There are some indications from the research. In one study, an aloe vera product was able to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. But one after anonther:
Irritable bowel: despite massive complaints often not taken seriously
People with irritable bowel syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome have a particularly difficult time. Basically, the disease is not dangerous anymore. There are no organic changes. The blood picture is normal, a gastric or colonoscopy also shows no abnormalities.
Therefore, the disease is often not recognized immediately or the patient is not taken quite seriously. The victims have sometimes massive complaints and are often limited in everyday life. Since no clear causes are recognizable, the therapy is not easy. Often, patients need to find out for themselves what is good for them, especially in their diet. For many it helps to eat small and light portions several times a day, but to abstain from high-fat, spicy and heavy foods as well as coffee and alcohol.
Reports on the effect of aloe on the intestine
In addition, hopefully, resources from the world of plants are in agreement. It is reported repeatedly that aloe vera can reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. You are wondering? And think with this plant rather on cosmetics, on moisturizing cream or cooling gel? Correct: Aloe vera relieves sunburn, promotes wound healing and nourishes the skin. But the extract of the plant is not only externally effective, but also internally. And there is evidence that aloe vera has a beneficial and healing effect on the gastrointestinal tract.
Aloe protects the intestine from harmful attackers
First of all, it is clear: Aloe vera has all sorts of health-promoting ingredients. Studies have shown that the extract of aloe strengthens the body's defense (Im et al., 2010). In addition, it should have an antioxidant effect, so intercept free radicals. Explanation: Free radicals are co-responsible for a variety of diseases. Apart from that, the radicals seem to age us faster.
A certain amount of unbound radicals is completely normal and is part of (healthy) life. However, if the body is expected to have too many of these aggressive molecule particles, tissues and organs will suffer. By now being a radical hunter, aloe protects the intestine from damage in a certain way.
Also investigations speak for antioxidative effects
The antioxidant properties of aloe were confirmed in laboratory experiments. The aim was to investigate the effects of inflammatory bowel disease. Although these differ from irritable bowel syndrome. Nevertheless, irritable bowel patients also benefit from the effects of aloe (Langmead, Makins & Rampton 2004).
Another study was performed on a total of 44 patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis. The aloe patients were given 100 ml of aloe vera gel twice a day for four weeks, the others a placebo. Here, the aloe vera gel also showed good effects: the subjects experienced an improvement of the symptoms. In the "placebo group", however, the results were worse (Langmead, Feakins et al., 2004).
Targeted studies with irritable bowel patients in Sweden
But what about the effect on the irritable stomach or irritable bowel? This is exactly what a team led by scientist Stine Størsrud at the University of Gothenburg. Between mid-2007 and early 2008, researchers examined patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. The subjects were between 18 and 65 years old. The study was designed to randomly split the participants into two comparable groups. One part tested one aloe vera preparation and the other part received a placebo. Neither the patients nor the scientists knew who had received what remedy. The conditions of the study thus complied with recognized scientific standards.
An aloe preparation in the form of effervescent tablets was used for the study. The subjects took, depending on the group, this medicine or the dummy medicine in the morning and evening dissolved in water, for four weeks.More information can be found here.
In aloe patients pain went back
Ultimately, there were a total of 63 people who were classified as suitable for the study and who remained even to the very end. The result: While little was done in the "placebo group", the symptoms in the "aloe group" improved significantly. The "aloe subjects" had less and less pain and the bloating became weaker.
There were no side effects attributable to the aloe preparation used.The good tolerability certainly had to do with the fact that the agent is free of the so-called aloin - this substance can cause severe diarrhea and confound the electrolyte balance.
Further research on the mechanism of action is necessary
The researchers suspect that the good effect is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe; In addition, aloe seems to have a positive influence on the mobility of the intestine. However, it is said that the mechanism of action has not yet been clarified, so that larger surveys are necessary (Størsrud et al., 2015).
Nevertheless, the study gives cause for optimism that aloe vera can make life easier for people with irritable bowel syndrome. Because the results are very promising. And there are at least some reliable and clear data available - unlike previous studies that either did not produce clear results (Davis et al., 2006), or where drop-outs and other disruptive factors affected the reliability of the study (Hutchings et al. 2011).
Intestinal healing effect through the gel of aloe leaves
A little background on aloe we would like to give you: If this plant is mentioned, then often of the aloe vera ("true aloe"). But there are many, many more aloe species.
It is very important to know that aloe vera products can have different effects - depending on which parts of the plant the product was obtained from. Inside the leaves is the gel of the plant, which is well tolerated and just for example in irritable bowel syndrome is used. In contrast, the yellowish juice (also called aloe latex), which is located directly under the leaf bark, especially laxative effects, but sometimes also quite strong side effects. This is mainly the above-mentioned aloin responsible.
Author: Anna Brockdorff
- Davis K, Philpott S, Kumar D, Mendall M: Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of aloe vera for irritable bowel syndrome. Of 2006.
- Hutchings HA, Wareham K, Baxter JN, Atherton P, Kingham JGC, Duane P, Thomas L, Thomas M, Ch'ng CL, Williams JG: A Randomized, Crossover, Placebo-Controlled Study of Aloe Vera in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Effects on Patient Quality of Life. 2011th
- See Lee, Lee YR, Lee YH, Lee MK, Park YI, Lee S, Kim K, Lee CK: In vivo Evidence of the Immunomodulatory Activity of Orally-Administered Aloe Vera Gel. 2010.
- Langmead L, Feakins RM, Goldthorpe S, Holt H, Tsironi E, De Silva A, Jewell DP, Rampton DS: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral aloe vera gel for active ulcerative colitis. Of 2004.
- Langmead L, Makins RJ, Rampton DS: Anti-inflammatory effects of aloe vera gel in human colorectal mucosa in vitro. Of 2004.
- Størsrud S, Pontén I, Simrén M: A Pilot Study of the Effect of Aloe Barbharens Mill. Extract (AVH200®) in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. , 2015.