Aloe Vera for Your Skin, Immune System…and Pancreas?

This post was written by Gillian D., who is working towards a degree in counseling but has always been interested in a criminalist education. She strongly believes in naturopathic medicine.

Aloe Vera

People have used aloe vera for centuries. Its most common use is as a topical relief and healing agent for burns. Scientists who have studied the plant assume that it is due to the high Vitamin E content, which promotes healthy cell growth. Anyone who has slathered on aloe gel after a bad sunburn knows that it doesn’t matter what is in this miracle cream, it makes the burning stop and helps prevent peeling and scarring.

Other cultures have also discovered that aloe vera boosts your immune system, too. Incorporating the leaves into food (in small doses, this plant is extremely bitter) appears to prevent common colds, asthma attacks, even STD flare-ups. Scientists have also found that multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and arthritis patients also respond do dietary aloe vera.

Studies have been somewhat conflicting, and of course, mainstream medicine prefers to recommend drugs made in laboratories to their patients. However, new evidence is emerging that the drug companies cannot ignore. Aloe vera pills appear to also help stabilize blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes mellitus (American Journal of Health).

Diabetes mellitus, also known as Type I or juvenile diabetes, is highly manageable but still a feared diagnosis. Type I diabetes is a type of autoimmune disease, where the pancreas destroys its insulin producing cells. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, and without it blood sugar levels can spike dangerously, resulting in diabetic comas and death if untreated.

Historically, juvenile diabetes would strike young children, and until synthetic insulin was developed, it was basically a death sentence. Before modern medicine could treat diabetes, parents would turn to herbal remedies, like aloe vera. Now those forgotten herbal remedies are gaining prominence once again.

This article in the American Journal of Health reported the effects of aloe vera use in diabetes patients from studies across the world – from Turkey to Germany. It appears that patients taking an oral dose of aloe vera had lower blood glucose levels than patients taking a placebo.

Scientists are still not sure what it is in aloe vera that has these health effects. Chemical analysis of the plant showed that aloe vera is chock full of amino acids, enzymes, organic compounds, and other important minerals – but insulin was not on the list. Scientists of course prefer to test one compound at a time, but who knows what combination of plant materials are actually producing the effect? (British Journal of General Practice)

Obviously, more research into these effects is necessary. However, it is still excellent news for diabetes sufferers. Of course, you should not stop your insulin regimen and switch over to aloe vera pills, but any improvement in diabetes treatment is a huge step. Being able to use a natural supplement is not only better for your body, but better for the environment as well.

If you have diabetes, let your doctor know you’re interested in trying an aloe vera supplement. Check out what your local supplement store has available for aloe pills, or try out some recipes with fresh aloe. Beware – “bitter as aloes” is not just an old saying, it is very true. You may want to hide the bitter taste of this plant in a smoothie or other sweetened drink. Aloe vera is one of the only plant sources of Vitamin B12, so it can’t hurt to supplement your diet with this amazing plant, even if you are in perfect health.

Timberland Eco-conciousness


  1. Leckeres für Mensch und Katze says

    I am also using aloe for sunburn. now I will also give it a try in salad. thanks for the good tips. liebe grüsse Tina

  2. Wanda Tracey says

    I love the cooling soothing affects of aloe vera on burns but I didn’t know about aloe vera supplements for diabetes.I am glad I read this review.Thank you.

  3. Bobby Tarumi says

    Aloe sure is the miracle plant. I keep an above-ground pot of aloe growing by my house.

  4. Sharon Siqueiros says

    I’m a huge fan of aloe!! We use the juice in smoothies and I have very many plants (14) 4 or 5 of them are over 30 yrs old, we call them the grandmothers……it’s a very special plant with many healing properties, we love ’em!!

  5. I had had reaserching Aloe Vera on my long to do list but had not got to it. Living in Florida we are very familiar with using it for sun burn but I had no idea about it being used for diabetes. I heard about it being good for the imune system and that was my reason for doing research but this saved me the effort.

  6. Carolyn Phan says

    I used to have dry/oily skin, but after putting aloe on my face every night, my skin is so much better! Now it’s always moisturized and I never break out anymore.

  7. Peggy Greco says

    Aloe vera has always been a useful, great and versatile soothing plant

  8. pamela resendiz says

    we keep aloe vera plant around our home, i have seen stores sell the juice often wonder about buying it..
    to drink?

  9. Sandy McFadden says

    I am a huge fan of aloe vera I didn’t know it was so helpful with diabetes and other ailments I always used it for my sunburns………….thank you for the great review.

  10. Molly Hearn says

    did not know it’s uses and well doing with diabetes. I have a friend who’s teenage daughter has diabetes and I am sure would love this information

  11. Karen Glatt says

    I use Aloe vera when I get burned or when I got a sunburn. It really cools the affects of a burn. I think it is great that there are so many uses for it. I did not know that Aloe Vera pills help diabetes. That is great to know. So many health benefits that I can not ignore. Will always use Aloe vera. thanks for a great review!

  12. natalie nichols says

    Aloe Vera is such a super plant! Love this post!

  13. Elizabeth Gentry says

    I have used Aloe since I was a child and my grandmother first introduced me to her plant when I got a scrape and she showed me the ewwwyy gooey goodness inside. I have used it to speed healing on cuts and scraped and for sunburn my entire life now I know some additional uses for it 🙂

  14. wow! That’s amazing!! I really need to start learning how to leave green!

  15. i did not know it was good for these different things–I used it on sores b-4….

  16. Kelly Powell says

    Thank you for sharing!

  17. I love Aloe vEra. My mom used to plant them in our backyard.

  18. Sandy Cain says

    Wow, I didn’t know that Aloe had ALL those benefits! I thought it was just as a moisturizer, or for minor burns. I have to check this out, especially the diabetes part, my brother is a diabetic. Thanks!

  19. Robin Wilson says

    Though I have used Aloe externally for years like so many others, I had no idea that there could be other issues, like diabetes, that it could help! What a wonderful thing! A natural alternative yet again!

  20. Brandi Dawn says

    Wow! I had no idea…thanks for the info! I will definitely look for further use of aloe in my home!

  21. Renee Travis says

    I knew it was great for sunburn and skin, but I am glad to know about the other great benefits! Thanks so much!!!!!

  22. I just love using aloe vera on everything from sunburns to scraps and scratches. I have several plants in the house. Thanks for your view on this.

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