Some of our customers have been asking me about attaining healthy digestion with essential oils, so I decided to write this article that includes the best essential oils to help with digestion plus my dietary recommendations
Our digestive tract does more than most people think. Of course, its responsible for digesting food and giving us the energy we need to live. But our digestive tracts influence our health in many more ways than just by digesting food.
First, it forms a barrier that keeps toxins and harmful bacteria out. Even the most naturally sourced foods contain substances or organisms that can be harmful to us, and its the responsibility of the digestive tract to neutralize or remove those things. When the digestive tract doesnt do its job well here, we are soon faced with serious and mysterious illnesses that can critically endanger our well-being.
Second, the digestive tract is home to a whole host of beneficial microbes. Scientists are just finding out the many roles this intestinal microbiome plays throughout our bodies everything from improving digestion, to regulating the immune system, to producing vitamins and hormones that you couldnt get otherwise. Digestive problems can cause a crash in the population of these friendly microbes, which can lead to far-reaching health problems.
Third, the digestive tract literally seems to have a mind of its own. The nervous system in the digestive tract is largely autonomous and so complex that its now popular to call it the second brain. Of course, this means that our digestive tract responds to emotional factors, and that it can in turn affect our emotions as well.
When you consider all the responsibility that it has, its not surprising that many peoples digestive tracts are under a lot of stress and that they eventually begin to suffer various problems. There are many ways to deal with digestive problems, from diet to probiotics to supplements. Fortunately, essential oils are also a great help when it comes to digestive health.
So how can essential oils help with digestion? Heres a list of the essential oils to get you started:
- Damiana. Relieves constipation, and relaxes the nerves of the stomach and intestinal tract to reduce painful cramping
- Bergamot. A general tonic that improves both metabolism and digestion.
- Mandarin. Balances digestive tract and aids in easy digestion after large meals.
- Lime Activates the secretion of digestive juices.
- Mountain juniper. A personal favorite, it helps relieve intestinal cramps.
- Peppermint and Spearmint. Relaxes digestive muscles, helps expel gases and protects from internal infections.
- Ginger. A wonderful general aid to digestion (not surprising since it is added to so many dishes)
- Roman chamomile. Calms digestive problems, particularly inflammation.
- Clove. Relieves bloating and kills infection-causing intestinal bacteria.
- Oregano. Inhibits the growth of yeast, fungus, and several kinds of harmful bacteria.
You can diffuse these essential oils to treat various digestive problems. And if you are experiencing cramps, you can also dilute the oils and massage them onto your belly.
One thing that I enjoy, that you might also try is 2 drops of Peppermint, Spearmint, Roman Chamomile, Clove or one of the Citrus oils dropped directly into the belly button, or 2-3 drops blended in tea with 1-3 tsp of ghee.
Dietary-wise, the three things that I recommend are homemade bone broth, homemade kefir and juice of mostly celery, small amounts of parsley, beets, ginger and turmeric. It has been my experience that the body can get all the nutrients it requires from just these 3 things, and while the digestive tract is struggling, these 3 things along with essential oil therapy are all thats needed to fully heal the intestines and digestive organs. Of course, always drink plenty of good quality natural mineral water, with small amounts of lemon if you prefer.
If you dont know where to begin, here are some links to get you started: Bone Broth, Kefir, and for juicing celery, the best juicer I have found is called Greenstar. The water system I prefer is called Santevia because it filters the water and then passes it through many natural minerals that make me feel hydrated but not bloated.
The protocol I recommend is:
- 4-8 oz of bone broth 3 times per day
- 4-6oz kefir 3 times per day (these can be spread apart or taken together)
- 1-2 8oz glasses of juice at least 1/2 hour before and 2 hours after bone broth and kefir (preferably this is the first thing taken during the day)
- Water throughout the day.
If you are experiencing irritated intestines or bowels, such as constipation, bloating, diarrhea or other intestinal discomfort, I do not recommend eating whole vegetables at all, in any form until the intestines are healed. In fact, for those dealing with severe digestive issues, the only things I would slowly add to the three things mentioned above are small amounts of chia seeds, fatty seafood (preferably raw), whole leaf aloe (skin removed) blended with lemon and unheated honey, tea blended with 1-3 tsp of ghee and a few drops of ginger, peppermint, spearmint or clove.
Once the digestive tract feels healthy, add one new food at a time while continuing with the three healing foods mentioned above on a daily basis. If any food causes bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea or other intestinal discomfort, back off and try that one again in two weeks to one month.