The Effect of Aloe Vera on Diabetes – Benefits, Drawbacks, How to Take

Posted June 12, 2020 by Clint Kelly - See Editorial Guidelines

Aloe vera is a plant that has been used as a natural herbal medicine for many years. It is most known for treating sunburn. However, this succulent plant may have many other benefits for people with medical conditions, including those with diabetes.

So, this article will discuss aloe vera and diabetes, but first, here’s a quick summary.

The Effect of Aloe Vera on Diabetes: The aloe vera plant is native to Africa and various islands in the Indian Ocean. It has been studied and found to have many natural benefits. A recent study has suggested that it may have a glucose-lowering effect on those that have type 2 diabetes. Patients can drink the juice from the plant or take an aloe vera capsule to help stimulate the secretion of insulin.

Now that you have a brief understanding of the effect of aloe vera on diabetes, here is everything else that you need to know.

Overview of Aloe Vera

The Effect of Aloe Vera on DiabetesAs mentioned above, aloe vera is a succulent plant that originated in Africa. For centuries, this plant has been used for medicinal purposes, particularly in the field of dermatology. Many may recognize aloe vera as being useful for treating sunburn.

The plant is composed of triangular leaves that have serrated edges. The leaves contain an inner gel that contains mostly water. The rest of the inner gel is made of glucomannans, amino acids, lipids, sterols, and vitamins. This is where the healing properties of the plant lay.

One main reason aloe vera helps treat skin conditions and wounds is that it has antioxidants. The antioxidants prevent bacteria from growing, which is what causes infections.

Here is a list of other conditions that aloe vera can help treat and prevent:

  • First and second-degree burns
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Canker sores
  • Constipation
  • Aging of the skin

Moreover, aloe vera has been shown to help individuals with diabetes.

Benefits of Aloe Vera on Diabetes

Aloe vera affects diabetes by improving blood sugar management. One would not typically think that aloe vera has an effect on diabetes in this way, but based on research, it can improve insulin sensitivity.

It is important to note here that in-depth research is still needed to determine how exactly aloe vera can improve one’s blood sugar. However, despite the lack of thorough research, aloe vera for diabetes does appear to have a positive impact. The proof is in the limited studies on patients.

The Effect of Aloe Vera on Diabetes

Based on nine trials that involved prediabetes and diabetes patients, aloe vera was proven to help improve both fasting blood glucose (FBG) and hemoglobin A1c. The studies suggest that aloe vera lowered a patient’s FBG by about 46 mg/dL and their HbA1c by about 1.05%.

Again, high-quality, controlled trials and studies are still needed to determine the exact benefits of aloe vera on diabetes.

The effect of aloe vera alone on diabetes patients that have severe uncontrolled blood sugar levels may be limited. Those that require a strict medication regimen may also have limited benefits from aloe vera alone. For example, those that are insulin-dependent should never stop taking their prescribed amount of insulin or change their treatment method without first consulting their doctor.

Those that are on insulin can get off insulin through strict lifestyle changes. Once an individual makes lifestyle changes, then aloe vera may have a greater effect on their diabetes condition.

According to a review in 2016 by the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, aloe vera reduced the absorption of glucose in the gastrointestinal tract after eating. It also reduced glucose production.

If this is the case, then those that have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes should have improved blood sugar levels, particularly after having a meal. This is greatly beneficial, as dramatic spikes in blood sugar from meals can be harmful over time.

Negative Effects of Aloe Vera on Diabetes

Despite the positive effect that aloe vera can have on diabetes, there are some drawbacks to it. The exact negative effect of aloe vera on diabetes will vary from individual to individual.

However, if a person that is taking diabetes medications also take aloe vera orally, then they may experience low blood sugar symptoms. Combining two glucose-lowering products can decrease blood sugar too much, leading to hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia can be life-threatening and must be treated immediately. If left untreated, then it can lead to unconsciousness and seizures.

Therefore, if you are already taking diabetes medications, whether that’s insulin or oral drugs, then adding aloe vera to your diabetes regimen can be dangerous. That is why you must consult your doctor before making changes to your treatment.

Aloe vera has also been known to have a laxative effect, which helps with constipation. Laxatives can cause medications that are being taken orally to have less effect due to them not having enough time to absorb in the intestines.

If your diabetes medications are not able to be fully absorbed, then it will not have a full effect on your condition. This can lead to increased blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Again, this is why you must consult your doctor before making changes to your diabetes treatment.

How Aloe Vera is Taken for Diabetes

The Effect of Aloe Vera on Diabetes

Aloe vera is most known for its topical use, as it can be applied to the skin directly off the plant. So, how do you take aloe vera for diabetes?

Aloe vera can be taken orally in two different forms. You can either take aloe vera supplements that come in the form of pills or drink it in juice form.

Aloe vera juice or liquid can be found in different sizes ranging from eight ounces to one gallon. You can either use it for drinking, rubbing on your skin, or adding it to cosmetic products. The cost of aloe vera juice will vary from place to place, as well as the quality that you get. You can purchase a 32-ounce bottle high-quality aloe juice from vitamin stores for about $10.

You can purchase aloe vera supplement capsules from most vitamin or convenience stores between $6-$15. Again, higher quality aloe vera will cost more. The capsules can come in different strengths as well. Ask your doctor which form of aloe vera is right for you and how much you should be taken.


Aloe vera can provide individuals with many different benefits and at a low cost. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more information on how exactly aloe vera will affect your specific diabetes condition.

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