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