Monday, 15 October 2018

5 Essential Oils for Better Digestion

Who hasn’t suffered the effects of poor digestion at some time in their life? Whether it is indigestion, bloating, stomach discomfort, nausea or some other issue, the reality is that digestive complaints are prevalent, largely due to our tendency to overeat at meals and poor food choices.
Fortunately, there are some excellent essential oils that can help improve digestion and reduce symptoms of poor digestion. They include:


Coriander has natural anti-spasmodic properties which can help alleviate abdominal discomfort due to cramping. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory effects on the digestive tract, helping to alleviate many digestive concerns. 


With a long history of use dating back to Pliny (23-79 AD), fennel seeds have eased the digestive complaints of many through their habit of chewing the seeds after meals. Fennel essential oil incorporates the healing properties of the seeds into a convenient form that can be used to support digestive and liver health. The latter is essential to strong digestion since the liver is responsible for aiding the breakdown of fatty foods.


Ginger is a well-known remedy for nausea, which is a common symptom of indigestion. Ginger essential oil is extracted from the root and therefore incorporates the plant’s therapeutic properties into a concentrated form. Ginger essential oil is warming while having a calming effect on the digestive system. It is helpful for most types of digestive issues, particularly nausea and motion sickness. Research found that ginger’s digestion-healing properties may be linked to its ability to stimulate saliva, which contains ptyalin, a natural compound that improves carbohydrate digestion, as well as enzymes, which improve digestion. The study achieved these effects through ingestion of ginger extract, but ginger essential oil would likely have the same effect. Of course, not all essential oils are suited for internal use so be sure you choose one that indicates internal use on the label and use only a drop at a time.


Peppermint essential oil aids digestion, and helps alleviate nausea and digestive upset. It is extensively used by aromatherapists and essential oil experts for food poisoning, gas, vomiting, nausea and motion sickness. According to research in the medical journal Food Science and Biotechnology, peppermint exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and even anti-viral effects. These properties play a role in peppermint’s wide-reaching therapeutic benefits for digestive complaints. And, due to its anti-viral activity, peppermint essential oil is a great choice for digestive complaints linked with the flu.


Tarragon is not just a great herb in French cuisine, it can be used medicinally to alleviate indigestion, gas, intestinal spasms, weak digestion and stomach upset linked to stress.
There are many ways to use essential oils, including diffusing them or mixing them with water and spraying into the air for the purpose of inhalation, applying topically or ingesting. In my more than 25 years of experience, I have found that topical and ingestion of one or more of the above oils tends to yield the best effects for digestion. However, not all oils are suitable for ingestion. Actually, most are not. So, use only oils that clearly indicate their suitability for internal use. Oils like ginger and peppermint tend to be good choices for this purpose.
Regardless of which method you choose, make sure you select high quality, pure, undiluted essential oils. While you may end up diluting the oils yourself, most of the oils on the market are diluted in less-than-desirable oils. High quality oils cost more than the cheap varieties on the market but are worth the increased price. Many cheap varieties can also contain synthetic versions of the oils, which offer no therapeutic value and may actually be harmful. But, worse than that, many cheap oils are adulterated with solvents used during the extraction process or toxic pesticides used in the growing process of the herbs from which the oils are extracted.
After diluting the oil in carrier oil, always conduct a 48-hour patch test on a small inconspicuous part of your skin to determine whether you have any sensitivity to the essential oils. Do not discontinue any prescribed medications without the guidance of your physician. Use essential oils with caution and the advice of a qualified natural health practitioner during pregnancy.

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