Some potential uses of aloe vera include:
Treating canker sores
In a 2012 study, researchers found that when people applied aloe vera to canker sores, it sped the healing of the ulcers and reduced pain.
Another study from 2012 backed up this finding. However, this study noted that aloe vera did not work as effectively as corticosteroids, which are the standard treatment for canker sores. Still, most of the participants reported being satisfied with the results of either treatment.
Learn about other treatments and remedies for canker sores here.
Aloe vera may help with healing minor wounds and burns. A recent review of studies showed some promising results for aloe vera’s use in healing wounds on the skin. The review included studies that found that aloe vera can help with preventing or treating conditions such as:
- skin ulcers
- postoperative wounds
- genital herpes
- chronic wounds
- burn wounds
- cracked nipples
The researchers advise that people only use aloe vera alongside prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to treat these conditions.
Reducing plaque in the mouth
In a 2014 study, researchers found that an aloe vera mouthwash was as effective in treating plaque as contemporary mouthwash options. People used aloe vera as a mouthwash for 30 days and saw a significant reduction in plaque compared with the placebo group.
Learn how to remove plaque from teeth.
Helping with anal fissures
Anal fissures are small cuts or tears in the lining of the anus. They are often the result of a large or hard bowel movement.
A preliminary 2014 study found that applying aloe vera to anal fissures helped aid healing. Although the study showed positive results, the researchers indicated that further research is necessary to prove the effectiveness of this treatment option.
In a smaller 2013 study, researchers found that applying a combination of aloe vera and tretinoin to the skin helped treat acne. The study showed that aloe vera was effective in treating mild inflammation and reducing acne lesions over 8 weeks.
Learn more about using aloe vera to treat acne here.
Controlling blood sugar
The authors of a 2016 review concluded that aloe vera may help improve blood sugar control in people living with type 2 diabetes. However, they noted that the reviewed studies had several limitations and that further studies are necessary to confirm the findings.
Aiding digestive issues
There is limited evidence to suggest that aloe vera may help with conditions such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Research has shown that aloe vera may be effective in treating IBS. The study found that aloe vera improved symptoms of IBS compared with the placebo, but there is a need for additional research to prove the results.
Other researchers have suggested that aloe vera may help prevent stomach ulcers. The study showed that aloe vera helped stop the growth of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which are responsible for stomach ulcers.
However, a person should use caution when taking aloe vera orally. It is important to limit the intake due to its potential negative effects, including:
- cytotoxicity (cell toxicity)
- mutagenicity (potential of a chemical to cause a cell mutation)
Scientists need to carry out additional research to help them fully understand the effects of taking aloe vera orally.
Learn more about the benefits of aloe vera here.