The pancreas is located behind the stomach, in front of the spine.
This important gland produces juices that help control levels of blood sugar and break down food.
Diseases of the pancreas include pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and cystic fibrosis.
Inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis.
A person could suffer from acute pancreatitis that causes a single severe attack or chronic pancreatitis that could cause permanent damage and scarring of the pancreas.
Pancreatitis could be caused by alcohol abuse or when gallstones obstruct the pancreatic duct. Some symptoms include a fast pulse, nausea, vomiting, fever, swollen or severe pain in the abdomen, fluid collection in the abdomen, lowering of blood pressure.
Treatment could include IV feeding, surgery, medication and avoiding alcohol. ’
Some brief info on aloe vera before I start the discussion if aloe vera can be of help in pancreatitis.
Aloe vera belongs to the Lily family and while there are more than 240 species, out of these 3-4 offer amazing medicinal benefits.
The best known is Aloe Barbadensis. This perennial, evergreen plant grows mostly in the subtropical dry regions of Asia, Europe, America, North Africa, and Spain.
Aloe vera gel and latex have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. Aloe vera can be used internally and externally to treat various health problems.
Aloe vera gel contains 99% water and the rest is made up of polysaccharides like acemannan, enzymes, amino acids, tannins, lipids, and sterols. It is also rich in calcium, vitamins A, C, B, and E.
Aloe Vera Benefits for Pancreatitis
Problems with the pancreas could cause type-1 diabetes when the beta cells found in the pancreas do not produce insulin due to damage caused by a breakdown to the immune system.
It also does not produce sufficient insulin after a meal in patients with type-2 diabetes.
Some initial studies have found that aloe vera has taken internally as juice could lower levels of blood sugar in patients with type-2 diabetes.
This is a result of preliminary research and thus further research is required. A combination of glyburide – type-2 diabetes medication – and aloe vera could be used to control triglyceride and blood sugar levels.
Herbs and nutrients that can reduce inflammation can prove to be helpful in treatments for pancreatitis (Pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition) for they can alleviate symptoms of both chronic and acute pancreatitis.
Aloe vera offers two benefits in this regard - it acts not only as an anti-inflammatory agent but can re-balance digestive juices.
Aloe vera medications can be taken internally to control inflammatory conditions. . Several in vivo and in vitro studies have been conducted on the anti-inflammatory benefits of aloe vera gel.
This could be due to the bradykinase activity of aloe vera gel as well as inhibition of prostaglandin and thromboxane.
Other studies have also found that aloe vera could reduce inflammatory conditions depending on the dose.
In one study it was found that aloe vera extract could relieve oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress causes various health complications like diabetes, acute pancreatitis, and inflammatory conditions like atherosclerosis and so on.
In a rat model, aloe vera extracts showed antioxidant and hypoglycemic activity.
Aloe vera has antibiotic and soothing benefits and hence is recommended as a natural remedy for various medical conditions.
Aloe vera juice can soothe our digestive tract and restore intestinal health.
Consuming 90 - 180ml aloe vera juice daily could offer anti-inflammatory benefits, act as a cell regenerator, inhibit pain and act as a natural antibiotic.
Papaya and aloe vera juices seem to help some patients deal with certain symptoms of pancreatitis.
While aloe vera has not to be studied as an alternative medication in the treatment of pancreatitis, some medical experts and Ayurvedic practitioners do recommend it as a natural treatment for overall digestive health and for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
As such, there is no specific dosage of aloe vera for pancreatitis. The recommended daily dosage of aloe vera juice is ½ cup twice daily.
For diabetes, the recommended dosage is 1 tbsp aloe vera juice twice daily.
Anyone patient with diabetes that uses aloe vera with other medications must check with their doctor to monitor their blood sugar levels.
Anyone using aloe latex as a laxative must be careful.
Long term use could cause cramping, diarrhea and may affect those with heart and kidney disease. It could also cause electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised not to use aloe vera internally.