While constipation is usually not serious, it can be inconveniencing, not to mention painful. If you suffer from occasional or mild constipation, you might benefit from home remedies. The use of essential oils for constipation is one such remedy. These oils are considered safe and do not usually require a prescription from a doctor.
In this article, you will learn about:
- The basics of essential oils and constipation
- How essential oils for constipation work
- The best essential oils for constipation
- The use of essential oils for constipation in pregnancy
- The use of essential oils for babies
Essential Oils And Constipation
Many communities have used essential oils and plant extracts as an alternative medicine for centuries. From treating skin conditions to alleviating the symptoms of digestive problems, essential oils continue to be an effective home remedy for a wide array of ailments.
Treating constipation with essential oils requires caution due to the concentrated nature of many of these extracts. You can use essential oils for constipation variously including:
- As a hot compress in case of hemorrhoids
- Massaging on the skin
- Diffusing diluted essential oils
- Mixing with a body cream or lotion
How Essential Oils For Constipation Work
According to existing research, certain bacteria found in the gut can increase the risk of constipation. Everyone has bacteria in the gut and these help to break down food in the digestive system. However, a person may suffer from digestive problems such as constipation when the bacteria in the gut are out of balance.
Admittedly, there isn’t a great deal of research showing how essential oils work to balance bacteria in the gut to treat symptoms of constipation. However, there is evidence that essential oils and plant extracts have antibacterial properties that can aid in restoring gut health.
Scientists believe that in the same way that the compounds found in essential oils protect the plant from harmful fungi and bacteria, these compounds, when ingested can help to keep the digestive system healthy too.
Best Essential Oils For Constipation
Now that you know how they work, here are some of the best essential oils for constipation.
Known for its cooling effects, peppermint makes for one of the best essential oils for constipation. The menthol compound in peppermint oil gives that cooling effect that helps to ease the discomfort associated with constipation.
How To Use
Combine 3-4 drops of peppermint oil with a few drops of warm carrier oil such as jojoba and massage directly on the lower abdomen to boost bowel movement. Use a circular motion to ease discomfort and promote better digestion.
Due to the potent nature of menthol, it is a good idea to do a small patch test before applying peppermint oil on a large area of your skin. Wash off the oil using warm water and soap if you notice an allergic reaction.
Avoid using peppermint oil on children and babies as it can trigger a serious allergic reaction.
Lavender is not just sweet smelling; it is also one of the most effective essential oils for treating constipation. Stress and tense muscles can result in digestive problems such as constipation and stomach pains.
Lavender essential oil is known for its relaxing properties. Inhaling or massaging lavender oil can help to relax your body, including abdominal muscles to restore normal bowel movement and ease digestion.
How To Use
Add 3-5 drops of lavender oil in a diffuser and spray around the house, preferably in the evening to promote relaxation of the body.
After taking a warm bath, massage lavender essential oil on the abdomen to help relax bowel muscles and alleviate the symptoms of constipation.
Ginger Essential Oil
Chinese and Indian communities have used ginger root for centuries to promote gut health. Ginger essential oil is extracted from the root but the oil itself is significantly more potent.
What makes ginger one of the best essential oils for constipation is that it is safe to use and offers fast relief from digestive problems.
How To Use
A great way to enjoy the benefits of ginger oil for treating constipation is using it as a warm compress. Dilute 2 drops of ginger oil with a carrier oil and add the mixture to a towel soaked in warm water.
Place the warm ginger oil-infused towel on the abdomen and leave for a few minutes. Let the heat and the ginger oil relax your abdomen muscles. Do this at least twice a day for best results.
Sweet Basil Oil
Sweet basil oil is a powerful essential oil for pain. Alternative medicine practitioners often turn to this essential oil to relieve a wide array of pain including stomach upset, bloating, and constipation-related pain.
With its anti-inflammatory properties, sweet basil oil helps to relax tense muscles and alleviate pain, which in turn helps to promote bowel movement.
How To Use
There are different ways to use sweet basil oil for constipation. For example, you can add a few drops into your savory meals.
You can also massage a few drops of diluted sweet basil oil on the lower abdomen to aid digestion. Alternatively, add a few drops of this essential oil into a warm bath and enjoy a soak for up to 30 minutes.
Rosemary is not only an aromatic spice; it is also an effective treatment for gut problems. Rosemary essential oil, extracted from the leaves of the rosemary plant, works by promoting circulation of blood in the digestive system. As a stimulant, rosemary oil also boosts bowel movement and encourages harmonious contraction and expansion of the digestive tract, allowing you to pass stool easily.
How To Use
Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil into your tea and enjoy the stimulating effects of this home remedy.
Another way to enjoy the benefits of rosemary essential oil for constipation is by massaging the oil onto the abdomen in a circular motion to promote bowel movement.
Black Pepper Oil
Black pepper has strong anti-inflammatory properties that get the digestive process going. The stimulating effects of this extract also help to detoxify the body, eliminating indigested foods that have accumulated along the digestive tract.
How To Use
Black pepper extract is one of the best essential oils for constipation because you can safely ingest it, which means you will feel relieved faster compared to massaging the oil on your abdomen. For best results, add 3-5 drops of black pepper oil in your dishes.
Extracted from the aromatic Marjoram plant, marjoram essential oil has been used for millennia in traditional medical practices for the treatment of digestive problems.
This essential oil has laxative properties, which aid in promoting movement in the digestive tract. Marjoram also restores balance in the gut, thereby eliminating the symptoms of constipation.
How To Use
When you have constipation, add just a few drops of marjoram essential oil in sweet stews or soups to stimulate the digestive system. Use this remedy sparingly and only when you are constipated.
Fennel is known for its laxative properties. Traditional practitioners have used fennels for centuries to restore digestive health. This essential oil works by promoting peristaltic movement, allowing you to pass stool with greater ease.
How To Use
Fennel oil is one of those few essential oils that you can use orally. Just add a few drops to your dishes to promote bowel movement and eliminate symptoms of constipation.
Alternatively, you can massage a few drops of fennel essential oil on your lower abdomen. Use circular motions to really work the oil into the affected area.
Essential Oils For Constipation In Pregnancy
Constipation is among the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. The use of essential oils for constipation in pregnancy can help to alleviate discomfort and keep possible infections away.
Some factors that cause constipation in pregnancy include:
Taking the right supplement is recommended for a healthy pregnancy. However, supplements such as calcium and iron may also increase the risk of constipation in pregnancy.
Less physical activity
Pregnancy can make you less and less active with time. This may result in slower bowel movement and leave you battling with constipation.
Pregnancy increases the production of progesterone and suppresses the levels of motilin, a hormone that aids in regulating the digestive system. This causes relaxation of the smooth muscle in the bowel, which in turn slows down the absorption of nutrients, resulting in slow bowel movement.
Gut bacteria imbalance
Pregnancy can lead to a reduction of the bacteria found in the gut. This happens so that the body can have adequate fat deposits and sugar levels to support the growing baby. While this reduction is generally normal, it can contribute to constipation in pregnancy.
Food cravings and aversions are common in pregnancy. Drastic dietary changes, especially when you opt for wheat-based foods, can increase the risk of constipation in pregnancy.
Some of the best essential oils for constipation in pregnancy:
Coconut Oil For Constipation
Coconut oil is among the healthiest and safest essential oils and can be ingested for constipation relief. Coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids, which boost metabolism, promote bowel movement, and soften stool.
Take one plain teaspoon of virgin coconut oil a day. Consider increasing your intake to two tablespoons a day if you are experiencing moderate to severe constipation.
Bergamot Essential Oil For Constipation
Essential oils from citrus fruits can be very soothing to your digestive system. Bergamot essential oil boasts a host of benefits including treating constipation naturally.
Bergamot plant produces citrus fruit whose peels and fruity core can aid in increasing bowel movement. The oil, extracted through a process of distillation, soothes the digestive system and boosts the production of digestive juices. Its anti-bacterial properties help to restore balance in the gut.
To use bergamot oil for constipation, just rub a few drops of the oil on your stomach or with each meal to ease digestion.
Grapefruit Essential Oil For Constipation
Grapefruit essential oil is extracted from the peel of the tangy but aromatic grapefruit. This essential oil has antimicrobial properties that help to minimize harmful bacteria that can enter the digestive system through parasites and contaminated water and food.
Grapefruit essential oil also boosts the flow of blood to the digestive organs including kidneys, liver, bladder, and stomach. Not only does it aid with detoxification; when all these organs are working properly, you experience normal bowel movement.
To treat constipation with grapefruit essential oil, add a drop of the oil to water or a smoothie. For safety purposes, you should only consume high quality, premium grapefruit oil. Consult a licensed essential oils practitioner if you are unsure about the quality of a particular brand of essentials oils.
Lemon Essential Oil For Constipation
Lemon oil, extracted from the peels of lemon fruit, is one of the best essential oils for constipation in pregnancy. This oil has powerful antioxidant properties and works to fight bacteria and to detoxify the body, helping to get rid of undigested foods that may have accumulated along the wall of the digestive tract.
To treat constipation using lemon oil, add two drops of the oil in a cup of herbal tea or a glass of warm water, preferably in the morning. Drink slowly, allowing the oil to move through the digestive tract. Do this two times a day.
You can also dilute 2-5 drops of lemon essential oil with 1-2 tablespoons of a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut or olive. Rub the mixture on your lower abdomen to ease digestion.
An alternative method of using lemon essential oil for digestion is by rubbing the diluted mixture on the meridian pressure point that corresponds with the stomach. This pressure point happens to be between the second and third toes. For best results, repeat this routine twice or thrice a day.
Essential Oils For Constipation In Babies
Constipation in babies is usually related to diet. Feeding the baby too many constipation-causing foods or not giving them enough water each day can slow down bowel movement.
Babies, like adults, can benefit from the wonders of essential oils. However, it is recommended that you limit the use of essential oils for constipation in babies to just aromatherapy and topical application. Avoid oral use of essential oils even when the oils are diluted.
Babies and young children may have unknown allergies, therefore, caution should be taken when using essential oils. Be sure to dilute the essential oils with a carrier oil before applying it on the baby’s body or using for aromatherapy.
Consider using mild essential oils like coconut oil for treating constipation in babies. When you are in doubt, consult a licensed practitioner about using home remedies for aiding with digestion in your young ones.
Possible Side Effects Of Using Essential Oils For Constipation
When used correctly and with caution, essential oils are safe and effective for treating a wide range of conditions. These oils, which are extracted from plants, roots, and fruit, contain powerful and sometimes toxic compounds. It is recommended that you dilute essential oils with carrier oils when using for aromatherapy, orally, or topically.
When using essential oils for constipation, be careful about ingesting these oils. Bear in mind that essential oils are generally not meant for oral use; only consume oils that you are absolutely sure are safe.
Essential oils are safe for the majority of the population. However, applying these oils on the skin can cause allergic reactions in some people with sensitive skin. Always dilute essential oils with carrier oils before applying to the skin. Do a small patch test; if no reaction occurs within 24-48 hours, it might be safe to use the oil on your skin.
Be careful about using essential oils on children whether topically or through aromatherapy. Children may react negatively to the powerful compounds contained in essential oils. When you are unsure, consult a pediatrician first before using any type of essential oils.
Whether you are using essential oils for constipation or for other conditions, be sure to use pure and high-quality oils that will not compromise your health. If possible, consult an accredited professional who can recommend safe essential oils.
Constipation can be bothersome but you do not have to let it affect your quality of life. Unless you have a severe condition affecting your digestive system, essential oils are enough to boost bowel movement and alleviate constipation.
Essential oils for constipation work by eradicating harmful bacteria from the digestive tract and balancing the gut’s flora, which in turn aids bowel movement and allows you to pass stool with ease.
Be sure to dilute essential oils before using for the treatment of constipation or other conditions. Particular care should be taken when using essential oils for pregnant women and babies.