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Other than occasional allergic reactions, no serious problems have been reported with aloe gel, whether used internally or externally. However, comprehensive safety studies are lacking. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Keep in mind that if aloe is used as a treatment for diabetes, and it proves effective, blood sugar levels could fall toolow, necessitating a reduction in medication dosage. Close monitoring of blood sugar levels is, therefore, advised.
In addition, there is one report of an herb-drug interaction between aloe and the anesthesia drug sevoflurane, in which it appeared that aloe may have increased sevoflurane's "blood thinning" effect. 1 Another isolated report appears to connect aloe to liver inflammation in one person. 2 (Since aloe does not appear to possess any liver toxicity in general, this report would seem to suggest an “idiosyncratic,” in other words, a highly personal reaction to the herb.)
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are using:
- Hydrocortisone cream : Aloe gel might help it work better. 3
- Medications for diabetes : Oral use of aloe vera might cause your blood sugar levels to fall too low.
- Lee A, Po Chui PT, Aun ST, et al. Possible interaction between sevoflurane and Aloe vera. Ann Pharmacother. 2004;38:1651-1654.
- Bottenberg MM, Wall GC, Harvey RL, Habib S. Oral aloe vera-induced hepatitis. Ann Pharmacother. 41(10):1740-3.
- Davis RH, Parker WL, Murdoch DP. Aloe vera as a biologically active vehicle for hydrocortisone acetate. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1991;81:1-9.