Digestive Complaints

DigestiveWe have all suffered from digestive complaints at one time in our lives or another and essential oils offer us an easy remedy that is pleasing to use.

We will briefly look at some of the common complaints associated with the digestive system and suggest some ways in which one might use essential oils to help relieve the discomfit which accompanies them. Specific blends will be highlighted under Blends for Digestive Complaints.

Constipation is an indication that the body is not functioning as optimally as it should in eliminating wastes. Constipation is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying condition so in order to eliminate this problem one needs to look at all areas of one”s life including life style choices, diet and the individual”s own constitution. The solution may lie in simply making some dietary changes like adding more roughage to the diet or increasing the amount of water taken each day. It is recommended that one drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. For the abdominal discomfort associated with constipation essential oils diluted into a carrier oil can be gently massaged in onto the abdomen in a circular, clockwise direction. A warm compress to which essential oils have been added can also help to relieve pain. Essential oils considered to be helpful include ginger, rosemary, peppermint, black pepper, orange.

Diarrhoea is also a symptom rather than a disorder and it is most often due to inflammation of the intestines. This inflammation could be caused by viral or bacterial infections, stress, gastric flu, food poisoning or a sudden change in the diet. It could also be the result of intolerance to certain foods. Once again one should look at the complete individual to try and assess the reason for the diarrhoea and make the necessary changes to diet and life style where appropriate. Once again massaging the abdomen with a blend of essential oils diluted in carrier oil in a circular clockwise fashion can be very soothing and helpful. Adding the blend of essential oils to a warm compress or taking a bath with the essential oil blend may also prove very helpful. Remember that essential oils do not dissolve in water so add an equal number of drops of emulsifier, or if you don’t have an emulsifier add an equal number of drops of liquid soap to disperse the essential oil droplets through the water. Essential oils that can be considered for use here include Roman chamomile, ginger, sandalwood, lavender, peppermint and marjoram.

Many of us have suffered from indigestion at one time or another and it can be accompanied by flatulence, colic, heartburn, abdominal pain and nausea. It can also be associated with stress, anxiety or underlying emotional tensions. Eating too much or too quickly, or too highly spiced foods can also cause indigestion. So once again one needs to look at what is causing the indigestion and take measures to make any necessary life style or diet changes that might be necessary. Once again the most effective methods of using the essential oils includes the soothing circular, clockwise massage of the abdomen, a warm compress or a bath with the essential oil blend added. If the indigestion is accompanied by nausea put a drop or two of peppermint onto a tissue and inhale this. Essential oils that have be found to be useful with indigestion include lavender, Roman chamomile, peppermint, black pepper, fennel, dill, cardamom, marjoram, coriander, ginger and spearmint.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome has alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhoea and is often accompanied with stomach pain, bloating and flatulence. Food allergies, lack of dietary fibre and stress are all possible causes. Once again the abdominal clockwise massage with a soothing essential oil blend, a warm compress or a relaxing bath may be helpful when dealing with this. When stress is a factor in this condition one would also want to include some of the relaxing, calming essential oils in the blend as well. Essential oils one can consider include Roman chamomile, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, neroli, rose and petitgrain.

Nausea (which includes travel sickness)
Nausea can strike for many reasons including stress, constipation, bad diet, overeating, mild food poisoning, indigestion, pregnancy, travel sickness and sea sickness. One of the best ways to deal with this with essential oils is to drop a couple of drops of the essential oil or blend on a tissue and sniff the blend directly. At times the smell of the neat essential oils might prove to be a little too strong so it might be helpful to have a blend of essential oils in a carrier and put this in a roller-ball applicator. If nausea is something that is often a problem (for instance during pregnancy or car sickness) one can carry the small roller-ball applicator around in a purse and have it available whenever it is needed. Essential oils to consider here include Roman chamomile, ginger, lavender, peppermint and rose.

Blends for Digestive Complaints

Constipation Diarrhoea Indigestion Irritable Bowel Syndrome
1 drop of Black Pepper 4 drops of Lavender 1 drop of Coriander 3 drops of Lavender
3 drops of Orange 2 drops of Ginger 1 drop of Fennel 3 drops of Petitgrain
1 drop of Ginger 1 drop of Roman Chamomile 1 drop of Spearmint 1 drop of Roman Chamomile

Nausea – use 1 drop of lavender or 1 drop of peppermint or make up a blend of 3 drops lavender to 1 drop peppermint and 1 or 2 drops of that on a tissue for inhalation.

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