Digestion is one of the vital processes of your body. When it’s dysfunctional the whole system suffers and you might feel helpless. IBS is usually a problem that can be dealt with. However hard it may seem now, you can do something about it in a very noninvasive way. You can use essential oils for irritable bowel syndrome to improve its symptoms. In time, this will help you become an expert at managing it.
Unfortunately, there is no exact treatment to follow because each person is different. But there are ways to understand the condition and improve its symptoms. Of course, there will still be moments when some digestive problems may occur.
That is normal though. With the experience of managing the IBS you will know what to do when something bothers you.
In the first part of this article I will tell you about IBS and how to find the appropriate treatment. In the second part, you will see what the studies have to say about the use of essential oils in IBS.
You will also read about the 5 best essential oils for irritable bowel syndrome. I’ve put up a blend for each. I hope those blends will help you start using your oils right away.
Finding the Appropriate Treatment for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
The colon is the largest of the intestines. It collects all the waste from the body after the liver and the stomach has finished breaking down the food for nutrients.
The IBS is a very common ailment that affects the colon. It starts in the digestive tract and basically affects its muscular contractions. This effect may lead to constipation or diarrhea (and sometimes both).
Waste can block a large part of the colon causing the accumulation of toxins. Left there for long periods of time, the toxins may reach the bloodstream and affect other organs.
IBS is also characterized by abnormal bowel movements and abdominal pain. The latter is caused by trapped gas. The best part about this disorder is that it doesn’t damage the colon. It doesn’t damage it because it is not an inflammatory disorder like the IBD is – Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This one is more serious and includes affections like Crohn’s disease.
Essential oils for irritable bowel syndrome can improve and even treat this condition in a noninvasive manner.
Anxiety, stress and depression usually make the IBS symptoms worse. Long periods of stress create chaos inside the body affecting all its vital processes. That includes the digestion, leading to IBS. Essential oils can also help with the psychological aspect too.
Maybe you are the type that doesn’t adjust well to changes in general. Or you can’t really adjust to changes related to traveling. These are stressful factors that can affect the otherwise normal bowel movements.
The causes of this ailment are not really known. But there are a few other factors that may contribute to its development.
They may be:
- Too many antibiotics taken for long periods of time.
- Gastrointestinal infections.
- Disrupted flora balance.
- Coeliac disease.
- Overuse of laxatives.
- Food allergies and lactose intolerance.
- Bad diet.
The IBS symptoms may be improved with a bit of extra care about the intestinal flora. When this one becomes disrupted it affects the entire digestive tract. It can even stop the liver from eliminating the toxins.
When this happens you can stimulate the intestinal transit and re-establish the balance of the gut. Essential oils for irritable bowel syndrome can be used on a daily basis to stimulate digestion. While they do that they can also kill the bad bacteria in the gut. Many oils have powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
How do you know whether you suffer from IBS or not?
Only a physician may diagnose you with IBS, but generally speaking, you need to:
- Feel abdominal pain or discomfort for 12 weeks in a year. They do not have to be consecutive.
- Feel a great relief when you go to the bathroom.
- Notice a change in the aspect and texture of the stool.
- Notice a change in the pattern of the frequency of going to the bathroom. Less than 3 times a week and more than 3 times a day is a believed to be a clear sign of IBS.
- Have a lot of gas and bloating that’s constantly bothering you.
There is no standard treatment for IBS. To find the proper one, there are a few things that must be taken into consideration. First, the type of the main digestive problem matters a lot. Whether it is constipation or diarrhea, they can influence the type of essential oil for irritable bowel syndrome to be used.
The treatment also depends a lot on the personality of the person suffering from IBS. His or her lifestyle is also important in finding a good treatment.
This last statement brings us to the next chapter of the article. I’ve found 5 essential oils that were proven to be efficient in the treatment of IBS. We’ll see exactly why and how to use them in your digestive blends.
5 Essential Oils for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and How to Use Them
Studies and experiments have been conducted on several essential oils. Some were proven more efficient than others. They were found to be more efficient because of their strong antibacterial action.
The advantage of essential oils over antibiotics is that they act in different ways. That is because of their many chemical constituents. Attacked in so many ways, the bacteria can’t really develop any resistance.
- Cumin essential oil.
This oil has strong anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic qualities. It is also a good analgesic, meaning it can relieve the associated pain. It can stimulate the bile and gastric juices, speeding up a slow digestion.
In one study on 57 patients, Cumin oil was found to be a very effective natural remedy against IBS symptoms.
It had helped with abdominal pain, bloating and incomplete defecation. It was especially helpful for patients with constipation. The oil was able to influence the frequency and consistency of their stool.
Relief from Stomach Pain
- Cumin essential oil: 15 drops
- Basil essential oil: 15 drops
- John’s Wort oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Sweet Almond oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
This is a 5% dilution (6 drops x 5/Oz carrier oil). Mix the oils and shake well before use. Apply on the stomach area with clockwise massage movements as many times as necessary (usually 2 or 3 times a day).
- Peppermint essential oil.
This is one of the best essential oils for irritable bowel syndrome. It is so because it has strong antispasmodic qualities. It can relieve from muscle spasms that become painful.
However, the studies didn’t report any change in stool frequency or consistency. They also reported the oil of Peppermint may cause heartburn and belching.
Peppermint oil has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can stimulate a slow digestion and improve stress symptoms also. It also has pain-killing effects. This oil is mostly suited for indigestion and gastro-intestinal cramps.
- Peppermint essential oil: 10 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 5 drops
- Basil essential oil: 7 drops
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 2 drops
- Olive oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
Apply this blend on your stomach area and the lower back area after you’ve eaten. You can do it after each consistent meal you serve on a daily basis.
- Ginger essential oil.
This oil is also great at soothing inflammation and pain in the GI tract. It has antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. These qualities make it one of the popular essential oils for irritable bowel syndrome.
It is often added to recipes, especially in the Indian cuisine, to prevent stomach problems. It can be used to improve and treat indigestion, gas and stomach spasms. It is also useful in upset stomachs, diarrhea and even constipation.
Use it with care though, because it can stimulate the appetite as well. Bacterial infections in the intestines and food poisoning can also be improved with Ginger essential oil.
Constipation Relief Blend
- Ginger essential oil: 8 drops
- Tarragon essential oil: 4 drops
- Sweet Orange essential oil: 6 drops
- Cumin essential oil: 5 drops
- Jojoba oil: 2 Oz. (30ml)
Blend the oils together and keep the blend stored in a dark and dry place. Shake well before each use! Apply around 8 drops of this blend on the stomach and the lower back areas.
Then, gently massage the skin with clockwise movements. You can apply it after lunch and dinner, for 7 days straight. Take a break of at least 5 days before repeating the treatment.
- Fennel essential oil.
This oil is among the best essential oils for irritable bowel syndrome. It disinfects and kills bacteria that affect the balance of the gut.
It also has good antispasmodic effects and it can help clear the colon from old and new waste. It is soothing for the GI cramps and it can release trapped gases that add to the general stomach discomfort.
Gastritis Relief Blend
- Sweet Fennel essential oil: 15 drops
- Coriander essential oil: 8 drops
- Juniper essential oil: 8 drops
- Sesame oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
Blend well all the oils and keep them stored in a dark, dry and cool place. It is important to shake well the blend before each use to activate and properly disperse all the oil molecules. Apply a moderate amount on the stomach area and massage it all into the skin. Repeat as many times necessary.
- Lavender essential oil.
Lavender is a universally used and known essential oil. It can soothe bug bites and repair damaged skin tissue. It can relax and improve the quality of sleep. But it can also help with digestive problems because it has strong antimicrobial effects.
It has pain killing effects too, which makes it very appreciated in most treatments. If there’s one ingredient you can add to your digestive blends that’s lavender – a very good essential oil for irritable bowel syndrome.
A few tests found the oil of Lavender to be among the potent ones. It has been proven that it can inhibit the growth of germs and bacteria like E. coli.
Spasms and Difficult Digestion
- True Lavender essential oil ( angustifolia): 20 drops
- Dill essential oil: 8 drops
- Anise essential oil: 8 drops
- Cajuput essential oil: 8 drops
- Arnica carrier oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
- John’s Wort oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
Blend well all the oils together and keep the blend stored in a dark, cool and dry place. Apply a moderate amount on the stomach and the lower back areas. You can apply as many times as necessary.
Keep in mind though, that long-term treatments with the same oils will lose their efficacy. To avoid this, you can take a week break after 7 days of applications before repeating the treatment. Or you can replace the essential oils in the recipe with others that offer the same benefits.
You now know there are many natural ingredients you can use to improve this ailment. Luckily, IBS does not affect the colon, neither does it cause cancer but it can cause a lot of discomfort. With a bit of attention and care for the foods you eat and the habits you have, you can get rid of many digestive problems.
All 5 essential oils for irritable bowel syndrome from above have been tested and their effects registered. Thankfully, we have access to that data and we can form an informed opinion on how efficient they are.
However, it is important to seek the advice of a doctor before using any essential oil. Please keep this in mind, especially if you suffer from other conditions or are pregnant.
Have you ever used any of the above mentioned essential oils to improve your IBS symptoms? Which one do you get along with and how do you use it? Your input will be of great help to everyone seeking for relief from stomach discomfort and pain.