Prendre soin de sa digestion grâce aux huiles essentielles - Epycure

BIEN-ETRE Taking care of your digestion with essential oils


6min reading time

The digestive system performs multiple functions in the body. It is notably responsible for the breakdown of food into nutrients, energy that can be used by the body, and ensures their passage into the bloodstream so that they can be used by the body. The digestive system therefore constitutes the key to good health and allows the production, repair and control of the body's various functions. The slightest dysfunction of the digestive system can lead to transit disorders, stomach aches, headaches, bloating, fatigue, bad mood... and prove disabling on a daily basis. So to facilitate digestion and relieve these little ailments, today we present to you aromatherapy, a traditional practice recognized for its benefits on digestion .

Causes of difficult digestion

One of the main causes of poor digestion is poor diet . An excess or deficiency of certain nutrients can create an imbalance leading to poor digestion . An excess of sugars can lead to bloating and aerophagia due to excessive fermentation, an excess of fats can lead to episodes of diarrhea, and a deficiency of fiber can cause constipation problems. These few examples show the importance of a healthy and balanced diet for good digestion . Obviously, several other factors can destabilize the intestinal flora such as drug treatments, germs, food intolerance, a peak of stress or fatigue, a lack of water or even a digestive disease. An imbalance in this gut flora, or dysbiosis, could contribute to susceptibility to infections, digestive disorders and food allergies. Among the most common disorders, we find stomach burning and cramps, regurgitation, bloating, diarrhea, and even constipation. They are most often benign but they can be very bothersome. There are simple solutions to promote good digestion. Properly used and accompanied by a healthy lifestyle, essential oils can help improve digestion .

The different types of essential oils for soothed digestion

When your digestion is synonymous with fatigue, heaviness, bloating, or even transit problems, you can use essential oils by massage on the stomach or sublingually depending on the conditions of use of the selected oil . Today, scientific knowledge in aromatherapy allows us to have a wide choice of essential oils with effective properties on digestion . We find cholagogue, choleretic, stomachic, digestive, and of course carminative essential oils.

Digestive essential oils

Essential oils for digestive purposes are generally those which have stimulating properties on the entire digestive system and on the production of digestive juices, these molecules composed of enzymes which help digestion . Thus, they can stimulate two major organs of digestion , the liver and the pancreas, the functioning of which is essential for good digestion . We find in particular the essential oils of dill, lemon, mandarin, cumin and peppermint.

Carminative essential oils

They help eliminate intestinal gas. In fact, they limit their production, usually caused by the fermentation of food in the intestine, while facilitating their expulsion. Among these carminative essential oils , some help fight against spasms associated with the fermentation process, i.e. flatulence. We find the essential oils of lavender, lemon, cumin, but also the essential oil of cinnamon.

Stomachic essential oils

They improve digestive function as a whole by stimulating and regulating stomach functions in particular. We find the essential oils of ginger, peppermint, tarragon and cardamom.

Cholagogue and choleretic essential oils

Choleretic essential oils facilitate the secretion of bile by the liver, bile being the liquid helping with the digestion of fats. Cholagogue essential oils help facilitate the evacuation of bile. Thus, these oils help detoxify the digestive system and improve intestinal function. The essential oils of caraway, celery and fennel are cholagogues and the essential oils of dill, caraway, turmeric, fennel and lemon balm are choleretic.

7 essential oils effective on digestion

Lemon essential oil

It acts as a liver tonic. It is a depurative, that is to say it purifies the body and promotes the elimination of toxins. It is also a very good digestive and carminative which stimulates intestinal secretions, reduces stomach heaviness and increases motility of the tract.

Place 2 drops of lemon oil on half a piece of sugar, in a teaspoon of honey or in vegetable oil .

Peppermint essential oil

This oil has a very powerful refreshing action and recognized analgesic properties. It acts on stomach aches, nausea, bloating and digestive heaviness. It is therefore particularly recommended in cases of heavy digestion . It is also detoxifying and stimulates the secretions of the liver and pancreas.

Massage the peppermint EO onto the stomach after diluting it in a vegetable oil to avoid skin irritation or mix honey and 1 drop of EO in a glass of water.

Mandarin essential oil

It is often used in cases of difficult digestion because it stimulates the digestive system and promotes intestinal transit. In addition to being antispasmodic, it helps the body to expel intestinal gas. It also acts on stress and anxiety problems by intervening on the entire nervous system and thus reduces certain constipation problems or the appearance of stomach aches.

When digestion becomes difficult, dilute 1 drop of mandarin EO in edible vegetable oil .

Cumin essential oil

This essential oil helps facilitate digestion and treat digestive disorders. It is generally beneficial for the stomach because it stimulates gastric secretions which protect the stomach lining from inflammation and burns. It also acts on intestinal peristalsis and therefore promotes bowel movements and prevents constipation. Finally, it helps to expel intestinal gas.

Place 1 drop of HE on a neutral tablet, dilute it in hot water with lemon or mix it with vegetable oil to massage it onto the abdomen.

Ginger essential oil
Known for its anti-nausea and anti-emetic properties, ginger is also a good anti-inflammatory of the digestive mucosa. Therefore, it is used to combat intestinal pain and inflammatory bowel disorders. It also activates bowel movements and thus helps fight against constipation.

Place 1 drop of HE on a neutral tablet and take it in the morning to treat nausea and slow digestion . You can also use it diluted to massage the abdomen.

Tarragon essential oil
Tarragon essential oil is a powerful antispasmodic, very effective in combating difficult digestion due to stress. It helps fight stomach aches and intestinal pain, stimulates the appetite and helps with slow digestion and aerophagia. 

Dilute 2 drops of HE in 20 drops of vegetable oil and massage your stomach twice a day for 2-3 days maximum.

Tropical basil essential oil
It is a powerful antispasmodic that helps fight stomach aches, spasms and intestinal pain. It is a liver and digestion tonic.
Dilute 2 drops of HE in 20 drops of vegetable oil and massage your stomach twice a day for 2-3 days maximum.

Mixing several essential oils can be doubly more effective. You can mix them to combine their benefits, of course finding out the advice for using each. Finally, you can optimize the effects of essential oils by also consuming turmeric, an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, vegetable charcoal, useful for absorbing gases and toxins, linseed oil , considered a mild laxative, and finally artichoke, liver protector which fights against constipation.

Precautions for use

The consumption of essential oils is not trivial and requires special attention. Certain essential oils are contraindicated in pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under 6 years old, the elderly or people suffering from chronic pathologies. So if in doubt, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice. Also find out about the dosage and use of the essential oils you choose. While some of them cannot be ingested, others cannot be massaged into the skin. Orally or applied locally, they can cause allergic reactions. In both cases, they are not used pure but combined with vegetable oils , honey or a neutral tablet. This is why the use of essential oils must be done with great caution.

Solène Senejko

Ingénieure Alimentation & Santé