The aloe latex contains anthraquinones, which have a stimulant laxative activity. Studies in rats have shown that aloe latex increases intestinal water content, stimulates mucus secretion, and induces intestinal peristalsis (Ishii et al 1994). However, aloe as a laxative is more irritating than other herbs (Reynolds & Dweck 1999) and long-term use can cause an electrolyte imbalance through depletion of potassium salts. Alternatives are recommended if long-term treatment is required.

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