Using Aromatherapy to Heal Your Gut
Using Essential Oils to Improve Digestion
More than ever, we have so much information at our fingertips, giving us access to information that can help us understand our bodies and ways to manage health. With that information we caution you, that disease states are still serious conditions that should be approached with care and usually with the guidance of a physician or natural health practitioner.
For the most part, practices to heal your digestion track are good for you even if you are blessed with perfect health. These can include probiotics, a gentle diet of real foods, and keeping stress to a low level. Most essential oils will fall into this category, as well.
Some Stomach Problems Affected by Essential Oils
It is very important to use oils the correct way and in small amounts to promote healing and avoid overuse. While not every gut problem is best addressed with essential oils, there are some that are.
At one point, irritable bowl syndrome was a catchall term or a lack of a diagnosis. Every one under the sun had it, when the doctors didn't know what you had! Now, not only is it considered an official diagnosis for a specific condition, but estimates assume that more than 70% of those affected will never present it to their doctor. Lifestyle, diet, and drugs are used for IBS and essential oils are additional tools for coping. The most studied oil in this case is peppermint essential oil, usually in the form of enteric-coated capsules. Even better, take a pot on your patio and grow some. It grows like a week and is very hard to kill. You may end up with more than you can use, but what the heck. Just give some to a friend.
GERD is a substantial problem, as thousands of dollars are spent on antacids each year. With the esophagus and stomach being first stops along the digestive tract, GERD is one of the first indications of a digestive problem.The more severe form of acid reflux − GERD − can be an indication of either an excess or deficiency of stomach acid, among other causes. GERD is heavily affected by food choices and lifestyle habits. Protective essential oils can help manage detrimental microbes and heal the lining of the stomach. Cooking with these oils are great choices, introducing the oil to the stomach alongside the diet. Ginger essential oils, for example, is used to stimulate digestion so food will not sit in the tummy too long, when paired with turmeric essential oil. The increased antioxidant levels helped to protect the wall of the stomach, which is a good idea.
Nausea can be as mild as an annoying complication, to as strong as a debilitating condition. Inhaled essential oils take advantage of this direct line between scent and nausea, with multiple oils found to be effective for relief. Lemon essential oil tested well in relieving morning sickness. Combinations of peppermint and ginger also work quite well. Go to the store and buy some fresh ginger. Eat it raw or boil it and drink the tea. This reduces inflammation in the stomach and all through the gut.
Remember that natural products are “not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease”. If you are sick seek guidance from qualified practitioner.
That being said, these essential oils have a growing record of efficacy and safety and form a great base for healing the gut with essential oils.
- Cumin – Another oil used for IBS, cumin showed itself to be a powerful symptom reliever over the course of a four week trial. Cumin is not as commonly used as some of the other oils we’ve talked about today, which helps us to diversify the oils we use in healing efforts.
- Lavender – One of the most gentle and widely used oils, lavender is anti-inflammatory and a general healing oil. I love to talk about its effects on anxiety relief in relation to gut health. Lower stress levels, always lead to all over health and that includes your gut.
- Thyme – Chemical components thymol and geraniol have been shown to be effective for SIBO. Thyme can be used diluted into culinary and capsule preparations as a source of thymol, while geraniol can be found in many oils, including rose.
- Peppermint – Long known as a digestive aid in whole herb form, its essential oil properties are well-researched for IBS symptoms. Enteric-coated capsules are how this is usually taken, and it can be paired with coriander and lemon balm for more benefits. Try growing your own, as this is easy and you know your herb will be fresh. Eat the leaves or boil them for a delicious tea.