Digestion plays a very important role in the health and well-being of people. A good digestion can help the body have a good immune system and fight diseases. Unfortunately, today’s lifestyle can lead to many digestive problems. But luckily, you can improve many of those problems with several essential oils for digestive health.
That is exactly what you’ll find in this article. The opening will refer to a little bit of necessary knowledge on the gut (digestive system). Those details will be followed by tips on how to use essential oils safely to strengthen your gut and health.
You will then find the most important categories of digestive disorders with their essential oils. There are 25 essential oils that address those specific issues. You’ll get all the info on each type of oil so you know which one to use for whatever upsets your stomach.
At the end of the article, you will find a few Aromatherapy recipes. Those recipes (blends) are meant to help you soothe your stomach and improve the digestion.
I hope all this information will help you understand your digestive system better. It’s important to know its role in your health and well-being. This is your chance to make the best of essential oils and feel good again.
Did you know?
- The digestive system is connected with the spinal cord and the nervous system. But, the digestive system has its own “command center” too. It’s known as enteric nervous system.
Know Your Gut and How to Use Essential Oils to Improve Your Digestive Health
The digestive system is basically a cluster of organs that work together to digest the food. Their role is to extract nutrients from the food and help the body function, develop and repair itself.
Digestion is a process that turns all the food stored in the stomach into smaller pieces. Those pieces then get turned into tiny molecules. Those molecules will then travel through the small intestine. In the end, they get absorbed into the bloodstream and other organs that need them.
The gastrointestinal tract is the one that connects the mouth (where the food enters the body) with the stomach (where the digestion process takes place).
In the gastrointestinal tract live millions of bacteria (good and bad). Unfortunately, the gastrointestinal tract (GI) can suffer from certain ailments. Millions of people everywhere suffer from GI disorders. The most common digestive problems can be:
- Excessive gas.
- Acid reflux.
- Abdominal pain.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Food allergies and poisoning.
- Weight loss or weight gain.
- Anxiety or depression.
- Even memory problems, etc.
These digestive problems can affect the mouth, the intestines, the stomach and the bowels.
Besides a lifestyle change, where you remove from your life as many stress factors as possible, you also need to create a healthy eating habit. Try to consume more fibers and fermented foods. The latter introduce good bacteria into your body.
Good bacteria can help kill the bad bacteria from your digestive system. When the good ones win, they can lead to a better functioning of all your organs and a stronger immune system.
How to Use Essential Oils to Improve Digestive Disorders Safely
If you want to use essential oils to restore your digestive health, take into consideration that the treatment must be adjusted according to:
- Your general health.
- The disorder meant to improve or treat.
- The oil to use.
- Personal preferences.
Essential oils for digestive health can be used in more than one way:
- They can be taken internally.
Essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil and put in an enteric coated capsule. That capsule needs to make it to your stomach, and the coated capsule can ensure they do so. Otherwise, the oils may be absorbed into the mucous membranes of the esophagus or gastrointestinal tract.
You can either buy capsules that were already formulated and dosed to avoid complications. Or you can make them yourself. If you choose the latter then you’d need to talk to a doctor first to see what the right dose would be for you. You also need to be aware of the oils’ side effects and contraindications before taking them internally.
- They can be mixed with carriers and applied on the skin.
Again, dilute essential oils with carrier oils! You could use carriers like Sweet Almond, Grapeseed oil, Jojoba or Avocado for massage blends. Keep them at hand and use whenever you feel bloated or indisposed among others. Stomach aches, indigestion and constipation will eventually back off with an essential oils massage.
Start with a low dilution percentage, until you see some results. 1% dilution would be 6 drops of essential oils per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (10 ml).
- Essential oils for digestive health can also be inhaled.
Essential oils evaporate fast. They can also get into your stomach through the bloodstream quite fast. They can also reach your nervous system (brain) fast enough to induce relaxation.
Pour a few drops of essential oil on a cotton pad and inhale from it for a few minutes. Or make yourself a steamer with a few cups of boiling water and 2 – 3 drops of essential oil. Cover your head with a towel on top of the steamer and inhale until the steam gets colder.
This method not only does it calm down digestive spasms and sets your digestion in motion, but it can also help you breathe easier.
I do not recommend sniffing directly from the bottle because of two reasons:
- Some essential oils can burn the mucous membrane of the nose. They’re that powerful!
- Left uncovered, essential oils will evaporate and their shelf life will be shorter.
You must always use the recommended dose for all these methods to work safely. Especially if you want to improve your digestive problems and restore your gut health in a natural way.
Precautions When Using Essential Oils for Digestive Health
- If you’re taking other medicines, DO NOT stop your treatment for essential oils! Always talk to your doctor before undergoing alternative treatments.
- Children, sensitive people and pregnant or breastfeeding women, elderly and people suffering from certain diseases should consult a doctor before taking EOs internally. Or before inhaling and applying them on the skin.
- Essential oils are not meant to be used as treatment for severe cases. Only mild to moderate digestive problems can be improved in this manner.
With all this out of the way now, it’s time we move on to more serious business. Let’s see which essential oils for digestive health are good to use, when needed.
Did you know?
- Recent discoveries suggest that the appetite is controlled by the gut, not the brain. When we eat, certain hormones are released. They act like a sort of neurotransmitters and send the brain the message to stop eating.
Essential Oils for Digestive Health per Categories of Disorders
Essential oils are capable of improving digestive problems like heartburn, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. I’ve split these disorders into four categories so you can find your oils easier.
The treatment of digestive disorders should always begin with the restoration of your digestive system’s flora. This can be done by combining probiotics with the essential oils you’re using.
Essential oils with their “volatile” nature (they evaporate fast) have this great ability. They can enter the bloodstream very fast. That makes them a good natural remedy for mild and moderate digestive disorders.
Essential Oils for Digestive Health: Heartburn, Indigestion and Acid Reflux
1/ Lavender essential oil – has antibacterial, sedative and anti-inflammatory qualities. It can help with a slow digestion. It can also stimulate the liver to produce more bile and help the food travel easier through the digestive tract.
2/ Basil essential oil – not only does it act as a tonic for the digestive system, but it is also soothing. It can reduce cramps and excessive gas. It can also calm down the muscles and facilitate a soft bowel movement. Also, Basil oil protects the digestive tract from infections or irritation.
3/ Peppermint essential oil – has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. That means it can kill bad bacteria and prevent the stomach’s irritation. Peppermint’s unique chemical constituents can help the muscles of your digestive system relax. That will let the gas pass more easily. It can also speed up a slow digestion.
4/ Geranium essential oil – is good at eliminating intestinal worms. It has antimicrobial qualities. Geranium oil can also stimulate the production of gastric juices and bile for a better digestion. It can strengthen the gut by influencing the endocrine glands. Geranium is good at regulating all secretions in the body.
5/ Roman Chamomile essential oil – is gentle to the body yet it has antibiotic qualities as well. It can kill bacteria and viruses (pathogens) that cause digestive disorders. Roman Chamomile is a great essential oil for digestive health. It helps the stomach run smoothly by stimulating gastric juices that promote a good digestion.
6/ Bergamot essential oil – is a sedative. It has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can relax the muscles of your digestive tract too. Bergamot oil is also good at stimulating digestive juices for a smooth digestion. It can regulate bowel movements and improve constipation.
Essential Oils for Digestive Health: Excessive Gas, Flatulence and Abdominal Pain
7/ Marjoram essential oil – has antispasmodic and analgesic properties. It can also kill pathogens and it can relax the abdominal muscles to release excessive gas and soothe the pain. Starting with its scent, which stimulates the salivary glands, Marjoram oil can stimulate all the digestive juices. That is helpful when we’re looking for a better digestion. It can ease up bowel movements as well.
8/ Fennel essential oil – has antibacterial qualities. It can also stimulate a slow digestion and balance the bacteria in your digestive tract. At the same time, Fennel is energizing for the body.
9/ Clove essential oil – can bring relief in the case of flora lining inflammation. It’s soothing and relaxing to the muscles of the digestive tract. Its high percentage of eugenol helps killing pathogens that may cause problems in the digestive tract. Take it with meals and let it stimulate your digestion.
10/ Coriander essential oil – is one of the best essential oils for digestive health. It can maintain your stomach active and toned, and stimulate its juices to digest the food properly. It can also kill harmful bacteria and aid in relieving painful gas and stomach aches.
11/ Tarragon essential oil – can stimulate a slow digestion. But at the same time, it can also stimulate the appetite. Tarragon helps the liver produce a good amount of bile for a better digestion. A good digestion means a good assimilation of nutrients too. It can also help eliminate toxins out of your body.
12/ Cumin essential oil – has great antibacterial and antispasmodic properties. As long as you use a small dose, Cumin can help relieve gas and stops it from forming again. It is a great toner for the stomach and stimulant of the digestive juices that promote a good digestion. Be careful though! Too much Cumin oil and it can do the exact opposite.
13/ Caraway essential oil – is antispasmodic. That means it relaxes the stomach muscles to make the gas release easier. It can also speed up the digestion by stimulating the bile and gastric juices. Caraway can kill pathogens also. That means it can protect against infections or inflammations of the digestive tract.
14/ Oregano essential oil – is a very powerful natural antibiotic. It can kill all pathogens that wreak havoc in your gut. It can also restore the balance of enzymes and good bacteria in your digestive tract. However, this effect can only work if Oregano oil is taken on a short period of time and in the right dose. Overdosing may cause serious damage to your gut flora and disrupt its balance.
15/ Cardamom essential oil – has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties as well. It can soothe and relax digestive muscular spasms and stimulate a slow digestion. It is also good at maintaining the integrity and health of the colon.
16/ Nutmeg essential oil – has sedative qualities. It can soothe stomach aches and clear indigestion. It can also help with the gas relief and a slow digestion. Nutmeg oil has to be consumed in low doses, as it can stimulate the appetite as well.
But here, you can also use Chamomile, Peppermint and Basil essential oils.
Essential Oils for Digestive Health: Diarrhea
17/ Sage essential oil – has many beneficial properties. Among them, we have its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic qualities. It is beneficial to the liver and bile. It promotes a good digestion and it can also stop excessive gas and acids from causing more digestive problems.
18/ Spearmint essential oil – can also help with the relaxation of the stomach muscles. It also facilitates gas release. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities, making it a good protector of the digestive tract.
19/ Tea Tree essential oil – has strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. They make it efficient at killing pathogens that cause digestive disorders. It can also stimulate the production of gastric juices and promote a proper digestion.
20/ Ginger essential oil – can mildly stimulate the slow digestion and soothe all stomach cramps and gas. Applied on the lower back area, it can stimulate the large intestine and its bowel movements. It can warm the area where applied.
21/ Savory essential oil – is related to Thyme, therefore it has antibacterial and antifungal qualities. It also has sedative properties, which means it is good against stomach aches. It improves the digestion and it is known to help with diarrhea.
22/ Rosemary essential oil – is among the best essential oils for digestive health. It generally boosts the entire immune system. But it is especially good at improving indigestion and relieving from gas and cramps. Rosemary oil is liver-friendly, so it reflects on the good functioning of the bile as well. It promotes a proper digestion.
Besides those essential oils, you can also use Lavender, Basil, Cardamom, Roman Chamomile and Geranium essential oils.
Essential Oils for Digestive Health: Constipation
23/ Thyme essential oil – can kill intestinal worms and other pathogens that cause digestive disorders. Thyme is a good essential oil for digestive health because it can tone up the digestive system. It relaxes the stomach muscles and forces the gas out of your intestines. That implies good and easy bowel movements too.
24/ Bitter Orange essential oil – can stimulate all the digestive juices and promote a proper digestion. It can also improve the blood circulation, which helps with bowel movements. It is a toner of the whole digestive system and a booster of the immune system. It also relieves intestinal gas and stomach pain.
25/ Black Pepper essential oil – protects against spasms and stomach cramps. It has antibacterial properties. Thanks to that, Black Pepper oil can reduce the formation of further gasses and help release them from your body. It does that before they cause more discomfort. It stimulates the release of gastric juices into the stomach, promoting a healthy digestion.
But you can also use Ginger, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile and Basil essential oils.
Dilute these essential oils in carrier oils and massage your stomach area, your lower back area, and even your wrists (on the pulse).
You can also add a few drops of a certain essential oil diluted in a cup of fat milk to your bath to quiet down the stomach and its problems. Another way to use them is to apply warm compresses on the stomach area and hold for a longer time.
Did you know?
- The gut is where 80% of the immune system originates from.
Aromatherapy Digestive Blends
It’s good to have so many essential oils for digestive health to choose from. That gives you the liberty to give in to your preferences, rather than being forced to use something you don’t like. Here are a few ideas on digestive blends to make at home. Use them whenever necessary.
#1: “Better Digestion” Aromatherapy Blend
- Chamomile essential oil: 3 drops
- Rosemary essential oil: 3 drops
- Clove essential oil: 4 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 5 drops
- Avocado carrier oil: 2 oz. (60 ml)
Blend all ingredients together and shake well before use. Apply on the stomach area each time you need it or after a large meal. You can also apply and massage the blend on your lower back area to stimulate the large intestine as well. Keep it stored in the fridge.
#2 “No More Trouble” Stomach Blend
- Ginger essential oil: 5 drops
- Thyme essential oil: 3 drops
- Cardamom essential oil: 5 drops
- Basil essential oil: 3 drops
- Sweet Almond carrier oil: 2 Oz. (60 ml)
Add all your essential oils into the carrier oil and shake well before each use. Keep it stored in the fridge or other dark and cool place. Try to use within a month.
This essential oils blend for digestive health is meant to take away the nausea caused by too much gas in the intestines. The oils in it will help relieve stomach aches and excessive gas. But they can also help speed up a slow digestion and ease up bowel movements.
Feel free to replace these essential oils with others you like from the above list. Remember to use a 2.5% dilution (15 drops of essential oils per 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (10 ml)).
As it turns out, we have lots of choices when it comes to using essential oils for digestive health. With enough sleep, less stress and a balanced eating habit, essential oils could get you rid of many mild or moderate digestive problems.
Don’t forget to consult your doctor first if you consider taking them internally. Also, make sure your essential oils are pure and organic to use in Aromatherapy.
Have you ever used essential oils to improve your digestive problems? Which one worked better for you?