Should You Use Aloe Vera For Kidney Stones?
When you are shopping for sunscreen at the store, you often find something right next to it: aloe vera gel. We know that sunscreen is supposed to prevent the burn. But when the burn comes anyway, we turn to aloe for healing.
Or maybe you used it when you were growing up. You’d get a cut or burn and your mom would pull off a part of the aloe plant to rub on it for speedy recovery.
So most of us have clearly seen how aloe is a fabulous skin healer. But few of us actually realize just how powerful aloe really is – for many body systems.
But can aloe actually go so far as to help kidney stones?
Many different health and wellness blogs list aloe vera as a key to treating and/or preventing kidney stones. But is that idea based only on old traditions or is modern science backing up the claim?
I’m here to unpack the aloe vera and kidney stone connection. I want you to benefit from as many natural kidney stone healers as possible, so let’s see if you should add aloe to that list.
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is actually a cactus – and it just so happens to be one of the most incredible medicinal plants. It produces a gel and latex that are both used therapeutically.
Scientists have found over 75 components of aloe that can be used – from vitamins and minerals to acids and enzymes. This is why aloe vera is so powerful. It can be used to:
- Improve burns
- Reduces inflammation
- Relieve constipation and other digestive issues
- Aid in weight loss
- Help skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, or even diaper rash
- Lower cholesterol
- Improve asthma
- Remove hemorrhoids
- Moisturize skin and hair
- Health canker sores
- Boosts immunity
- Harms bacteria and fungi
- And much more
It’s even been used in experimental treatments for HIV/AIDS and cancer.
So with its vast array of uses, can aloe vera actually help kidney stone sufferers? Let’s see.
So Does Aloe Vera Help With Kidney Stones?
Quick answer: maybe.
Some of aloe’s compounds – like aloemannan – are believed to both bring health to the kidneys and prevent crystals from forming in the kidneys.
One study examined that belief.
Researchers looked at 31 healthy college-aged males and wanted to see if aloe vera gel could change the chemical composition of urine to help prevent kidney stones from forming.
Each participant took 100 g of fresh aloe gel twice daily for one week. The researchers took urine samples at various points throughout the week to measure different chemicals that affect kidney stones like calcium, uric acid, citrate, oxalate, tartrate, potassium, and more.
The results were really positive.
Oxalate had “significantly decreased” in the participants. Remember that calcium-oxalate stones are the most common form of kidney stone. This and other chemical changes when taking the aloe led the researchers to conclude that taking aloe “shows its potential for preventing kidney stone formation among adults.
This is great news for kidney stone sufferers, but it is not complete news. There needs to be more studies done to confirm its effectiveness.
How To Take Aloe Vera For Kidney Stones
I know anyone who deals with chronic kidney stones wants to find help in any possible way. So many of you may want to try aloe vera even science isn’t 100% sure that it works.
So which form should you take?
- Aloe Juice: Livestrong recommends ¼ cup of aloe juice daily for no longer than two consecutive weeks. You can buy aloe juice at most health food stores. It may also help you reduce inflammation and improve digestion.
- Aloe Gel: If you want to replicated the study and consume straight aloe gel, it is best to do so under the supervision of your doctor; they can suggest the right amount for you as well as where to buy it in your area
Many aloe vera products sold at stores are not created for ingestion. They were created for putting on your skin. Make sure to double check before taking any aloe vera supplement internally.
Can Aloe Vera Be Dangerous?
For the most part, aloe is considered to be a safe all-natural medical choice. So if you give it a try to see if it improves your kidney stones, there aren’t many downsides to be worried about.
But there are still a few precautions to keep in mind. If any of these apply to you, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting aloe vera:
- Oral aloe may not be safe while you are pregnant
- Aloe is considered generally safe applied to children’s skin, but may not be safe when taken orally
- Diabetics can benefit from aloe, but there are a few risks
- Aloe latex should not be taken if you have any sort of intestinal illness like Crohn’s disease or colitis
- Aloe latex worsens hemorrhoids
- Inform your surgeon if you are taking aloe vera; doctors often ask patients to stop taking the aloe up to two weeks before an operation
And one last warning: overdosing on aloe latex can lead to kidney problems, even kidney failure. Never take more than recommended – especially if you are trying to limit your kidney problems.
Other All-Natural Alternatives For Kidney Stone Treatment
Since there are not many different studies looking at the way aloe vera could help kidney stones, you may not want to rely on it fully. Instead, try using it in conjunction with other all-natural ways to help prevent and treat kidney stones.
1. Chanca Piedra
Chanca piedra is an herb that has been shown to both treat and prevent kidney stones. It does everything from helping to prevent stone-forming substances from joining together to relaxing the ureters so the stone can pass less painfully.
You can easily take this in pill-form to provide the support your kidneys need.
It’s been shown that those with lower magnesium levels have a higher risk of developing kidney stones. This is a real problem when you consider somewhere around 80% of people have a magnesium deficiency.
This is a really easy fix.
- Eat more magnesium rich foods that are not too high in oxalate (bananas, dairy, broccoli, corn, avocadoes, and fish).
- Take a magnesium supplement. The forms magnesium glycinate or magnesium chelate are really easy for the body to digest and absorb.
3. Celery Seed Extract
For many years people have been using celery seeds to help the body get rid of gallstones and kidney stones. It’s also a great overall health booster
Note: Those with kidney disease may not be able to take celery seed, so talk to your doctor first.
Aloe Vera and Your Kidneys
Aloe vera may indeed give you a little kidney support, but at this time, it’s not wise to rely on it solely. Instead, incorporate aloe very into you life alongside the other three all-natural treatments above.
Then don’t forget about the important lifestyle changes that should be made to keep the kidney stones away:
- Drink plenty of water everyday
- Limit animal protein
- Get plenty of regular exercise