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Research Reveals Aloe Vera Juice Can Speed a Slow Thyroid and Much More — Here’s Why

Plus, a delicious mocktail recipe that turns aloe vera juice into a party!

Trusty aloe vera is best known for its skin-soothing abilities: Women use the plant topically to ease and heal burns and sunburns, calm red skin and erase wrinkles. But in addition to these beauty perks, aloe vera juice benefits the whole body when you drink it — either straight or added to a smoothie.

Indeed, “Aloe boasts compounds that reduce inflammation, soothe pain and improve muscle contraction in the GI tract,” says Gary Null, PhD, author of The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. Read on for more health benefits of this tasty sip.

How Aloe Vera Juice Benefits the Thyroid

For starters, aloe vera juice soothes the gut. Why is this important? When the gut is inflamed, as it is for so many women, it can’t absorb proven thyroid-supporting nutrients from our diet, like selenium, iodine, zinc and vitamin C. As a result, we often wind up with the classic symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, such as fatigue, brain fog, low energy and brittle hair. Experts note that when folks eat in a way that reduces gut inflammation, they increase their intake of thyroid-healing nutrients by up to 1,000%.

Women who struggle with the symptoms of a sluggish thyroid — depression, tiredness, and thinning hair — might have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune-fighting messaging system — rooted in the gut — is overrun by inflammation and attacks the “master gland” critical for energy, mood, digestion and weight. In fact, “more than 90% of women with low thyroid have Hashimoto’s,” confirms ‘Thyroid Pharmacist’ Izabella Wentz, PharmD, who wrote Hashimoto’s Protocol after curing her own thyroid disease. She’s a fan of drinking naturally anti-inflammatory aloe vera juice to benefit thyroid health.

Related: This Trace Soil Element Could Be Just What Your Thyroid Is Crying Out For If You’re Tired, Foggy and Can’t Lose Weight

“The best way to stop an autoimmune attack on the thyroid is by following an anti-inflammatory diet to heal the gut damage that triggers the attack,” agrees Emi Hosoda, MD. She healed her thyroid condition and lost 100 pounds eating and drinking anti-inflammatory foods. (Llearn how anti-inflammatory aloe also helps heal hemorrhoids.)

What’s more, “aloe vera juice also feeds the ‘good’ bacteria in our gut that support immunity and proper thyroid function,” explains Taz Bhatia, MD. In this way, the juice functions as a “prebiotic” food for gut bugs. Indeed, in a study published in the Journal of Clinical & Translational Endocrinology, subjects drinking 1 to 2 oz. of food-grade aloe vera juice first thing in the morning reduced thyroid-damaging antibodies by 58% over nine months. Lead author Daniela Metro, PhD, stumbled on the cure when dealing with her own subclinical case of Hashimoto’s. Metro says, “The drink decreases the burden of thyroid autoimmune inflammation.” (Thyroid conditions can also cause vision-hampering dry eye. See how to improve your vision in 7 days.)

In addition to healing the thyroid, aloe vera juice benefits the body in countless other ways. Keep reading to learn how.

Aloe vera juice eases heartburn.

Aloe vera drinks can help nip heartburn in the bud, according to Chinese researchers. They credit the 200+ compounds in the sip that prevent inflammation in the esophagus and supercharge the production of reflux-fighting enzymes, which can reduce heartburn flare-up frequency.

Aloe vera juice soothes sore joints.

Aloe vera juice is rich in two plant compounds (salicylic acid and sterols) that suppress joint inflammation and stop fluid buildup in the joints. And according to an animal study in Central European Journal of Immunology, sipping just 1 oz. daily can slash joint pain and swelling. (That’s not all aloe can do. See why it’s a popular sunburn self-care remedy, too.)

Aloe vera juice balances blood sugar.

Plant compounds in aloe vera juice (phytosterols) improve cells’ ability to absorb and utilize sugar. The payoff: Researchers found this effect helped subjects given a daily dose of aloe vera reduce their fasting blood-sugar levels more than those taking a placebo.

Aloe vera juice eases bladder pain.

Taking aloe vera juice in a freeze-dried capsule form markedly reduces the discomfort of a painful bladder condition known as interstitial cystitis. Within just 3 months, women who took the supplement daily had less pelvic pain and pressure, and reduced urinary urgency. (Discover more interstitial cystitis natural treatment options.)

How To Consume Aloe Vera Juice

It’s easy to experience the skin perks of aloe with a topical cream (or, in some cases, by breaking a leaf off the plant and rubbing the gel directly on your skin), but you need to drink aloe juice to get the full-body perks. For best results, top doctors like Vincent Pedre, MD, recommend sipping it in the morning on an empty stomach. “Aloe vera juice is powerful,” assures Dr. Pedre. “Many of my patients add a tablespoon of store-bought aloe vera juice to their smoothies or just drink a shot of it.”

Where To Get Aloe Vera Juice

You can buy food-grade aloe vera juice (like Dynamic Health Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller Juice, $12.99 for 32 oz., Vitacost.com) in health-food stores or online, or you can stir a spoonful of aloe vera powder into 8 oz. of water or tea. Dr. Pedre suggests looking for powder blends with gut-supportive nutrients, such as slippery elm, herbal licorice root or cat’s claw. His product, Enhance (available at HappyGutLife.com), fits the bill.

You can also make your own aloe vera juice. To do: Slice off a 1″ section from an aloe houseplant or from an aloe vera leaf (found in the produce department in some grocery stores) scoop out the raw pulp (the inner gel or “meat”) and thoroughly rinse or soak to eliminate bitterness. Then blend it into 8 oz. of water.

Even better, you can mix food-grade aloe vera juice into a number of drinks. Here, deliciously sweet sips made with aloe vera juice to help you look and feel your best. Try one today! (Note that aloe has a mild laxative effect, so doctors recommend you start slowly, sipping 1 Tbs. a day, and slowly building up to 12 cup a day.)

3 Delicious Recipes To Get You Started

Blueberry Smoothie Blast

Two blueberry smoothies

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 banana

4 oz. aloe vera juice

1 Tbs. honey

In blender, puree all ingredients with 1 cup of water.

Makes 2 servings

Cucumber Mojito Mocktail

Cucumber-mint mocktail
Liliya Kandrashevichf/shutterstock

1 ⁄4 cup mint leaves

1 ⁄4 cup sugar

1 cucumber, sliced

1 ⁄ 2 cup lime-flavored sparkling water

4 oz. aloe vera juice

Cook mint, sugar and 1 ⁄4 cup of water 5 min.; let cool. In blender, puree syrup with remaining ingredients and 2 cups of ice until smooth.

Makes 2 servings

Watermelon Lime Slush

2 glasses of watermelon-lime slushie
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

2 cups diced watermelon

1 lime, zested and juiced

1 ⁄4 cup sugar

4 oz. aloe vera juice

In blender, puree watermelon until smooth; add remaining ingredients with 2 cups of ice and 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth.

Makes 2 servings

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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