Besides being disturbing, heartburn has the potential of ruining your day too. Also known as acid reflux, it is a mild health condition that can be treated naturally. Some of the best alternatives to conventional anti-acids are plant extracts. Essential oils for heartburn are aromatic, effective and easy to use.
In this article, you’ll be reading about:
- Some of the best digestive essential oils. Plus, details about what makes them effective and some cons as well. This information can help in choosing which one to use to soothe heartburn or even indigestion.
- Best ways to use aromatic oils without causing any other problems.
- A few practical blends to try next time you feel that bitter, acidic taste in your mouth.
- Some more facts about acid reflux, with safety tips to avoid unnecessary complications.
Did You Know?
- Heartburn can affect about 10% of the population, at least once a week. In other words, it’s one of the most common digestive disorders.
Best Essential Oils for Heartburn (Acid Reflux)
A slow or bad digestion is what usually triggers acid reflux. The stomach produces around 700 ml of gastric juice per meal. In total, your stomach can produce between one and three liters of gastric juice per day.
This gastric juice is made of Hydrochloric (HCl) acid, water, digestive enzymes, mucus and electrolytes. All these substances help the stomach digest and break down all the food, turning it into energy.
The stomach acid stays inside the stomach, but sometimes it can cross over into the esophagus. A large meal, obesity and pregnancy are among the causes that make the acid get out of the stomach. The acid then travels all the way up to the mouth, giving burning sensations and a bitter taste.
This condition can last anywhere between 5 minutes and 2 hours.
That’s when natural remedies can be used to soothe these uncomfortable symptoms. Essential oils are natural plant extracts. They’re very concentrated too. Thanks to their unique and complex chemical composition:
- Essential oils can stimulate the production of gastric juices. Then they stimulate the bile and pancreatic juices to neutralize the stomach acid.
- Aromatic oils can also kill bacteria and viruses that may attack the gut flora. This can prevent diarrhea and/or food poisoning (stomach flu).
- They also have antispasmodic effects, which helps soothing stomach cramps.
- Essential oils also relieve gas, which helps with bloating sensations.
- The oils also have anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are being helpful in case of IBS or stomach flu.
These are general benefits of some of the best essential oils for heartburn. Let’s see which oils are the best and why.
1) Basil Essential Oil
You’ll find this oil under the botanical name of Ocimum basilicum. This name is the only one that sets apart different oil varieties that belong to the same plant family. Basil is not only a great essential oil for heartburn. It can also help with viral infections like the flu.
- Basil has great antispasmodic effects. These effects can help in soothing stomach cramps, nausea, bloating, etc.)
- It can also kill bacteria and viruses that may disrupt the gut flora and cause further problems.
- You can also use Basil essential oil for indigestion caused by food poisoning.
- The oil can sedate and calm down an overactive stomach. It can also boost bile production that will neutralize the acid in your stomach.
- It’s not recommended to use more than 20% Basil oil in your digestive blends.
- Make sure the oil you use for heartburn relief is basilicum and not O. tenuiflorum. The latter is also known as holy basil or tulsi and has different properties.
Why I like it:
I like the fresh and mouth-watering fragrance of Basil essential oil. It can indeed increase the production of gastric juices just by smelling it. Besides its digestive benefits, Basil can also be used to purify the skin and give it tonus.
2) Peppermint Essential Oil
Also known as Mentha piperita, Peppermint is among the most used oils for digestion. For centuries, the plant is known to have calming and soothing effects on a troubled stomach. Its oil, being much concentrated, can bring faster relief.
- You can use Peppermint oil for heartburn to stimulate bile production in the liver. It can also promote the release of the bile into the small intestine. Bile neutralizes the gastric juices, soothing acid reflux in a matter of minutes.
- The oil has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. These properties can prevent the stomach flu (gastroenteritis).
- It is also effective against intestinal parasites.
- Peppermint can calm down digestive spasms and bring heartburn relief.
- The oil can also mildly sedate the stomach mucus and prevent vomiting or nausea.
- Avoid using Peppermint oil for heartburn if you suffer from epilepsy or seizures.
- The oil has estrogen-like effects.
- There are several peppermint species, so make sure your oil is 100% pure. The GC-MS report of the product should reveal exactly how pure it is. You can ask for it from the seller for free.
Why I like it:
The minty fragrance of Peppermint oil is refreshing and cooling. It is cooling when applied to the skin also. But besides its stimulant effects on the digestive system, Peppermint can be used in skin and hair care too. It’s been proven to boost hair growth.
3) Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Roman Chamomile oil is known by its botanical name of Chamaemelum nobile. Its old name was Anthemis nobilis, so if you see them both, they’re the same oil. This essential oil is great for heartburn as it is very well tolerated by most people.
- Roman Chamomile is one of the most soothing and calming essential oils. Very well tolerated, it is often used on small children as well.
- It has good anti-inflammatory properties and it improves the local blood flow. This ability can relieve pain in the stomach when dealing with cramps.
- Chamomile oil can also calm down the stomach muscles and the sphincter. Thus, it can prevent acid reflux from getting out of the stomach. It can also force the sphincter muscles to close while digesting.
- It can help you relax and improve stress-induced symptoms.
- Roman Chamomile oil can be toxic for epileptic people and pregnant women, especially in their first trimester.
- A high dosage of the oil can cause dizziness or even sleepiness.
- Do not mistake Roman for German Chamomil. The latter is a different type of oil with different benefits and properties.
Why I like it:
Roman Chamomile essential oil is great for heartburn relief. It soothes right away, and on top of that, the oil can also work wonders in skin care. It can tone the skin, calm down inflammations and acne and fight wrinkles among others.
Other good essential oils for heartburn:
Effective Ways to Use Essential Oils for Heartburn Relief
An effective method to enjoy the benefits of essential oils (EOs) is through local application.
The tiny molecules of the volatile oils enter the body and blood via sweat glands and hair follicles. They may take between 5 to 20 minutes to start working. Once inside, the oil molecules will target the affected area and start mending what’s wrong.
Depending on the oil used, they can promote the contraction of the sphincter muscles. That’ll prevent the acid from getting into the esophagus. The oils used can also relax the stomach muscles stopping or preventing spasms, etc.
Before applying them to the skin, the EOs need to be diluted first. They mix very well with carriers (vegetable oils). Otherwise, they can irritate or even sensitize the skin. Once sensitized, that part of the skin will always be sensitive to that oil or its chemical constituents.
You can simply mix up to 30 drops of EO per Oz (30ml) carrier oil. It’s necessary to rub it in and massage gently on the stomach area with clockwise movements.
You can also add up to 20 drops per cup of salt and throw it into a steaming bath water. This is another efficient way of getting heartburn relief.
Essential oils for heartburn may also be diffused. Diffuse up to 10 drops per session (30 minutes, every 2 hours). This diffusion must be made in a well-ventilated room to avoid air saturation. Air saturation leads to nausea and headaches.
Diffusions that last more than 60 minutes can make you nervous and increase blood pressure. Instead of relaxing you and decreasing the BP, as they normally do.
Practical Blends to Soothe Heartburn and Boost Digestion
You’ve seen which oils are among the best and why. You may now decide which one to buy or use to get heartburn relief and boost digestion. It’s time to move on to the practical part of this article: blending.
The following recipes are meant to help you make a soothing blend and use it right away. Or you can use them to get inspiration and make your own personal digestive blend.
Heartburn Soothing Blend Recipe
- Basil essential oil: 10 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 7 drops
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 8 drops
- Carrier oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
The carrier can be anything pure and unrefined: Olive, Sunflower, Jojoba, etc.
Mix all these oils together and shake the blend well before each use. That’ll activate the oil molecules faster. Apply a moderate amount on the stomach area and massage it in gently. Use clockwise, circular movements to stimulate digestion and bowel movements. Repeat after each meal.
Heartburn and Gastritis Blend Recipe
- Peppermint EO: 10 drops
- Basil EO: 10 drops
- Fennel EO: 5 drops
- Coriander EO: 5 drops
- Olive oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Apply a moderate amount of this blend two times a day. All the essential oils for heartburn in this recipe are easy to find and affordable. Their fragrance together may be too concentrated or herbal.
Facts about Heartburn, plus Safety Tips
A bad digestion can cause heartburn, digestive cramps or belching, gas and bloating. Stomach pain can happen on an empty stomach, as well as after a large meal. Meals that are poorly chewed and rapidly swallowed contribute to abdominal discomfort too.
An excess of coffee, tea, spicy and acidic foods, tobacco, emotional shocks and stress are too aggressive for your stomach. Sometimes infections (H. pylori) and genetics can also contribute to recurrent heartburn episodes.
Stomach acid is left out of the stomach through the sphincter muscles. This excess of acid can also cause an inflammation of the stomach mucus that leads to stomach ulcers.
Conventional medications include anti-acids that neutralize the excess stomach acid. Essential oils for heartburn can do a lot more than that. They can help boost a slow digestion, and soothe inflammations and spasms. A better digestion will prevent all the other digestive problems.
When it comes to the well-being of the stomach, there are certain things you must avoid or do carefully. Here they are:
- Avoid taking essential oils for heartburn internally, especially without medical approval. The oils can be too powerful for the sensitive mucus of the stomach and the esophagus. They can increase the burning sensation and bitter taste in your mouth. Instead of getting heartburn relief you might end up doing more harm this way.
- Use only pure essential oils and always dilute them for all skin applications.
- Test each oil for allergic reactions first. Apply a drop on the inside of your elbow and watch it for a few hours. If there’s no negative skin reaction, you should be good to use it for a longer period of time.
- Follow the recommended dosages and try not to exaggerate with their use. After each meal is usually enough to prevent or soothe acid reflux.
- If the burning sensation persists for more than 2 hours, you should go to the doctor immediately.
Heartburn can be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful too. Luckily, as often as it occurs it can also be soothed quite easily. Pharmaceuticals are usually full of side effects. Instead of rushing towards a pill, try some natural remedies first.
Essential oils for heartburn relief are among your best options. They can deal with a lot more than just neutralizing the stomach acid. Their fragrance has a direct impact on the nervous system and brain too. This means you get to feel more relaxed and optimistic after using them.
What’s your go-to natural remedy for heartburn? How do you apply or use it?