Digestion in theory is a relatively simple process. Food goes into our mouths, nutrients are absorbed, and waste exits our bodies. When everything goes as planned our bodies are healthy and we feel good.
Unfortunately, our digestive systems may get destabilized by illnesses, food sensitivities, food poisoning or other variables. When that happens we might experience nausea, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas or decreased appetite. Our body may be unable to properly absorb the nutrients it needs.
In times like these, as well as for everyday wellness, our digestive systems can use a little support to function optimally. This is where essential oils come in.
Why Essential Oils Are Good For Digestion
Essential oils are the pure essence of the natural plants from which they are distilled. Since ancient times, our ancestors have recognized the wondrous power essential oils possess.
Scientists now are able to determine the chemical makeup of each oil. In many cases they can identify the predictable ways in which specific components properties affect our bodies.
Our digestive systems can benefit from oils possessing properties that aid in healthy appetite and digestion (stomachic), prevent spasms (antispasmodic) and prevent gas (carminative).
Many essential oils have demonstrated beneficial digestive qualities. To get you started, here are 8 of the best essential oils to use for aiding digestion:
Best Essential Oils For Digestion
1. Angelica Root (Angelica archangelica)
One of the most historical of medicinal remedies, angelica root has had a place in botanical therapies since the 1500s when it was used to combat fever.
More recently, angelica root has been of interest to naturopaths for its digestive properties. This herb is beneficial both for preventing and alleviating unpleasant symptoms of indigestion.
If you have eaten something that doesn’t agree with you and you want to ease the discomfort of cramps, angelica root can help you out. Suffering from embarrassing gas? Angelica root is your friend.
When used prior to eating, angelica root works in harmony with your body to promote healthy digestion of your next meal.
Angelica root has a very distinctive aroma which is best tempered with other fragrances. For promoting healthy digestion, in a glass rollerball container blend 4 drops of angelica root with 1 ounce of jasmine carrier oil. Roll onto abdominal area thirty minutes prior to eating.
Best for: Reducing flatulence & indigestion, promoting healthy digestion.
2. Star Anise (llicium verum)
Star anise is a favorite remedy for digestive complaints, especially in southeast Asian countries and in China. There it has proven effective to ease symptoms such as abdominal cramps, bloating, constipation, gas and indigestion.
The sharp, spicy, warm aroma of star anise is similar to black licorice. This oil is said to soothe our intestinal tract, reduce gas, and even help with appetite regulation.
Add 3 drops of star anise to the lava stone inside a diffuser necklace. Inhale deeply throughout the day to help with appetite regulation.
Best for: Improving digestion, reducing flatulence, regulating appetite.
3. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Like star anise, fennel also has an aroma reminiscent of black licorice. This oil has been used to reduce intestinal spasms associated with indigestion as well as to stimulate appetite for the elderly and those who are having difficulty eating.
In Russia, doctors have studied the use of fennel oil to improve colic symptoms in infants. The dramatic 65% improvement in the babies’ symptoms helps validate fennel’s effectiveness for digestive system support.
To make your own appetite stimulant, add 10 drops of fennel to the water chamber of a water-based diffuser and place the diffuser in the dining area prior to and during meal time.
Best for: Calming intestinal spasms
4. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
One of the most well-known natural remedies for nausea is ginger. Candied ginger works wonders for motion sickness, hangovers and other nausea inducing situations. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy the taste of ginger, you can still reap the benefits through use of ginger essential oil.
Along with curbing nausea, this potent oil also helps with indigestion, diarrhea, intestinal spasms, and cramps. When we are hit by gastrointestinal distress, ginger is there to ease our discomfort and restore our equilibrium.
For quick and easy nausea relief, carry a small bottle of ginger with you daily. When you start to feel queasy, simply open the bottle, hold it under your nose, and breathe in slowly and deeply until the nausea passes.
Best for: Digestion, indigestion, nausea, flatulence, appetite stimulant
5. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Similar to ginger, peppermint has also long been a go-to tonic for improving digestion. As far back as ancient Rome and Egypt, peppermint oil has been used to relieve stomach aches, cramping and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
The strong, fresh scent of peppermint is a potent anti-nausea agent. As it washes over us it helps calm our bodies and decrease the stomach spasms that trigger both nausea and vomiting.
A simple way to incorporate peppermint into your daily wellness routine is to add it to your body products. Add 8-10 drops of peppermint oil per 1 ounce of body lotion. Massage over your entire body paying particular attention to your abdominal area. This will help to support healthy digestion.
Best for: Digestion, nausea, indigestion
6. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary is an old European favorite for reducing bloating and constipation. The fresh herb is often used in cooking where it preempts indigestion and stimulates appetite. This stimulating effect also applies to the digestive tract where rosemary encourages healthy muscle tone and function. It helps to relax our intestinal muscles and reduce muscle spasms. We benefit with less constipation and cramping.
We can enjoy all the herbal goodness of rosemary when we dip into a bottle of her essential oil.
To encourage a healthy appetite in your dinner guests, spritz the dining room with a spray made up of ½ ounce of witch hazel, ½ ounce of water, and 8 drops of rosemary.
Best for: Indigestion, bloating, constipation, stimulating appetite
7. Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
Spikenard is considered by many to be the powerhouse of the digestive essential oils. This oil functions primarily as a laxative and as such, it can help our bodies to purge food items which we may be sensitive to or which have been contaminated. If we are experiencing constipation, spikenard serves as natural alternative to traditional laxatives.
Get your gastrointestinal tract moving again by soaking in a therapeutic bath. Combine ½ ounce of avocado oil, 6 drops of spikenard and ½ ounce of liquid castile soap. Add the blend to a bathtub of warm running water. Soak in the tub for at least 20 minutes for maximum benefit.
Best for: Digestion, indigestion, food poisoning, constipation, stomach aches
8. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Like rosemary, thyme is a favorite cooking herb and a part of the mint family. Its vibrant, herbaceous aroma is invigorating and stimulating. The stimulating effects extend to our digestive system where they help to increase circulation and speed up sluggish digestion.
If you are suffering from indigestion, thyme’s antispasmodic properties can help ease intestinal spasms and stomach cramps. Just like the herb, the essential oil also supports our bodies’ wellness.
Start your day off with an invigorating thyme body wash. Just add 6 drops of thyme per 1 ounce of your normal store bought or homemade body wash.
Best for: Sluggish digestion
Best Essential Oils For Digestion Recipes
Gas & Cramp Be-Gone Roll On Remedy
In a dark colored glass roller ball bottle combine:
- 6 drops angelica root
- 6 drops ginger
- 1 ounce coconut carrier oil
Gently roll blend over abdominal area to soothe cramping and reduce gas.
GI Distress Relieving Bath Oil
- 5 drops fennel
- 5 drops spikenard
- 2 drops star anise
- ½ ounce fractionated coconut carrier oil
- ½ ounce unscented liquid castile soap
Add blend to a bathtub of warm running water. Soak for at least 20 minutes so your body can stabilize and absorb the natural benefits of the oils.
Healthy Digestion Promoting Diffusion
- 4 drops peppermint
- 5 drops rosemary
- 5 drops thyme
This blend may be added along with distilled water to the reservoir of a water-based diffuser. If you have a reed diffuser, simply mix the oils into 1 ounce of jojoba or almond carrier oil.
Use this blend to stimulate your digestive system and promote healthy function.
- Our digestive systems may get destabilized by illnesses, food sensitivities, food poisoning or other variables. When that happens we might experience nausea, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas or decreased appetite. Our body may be unable to properly absorb the nutrients it needs.
- Essential oils possess properties that help our digestive system. They may aid in healthy appetite and digestion (stomachic), prevent spasms (antispasmodic) and prevent gas (carminative).
- The best essential oils for digestion include: Angelica root, star anise, fennel, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, spikenard, thyme