Constipation not only causes physical pain, but it can have a range of other effects such as making you feel bloated, uncomfortable, stressed, irritable, angry and moody.
Knowing the causes of constipation can really increase the chances of you finding a successful treatment and preventing this issue from reappearing. It is good to know that all people may suffer from constipation during specific periods of their lives, but it doesn’t mean that it is a permanent condition.
Also, there may be some misconceptions as to when we can safely say that we suffer from constipation since medical experts agree that, for some people, even 3 bowel movements per week is normal.
Are Essential Oils Good For Constipation?
If you want to try a natural holistic and gentle approach that gives importance both to the physical and emotional aspects of constipation, using essential oils can be a part of very effective treatment for the following reasons:
Essential oils have been historically used to boost metabolism when you are experiencing symptoms of a slow gut including flatulence and abdominal pain.
For people with irritable bowel syndrome or digestive problems, stress can make things even more difficult. By having the ability to reach the limbic system in the brain, which is the center of emotions, memory, and motivation; essential oils can reduce stress, a cause of constipation.
Especially in the case of chronic constipation, people may experience some complications including the appearance of inflamed swollen veins called hemorrhoids. Historically, essential oils have been successfully used for the relief and treatment of piles.
Lat, but not least, essential oils can positively affect our emotions. They can help us deal better with everyday life stressors and help us feel more emotionally secure.
Best Essential Oils For Constipation
1. Tangerine (Citrus tangerine)
According to Ayurvedic medicine, this gentle essential oil can relax the nervous system, relieve mood swings, boost the metabolism and support a healthy digestion. It has also been traditionally used for constipation, tummy upsets, swelling and bloating.
Create a tangerine rub by combining one tablespoon of carrier oil to 5 drops and massage your belly in circular motions every night before going to sleep.
2. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Various studies have shown that α-pinene, 1,8-cineole, and camphor, the main components of this oil, have a stimulatory effect on both the brain and the nervous system.
Often referred to as the ‘mini-brain’ of the body, the stomach is directly affected by any brain stimuli or feeling. By exhibiting a clear action on the brain and nervous system, rosemary oil can also affect the digestive system positively.
Constipation can be caused by a stressful and mentally demanding period of life. Combat this by diffusing rosemary oil in a room to clear the mind, improve memory, boost creativity and encourage a fresh, more cheerful outlook.
3. Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Ancient Greeks and Romans used dill for relieving the digestive system and getting rid of bloating and the pain it could cause while Ancient Greek athletes relaxed their muscles after training or racing with dill. Dill oil has also been traditionally used for constipation, stomach cramps, indigestion, and hemorrhoids.
Its sweet fresh herby aroma and calming energy can soothe both the body and mind. Add a few drops to your body lotion and massage your abdomen with it whenever you are traveling and you know that it will affect your bowel activity. (See our handly, downloadable dilution chart!)
4. Benzoin Absolute (Styrax benzoin)
Benzoin is an absolute rather than an essential oil. An absolute is similar to an essential oil but it is thick in viscosity and can be more difficult to work with. Although you can find benzoin essential oil that consists of Benzoin resin which is diluted in Benzyl Alcohol for example.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Benzoin has been used to help with various health issues including flatulence, constipation, respiratory problems, cough, PMS, and depression.
Its gentle rich aroma and warming energy can relieve nervous tension, relax the mind and comfort the emotions, characteristics that can help people suffering from constipation caused by stress or depression.
For an uplifting sensation, use 7 – 10 drops benzoin in ½ cup distilled water and ½ cup witch hazel to create a natural deodorant body spray personally signed by you! Keep this in a pretty cobalt blue glass spray bottle.
5. Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
This oil has been successfully used to relieve flatulence, digestive problems and bloating, which are often associated with constipation. The ancient Greek Physician Hippocrates used it to treat indigestion and relieve stomach and nervous system disorders.
Add some drops to your neutral smelling shower gel to feel invigorated and start your day with a fresh and relaxed mind. Pay extra attention when rubbing on your tummy, taking your time and making sure the minty goodness gets to work.
6. Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
Roman chamomile infuses inner serenity and its ability to calm the nervous system can help you sleep restfully. It has also been historically used for indigestion as well as constipation and enjoys a reputation of being the most anti-inflammatory of all Chamomile essential oils and a wonderful skin healer.
This makes it an effective natural ingredient for hemorrhoids as well, which is an issue that people with constipation often suffer from. Create a DIY tummy rub to massage yours or your children´s abdomen just before going to sleep.
Note: According to Tisserand, you should not go over 1% dilution when it comes to the use of this oil for babies.
7. Mandarin (Citrus reticulate)
Mandarin´s sweet fresh and citrusy aroma is very uplifting while its warm energy feels soothing and can steady the nervous system and even help with anxiety and migraines.
Mandarin oil has also been widely known as a natural analgesic ingredient and been used for digestive problems and constipation. It is very gentle, which makes it a great essential oil for children, too.
Dilute a few drops of mandarin oil in unscented bubble bath and feel all your daily stress and worries melt away. Your skin will appreciate it, too, and a light fruity aroma will accompany you to bed and put you to sleep in no time.
8. Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
People generally find that cardamom oil has a rich sweet spicy aroma that feels soothing and fortifying at the same time. It has a warming energy that may feel calming, grounding and sensual. That is why cardamom also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac.
It has been traditionally used for digestive problems, flatulence, fatigue, abdominal pains, and constipation.
For a calming and warming home atmosphere, diffuse cardamom in your diffuser. You can also make a natural spray for your wardrobe so that your clothes smell divine.
How To Use Essential Oils For Constipation
Sitz Bath For Constipation
- ½ cup unrefined sea salt
- 10 drops roman chamomile
- 8 drops dill
Mix the salt well with the essential oils. Fill your bathtub with 2-3 inches of warm water. Swirl in the mixture of salt and essential oils.
Sit comfortably in the tub, making sure that both your lower abdominal and your private areas are covered by water, but your legs stay out of the water.
Relax for 10-15 minutes. You can repeat 2-3 times a day. Some may find that a sitz bath with cold water (not colder than 20º C) works best for them in case of constipation.
Abdominal Massage For Constipation With Essential Oils
- 3 tsp aloe vera gel
- 3 tsp almond oil
- 6 drops rosemary
- 5 drops spearmint
- 5 drops mandarin
In a glass jar mix all the ingredients together. Take a comfortable position. You can even lie down if it makes you feel more relaxed. Apply an adequate amount of the essential oil blend onto the lower abdomen.
Stroke the essential oil blend into the abdomen using very light fingertip pressure, in a clockwise direction around the navel.
More specifically, do two strokes up, two strokes across, two strokes down and then to complete the square, just stroke once across the pelvis.
Do that five times slowly so that the energy starts to shift in the intestine.
Try to be calm and patient throughout the whole process and give your body and mind some time to relax and benefit from the massage.
Note: Abdominal massage is always contraindicated in pregnancy.
Constipation Solution For Travelers
Here is a lovely smelling blend of essential oils, which can calm traveling anxiety and help you with constipation.
- 5 drops roman chamomile
- 5 drops spearmint
- 5 drops tangerine
Read the instructions of your personal inhaler before use and use it accordingly. If you have forgotten your personal inhaler at home or you don’t have one, you can alternatively add a few drops of essential oils to a tissue and inhale from there.
- Constipation is a health issue that people often suffer from and it can affect life negatively causing a number of unpleasant symptoms that are both physical and emotional.
- The causes of constipation are many and the issue itself can be temporary or, for some, become chronic followed by various complications including hemorrhoids.
- Essential oils can be used as part of a gentle natural and holistic approach that gives equal importance to the physical and emotional aspects of constipation.
- Beneficial ways to use essential oils for constipation include a Sitz bath, an aromatherapy massage for the lower abdomen and the use of a personal inhaler which is a great solution when traveling.