Yes, Aloe Vera certainly can! The problem is, that generally, most people don't really understand how and why Aloe Vera works and in what way to buy it and use it so it is effective.
I know that once I started drinking a pure Aloe Gel (and a very good probiotic) the candida albicans infection that had caused my irritable bowel syndrome improved dramatically. I could then start to relax the candida diet (which was very strict!) that I had been on for 10 years! I was so excited by this that I became really interested in how this amazing plant worked.
Here is someone else that drunk Aloe Vera to help their IBS...
I had had numerous problems with my stomach and bowel for a number of years. Doctors tried all sorts of strong anti acid tablets and other medications and yet nothing had worked.
I felt sick, had contant indigestion and life was really difficult not knowing when I would need the toilet and if I was near enough to make it!
I decided to try drinking Aloe Vera Gel and started taking it every day. I did notice looser bowel movments for a couple of weeks, but gradually within a month the contant indigestion and sick feeling went away. After the first month each day just got better and better.
I became much more regular with my bowel movements and I also realised I had more energy than I had had for years. I can now live life normally and don't have to watch what I am eating nearly as much which is such a bonus.
Ange Sterling (Buckinghamshire)
So.... What is it about this plant that could help Irritable Bowel suffers?
Well, there is so much I could include, so on this page I have just done an overview of what the Aloe plant can do and a little of how it works, then you can decide whether it deserves such a reputation! On further pages I will then go into much more depth about it's history, its structure and contents, it's properties and other problems such as joint injuries, arthritus, asthma and excema that it can help with.
These are some of the names given to Aloe Vera plant. Over the centuries it has been used for different medicinal reasons...
There are also many other names for it. In hot countries such as Brazil and all over africa, where it grows in its natural environment it is very familiar to the natives who use it for various medical problems. It has a great recorded history of being used for centuries for a number of different ailments.
Aloe Vera has an amazing amount of nutrients and substances in the inner Gel of the plant. Here is a brief shortened list:
These many nutients work together to give the inner leaf gel it's main properties:
So where does it work?
For those of us with IBS this is the exciting part...
It has a great healing effect on all epithelial surfaces, which is any lining or surface in the body, like the skin and the bronchial tract. The largest of these of course is the lining of the gut, which is why it really seems to help IBS, it can also help colitis and chrones disease too. The other good news is that it can also bring relief from:
Drinking the gel can help irritable bowel syndrome by initially flushing out the debris (you often experience loose movements for the first week or so), then helps the gut muscles and lining to function properly. Fungal infections (from candida albicans) are often a contributing factor to IBS and so the fact that Aloe Vera is anti fungal really helps kill off the fungal infection.
The Aloe plant is also a pre-biotic which means it creates a good environment for the growth of the good bacteria
(pro-biotics) in the gut. Which is again another reason that drinking Aloe gel helps IBS.
However.... which type of Aloe should you take?
If you think that you would like to try Aloe this is a really important question as there are so many forms on the market. The ideal way to use the plant is to cut a leaf off a plant every morning, and gently slice it open length ways and take out the inner leaf gel and drink it.
However, this is just not practical for most of us, unless we live in a hot country where it grows naturally and you pick the outside leaves when they are 4 years old so they have maximum benefit!
If you do want to try aloe vera to help your IBS and are thinking of trying an aloe vera juice, rather than the Gel or taking a Aloe Vera tablet, I really suggest the first thing you do is read this article from the independent 'Proof magazine'. Even though it was written in 2002 all it's facts are really relevant, so please take a read before you consider buying any Aloe to help your IBS or you could make it worse! When you buy aloe you really need to know what you are buying, as it is processed in many different ways. To find out more about the process used to manufacture Aloe Vera and what you are buying click here.
Please also do feel free to contact me
I also suggest that you take a look at the candida page as this affects numerous people who have irritable bowel syndrome.
Find out more about the structure and nutrients contained in Aloe Vera
Find out more about the Medicinal Properties of Aloe
Return from 'Aloe Vera the basics' to Understanding your irritable bowel syndrome home page
Resources and recommended reading:
Dr Peter Atherton "Aloe Vera The Medicine Plant"
Alisdair Bardcroft "Aloe Vera Nature's Silent Healer'
Max B. Skousen "Aloe Vera Handbook"