Aloe vera is extracted from the leaf of the aloe vera plant. It is a colorless gel like substance that is used in many forms. It is applied topically on the skin and the hair, and is also used as an ingredient in many cultures around the world, especially in South east Asian cuisines. Aloe vera is known to have many benefits for the human body- both when it is applied topically and ingested. However, things are a bit different during pregnancy, and your usage of aloe vera will also be affected during this time. In this article, we will discuss whether it is feasible to use this gel at all, and if so, how it should be used.
Yes, in moderation
There are multiple benefits to using aloe vera during pregnancy. However, it should be noted that while these benefits can be enjoyed both when aloe vera gel is being applied topically, that is, on your skin and hair, and ingested as food, it is advisable not to consume the gel as much as you would without the pregnancy.
Benefits of aloe vera in pregnancy
Let us see what benefits can be reaped from the gel.
- Aloe vera is a very rich source of a wide array of minerals and vitamins, especially Vitamin B12. This vitamin is essential in maintaining and improving brain function. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 leads to a number of neurological defects. Therefore, ample amounts of this vitamin will help in the healthy development of the nervous system of the baby.
- Vitamin B12 also increases the production of red blood cells. This effectively prevents the onset of anemia, which is a very common disorder seen in pregnant women. Regular consumption of moderate amounts of aloe vera will also ensure that the circulation system o the baby develops in a healthy manner.
- Aloe vera helps in soothing inflammation, and hence is invaluable both during and right after pregnancy. Hormonal changes and drastic fluctuations cause many women to break out in often painful rashes, and applying aloe vera gel to the affected areas will brings about considerable relief from the affliction. If you have had a Caesarian birth, it would help to apply aloe vera gel to the incision when it hurts or becomes inflamed.
Disadvantages of aloe vera during pregnancy
But there are some pretty intense side effects of the gel as well, if consumed.
- Aloe vera helps control diabetes, so, unless you have high blood sugar levels, avoid this during pregnancy since it may lead to a severe drop in blood sugar, which can be very harmful for your pregnancy.
- You can use it to deal with your constipation that will inevitably set in, but it is best to avoid taking too much of it on a regular basis, since that will lead to diarrhea. It may also lead to a drop in electrolyte levels, which is very harmful for the pregnancy and your overall health.
- Aloe vera leads to uterine contractions. Needless to say, this is harmful for the pregnancy since it can lead to preterm births and even miscarriages.
Also read: Can I have basil during pregnancy?
All said and done, however, it is advisable that pregnant women stay away from consuming aloe vera gel internally as much as possible. While the vitamins and minerals are essential, it is best to procure the from other, safe food sources. If you must consume some gel, consult your doctor and determine the dosage. There is no problem in applying it topically, though.