Heartburn is something almost every pregnant woman has experienced throughout her pregnancy. It is often listed as the number one complain pregnant women have and rightfully so.
I’m pregnant, what can I take for heartburn?
It is a painful, burning sensation that occurs in the chest and throat, often accompanied by an acidic taste in your mouth. It is caused by stomach acid that travels back up from the stomach into the esophagus, usually due to a weakened esophageal sphincter muscle.
When functioning properly, the sphincter valve remains tightly shut and opens only to allow food to enter the stomach. If relaxed, the valve can open at any time, giving stomach acid the opportunity to move back into the esophagus and cause the burning sensation so many women report feeling.
The good news for pregnant women is that there are a number of safe and effective natural remedies that can help reduce the symptoms of heartburn as well as prevent it from occurring so often. One of these remedies is Aloe Vera juice.
Aloe Vera Juice for Heartburn During Pregnancy
Most people are familiar with the topical benefits of Aloe Vera, often applied directly to the skin to help treat minor cuts and burns. However, not as many people are aware of the wide range of health benefits that can be seen from the full use of the Aloe Vera plant.
The Aloe Vera plant contains potent levels of nutrients, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, E, minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium and selenium and numerous essential amino acids.
The use of Aloe Vera can be traced back over 3,000 years to ancient Egypt, although historians agree that it probably was used even earlier but without being documented. Originally grow in the hot climates of Africa, today it is grown throughout the world for aesthetic and medicinal purposes.
Not only can it help relieve symptoms of heartburn, it has been linked to the following benefits as well:
- Naturally detoxes the body
- Boosts the immune system
- Lowers cholesterol
- Soothes skin irritation and inflammation
- Improves blood sugar levels
- Aids in digestion
- Promotes growth of healthy hair
For pregnant women who are suffering from heartburn, Aloe Vera juice in small doses may be an effective treatment. While studies are limited at this time, some preliminary studies concluded that Aloe Vera juice was safe for pregnant women in limited quantities.
Consuming aloe vera juice will reduce inflammation in the esophagus and stomach, reducing pain that has been caused by stomach acid. It may also help the body reduce the amount of stomach acid produced. Additionally, it improves overall digestion and helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins. Multiple studies have found the juice to reduce symptoms of heartburn without the side effects that are reported from traditional medications.
Where to Buy Aloe Vera Juice
When purchasing Aloe Vera juice, it is important to buy the highest quality, preferably organic product. It should little to no additives, including chemicals and preservatives. It is recommended that you start by consuming a small amount each day and work up to a full dose. Be sure to follow the manufacturers recommendations according the product packaging.
The American Pregnancy Associated has ruled that aloe juice is possibly unsafe for pregnant and breastfeeding women so it is important to discuss this with your physician or midwife prior to beginning the juice. Some of the concerns with using Aloe Vera juice while pregnant include:
- Laxative properties causing diarrhea and dehydration
- Potentially lowering glucose levels to dangerous levels for mother and baby
- Increased risk of uterine contractions
- Reduced electrolyte levels causing dehydration
Some Aloe Vera products contain high aloin levels, which is considered a potent natural laxative. Using products with this component may cause diarrhea and other side effects. When selecting an Aloe Vera juice, make sure it is the highest quality, preferably organic juice that specifically states the aloin has been removed.
Other possible side effects of Aloe Vera juice include:
- Allergic skin reaction
- Abdominal cramping
Aloe Vera juice can also negative interact with a number of medications. If you are already taking a medication, be sure to discuss any possible side effects with your physician or midwife before taking it.
This supplemental juice has long been used for the treatment of heartburn and its associated symptoms. Many people rely on it for relief, including when pregnant. However, due to some of the concern surrounding it, it is extremely important to discuss it with your physician or midwife before starting to consume it. Together you can both decide what is best for you.
The information provided here is meant to be informative and does not constitute medical advice in any way. If you have any questions or concerns, you should seek the advice of a medical professional. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should never begin a supplement without first discussing it with their physician or midwife.