Nothing is more annoying and stressful than constipation. Not only does it cause physical discomfort, but it can ruin your entire mood too. Luckily, you can do something about it, and you have natural remedies to help. One can use some essential oils for constipation very easily.
In this post, I’ll be talking about:
- The way aromatic oils can help your digestion and intestinal transit.
- What some of the best essential oils to help with constipation are. With pros and cons, so you know what to expect.
- How to use these active oils to enjoy their full range of benefits.
- Some easy-to-make Aromatherapy recipes for constipation.
- Constipation facts, causes, and symptoms, with preventive and safety tips. Plus a few details about constipation in toddlers and babies.
Best Essential Oils for Constipation (Pros, Cons & Studies), plus Recipes
Nuisance. Curse. Trouble. Discomfort. Stressful. Call it whatever because it’s all true. Constipation is troublesome for millions of people worldwide.
Statistically speaking, no matter how good your digestion is, at some point, you’ll experience it at least once.
The majority, however, experiences it more than they’d want to. Women in general, battle the occasional constipation weekly or at least monthly.
The occasional constipation is not dangerous for your health. But it can be very disturbing. I’ll tell you more about the causes of constipation in the last part of this post. Make sure you read that section too, you never know when you find some useful tips.
Laxatives used to be (and for some, still are) the remedy for constipation. It’s so easy to make excesses and don’t pay attention to your lifestyle and diet. All you have to do is pop a pill and everything’s well again.
Slowly but surely, this leads to what we call today, laxative abuse. There are many disadvantages to this practice.
- First, your colon may become dependent on the laxatives and become lazy or stretched.
- There is also the risk of infections and IBS, or the need for increased amounts of laxatives.
- It may also cause dehydration and other severe health problems. You can read more about it on the website of National Eating Disorders Association.
Luckily, nature provides us with many remedies for our discomfort. Such is the case with essential oils. When it comes to digestion, there are many oils that can help.
How can they do that? What essential oils are good for constipation? Check out these next paragraphs.
How Can Essential Oils Help Relieve Relieve Constipation
Aromatherapy uses active substances like essential oils to improve our health and mood. These active substances are extracted from various types of plants.
We can use any plant part to extract its essence. Usually, the plant part used (roots, flowers, etc.) gives the oil different properties.
You may distill an essence from leaves. Its chemical composition will be different than that of another essence extracted from the roots of the same plant, for instance.
This chemical composition determines its physiological effects on our bodies and minds. It is also influenced by the geographical area and other factors.
Plants have special glands that produce these oils to protect them. Whether it’s to attract pollinators or repel bugs, fungi and so on, they play the most important role.
Pretty much all essential oils have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some, however, have a stronger activity. They can efficiently kill pathogens inside our digestive tract.
Essential oils contain microscopical oil molecules that evaporate fast (volatile). Being so tiny, they can easily reach our blood and kidneys and act on the harmful pathogens.
The same volatile nature makes them useful for the nervous system. They can relax the mind and relieve muscle tension.
Using essential oils for constipation can:
- Boost the production of bile and help digest the food more efficiently.
- Promote a better intestinal transit.
- Relieve painful gas and bloating.
- Soothe stomach cramps.
- Stimulate or re-activate the normal functions of the intestines.
- Destroy the bad bacteria in the digestive tract and restore the balance.
- Encourage peristalsis (smooth muscle contractions).
- Relax the digestive tract muscles, which makes the colon looser too.
- Reduce inflammation in the GI tract and intestines.
- Improve blood circulation. This may prove useful in preventing the formation of hemorrhoids.
As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to using essential oils for constipation.
If you’re wondering what oil makes you poop, by any chance, things don’t work like that. Essential oils don’t make you poop.
They only stimulate your digestion and make it easier for the waste to move through the colon. There are several action mechanisms through which they can do that. Most of them, you can find listed above.
Which essential oils are good for constipation? What essential oil relieves constipation? What oil helps with constipation? It doesn’t matter how you ask it. The important part is the answer.
There are many useful digestive essential oils. But some of them really stand out. Some of the best oils for constipation are:
Let’s see their pros and cons, and then some other suggestions, just as useful.
1) Tarragon Essential Oil
Botanical name: Artemisia dracunculus.
- Tarragon oil is very high in methyl chavicol or estragole. This substance is a very good digestive agent in that it stimulates vital functions.
- It relieves stomach cramps. The oil has antispasmodic effects. It decreases the pain in the abdomen caused by constipation.
- The oil of Tarragon stimulates the production of saliva and gastric juices. They help break down the foods and nutrients and prevents them from sitting around in the stomach. That would cause gas and bloat. This may also lead to various infections. Tarragon was found to have anti-germination activity. This means it can prevent bacteria growth.
- It is also anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective (protects the liver).
- The oil also has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Very large amounts of Tarragon can be very toxic.
- The estragole may affect the activity of anticoagulants.
Why I like it:
Tarragon oil for constipation is very uplifting and fragrant. It makes your mouth water as soon as you smell it. It is also great for skin and hair care or to add flavor to your dishes.
2) Coriander Essential Oil
Botanical name: Coriandrum sativum.
- Coriander essential oil is great for relieving gas (carminative).
- It prevents bloating and painful cramps.
- Boosts digestion and promotes liver, kidney, and intestinal drainage. This improves the overall health of your GI tract.
- It can prevent infections (antiseptic) and relieve pain.
- Coriander oil is a powerful antifungal; it can kill a wide range of fungi by inducing cell death.
- Large amounts of Coriander oil can cause euphoria.
- If consumed, large amounts can damage the kidneys and/or the liver.
- Avoid the use of Coriander oil for constipation if you have heart problems.
Why I like it:
Coriander has a mouth-watering fragrance. More saliva already helps your digestion. It’s a pleasant essence to use to get rid of constipation. Plus, it can also be used in cooking, to flavor some dishes.
3) Ginger Essential Oil
Botanical name: Zingiber officinale.
- Ginger is among the best essential oils for constipation. It stimulates peristalsis, from the beginning till the end. Peristalsis is the medical term for the muscle contractions that move the food. This begins right after you’ve swallowed your first bite, and it ends, well… with a bathroom visit. The obvious benefit is that food doesn’t get a chance to stay in one place for a long time. This prevents food decay (gas and bloating).
- Ginger oil is anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial.
- In a rat study, Ginger oil reduced gastric ulcer. This gives ginger gastroprotective potential.
- If you’re on anticoagulants, avoid using Ginger essential oil for constipation.
- Also, avoid using it before a scheduled surgery.
Why I like it:
Ginger oil is fresh, spicy and tart and makes for a great digestive blend. It can also help with acne and dandruff, and stimulate hair growth, etc. It’s great for closing wounds and speeding up their healing. In other words, you can’t fail if you have it in your home.
Other great essential oils to relieve constipation are:
- Green Mandarin
- Sweet Orange
- Black Pepper
- Sweet Basil
- Sweet Marjoram
The last three are very popular essential oils. Many people like them all or at least one, and so they keep them in their homes. It’s only natural to want to know more about them, so I comply.
Lavender oil can be put on the feet of babies or toddlers for many reasons. One of those reasons is, of course, constipation. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties, though it’s not as powerful as the ones I mentioned.
Lavender also has antispasmodic effects, which helps with cramps. And best of all, it’s very soothing and relaxing for the mind and body.
Wanting to use Lemon oil for constipation is also a good option. It has very good antibacterial properties and can boost bile production.
This speeds up the digestion and moves the waste into the large intestine. Lemon oil can also relieve gas and reduce bloating, and break down fats. Lemon is great to also soothe nausea.
Peppermint oil can deal with a lot of digestive problems. It can stimulate all the functions of the GI tract and relieve pain. Peppermint is also antispasmodic and antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory.
It boosts the production of bile and speeds up the digestion. All these make Peppermint oil great for constipation. If you want to know how to use it, you can find out next.
Your essential oils for constipation can be from any trusting source. You can go for the big names like doTERRA, Plant Therapy, Tisserand, etc. Or you can buy from other smaller sellers.
As long as they’re 100% pure, all is good. Here’s how to choose your essential oils based on quality, not the brand.
How to Use Essential Oils to Relieve Constipation
Using aromatic oils to relieve constipation is easy. You have two options:
The Korean Society of Nursing Science found Aromatherapy massages very useful. They’ve tested their effects on hospitalized children with brain disabilities. The results were very positive.
Scientists concluded Aromatherapy massage for constipation is an effective nursing intervention.
Another Korean study proved this type of massage is effective in elderly people too.
You can make an essential oil blend and then massage your stomach area. Use only clockwise movements to stimulate the intestinal transit. You can also apply on the lower back. Repeat twice a day (mornings and evenings) for about a week.
Or you can apply right after each meal. An Aromatherapy blend should contain up to 25 essential oil drops per Oz carrier oil.
When it comes to carriers and external use for constipation, it can be anything. You can use Olive, Jojoba, Macadamia, Almond, etc.
A compress is also called topical application. Simply moist a clean cloth with hot water and apply a drop or two of aromatic oil. Keep the compress on the stomach (belly button area) until it cools off.
Aroma oils get into your body very fast. They do so through the nose and reach the brain, blood, and kidneys. Thus, you can diffuse your oils for constipation. Or you can combine diffusion with topical application. The choice is all yours.
Make sure you diffuse your oils properly and use a high-quality aroma diffuser.
For further details, you can also read:
Essential Oil Recipes for Constipation
And now for the good (and practical) part: blending! Pick any of the recipes you’d like to try and don’t postpone the moment anymore. The sooner you start to diffuse or apply essential oils for constipation, the better.
Of course, you must be aware that they are not miracle cures. You’ll have to make some diet and even lifestyle changes to get rid of this problem.
Relieve Constipation with Aromatherapy (Recipe)
- Tarragon essential oil: 5 drops
- Coriander essential oil: 5 drops
- Ginger essential oil: 10 drops
- Jojoba oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Give this blend a good shake before each use. Apply a small amount on the stomach area and/or lower back. Repeat 2 – 3 times a day, for seven days.
Essential Oils Recipe for the Occasional Constipation
- Peppermint essential oil: 7 drops
- Ginger essential oil: 7 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 7 drops
- Carrier oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Follow the same directions as for the previous recipe.
Milder Constipation Aroma Remedy
- Lavender EO: 6 drops
- Peppermint EO: 3 drops
- Carrier oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Now you know how to use and blend your favorite oils. You can start taking care of your problem in a natural and non-invasive manner. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to use the comments section.
Constipation Facts, Causes, Symptoms, Preventive and Safety Tips
Constipation is a term that defines the lack of regular bowel movement. Regular means something different for each person. You’ll normally feel when things are not how they used to be. All living creatures need to eliminate the waste produced after feeding.
As gross and unappealing it sounds, unfortunately, it’s a very common problem. Our modern diets and eating habits lead us to a bad digestion. This, in turn, leads to an even worse waste elimination.
There are two types of constipation, occasional and chronic. The occasional one is defined as having less than 3 bowel movements per week.
If this keeps on repeating or doesn’t improve over a period of 6 months, it’s called chronic constipation. The latter requires medical investigation and treatment. The occasional type can be dealt with at home.
How does constipation feel like? (Symptoms)
- Difficulty in eliminating colon waste.
- Abdominal discomfort.
- Cramps and pain.
- Hard stool.
- Anal pain during elimination.
You may experience all these symptoms at once or only some of them. They can also be intermittent and that is normal too.
There are many causes for which one can get constipated. Depending on how emotional you are, even a stressful thought can trigger it. However, most of the causes are within the same range of activities and habits:
- Changes in your normal routine.
- New sleep patterns.
- A new diet or an unhealthy diet.
- Poor fiber intake.
- Not enough hydration.
- A sedentary lifestyle.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Some medicines.
- Colon abnormalities.
What about constipation in toddlers?
Children get constipated quite often, and it’s usually due to their diet. They either don’t drink enough water, or they don’t get enough fibers. Constipation can also occur if the child is scared or embarrassed.
A chaotic routine can also cause him problems relieving his bowels. If this happens for more than 6 months, you should take the child to the doctor.
Encourage them to go to the toilet daily or every other day, and create new bathroom habits. If they’re ashamed, leave them alone in the room.
Feed them fibers and enough liquids. The latter can be fruit juices (apple and/or prunes), and encourage them to be active.
If you’re looking for essential oils for constipation in toddlers (3+ years), some of the best are:
- Green Mandarin
Still, it’s important to talk to a doctor before using any natural remedy on your child. The oil dose should always be less than half of that of an adult. A doctor would be able to give you the right dose and length of time for the treatment.
It’s not wise to use essential oils for constipation in babies without medical consent. They’re much too sensitive for Aromatherapy in general. Under certain circumstances, only Lavender is considered safe to use on babies.
Tips to Prevent Constipation and Further Complications
As usual, the best treatment is prevention. Unfortunately, if you’re prone to constipation and you know it, you’ll have to always be careful of what you eat. Check out these tips:
- Never postpone your visit to the bathroom. That is when your body is ready to relieve the waste. Not taking advantage of it, you may complicate things later.
- Drink plenty of water (at least 8 glasses) and other liquids, every day.
- Eat soups regularly.
- Eat fibers (fruits and veggies). Try psyllium husk to prevent pain and promote a smooth evacuation.
- Practice sports (weights, cardio, take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.).
- Avoid taking laxatives.
- Bend forward or elevate your legs while on the toilet. That relaxes the colon muscles.
- Consume many probiotics (sauerkraut salad and/or water, sour milk, kefir, pickles, etc.)
- Finally, visit your doctor to rule out other, more serious illnesses.
Essential Oils Safety Tips
When it comes to using essential oils for constipation, you have to do it responsibly:
- First, test your oils for allergic reactions on a small patch of skin. This has to be done for each new bottle because the chemistry might be different with every lot.
- Don’t use them on children, babies and elderly without medical consent.
- Avoid using Aroma oils if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. This is usually applicable in the first 3 months. If you’re interested in further use, you can talk to a doctor.
- Many essential oils can trigger seizures or asthma attacks. Check with your doctor before using any oil.
- Avoid using them near or inside your intimate area. Essential oils are only for external use.
Now that we’ve reached our final point, it’s time to summarize a bit. First of all, essential oils are natural and non-invasive remedies. There’s no comparison between them and laxatives. The latter can make matters worse and can even lead to death.
Thus, it costs you nothing to try using essential oils for constipation. But you’ll have to also make some diet and lifestyle changes. Your body needs all the help it can get from you.
What do you think about this type of remedy for a poor digestion? Would you give it a try, or have you already did so? I’ll be looking forward to your comments.