If you are looking for a natural cure for gas and digestive problems, then essential oils may be just what you need. Many herbs, including fennel, basil, mint, rosemary, or sage, are used historically as digestive stimulants, helping digestion, or reducing indigestion. The essential oils of the herbs are also used historically to treat or reduce common general digestive problems. Modern research has shown that some of these traditional uses are still effective today, despite new information about their toxicology and pharmacology properties.
For example, ginger has been shown in modern research to be an effective agent for treating nausea and vomiting especially in children. One study showed that the nausea-reducing property of ginger was not influenced by the form of ginger used (i.e., commercial ginger pills versus ginger powder). In another study by a group of Russian scientists, fresh ginger was administered orally to test its effectiveness against nausea, indigestion, and flatulence in adults with gastric emptying problems.
Other studies have shown that essential oils and fennel are useful in treating symptoms of chronic gastritis or cholecystitis. Both ginger and fennel reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach. However, one study showed that essential oils produced a greater degree of acid at the intestinal portal and increased the risk of ulceration of the mucous membrane. Therefore, they should be administered with caution in certain patients with sensitive digestive systems.
Peppermint is one of the most frequently recommended essential oils for gas and digestive relief. Its pleasant flavor relieves indigestion and reduces the incidence of diarrhea. It can be administered as a mouthwash, to be absorbed through the mucous membranes into the stomach. It has also been shown to increase the number of bile salts released into the intestines. This helps in the digestion of fats. If peppermint is not administered with care, it may result in peeling from the skin.
In contrast to the common notion, tea tree oil has no proven medicinal use in the treatment of gastric or intestinal complaints. It is, however, recommended for the treatment of occasional constipation due to excessive sweating. Essential oils containing this substance have not been sufficiently tested for the treatment of constipation.
Lemon essential oils are considered highly effective in the treatment of nausea and reduce the frequency of indigestion. However, it should be used with caution because it too causes diarrhea if given at too high a dose. It is best to use these in combination with other herbs and nutritive agents for maximum therapeutic effect. It is believed that lemon essential oils are useful against nausea caused by the ingestion of chemical compounds or alkaline minerals.
Both ginger and lemon have antiseptic effects and are quite useful in treating the symptoms of motion sickness and nausea. Ginger is best suited for alleviating the symptoms of motion sickness caused by the influence of the weather. Lemon essential oils are considered very beneficial for treating motion sickness. They are also effective in treating the nausea caused by menstruation or diarrhea. If they are used together with ginger, they provide excellent relief from motion sickness.
Fennel acts as an anti-spasmodic and is useful in relieving stomach ache and improving digestion. It can be used as a digestive aid for those who are suffering from peptic ulcers. Fennel essential oil can be diluted and applied topically to the stomach for relief of digestive complaints. It has also been found very effective in the treatment of chronic digestive disorders like dyspepsia and ascites.
Peppermint is one of the most potent natural remedies for relieving abdominal cramp, nausea and other symptoms of the bowel. It has been used for hundreds of years to treat constipation. There are two types of peppermint essential oil; fresh and dried. Some people prefer to add peppermint to a glass of water for instant peppermint tea and others use the fresh leaves on the tip of a toothpick.
Studies have shown that peppermint oil works wonders for irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. Peppermint oil acts as a natural laxative. It also contains substances that help to protect the mucous membranes and intestinal cells from damage. Other essential oils that act as natural laxatives include geranium and lavender. Both these essential oils have antiseptic properties that have proved extremely useful for treating the symptoms of IBS and motion sickness. Studies have also revealed that peppermint oil helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
A recent study at the Royal Womens Hospital in Melbourne Australia, has also proved that a combination of essential oils including peppermint oil benefits those with Crohn's disease by relaxing the bowel muscles, thereby reducing the pain caused by inflammation and ulceration of the bowel. The scientists also believe that the peppermint oil reduces spastic colon and also aids in the treatment of Crohn's disease. These findings have been replicated in various scientific research centers all over the world including the prestigious journal Nature. In fact, more than 30 peer reviewed journal articles have reported the same results.