T he aloe plant has been used for centuries for a myriad of medical benefits all over the world, for its enzymes and anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties.

It also has immune-stimulating polysaccharides. It’s been used for everything from skin conditions to the treatment of gonorrhoea and candida.

It also eases inflammation, stabilizies blood sugars, and specifically for the athletes – provides electrolytes and improves physical performance and recovery. In my practice, the most common use of this natural medicine is in the form of the purified whole leaf juice for digestive ails. From a new mother to an executive to a competitive athlete, digestive issues are among the most common ailments that hinder our well-being and impede our vitality. Gas, bloating, acid reflux, constipation… aloe vera juice can help!

Drinking it provides 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, and 200 active plant compounds. Although there are reports of toxicity of aloe vera juice, animal studies leading to these claims were conducted using unpurified aloe juice containing high levels of aloin, a digestive irritant, at levels of 10-13,000 ppm (parts per million). Certified purified aloe juice will contain a maximum of 10 ppm of aloins (most are less than 1ppm), and has been determined to be safe for internal use. It’s not the tastiest of beverages, having a rather bitter flavour. Chug it down quickly or mix it with lemon or lime juice in a smoothie to cut the bitterness. Yes, it tastes bad but it works!