Q. I just started drinking two ounces of aloe a day to heal a stomach inflammation. I don’t like taking prescription acid suppressors, and they did not seem to be helping so I thought I would try this natural remedy.

Since beginning this treatment, I have had the worst intestinal cramping of my life. Now I am suffering with diarrhea. I am kind of concerned about this and wonder if I have made a mistake.

A. Aloe plants have a long history of medicinal use, mostly as a purgative. The latex from aloe leaves is a strong laxative.

The severe cramps and diarrhea you are experiencing are typical reactions to aloe latex. It must be avoided by anyone with intestinal inflammation or intestinal blockage. It can also result in serious loss of minerals such as potassium, so we do not recommend its use. 

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  1. HrM

    Are you using PURE ALOE juice or one that is diluted? I have found only 2 places in the us that actually produce the pure juice one is in texas and it sells the purest kind without the additives to give you side effects i believe it is aloe farms in texas.

  2. adnama52

    I have a bed of aloe (the stuff is prolific) to use for when my ulcer acts up. I cut a stem of fresh aloe from the plant, wash it off, split down the center on one side with a sharp knife and peel back the outer green. Then I gently scrape out the gel and slimy part, about a teaspoon and mix it with a little water. Down the hatch and discomfort is gone. So for me, it works, I just do not take the outer portion.

  3. KLF

    It sounds like you are not filleting (cut the outside off) the aloe leaf. I’ve been putting fresh aloe in my morning shake for five years without a negative effect… quite the opposite! I haven’t been sick at all.

  4. R E

    Several years ago I started drinking 2ozs. of “George’s Aleo vera”, daily. It is a refined mixture, (clear color) that can be found in most organic markets. I was having difficulty with GERD and it really helped a lot. Also there was no problem with diarrhea.

  5. dp

    I once had intestinal inflammation so bad all I could do was lie down and suffer, (from eating in a restaurant, the hottest stuffed peppers in the world!) I was hungry, they were expensive, and I couldn’t even finish them, Thank God! An hour later the pain began.
    We were out of town, it was late and there was nothing I could do. The next day after we got home, I went to the health food store. They recommended aloe vera juice in solution.
    I drank a glass and within 30 minutes the pain began to subside. I think one can’t just get this from the plant itself, it has to be the proper extract. It isn’t the gel part, it’s the watery part that heals, like in burns. It’s safer to purchase it already diluted and just take a small amount.

  6. C.L.

    My mother used to grow aloe for her arthritis, which she took on the advice of a pharmacist friend of my dad. Mom’s advice to us was to begin very slowly, to avoid the runs. One Tb, 1/2 oz, taken before bed time, was the most she ever took, so 2 oz seems to be quite a bit to take right off. If a person has their doctor’s okay to use it, it would seem to be more prudent to begin very small. At least, that has been our collective experience.

  7. CG

    Coconut oil – I use it for stomach complaints – stops heartburn immediately if I take a teaspoon of it. Flaked coconut stopped the worst case of diarrhea I’ve ever had within a couple of hours. ~

  8. MDE

    Several years ago I began suffering from fairly severe insertional achilles tendonitis. My recovery began when I started drinking about 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice per day. I’ve continued that treatment fairly regularly, because it appears to provide a good anti-inflammatory effect, thus also helping with minor knee pain from running. With the tendonitis, I had stopped running, and went through several months of physical therapy. That helped marginally, but the best thing I took away from the physical therapy was: buy good new shoes every nine months!

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