Aloe Vera During Pregnancy: Safety, Benefits, And Risks

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Aloe vera has been a popular component in several skincare and home remedies. However, you may be concerned about the safety of taking aloe vera during pregnancy.

Aloe vera consumption is as popular as its topical use. Latex is the sticky residue behind the aloe leaf’s crust, and it’s valued for its richness in nutrients and fiber content. However, while it provides several health advantages, if consumed in excess or without being properly processed, it might cause negative effects.

This post discusses the safety profile of aloe vera in a pregnancy diet, how to eat it, and any potential negative effects.

Is It Safe To Drink Aloe Vera Juice During Pregnancy?

Aloe vera juice is considered to be one of the healthiest drinks

Image: Shutterstock

Although aloe vera juice is considered to be one of the healthiest drinks, it is not always safe for pregnant women. The laxative nature of aloin, also called anthraquinone, the latex in aloe vera, is known to cause uterine contractions and electrolyte imbalance in the intestines. Hannah Whittaker, a UK-based pediatric and pregnancy dietitian, says, “I wouldn’t advise my clients to take aloe vera juice during pregnancy to support relieving constipation, due to its link with increased risk of uterine contraction, which may cause miscarriage.”

It could, therefore, be dangerous for the mother and the baby if not taken with caution (1). So talk to your doctor for the right dosage and method of consuming aloe vera when you are pregnant (2).

What Is The Recommended Dosage Of Aloe Vera For Pregnant Women?

Usually, 0.04 – 0.17 grams of dried aloe vera is recommended for relieving constipation in pregnant women. However, there is no scientific backing for this. Therefore, consult your doctor to know whether or not you can take aloe vera. The doctor might weigh the benefits vis-a-vis the side effects before approving it.

What Are The Benefits Of Aloe Vera While Pregnant?

Aloe vera is rich in vitamins and minerals

Image: Shutterstock

Consuming aloe vera either in gel form or as juice offers the following benefits during pregnancy, provided you exercise caution.

  • Aloe vera is rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for both the mother and the baby (3).
  • Aloe vera helps dilate the blood capillaries to promote healthy blood circulation, which is essential to support the growth of the mother and fetus (5).
  • It calms the inflamed tissues of the gastrointestinal tract, and the laxative eases bowel movements (6).

Note that not all pregnant women may benefit from aloe vera consumption.

What Are The Risks Associated With The Consumption Of Aloe Vera During Pregnancy?

The risks associated with overconsumption of aloe vera are (7):

  • Latex is known to raise the risk of uterine contractions, thereby increasing the risk of miscarriage. It is also known to cause fetal birth defects.
  • Overconsumption of aloe vera juice also increases the risk of constipation, as prolonged use of laxatives weakens the bowel muscles, further causing constipation.
  • It brings down the levels of electrolytes, primarily potassium, which can be harmful during pregnancy. It could lead to muscle weakness and unusual heart rhythms.
Aloe vera during pregnancy may lead to muscle weakness

Image: iStock

  • Might cause allergic reactions if you are allergic to plants of the Liliaceae family. The symptoms of allergies include itchy skin, swollen skin and rash, and chest tightness.

Considering the risks, it is advisable to restrict it to topical use and avoid oral consumption.

Next, we cover a few commonly raised queries about aloe vera and pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does aloe vera induce labor?

Aloe vera is likely to induce labor if taken in excess amounts as it causes uterine contractions.

2. Is aloe vera safe to use on the skin during pregnancy?

Yes, aloe vera has natural moisturizing properties that keep the skin soft, supple, and hydrated (8). It is also anti-inflammatory with natural sunscreen properties. It keeps the skin tone even and works well for those with hyperpigmented skin (9).

3. Is aloe vera good for stretch marks during pregnancy?

There is little evidence of aloe vera acting as a stretch mark remedy. Since pure aloe vera is known to possess natural skin-softening properties (10), it could be tried for stretch marks.

4. Can aloe vera help in getting pregnant?

Whittaker opines, “There is no evidence that I am aware of to say that aloe vera can support getting pregnant; however, it is packed with vitamins and minerals and can support immune function due to its antioxidant properties. You may consume it outside of pregnancy in moderation if required.”

Despite its popularity as a topical treatment, consuming aloe vera during pregnancy might have its own risk. It might cause uterine contractions and electrolyte imbalances in the intestines, which can be hazardous for both the mother and the baby, so aloe vera should be avoided or eaten in moderation. However, your doctor may sometimes suggest aloe vera as a supplement for any medical condition, for soothing the gut, reducing morning sickness during early pregnancy, or dilating blood capillaries to improve blood circulation.

Infographic: Benefits And Risks Of Aloe Vera During Pregnancy

Aloe vera is known to work wonders for the skin. But is it safe to be consumed, especially by pregnant women? We help you answer the question with the following infographic. Here, we have a tabular representation of the pros and cons of aloe vera consumption during pregnancy. Read on!

aloevera during pregnancy [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Amar Surjushe et al.; Aloe Vera: A Short Review; Indian J Dermatol (2008)
2. Poulson & Wilkins; Aloe; UC San Diego Health (2016)
3. Dr. B. NirmalaKumari & Dr. M. Sharmila; Aloe vera its medicinal uses: A review; International Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2015)
4. Stefan Kasian; Aloe Vera: Skin and Digestive Soother; Bastyr University
5. T. Reynolds & A.C. Dweck; Aloe vera leaf gel: a review update; Journal of Ethnopharmacology (1999)
6. K. P. Sampath Kumar et al.; Aloe vera : A Potential Herb and its Medicinal Importance; Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research (2010)
7. Brandi Stone; Aloe Vera Plant Study; Healing Gardens
8. Jeannette Sanchez; Using Aloe Vera has multiple benefits; Baylor College of Medicine (2018)
9. Ali SA et al.; On the novel action of melanolysis by a leaf extract of Aloe vera and its active ingredient aloin, potent skin depigmenting agents; Planta Med. (2012)
10. Poulson & Wilkins; Aloe; University of Rochester Medical Center

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