The discomfort and cramping that accompanies constipation can disrupt your daily activities, and common over-the-counter relief products may aggravate the problem. Using essential oils for constipation is one of the most natural ways to alleviate the painful symptoms. Essential oils may help relax the tense abdominal muscles along the digestive tract to promote bowel movements. We have listed 10 essential oils to use as home remedies for constipation.
Constipation can be caused by external and internal factors such as stress, poor dietary habits, dehydration, and a lack of physical movement. The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases defines constipation as small, hard, and painful stools or having less than three bowel movements per week. Let’s learn how we can prevent this discomfort from occurring with the practical use of essential oils.
Essential Oils for Constipation
Digestive essential oils and an essential oil for upset stomach can affect the constipation symptoms very differently. The oils are natural and do not present the agonizing symptoms of pain and cramping usually seen with prescribed and over-the-counter constipation products. The essential oils can be used as a topical application or may be recommended to be used during meal preparation. It is best to use the purest grade forms of the essential oils.
Considered by many as the best essential oil for constipation, peppermint oil has antispasmodic properties to treat the tense stomach muscles. In addition to relaxing the tissues and muscles, it also works as an analgesic for pain relief.
Steep one teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in one cup of water for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy a cup before each meal, up to five cups per day.
You may add lemon juice to water for good digestive functioning, but did you know the fruit could also prevent lingering constipation?
Mix four to 10 drops of lemon oil with two teaspoons of a carrier oil of your choice for a topical application on the stomach. Massage down from the breastbone with gentle pressure in a circular motion.
Rosemary is one of the more beneficial essential oils for digestion as it promotes circulation and waste elimination. By having good circulation, the muscles of your small and large intestines will regularly contract, preventing constipation.
In a glass of warm water, add two to three drops of rosemary oil for a daily morning drink. This should be sipped slowly to help with digestion. For a topical use, combine three to five drops of the rosemary oil with one tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. Massage directly onto the lower abdomen.
4. Black Pepper
Black pepper is commonly used to add flavor to dishes, but it has many digestive benefits, especially when used in oil form. Once the peppercorns are processed, the oil offers monoterpene properties, which aid the nervous and digestive systems.
Use black pepper oil just as you would black pepper but more sparingly. Add one drop to your meal while cooking.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years to treat inflammation and digestive issues. It is referred to as constipation oil because it has antispasmodic properties to relax the intestines.
Inhale the natural vapor of ginger oil or dilute with carrier oil and massage directly on your abdomen. You can also add a few drops to a glass of water or place two drops under the tongue.
As a natural healing ingredient used for centuries, fennel seeds can be processed into oil for similar health benefits including constipation. It is used for acute and chronic cases with no known adverse side effects.
Combine one to two drops of fennel oil with coconut oil and apply directly to your abdomen for a mini-massage.
Clove oil targets the digestive muscle lining to prevent nausea, gas, and bloating with its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.
Add several drops to dishes during the meal preparation for daily use.
Cardamom oil works with the colon and digestive tract to promote proper functioning to treat constipation by balancing the digestive acids.
Add a few drops of cardamom oil to your meals or smoothies each day. You can also inhale the vapors of the oil for soothing effects.
Tarragon oil has been used on its own for centuries for digestive issues. By combining it with other essential oils, the digestive tract issues of constipation may be quickly treated.
Mix three to four drops of tarragon oil with your favorite carrier oil for a topical application with an abdominal massage. You can also add a few drops to your bathwater.
Lavender oil is commonly used as a sleep inducer because it helps to relax you before bedtime. It could have the same effect on your digestive system by relaxing the muscles.
Lavender oil can be added to a warm drink or in a diffuser for inhalation while at rest.
Different Ways to Use Essential Oils for Constipation
Once you decide on an essential oil, or combination of oils, to use to treat your constipation, there are several ways to get the most benefits from the oil. What works for you may not work for someone else, so understanding how the oil works for your digestive system is key. It is critical to use essential oils to treat constipation only on an occasional basis and not for long-term, daily use.
When using the essential oils for topical application, the best results will target the acupuncture points on the abdomen. A good place to start is at two inches below the naval. Use small and slow clockwise motions with the fingertips.
By submerging your belly into warm water infused with essential oils, your tense muscle may immediately begin to relax. This will promote bowel movement while alleviating the painful cramping. Add five to 10 drops of your favorite oil for a 15-minute treatment.
Essential oils have been used for centuries in various forms to treat most ailments, diseases, and disorders. Constipation is usually a symptom of underlying conditions, but it can also be its own condition caused by poor diet, emotional stress, and even by insufficient amounts of exercise. It can cause painful cramping from tense stomach muscles and an overwhelming feeling of fatigue and depression for some. You may be able to quickly treat these and other constipation symptoms by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your bath, food, or even directly onto your disrupted tummy. As it is recommended to use the highest grade of the oil, it should be diluted with carrier oil before applying onto skin.
“Best Essential Oils for Constipation in Adults,” Essential Oil Us; https://www.essentialoilsus.com/constipation-in-adults/, last accessed May 30, 2017.
“10 Highly Effective Essential Oils for Constipation,” Natural News Blogs, May 3, 2016; http://www.naturalnewsblogs.com/10-highly-effective-essential-oils-constipation/, last accessed May 30, 2017.