Aloe vera juice is a delicious beverage packed with nutrition and known for its high antioxidant and vitamin profile. It’s often sold alongside smoothies and other “healthy” juice options, so it’s no surprise that pregnant women wonder if it’s a good idea to try aloe-based drinks.
However, in all its variations, is this refreshing juice safe to drink during your pregnancy?
Unfortunately, there is a significant lack of research surrounding the safety of aloe vera products, including juice and pregnancy. Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women avoid aloe vera juice.
Whether aloe vera gel versus aloe latex and pasteurized versus unpasteurized juice, it may be hard to determine which aloe products are safe. Here, we’ll discuss the details of aloe vera juice safety during pregnancy.
Is Aloe Vera Juice Safe During Pregnancy?
While aloe vera is perfect for soothing sunburns or moisturizing dry skin, it is commonly consumed as a juice as well!
The leaves of the aloe vera plant contain an aloe gel that, when extracted carefully, can be mixed into water to create a refreshing juice.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there is a lack of research available on aloe gel and juice during pregnancy. This is likely due to the ethics of conducting experimental trials on pregnant women and developing fetuses.
Therefore, due to the lack of scientific knowledge in this area, it is recommended to avoid aloe products, including juice, during pregnancy.
Aloe juice is available on the market as pasteurized, but can also be found or made unpasteurized or fresh. During pasteurization, vitamin C and citric acid are often added to improve stability, reduce the browning effect, and improve flavor (source: Journal of Food Science and Technology). It is then treated with heat to sterilize, then flash cooled.
Unlike other juices (where pregnant women can drink the pasteurized versions), in this case, unfortunately, both pasteurized and unpasteurized aloe juices have not been proven safe during pregnancy, so it’s recommended that they should be avoided.
Are There Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice for Pregnant Women?
Although aloe juice is not recommended during pregnancy, there are some health benefits to look forward to after baby is born.
Though it does not have a significant amount of protein, carbohydrates, or fat, aloe juice is the perfect low-calorie and low-sugar drink.
Within appropriate amounts, aloe juice can be a healthy and thirst-quenching beverage packed with antioxidants for those who are not pregnant (source: Cleveland Clinic).
Antioxidants are compounds present in foods that help the body fight harmful compounds called free radicals. More specifically, antioxidants resist oxidation or the reaction of oxygen with another compound that can cause damage to the body on a molecular level.
Overall, aloe juice is rich in antioxidant compounds that can eventually contribute to the development of diabetes or heart disease. Additionally, it may have an antibacterial effect (source: Journal of Food Science and Technology).
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is essential in immune function and wound healing. Calcium helps support strong bones and teeth. Additionally, magnesium is a mineral that helps cells function appropriately in the body.
Are There Side Effects of Aloe Vera Juice During Pregnancy? Can It Cause Miscarriage?
Despite there being a general lack of information in the literature about aloe vera juice and pregnancy, there IS more scientific information available about aloe latex’s risks during pregnancy.
Aloe vera latex is a fluid extracted from underneath the leaves of the aloe vera plant. Many think of it as a laxative, but it is actually called a cathartic agent.
Unfortunately, cathartic agents can cause uterine contractions, which, during pregnancy, can increase the risk of early labor or miscarriage (source: Journal of Environmental Science and Health). Therefore, aloe latex it is not safe to consume during pregnancy.
If you’ve already had a one-off aloe juice or a drink (e.g. a smoothie or blend) that contains aloe latex or aloe juice, it’s unlikely to have been in amounts significant enough to be harmful, so try not to worry. The best thing you can do is look out for any symptoms out of the ordinary, and ask your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any concerns.
There are plenty of safe, nutritious juice and drink options during pregnancy that are safe, and it’s best to choose one of those instead.
I hope this article answered your questions about the safety of aloe vera juice during pregnancy. The juice does have many health benefits, so it’s something to look forward to after you’ve given birth, rather than something you should drink throughout your pregnancy.