The TikTok Juice Trend That Has Medical Experts Divided

To date, 3 billion people have downloaded TikTok, according to DemandSage. Furthermore, in Q1 2022, the social media platform had 1 billion active monthly users, and that number is expected to increase by half by the end of 2022 to 1.5 billion. These big numbers mean when a trend goes viral on TikTok, many, many people see videos about it, making TikTok one of the most influential social media apps on the planet. According to Buzzfeed, one of the latest TikTok trends is drinking aloe vera juice, and the trend is being met with mixed reactions from medical experts.

One TikToker singing the praises of drinking aloe vera juice is user @brialem, who can be seen in a video telling her 1.4 million followers all about how drinking aloe vera juice has helped her skin and gut health. "You gotta listen to me right now. I know it's all over TikTok, but aloe vera juice. I've been taking this for like a week and a half now. I take a shot of it in the morning, like 1 ounce, and then 1 ounce at night, and I don't have the beauty filter on right now, and my skin was really broken out just last week, and it's cleared up a ton since then. And also, my digestive system, like my gut health, never been better. Never been better," @brialem said in the video.

So, if you take @brialem's advice at face value, you're probably hustling down to the local Whole Foods right now to get yourself some aloe vera juice. But hold your horses, because the jury's still out on whether or not drinking aloe vera is a good life choice.

Can drinking aloe vera juice actually be harmful?

In light of the TikTok trend, BuzzFeed spoke with several doctors, all of whom agreed drinking aloe vera juice might not be the best idea. The publication pointed out that aloe vera's soothing properties have long been known — citing advice from the Mayo Clinic, which says aloe vera can be used to soothe a sunburn when applied topically to the skin — but argues that ingesting aloe vera takes its use to a whole new level.

One doctor interviewed, dermatologist Dr. Diane Madfes, said that aloe vera only has beneficial effects when applied topically. "This [ingesting aloe vera] is not a good trend, in my opinion," Madfes stated. BuzzFeed also spoke with gastroenterologist Dr. Supriya Rao, who denied being aware of advantages drinking aloe vera juice can have for the digestive system. "In my experience, aloe vera juice is not helpful — and, in some cases, can actually be harmful," Rao said.

The potential benefits of drinking aloe vera juice

However, oftentimes there are two sides to every story, and such is the case when it comes to medical experts' opinions regarding drinking aloe vera juice

According to WebMD, when aloe vera is mixed with water to create aloe vera juice, there can be health benefits including heartburn and constipation relief, not to mention the healthy dose of nutrients and antioxidants aloe vera juice provides, including Vitamin A, C, and E, calcium, and magnesium. The Cleveland Clinic also notes these health benefits, adding that drinking aloe vera could also be good for maintaining eye health and may help clear up acne by giving skin extra hydration. Finally, Healthline points to the potential for the product to help reduce pain in patients suffering from oral mucositis and chemotherapy-induced stomatitis, although more long-term studies are required.

So, what's the bottom line? If you're considering drinking aloe vera juice, consult your own doctor, who knows your individual health needs, first.