Digestive woes such as belching, stomach pains, and intestinal gas are easily remedied with aromatherapy. A massage oil rubbed on the stomach is especially good for fussy children or anyone who refuses to swallow medicine.
Don’t overlook the role that stress plays in impairing digestion. It can restrict the flow of digestive juices and constrict muscles in the digestive tract. No wonder so many people get a queasy stomach when encountering stressful situations. Tension is also thought to contribute to digestive complaints such as colitis and ulcers -- and most other digestive tract problems.
Aromatics start working at the first stage of digestion, when they signal the brain that food is coming. The response is almost immediate: Digestive juices are released in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine, which prepare the way for proper assimilation. To aid digestion, add spices such as anise, basil, caraway, coriander, and fennel to your cooking, or drink a cup of peppermint, thyme, lemon balm, or chamomile tea.
Even though many herb books describe these herbs as digestive stimulants, researchers have found that most of them actually relax intestinal muscles and relieve cramping. This slower pace gives food more time to be adequately digested and, therefore, prevents gas. Thus, the same essential oils that improve poor appetite also relieve intestinal gas. These include peppermint, ginger, fennel, coriander, and dill.
Some oils have specialties: Rosemary improves poor food absorption, and peppermint treats irritable bowel syndrome. Basil overcomes nausea from chemotherapy or radiation treatments (even when conventional antinausea drugs have little effect). Lemongrass is used in Brazil, the Caribbean, and much of South East Asia to relieve nervous digestion.This soothing massage oil can help quell some of aches and cramps associated with an upset stomach.
Essential oils for improved digestion and to eliminate gas: black pepper, clary sage, juniper berry, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, thyme
Essential oil to ease heartburn and stomach pain: chamomile
To learn more about Aromatherapy and other alternative medicines, see:
- Aromatherapy: Here you will learn about aromatherapy, how it works, what part essential oils play, and how to use aromatherapy.
- Essential Oils Profiles: We have collected profiles of dozens of plants that are used to produce essential oils. On these pages, you will learn the properties and preparations for the most popular essential oils.
- How to Treat Common Conditions With Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy can be used to treat a number of conditions, from asthma to depression to skin problems. Here you will learn how to treat some common medical problems with aromatherapy.
- Home Remedies: We have gathered over a hundred safe, time-tested home remedies for treating a wide variety of medical complaints yourself.
- Herbal Remedies: Herbal remedies and aromatherapy can be very similar, and they stem from similar historic roots. On this page, you will find all of our herb profiles and instructions for treating medical problems with herbal remedies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kathi Keville is director of the American Herb Association and editor of the American Herb Association Quarterly newsletter. A writer, photographer, consultant, and teacher specializing in aromatherapy and herbs for over 25 years, she has written several books, including Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to the Healing Art and Pocket Guide to Aromatherapy, and has written over 150 articles for such magazines as New Age Journal, The Herb Companion, and New Herbal Remedies.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.