That dreadful stomach bug or flu that stops you from your normal routine, and not in a pleasant way! It causes so much discomfort, and it is also contagious. Luckily, you can always use a few great essential oils for stomach flu to speed up the recovery.
In this article, you’ll read about:
- 4 of the best essential oils for viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu). With pros and cons, and my own opinion for each.
- Practical blend recipes to help you recover faster.
- Tips on how to use these aromatic oils for stomach flu and its symptoms.
- Do you know the difference between stomach flu and the flu? If you don’t, then keep reading to find that out. It will help you use the correct treatment.
- Before concluding the article, I’m going to give you some more tips and natural remedies. You can combine them as you like, thus beating the virus faster.
Best Essential Oils for Stomach Flu and Blend Recipes to Help You Recover Faster
The stomach flu is not the flu, although they share some similar symptoms. That’s where the confusion comes from, but I’ll explain more about this difference in the next chapter. Stomach flu is caused by many types of viruses that affect the digestive system.
Everyone that comes in contact with the virus is in danger of getting sick within a day or two. The medical term for this condition is viral gastroenteritis.
Even though there’s no actual treatment for it, you can still do something to help your body fight those viruses.
One of the best natural remedies to use in viral infections is the use of essential oils. They’re natural, non-invasive and concentrated. They are also highly antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
They have many impressive qualities; many of them have already been proven by researchers. Such is the case with most of the following essential oils for stomach flu that I’m going to talk about.
1) Oregano Essential Oil for Viral Gastroenteritis
Perhaps the best essential oil for stomach flu, Oregano has been thoroughly researched. Its main chemical constituent is carvacrol. This substance was able to disintegrate the Norovirus in mice. Norovirus is the main responsible for adult gastroenteritis.
- Oregano essential oil can make the stomach flu virus inactive. In their study, it happened so within 1 hour of application.
- It is highly antiviral and antibacterial. This means, the oil can kill viruses and bacteria in the gut and strengthen the immune system of an ill person.
- You can use this oil to disinfect the surfaces of your house or office. Or you can to add it to a massage lotion for the stomach area.
- It can be a great essential oil for diarrhea, besides all the other symptoms of the stomach bug.
- The oil is considered a natural antibiotic. Because of that, too much of it can disrupt the balance of your gut flora just like regular antibiotics. There are several unpleasant conditions you might have to treat if that happens. For women, one of those conditions is Candida infection in the intimate area.
- This oil should not be taken orally without medical advice. It may trigger seizures and interact with other medications!
Why I like it:
I like to use Oregano for all sorts of infections, but I find it especially useful in digestive blends. I usually mix it with Peppermint or Cardamom essential oil and massage my stomach area after a large meal. That stimulates the digestion and I feel a lot better within an hour or so.
I have felt some of its negative effects on my own skin too. Before I knew more about their safe, I took a larger dose for too long a time. That can only mean it’s as strong as they say it is.
2) Cinnamon Essential Oil for Stomach Flu
This highly aromatic essence is a delight to your smelling senses and not only. The oil can relieve local inflammation and pain by warming up the tissue. Cinnamon is another ingredient that makes the spotlights.
- Cinnamon oil was found very effective against many gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. This discovery and its soothing effects can help ease the stomach pain and spasms of a stomach flu.
- Cinnamon is a very good antiseptic, protecting against the majority of intestinal infections.
- It can also boost the immune system’s defense mechanism against viruses and bacteria.
- Make sure you buy the Cinnamon bark essential oil and not the leaf. Their properties and benefits are very different.
- Cinnamon can burn or irritate the mucous membranes of the nose, throat or stomach. Because of that, you should never inhale from the bottle or consume it with water.
Why I like it:
I adore the smell of cinnamon! Be it powder or essential oil, it’s a great addition to digestive blends. The essence is great in oil perfumes as well. It’s quite a powerful fragrance, so make sure you add it gradually until you get the scent you want.
3) Tarragon Essential Oil for Stomach Flu
Another great oil for viral gastroenteritis! Tarragon can also kill viruses that usually resist antibiotics. Besides being a good help in the kitchen, it can also be a lot of help in recovering from stomach flu.
- The oil has been found to inhibit the germination phase of bacteria and viruses. This means that Tarragon oil can stop the virus from growing further.
- Tarragon essential oil for stomach flu can soothe the spasms of the digestive tract. It can kill bacteria and viruses in the air and on surfaces.
- This oil can also stimulate the digestion. That can help your body break down the food you eat while being sick.
- This is oil is phototoxic. It means you cannot go out in the sun or expose yourself to UV light for 24 – 48 hours after using this oil topically. Otherwise, it can cause skin burning, redness and irritation, pain, blisters, etc.
- People that have hormonal dependent diseases like cancer should not use tarragon oil.
Why I like it:
I like that it smells like Anise and with me, it’s all about the fragrance. Though I admit, Tarragon is not always among my usual essential oils. In the past, I have also used it in cooking and it worked really well.
4) Cardamom Essential Oil for Gastroenteritis
The queen of spices, cardamom is as old as the human race. It was often used to give foods and beverages aroma, but also to treat stomach disorders. It has many virtues and uses. From the kitchen to the health and beauty departments, everyone wants a piece of this spice oil.
- The best news about Cardamom oil is that it can be used as an effective alternative to antibiotics. It can deal with many resistant viruses that cause various health problems in humans. Plus, it makes a great addition to your stomach flu blend recipes.
- Cardamom essential oil is especially useful against diarrhea. But it can also help with nausea and vomiting.
- The oil has significant anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties too. It is also great at improving the mood.
- Cardamom oil is not recommended to people suffering from heart and lung problems.
- This oil, just like other essential oils for stomach flu or gastroenteritis should be used in small dosages. Otherwise, it can cause headaches or fatigue, or even worse, hallucinations. You don’t need that kind of strain on your body while recovering from stomach flu.
Why I like it:
I like Cardamom oil because it is also good at preventing getting the stomach flu after being exposed to the virus. It’s a good idea to diffuse this oil and massage it into your soles and stomach if there’s someone already ill around you.
How to Use Essential Oils for Gastroenteritis
The best way to use essential oils for gastroenteritis is through local massages. Mix your essential oils (EOs) with a carrier oil before applying them to the skin. The carrier will help disperse the aromatic essences to be used on wider skin areas. That way there is no risk of irritating the skin.
Mix between 18 to 30 drops of EOs/ Oz carrier oil. You can also add more than one essential oil for stomach flu in your blends. But just one of the above mentioned oils will work just as good too.
Another recommended thing to do to kill the viruses and prevent others from getting sick is to diffuse the oils. This way you can breathe pure air, without the risk of inhaling the virus that causes the infection.
Diffuse 7 – 10 drops of EOs for 20 – 30 minutes, every 2 hours. You should not keep the diffuser on for longer than 30 minutes. Instead of relaxing and helping your body, long inhalations can actually make you restless and anxious.
Certain studies also suggest that 30 minutes diffusions are enough to kill hundreds of germs and viruses.
Using essential oils for stomach flu for babies and toddlers should be done with extra care. Either look for medical guidance, or use small doses of blends on them.
- For babies (12 – 30 months) who have the stomach bug, the dose should not exceed 3 drops of EO mixed with a teaspoon of carrier oil. The application should not last more than 3 days!
- For toddlers that suffer from viral gastroenteritis, the dose should not exceed 5 drops of EO per tablespoon. The treatment should last a maximum of 3 days.
- The safest dose for adults should be 10 drops of EO/2 tablespoons. Apply 8 times a day, for 3 days.
The best places to apply your gastroenteritis blends are:
- The stomach, with clockwise movements.
- Along the spine.
- The soles of the feet.
I have one mention though. You should always alternate between areas where you apply the lotions.
Stomach Flu Essential Oil Blend Recipes
Now it’s time to put all that knowledge to the test! Try one or more of the following DIY recipes to soothe and recover from that viral gastroenteritis you’re fighting.
Stomach Flu Diffuser Blend
- Cinnamon essential oil: 5 drops
- Tarragon essential oil: 5 drops
Pour these oils in the water recipient of your diffuser or candle burner and keep it diffusing for 30 minutes. Make sure your room is well ventilated to avoid nausea and headaches. As we already know, essential oils can be very powerful.
Essential Oils Blend for Vomiting (Gastroenteritis)
- Oregano essential oil: 5 drops
- Cardamom essential oil: 5 drops
- Sweet Almond or Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
Mix all these oils together and apply moderate amounts on the stomach area. Keep it really warm to help the oils find their way faster and offer a better relief.
Essential Oils Blend for Diarrhea (Gastroenteritis)
- Tarragon essential oil: 4 drops
- Oregano essential oil: 4 drops
- Basil essential oil: 2 drops
- Carrier oil: 1 tablespoon
Apply this blend in moderate amounts 8 times a day in the specified areas. Concentrate more on the stomach area.
How to Recognize the Stomach Flu Correctly for a Better Treatment
You might be tempted to think that you’ve got the flu when you suffer from dehydration, fever, nausea and/or vomiting. But these are just common symptoms that the flu and the viral gastroenteritis share.
The first one is caused by the influenza virus, while the second can be caused by many viruses. The most common virus known to cause gastroenteritis in adults is called Norovirus.
This stomach disorder is highly contagious. It can affect any person, from the youngest to the oldest. Babies and young children are usually affected by the Rotavirus.
Stomach flu can be taken from any infected surface. From the bathroom or a sick person to the food that’s been contaminated when cooked.
In other words, stomach flu is not actually flu, but a virus infection located in the stomach and intestines.
It usually lasts between 1 and 3 days. It rarely lasts a whole week, in which case you must go to a doctor immediately.
The stomach flu symptoms are:
- Diarrhea (3 times in a day, and each time must be watery)
The first three symptoms apply to the flu as well. Only that this one is an infection of the respiratory system. It is usually accompanied by sore throat, high fever, muscle pain, fatigue and chills. It normally lasts around a week.
Did you know?
- Rotavirus affects only children. When adults get infected with this virus, they may not show any symptoms, but they can still spread it to others.
Tips and More Natural Remedies
This section is meant to make the recovery more enjoyable and easier for you and your body. Aromatherapy for stomach flu (or gastroenteritis) is a form of complementary therapy. This means you can use other tricks to enhance the effects of the oils.
- You can use activated charcoal to help the body get rid of the toxins and the viruses. Most types of infections can benefit from the use of activated charcoal.
- Drink plenty of herbal teas and electrolytes water (combination of sugar and salt). Plain water is thought to make the diarrhea worse. Simple water will dilute and flush out the remaining electrolytes. You need sodium from salt and sugar in your body.
- Eat more fermented foods while dealing with a viral gastroenteritis. They contain natural probiotics that can help rebalance your gut flora. They can also strengthen your immune system. By using lotions with essential oils for stomach flu, your digestive system will recover faster.
- Wait at least 3 days after recovering before feasting, even though you might feel really hungry. Otherwise, you’ll risk getting an upset stomach again.
Read more about the internal use of essential oils before committing to this practice. It is not advisable to take essential oils for gastroenteritis orally if you’re not a professional or haven’t got the approval of one.
Each dose is personal. It depends on the medical history of the patient, the age, the gender, other illnesses, etc.
You could actually end up making the stomach flu worse if you take oils by ear.
To help your body recover faster, all you need to do is rest, eat light and easy-to-digest foods and hydrate properly. At this point, adding a blend with essential oils for stomach flu, will help you get better faster. Remember to watch your symptoms carefully. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, go to the doctor as soon as possible.
What is your natural way of dealing with the stomach flu (gastroenteritis)? All things considered, do you use essential oils, and if so, which ones?