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Aloe Upset Digestive Tract

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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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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