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Health

Experts Weigh In On Whether TikTok’s Aloe Vera Juice Trend Is Actually Helpful

TikTok has become home to the go-to place to find the latest health and wellness hacks, and in one of the latest trends, people are drinking aloe vera juice for its supposed benefits. The #AloeVeraJuice tag has amassed nearly 20.8 million views. Thousands of videos have been posted to TikTok of individuals testing and reviewing the trend, which usually includes consuming an ounce of aloe vera juice once or twice a day. It’s reminiscent of last year’s liquid chlorophyll trend, with everyone from food influencers to doctors weighing in on whether this works.

But is aloe vera juice good for you? Where did this trend come from, and is there actually any validity to it?

What is aloe vera?

According to Pierra Rosa, a practicing medical doctor, aloe vera is a green plant found in many parts of the world and flowers in the spring. While the leaves of aloe vera may be consumed like a vegetable, it may also be consumed as a juice. Rosa tells Her Campus, “Aloe vera is said to help increase the production of female hormones, improve vision, reduce anxiety, and soothe the skin.”

Medical reviewer at Illuminate Labs DJ Mazzoni tells Her Campus that aloe vera is a nutritionally unique botanical. “It provides phenolic compounds called anthraquinones, which have studied antibacterial and antiviral effects. It also contains plant steroids like lupeol which have an anti-inflammatory effect when consumed.”

What are the health benefits of aloe vera?

Harland Adkins, who has an MD in nutrition and dietetics, tells Her Campus that one benefit of aloe vera is its rejuvenating qualities. “Studies have shown that aloe reduces the presence of wrinkles, improves skin elasticity to prevent sagging, and increases collagen production to promote a plump, glowing complexion.” Reda Elmardi, a Registered Dietician, adds that “aloe vera is rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can cause cancer and premature aging.”

Adkins further added that consuming aloe vera may help us to digest complex food more quickly. “It contains enzymes like aliiase, amylase, and lipase, known to aid in the digestion of fats and starches. Hence, it serves as a great help to IBS, indigestion, and other digestive disorders. Consuming it leaves a soothing effect on your body, and with regular use, it’ll also give you a healthy gut.” 

Edibel Quintero, a Registered Dietician and Medical Content Author at Health Reporter, explained to Her Campus that aloe vera is highly beneficial to the digestive system by supplying the body with vitamins like A, B1, C, E, and folic acid. 

Aloe vera also provides the body with rich hydration. It is vital to remain well-hydrated for the body’s organs to properly function, and since aloe vera juice is such a water-dense drink, intaking aloe vera juice can help the body to remain properly hydrated. RDN Beth Hawkes tells Her Campus, “Aloe leaves contain a plethora of antioxidants including, beta carotene, vitamin C, and E that can help improve the skin’s natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated.”

Adkins adds, “It is an effective natural remedy to treat and prevent dehydration while flushing out all the toxins and impurities from your body. Plus, aloe vera juice is an excellent alternative to your sugary drinks and fruit juices as an eight-ounce serving of it contains just eight calories.”

Why are people so attracted to consuming aloe vera?

Dan Gallagher, a certified nutritionist, says, “I think people are driven to naturally occurring products like aloe vera for health because it feels reassuring or wholesome to use a product without any hidden ingredients or sneaky marketing. The idea of a plant with natural and intrinsic health properties is appealing to many people, who prefer more simplistic solutions to health concerns or maintenance.”

According to Abbie Niemeyer, a marketing consultant, more people are looking towards natural and alternative solutions for medical problems. A ValuePenguin survey of 1,100 consumers in 2021 found that 72% of respondents try to avoid medicine when possible, and 62% believed that doctors prescribed medicine too quickly. Niemeyer tells Her Campus, “In the case of aloe vera, this is helped by the large amount of content on social media, especially TikTok, which shows the actual results of people using it to help with a multitude of different symptoms, making its acceptance and usage more mainstream.”

So, is this TikTok hack based in fact? It seems like it, since aloe vera has many proven health benefits. However, it is vital to always be skeptical of health trends on the internet. When attempting a new health or beauty trend, consult an expert first and proceed with caution. Anyone can easily make false claims on TikTok, so use your own discretion when listening to opinions online and try to obtain as much information as possible from multiple reliable sources.

Nikki is a senior at LMU from Honolulu, Hawai'i and is majoring in Communications Studies with minors in Journalism and Health and Society. She is also the president of Her Campus LMU.
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