Egyptians began using what they called the “plant of immortality” 6,000 years ago. Today, aloe vera is often used to treat skin conditions, such as sunburn. Aloe can also be taken orally, with honey, but it is important to exercise caution as aloe juice may have adverse side effects.
Aloe vera is taken orally to treat asthma, epilepsy, diabetes and osteoarthritis, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Aloe vera is very effective against constipation. However, the University of Maryland Medical Center does not recommend the oral use of aloe as a laxative, as it can result in painful cramping.
A recent study by Penn State University found that honey is effective against the cough that accompanies many colds. In addition to being a throat soother, honey has antioxidant properties, according to the National Honey Board.
Aloe latex, also known as aloe juice, has a bitter taste. Honey can help the medicine go down easier.
Aloe has the potential to lower blood glucose levels when taken orally by people who are taking glyburide, a medication for individuals with type 2 diabetes that controls blood sugar levels. Because of the risk for hypoglycemia, or blood sugar levels that are too low, diabetics should take aloe with caution. Aloe latex can cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid this form of aloe.
References and ResourcesNational Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Aloe Vera
National Honey Board: Benefits of Honey
Penn State University: Honey Proves a Better Option for Childhood Cough Than OTCs
ResourcesUniversity of Maryland Medical Center: Aloe
University of Maryland Medical Center: Possible Interactions with: Aloe