Essential Oils to Relieve Constipation?
Sitting comfortably, with a nice cup of tea? Well, today we’re going to talk about constipation… Okay, so bowel movements (or lack thereof!) is not the most popular topic of conversation, but it’s something that is relevant to all of us. Constipation, as you’ll probably already be aware, is difficult or infrequent bowel movements, which can in turn leading to bloating, stomach cramps, and general abdominal discomfort, and, though usually easily resolved, if left untreated over the long-term can lead to more serious health problems. It is also extremely uncomfortable and an annoyance most of us could do without, and signals that something in our complex and often highly sensitive digestive systems has gone awry and we might not be processing and absorbing the right nutrients from our food. We also don’t want toxic matter building up in our bodies and causing problems elsewhere. Therefore, it’s important to take constipation seriously and treat it effectively in order to restore bodily balance and make sure all of our internal systems are working as they should.
Stomach and digestive problems have plagued humanity since time immemorial, as our changing and often not consistent diets can wreak havoc on our digestive tract, and many natural ingredients have been found to soothe symptoms and help get things moving when we get a little backed up.
How Can Essential Oils Help?
The typical medical treatment for constipation is a laxative, but these too can have some fairly unpleasant side effects, such as upset stomachs and painful cramping, and are often no more effective than natural, essential oil based remedies. Essential oils, on the other hand, work by relaxing the muscles in the digestive tract, encouraging easy and gentle bowel movements, and helping to relieve any painful trapped gas.
In addition, some particular aromatherapy techniques are themselves good for alleviating constipation, such as massage – combining a suitable oil with an abdominal massage can be extremely effective. As well as stimulating the affected area, massage with essential oils helps to improve circulation and get the blood flowing, which will help with the body’s natural detoxification process. A warm bath, infused with an essential oil blend in a bath oil, can also help to encourage bowel movements.
Which Oils Should You Use?
Peppermint Oil for Constipation is widely considered the best essential oil and is the most commonly used – with good reason, too, as it is extremely effective in stimulating the digestive system and getting things moving as they should be. Many scientific studies have proven its efficacy in reducing bloating, and its calming effects mean it is often used to alleviate symptoms of IBS, and relax the digestive muscles, making it an excellent choice for any digestive difficulties. It can also be combined with fennel oil, to make a very effective blend for promoting healthy bowel movements. Peppermint oil can be used in a variety of ways, but when used to treat stomach and digestive problems, capsules are found to be very effective. It can be used externally in small amounts, by massaging into the skin, which can help with the abdominal discomfort associated with constipation. However peppermint oil should not be used to treat children, so it is worth noting that several other essential oils also have strong digestive health benefits.
Rosemary is a traditional European remedy for all manner of gastrointestinal problems, particularly for constipation and associated bloating, as it helps to relax muscles. Similarly, sweet basil oil is another herbal remedy for digestive disorders, so is often included in essential oil blends intended to combat constipation.
Lemon oil is widely considered one of the best essential oils for constipation, and generally improves bodily functions and systemic health. Orange oil also has similar digestive benefits, and ginger has wide-ranging properties that are advantageous to digestive health, and can be included in a massage oil blend to treat constipation.
In addition, many other essential oils are generally detoxifying and cleansing, helping to keep your digestive system in great shape, including juniper, grapefruit, dill, tangerine, lime, lemon, and palmarosa.
As such a common problem, it is extremely fortunate that there are so many natural substances and remedies out there that can help us to relieve constipation – it’s almost as if Mother Nature knew we’d make some mistakes along the way, and left us everything we need to restore balance and harmony again. So next time you feel a little backed up, before you reach for a laxative, try a natural remedy first.
Guest Post by Apollen