An upset stomach or a tummy ache affects everyone, almost every day. They’re very common, especially since it has dozens of causes. Fortunately, natural remedies such as essential oils for upset stomach are very soothing. I propose looking into their benefits together so you can feel better fast.
In this article, I’ll talk about:
- The way essential oils can help with all stomach related issues. Nausea and diarrhea, stomach pain, stomach bug and cramps can all be improved naturally.
- The pros and cons of some of the best Aromatherapy oils for upset stomach.
- How to use these aromatic essences to enjoy their health effects.
- The causes and symptoms of an upset stomach, with a few prevention tips.
- Blend recipes for the natural treatment of stomach problems.
Best Essential Oils for Upset Stomach (Pros and Cons)
Upset stomach is actually a more general term that refers to many digestive problems. These problems can be of an emotional or bacterial/viral nature. They can be divided into cramps and acid reflux and each can be caused by dozens of other problems.
Usually, these problems are not serious. That’s why they can easily be treated or soothed with essential oils.
Of course, there are also situations when things can get worse. Certain signs can indicate a more serious health issue, and must be medically investigated. I will tell you about this too, in the last part of the article.
The conventional treatment of an upset stomach depends on its cause. Usually though, it involves antacid pills, anti-inflammatories and pain-relievers. In some cases, the treatment may involve antibiotics too. Especially if the nature of the stomach problem is viral or bacterial.
How Can Essential Oils Help with an Upset Stomach?
Concentration-wise, essential oils are between herbal teas and pills. Sometimes, they can actually succeed where antibiotics fail. That happens because viruses develop resistance to one active compound. But essential oils contain tens and even hundreds of active compounds that attack the virus from many directions.
Today, there are many extraction methods available. The most useful and common essential oil extraction method is by steam vapors. They extract the heavy oil molecules from the plant glands, resulting in a concentrated plant essence.
A byproduct of essential oil extraction is the hydrosol (floral water). It‘s an aromatic water infused with the remaining minerals, vitamins and trace oil molecules.
Since they are water-soluble only, they could not make it into the essential oil. So, we get a less potent natural plant extract, very good at soothing digestive problems.
The best essential oils for upset stomach need to be:
- Antispasmodic (this property calms and relaxes muscle contractions).
- Anti-inflammatory (soothes inflammation and speeds up recovery).
- Analgesic (relieves pain in the digestive system).
- Digestive (stimulates the production of digestive juices like bile). The increase of digestive juices can neutralize the excess acid from the stomach. This prevents heartburn and acid reflux.
- Anti-ulcer (thickens the stomach mucus lining to protect from acid damage).
- Carminative (relieves gas and bloating).
- Antibacterial and antiviral (they can put an end to diarrhea caused by pathogens from food or airborne).
- Able to help with nausea too.
- Strengthen the immune system.
- Stimulate the nervous system and lift up the mood.
To some extent, almost all aromatic oils can do these things. But some of them are really excellent for digestive problems. I’ve picked 3 of the best, to talk about their pros and cons.
A blend with all 3 will take care of almost all upset stomach symptoms. But you’ll get lists with other great oils to use for various symptoms if they are the cause of your discomfort.
The best essential oils for an upset stomach are Lemon, Coriander and Roman Chamomile. Now, let’s see why.
1) Lemon Essential Oil
Botanical name: Citrus limon.
- Lemon essential oil is great as an antacid remedy. This means the oil can work to neutralize the gastric acid that leaves that sour taste in the mouth. Excess and prolonged acidity can destroy the stomach lining and cause ulcers.
- Thus, the use of Lemon oil for upset stomach can bring the digestion back to normal. It stimulates bile production too.
- Lemon is among the best essential oils for nausea and diarrhea too. It has antibacterial and antiviral effects, which help to restore the digestive flora.
- Lemon oil can make the blood more fluid, which makes it dangerous for those with high BP.
- The oil should also not be used in case of epilepsy, asthma or gallstones.
- If the oil is expressed, it can cause skin burning during sun exposure.
Why I like it:
Lemon essential oil smells great and it’s very uplifting. It makes a digestive blend more enjoyable to use. The oil is also great for cholesterol and cellulite, and of course acne.
2) Coriander Essential Oil
Botanical name: Coriandrum sativum.
- Coriander oil is among the best at stimulating digestion. It’s also good at cleaning the stomach from toxins. The oil increases the production of gastric juices. They boost the digestion of the food and push it towards the intestines. Thus, it maintains the stomach clean and protected.
- The oil also has antibacterial properties. They actually enhance the antibacterial effects of Lemon oil.
- Coriander is among the best essential oils for sour taste from the stomach. It eliminates gas and bloating too.
- It can also soothe abdominal pain caused by cramps.
- Coriander oil for an upset stomach is not recommended to people with asthma.
- Those prone to seizures and other diseases should ask their doctors first.
- When used in large amounts and for long periods of time, it can be toxic to the kidneys.
Why I like it:
The aroma alone of Coriander can stimulate the senses and make you feel better. Added to digestive blends, Coriander can also help with nausea, diarrhea, etc. It can also relieve tension and fatigue.
3) Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Botanical name: Chamaemelum nobile/Anthemis nobilis.
- Chamomile has many virtues! Used as an essential oil for upset stomach can control the inflammation of the stomach lining. That in turn, leads to less pain and discomfort.
- At the same time, Roman Chamomile can inhibit muscle contractions in the GI tract. This effect also adds up to relief from cramps and abdominal pain.
- The oil is very calming for the nervous system. This makes it great against stress-related digestive issues.
- People prone to seizures or epilepsy must seek their doctor’s approval first.
- In high amounts, Roman Chamomile can cause drowsiness and/or vertigo.
- Avoid using more than 10 – 15% of this oil in your blends.
Why I like it:
Roman Chamomile is among the safest essential oils for a stomach bug. It’s also safe for stomach pain and diarrhea. It enhances the beneficial effects of all the other digestive oils. This oil is also great for anxiety and stress.
Best essential oils for stomach cramps:
- Clove bud
- Roman Chamomile
These essential oils are great for stomach bug too. It is also known as stomach flu or gastroenteritis. They’re useful because they have high antibacterial and antiviral effects. But they’re also calming and antispasmodic.
Best essential oils for gastric acid (gastritis, heartburn, etc.):
- Roman Chamomile
What is the best essential oil for nausea? The best aromatic oil to use for nausea and dizziness and even vomiting needs to be astringent and somewhat bitter.
This kind of smell can “cut” the nausea sensation. It can also improve digestion and circulation. The latter can supply the brain with more oxygen. More oxygen helps to relieve nausea and bring a sense of stability. Thus, here are the best oils for nausea, dizziness, and vomiting:
- Petitgrain (for children)
- Sweet Orange
Best essential oils for diarrhea and nausea:
- Tea Tree
- Clove bud
When it comes to an upset stomach and diarrhea treatment, essential oils are very useful. They’re concentrated enough to be able to destroy pathogens that cause diarrhea. Check out the following article to learn more about the natural treatment of diarrhea:
Now you know what essential oils are good for stomach problems. Some of them can be used for almost all digestive issues, while others are more suited for some conditions. But a blend of a few aromatic oils for upset stomach can take care of all symptoms.
How to Use Essential Oils for Upset Stomach
Many people still believe that if they’re natural, essential oils can be taken internally. Being natural does not guarantee it is safe to ingest.
Essential oils should be taken internally only after talking to a doctor first. The right dose can help you heal and recover.
The wrong dose though, can make things worse and cause additional damage. The right internal dose of aromatic oils depends on the medical history of the patient. Other deciding factors include the age, the gender and current treatments (if any).
In other words, I don’t recommend ingesting essential oils for an upset stomach. Not without medical counsel. Some aromatic oils can interact with other drugs. They can also burn and/or irritate the throat and stomach.
The safest methods of enjoying the benefits of aroma oils are:
- Topical application (massage) – Mix 12 – 18 drops of essential oil per Oz carrier oil. Massage the abdomen with clockwise movements for a few minutes and keep it warm. Repeat 3 – 5 times a day, for up to 10 days.
- Diffusion – The amount of essence used in a diffuser depends on its specifications and the area in which the oil’s diffused. Usually, you can use between 5 to 20 drops of aromatic oil for 20-30 minutes only. You can repeat every 2 hours or more and always in a well-ventilated room. Otherwise, the oils can saturate the air and cause nausea, headaches, etc.
- Aromatic bath – Mix about 10 drops of essential oil for upset stomach with a cup of salt. It can be Epsom, pink, sea, etc. Add the mixture to a hot bath water and inhale deeply.
Through inhalation, you could benefit from 50 – 70% of the oil’s effects. While through a massage, only 5 – 10% of the oil molecules can enter the body. Both ways are safe and efficient against an upset stomach.
Upset Stomach Causes, Symptoms, Tips and Recipes
Like I said in the beginning, most stomach problems aren’t dangerous. Most go away on their own, and others can easily be calmed with natural remedies. Teas and essential oils make a great ally in getting well from an upset stomach fast.
Still, there are cases when you should go to the doctor right away. If you ever notice any blood in your stool or the stomach pain continues for more than 2 days, for example. These are two important signs that may indicate a more serious problem.
The signs and symptoms of an upset stomach can be one or more of the following:
- Acid reflux (heartburn).
- Sour taste in the mouth.
- Stomach pain.
- Bloating and gas.
- Discomfort from slow digestion.
The causes for an upset stomach can be many and very diverse:
- Fatty foods.
- Processed foods.
- Food excesses in general.
- Acidic fruits and juices (citrus fruits), tomatoes and onions.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Rare diseases (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, etc.).
- Indigestion/food poisoning.
- A hiatus hernia.
- Gastritis (stomach disease).
- Gastroenteritis (stomach and intestines disease).
You’ve probably experienced some digestive issues and felt the discomfort by now. Most of them are easy to soothe with a bit of relaxation, a warm tea and an essential oil massage for an upset stomach.
Speaking of which, I’ll end the article with a few good recipes. Make sure to pick one and try it next time for a better digestion.
Tips to Prevent an Upset Stomach
When it comes to our health, the best thing to do is to adopt some good habits to prevent them from happening. Here are a few tips and ideas for you to try to avoid stomach problems as much as possible:
- Try to limit the consumption of alcohol, coffee, and tobacco, if possible.
- Avoid eating onions, tomatoes and citrus fruits that increase acidity in the stomach.
- Limit the consumption of foods that are too fatty or spicy. Too much vinegar and pickled foods can also cause hyperacidity.
- Reduce the intake of sugar, which causes inflammation.
- Avoid food excesses and chew slowly at each meal. That will improve the digestion and warn you when you’re full.
- Whether they’re foods or drinks, too hot or too cold is also bad for the stomach.
- Eat biscuits with your meals instead of white or toast bread.
- Sparkling water should also be avoided.
- Avoid eating late at night. Your last meal should be eaten with at least 2 hours before bedtime.
- Use Aromatherapy to relax and unwind, relieve muscle tension and lower blood pressure. Less stress and anxiety will benefit your digestive system greatly.
- Wear diffuser bracelets to enjoy the effects of the oils on your psyche and digestion.
Essential Oil Recipes (Diarrhea, Nausea, Stomach Pain, etc.)
Before concluding the article, I’ll help you out with a few simple DIY recipes for an upset stomach. Pick one and try it with the first occasion. I’d very much like to hear how you felt after using it or if you adapted the recipe.
Upset Stomach Recipe (Gastritis)
- Peppermint essential oil: 5 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 5 drops
- Coriander essential oil: 5 drops
- Carrier oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Mix well and shake before each use. Apply a moderate amount on the stomach area and rub the blend in with clockwise movements. Use before each meal on the stomach and after the meal on the solar plexus. Keep at it for 2 weeks.
Upset Stomach Diffuser Recipe (Ulcer)
- Basil essential oil: 20 drops
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 20 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 10 drops
- Sweet Marjoram essential oil: 20 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 10 drops
Pour all these oils in an empty dark colored bottle of about 10 ml (an empty essential oil bottle). Use only a few drops per diffusion session. A diffusion session refers to 20 – 30 minutes of active diffusion, every 2 hours (at least), in a well-ventilated room.
Upset Stomach Recipe (Heartburn/Acid reflux)
- Coriander essential oil: 5 drops
- Bergamot essential oil: 5 drops
- Cardamom essential oil: 5 drops
- Carrier oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Apply as suggested in other massage blends, before and after the meal. The carrier oil can be anything you have at hand. Unrefined Sunflower oil, Olive, Sweet Almond oil, etc. These essential oils for upset stomach can increase the production of gastric juice and neutralize the acid.
Upset Stomach Preventive Diffuser Recipe
- Fennel essential oil: 10 drops
- Coriander essential oil: 10 drops
- Cardamom essential oil: 10 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 20 drops
Mix all the oils in an empty, dark glass bottle. Use a few drops in a diffuser during your meal or after, several times a day. Just remember that there is active diffusion and passive diffusion.
The latter refers to the oils’ ability to continue dispersing through the air. That continues to happen even after you’ve turned off the device.
That’s why 20 – 30-minute diffusions are enough. Studies show that 60+ minutes of inhaling active oil molecules have opposite effects. The oils can raise the pulse rate, make you nervous and anxious, stress your body and mind, etc.
Now you know what essential oil is good for upset stomach and how to use it. The best ones have antispasmodic and digestive effects. They soothe the pain, cramps and neutralize hyperacidity.
They’re easy and very pleasant to use. On top of benefiting your digestive system, essential oils for upset stomach can also enhance your mood.
Have you tried Aromatherapy for an upset stomach before, and if you did, how did you feel afterward? I like to hear from you guys, so let me know what you think, in the comments section.