Did you know that out of 100,000 men, nearly 156 of them will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute? Because of the high number of prostate cancer patients, and the alarm rate at which this number is growing, the use of herbal remedies is as popular as ever. While there are some effective herbal remedies for prostate cancer, the use of aloe vera has been shown to cause far more harm than good. Although aloe vera does have medicinal qualities and can help treat certain health ailments, it should not be used to treat or prevent prostate cancer.
What is Aloe Vera?
Before delving into the scientific studies regarding the dangers of aloe vera for prostate cancer patients, I want to discuss the active compounds found in aloe vera.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the two most potent constituents in aloe vera include: polysaccharides and glycoproteins. Both of these compounds work to increase the activity of your immune system, reduce pain and inflammation as well as supporting expedited skin cell repair and rejuvenation.
Externally, aloe vera has been shown to be effective at treating minor abrasions and skin burns and traditionally its internal use is to treat constipation.
The Food and Drug Administration has removed laxative products with aloe as studies have found the internal consumption of aloe vera is dangerous.
Aloe Vera and Prostate Cancer – Scientific Evidence:
Although several minor compounds found in aloe vera have been shown to enhance the immune system, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that aloe may prevent or treat any form of cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, cancer patients who have injected themselves with aloe vera to help treat their cancer died due to aloe. Thus, the medical community does not condone the internal use of aloe vera for prostate cancer.
To further support the anti-aloe results, a study published by the National Toxicology Program found rats that were prescribed oral doses of aloe for two years experienced a significant increase in carcinogenic activity in the rat’s large intestines.
Even though there have not been any human studies to confirm this finding among humans, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine states that the carcinogenic activity found in the rats would likely occur in humans.
National Cancer institute: SEER Stat Fact Sheets for the Prostate
University of Maryland Medical Center: Aloe
American Cancer Society: Aloe
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Aloe