds
2. Drink The Right Amount Of Aloe Juice
Mix 250 ml of aloe vera juice with 250 ml of cold water. Then stir the ingredients to blend and drink everything. Do this before breakfast and one more time before bed while you are constipated. You should be able to pass the stool comfortably the following morning.
3. Take Capsules
While aloe vera juice is the most popular way of treating constipation, these days, some capsules do the job just as effectively. If you go with aloe capsules, make sure to use them as instructed on the packaging.
In most cases, you will need to take one capsule two or three times a day to alleviate your problem. Aloe capsules will sometimes cause more cramping than the juice. To reduce this effect, take a calming herb like peppermint or turmeric.
Related: Aloe Vera For Gums
4. Eat Fiber And Drink Enough Water Before Using Aloe Vera
Drinking plenty of water and eating foods rich in fiber will soften the stool, and may help ease constipation without having to use a laxative. If you are constipated, try to drink at least ten glasses of warm water daily. Adding lemon to the water may help lessen constipation.
To add extra fiber to your system, eat veggies, whole grains, and fruits. Prunes, wheat, and oats are notably high in fiber.
Consuming the right diet regularly will ensure a normal bowel movement. You may not even need to use aloe vera for constipation, as the chances of being constipated are relatively low.
5. Watch Out For The Side Effects
The benefits of aloe vera plants are quite significant and that’s why aloe vera is one of the most used ingredients in health and beauty products. While topical use of aloe is considered harmless, oral consumption should be approached cautiously.
As stated earlier, aloe has powerful laxative properties, and drinking it in excess may come with undesirable side effects including stomach cramping and abdominal pain. Other side effects may include:
- Severe diarrhea
- Blood in urine
- Kidney problems
- Muscle weakness
- Low potassium levels
- Heart problems
- Weight loss
If you experience any of these effects after taking the right dosage of aloe, stop using immediately, and seek medical assistance. People who are allergic to onion, garlic, or tulips are likely to be allergic to aloe vera too and they should not use aloe vera juice for constipation. Their best alternative would be senna or psyllium fiber.
Related: Aloe Vera For Acid Reflux
6. Avoid Using Aloe Juice If You Are On Other Medications
Aloe vera interacts with certain drugs and can reduce their effectiveness. If you are on medications, make sure to double-check with your doctor before using aloe vera for constipation.
Similarly, if you have an underlying medical condition like diabetes, kidney problems, Crohn’s disease, or hemorrhoids, use an alternative method to alleviate your constipation. Pregnant and lactating moms, as well as kids below the age of five, should also not use aloe vera as a laxative.
Related: Aloe Vera For Diabetes
When To See A Doctor
1. Before Ingesting Aloe Vera
While consuming aloe vera may be helpful to some, it is not safe for everybody. It may interact with certain medications, cause complications, or make an existing condition worse.
It is therefore important that you seek your doctor’s advice before trying any homemade treatments. Let them know whether you will be using a gel, juice, or pill.
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2. If Nothing Changes After 14 Days
Generally, aloe vera makes constipation go away. However, if you have an underlying health issue, your constipation may persist. But left untreated, constipation may cause other complications, so it is wise to see a doctor to know what is causing your symptoms.
3. If You Are Losing Weight Or Having Blood In Your Stool
Try not to panic, but these symptoms could be a sign of a more unpleasant health problem. Seek urgent medical care and explain to the physician exactly what you saw. This will help them figure out the cause of your symptoms and prescribe the right medications.
While at it, find out from your doctor the right treatment options for you. They will probably recommend a change of lifestyle and store-bought remedies first.
However, in most cases, doctors recommend drugs that absorb water into the colon to help soften the stool and relieve constipation symptoms. In severe cases, surgery may be advised, especially in instances where there is a blockage in the rectum.
Q: How Do Use Aloe Vera For Constipation?
To use aloe vera for constipation, buy off-the-shelf aloe juice and drink 250 ml of it in the morning and before bed. This will soften the stool and you should be able to have a normal bowel movement the following day.Related: How To Make Aloe Vera Gel
Q: Is Aloe Vera A Laxative?
Yes, aloe vera is a natural laxative, and that’s why it has proven quite effective in treating constipation. These laxative properties are attributed to aloin, an anthraquinone found in the latex of the plant. However, excessive consumption of laxatives is dangerous and could worsen your symptoms or result in more serious problems.
Q: Does Aloe Make You Poop?
Yes, aloe vera does make you poop. Drinking a glass of aloe juice in the morning or before bed improves your digestion and gets your bowels moving. It softens the stool and increases its weight, enabling it to pass easily through the rectum.
Q: Is Aloe Vera Juice Good For Stomach Problems?
Yes, aloe vera juice is good for stomach problems. It contains a host of enzymes that help break down fats and sugars to keep your digestive system running smoothly. Aloe juice also has incredible inflammatory properties that help reduce irritation in the intestines and the stomach. This may be specifically beneficial to people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).Related: Aloe Vera For Inflammation
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Apart from being great in improving overall body health, aloe vera may help relieve the symptoms of constipation. But to reap the maximum benefits of aloe vera juice for constipation, you have to ingest aloe carefully and in the right dosage.
Aloe is a laxative and consuming too much of it may lead to serious complications. Talk to your doctor to make sure drinking aloe vera is catering to your health needs.
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