We’ve all been there before and we’ve all experienced that uncomfortable bout with our bodies when our stomach is telling us that we have an emergency on our hands and our brain is slow to get the signal that something just isn’t right with our digestive tract.
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Diarrhea is commonly referred to as the ‘runs’ - - and literally, it can have you running to the bathroom time and again.
Even when you think you have nothing left in you, the evils of diarrhea try to send you again.
Somewhere between your body’s fast tracking whatever ails you for a violent expulsion and the hope of it all just stopping, you may start to wonder just what exactly is going on with you and how can you get some relief.
Essential oils might just be that path to relief that you are looking for.
10 Best Essential Oils For Diarrhea
Naturally Made Essentials
Naturally Made Essentials
Naturally Made Essentials
*The companies chosen above are based upon my personal opinion based upon me giving them a try and testing their quality.
What Causes Diarrhea All of a Sudden?
According to WebMD, diarrhea can be caused by several things, sometimes even all of a sudden.
Primarily, the causes of diarrhea fall into three main categories: 1) bacterial, 2) viral, 3) medication related and 4) chronic.
Food intolerance can fall into those first two categories as bad food is surely a cause for diarrhea - - like buying two day old sushi from the gas station convenience store.
Healthline breaks down these categories even more with up to 85 conditions that cause diarrhea, like gastroenteritis (stomach flu), food poisoning and Crohn’s disease amongst the list.
What Happens to Your Body When You Have Diarrhea?
When your body experiences diarrhea, whatever the cause, it is your digestive system’s way of attempting to purge the ‘bad stuff’ out of your body.
Normally, your stool should have a normal amount of water in it as it moves through the digestive system, part of which gets reabsorbed.
However, with diarrhea, there is an excessive amount of water and the body cannot reabsorb it all, making for the liquidly stool outcome.
10 Essential Oils You Can Use For Diarrhea Relief
The following are the 10 best essential oils for helping to quickly recover from diarrhea.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Easily the number 1 essential oil on all lists, peppermint oil is great for relieving diarrhea related stomach cramps and quelling diarrhea itself.
Menthol is one of the active ingredients in peppermint essential oil and offers a cool, invigorating and pain relieving effect.
In addition to pain relief, peppermint essential oil is also anti-inflammatory, reducing bowel inflammation and helping to soothe the digestive track. Peppermint oil can also help to reduce or prevent diarrhea, including as a result of irritable bowel syndrome.
It also has carminative properties which help reduce gas and flatulence, and it is also antispasmodic based on the menthol presence, and thus, peppermint oil helps block calcium channels in the intestines (which is good for fighting cramping and contractions).
As with all good things, moderation should be used as peppermint oil overuse can cause estrogen like effects, induce seizures or have negative effects on the kidneys, cardiovascular system and liver.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil is a detoxifying agent which helps expel the bad toxins, virus and bacteria within our bodies, particularly in the digestive tract, to help relieve an irritated stomach faster.
The lemony fresh and clean scent also helps reduce nausea or an upset stomach just by inhaling it.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil has a soothing and calming effect. It also promotes relaxation to help alleviate anxiety or stress, which might be causing the diarrhea due to improper digestion.
Lavender oil can be massaged on the abdomen for an anti-inflammatory effect and reduction of stomach cramps as well. Inhaling lavender’s scent produces that soothing and calming effect.
Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger (root) itself is known as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Ginger essential oil is a concentrated version of that anti-inflammatory power and has analgesic properties that can help reduce stomach pain.
The spicy, warm scent alone can help reduce queasiness and lightheadedness, both symptoms associated with diarrhea.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense is an old world spice straight out of the heart of Africa and the Middle East, and even recognized within Biblical cultures.
Used frequently in aroma therapy, it can help boost the immune system, strengthening the body's ability to fight infection and speed in the recovery and healing from diarrhea, especially related to digestive inflammation.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is a very powerful anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-viral agent. Take care because it is never to be ingested and only for use as a topical agent.
If you are experiencing diarrhea due to bacteria present in the gut or digestive system, tea tree oil is excellent for cleaning surfaces that may contain the diarrhea causing bacteria around the home.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oil, like lavender oil, has a calming effect. Often used for skin irritations, Chamomile can also help relieve stomach cramps by calming an upset stomach and reducing inflammation.
Bacterial related diarrhea is known for producing some of the most violent stomach cramps, so Chamomile is a good essential oil to battle this symptom.
Oregano Essential Oil
As a strong anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antibiotic agent, oregano essential oil effectively combats bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi and other harmful microbes.
One study found that a 10 day administration on newborn calves help reduce the severity of diarrhea. Oregano oil is very potent and concentrated., and thus, it should only be used for small time periods and in small doses.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil is a very potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent.
Powerful enough to kill parasites and help the digestive system get back to normal, Thyme oil can also help bring back your appetite and soothe nausea when dealing with a bout of diarrhea.
Ravintsara (Eucalyptol) Essential Oil
Ravintsara is high in cineole (eucalyptol) and is a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.
It is also antispasmodic. This essential oil can be used for battling diarrhea, calming nausea and strengthening the immune system.
How to Use Essential Oils for Diarrhea Relief
As noted above, within the various essential oil individual descriptions, how to use the particular oil is just as varied as the oils themselves.
Some are only for topical and external use, while others can be ingested, but only at certain levels.
If not careful and taking one these particular essential oils in the wrong and un-prescribed way, then you could very well do more damage than good.
Doing so would for sure slow down your recovery from the diarrhea at a minimum, and perhaps, induce other serious medical conditions at worse.
The following discusses some proper ways to use these same 10 essential oils in order to speedily recover from your fight with diarrhea.
Drilling down on the previous section’s discussion about how to use essential oils for diarrhea relief, this section gives you some specific blends and recipes to combat that bout with diarrhea.
Following these blends and recipes will help speed your recoup time from being sick.
Essential oils can be very concentrated and potent, and as a result, they must be used carefully, so you should always do a good research before using them.
Here are some things that you’ll have to pay attention to:
- As already mentioned, some of these essential oils can be very concentrated and potent, so you always want to dilute these oils before applying them topically, and even sometimes before taking them orally.
- Since these essential oils are so concentrated, most of them will require dilution. This is true even during diffusion.
Using carrier oils (like olive oil) does not lessen this dilution need though. Instead, try dilution with other lighter essences, like citruses, in order to help ease digestion and prevent nausea if ingesting and to prevent the essential oil from being too overpowering if applying topically.
- If you have asthma and/or allergies, then you may want to seek medical advice before use in order to avoid complications.
Also, if you are prone to experiencing seizures, you should consult your doctor before using any of these essential oils.
Note also, respiratory illnesses and infections, or other serious diseases, could be made worse by some oils.
Therefore, it is recommended that you talk it over with a doctor before using them.
- If you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, then it is strongly recommended that you consult a medical professional before use.
- With aromatherapy, it should not be used around newborns (i.e., children under 3 months old).
For use around younger children in general, the consult a doctor before use.
How to Recover from Diarrhea
Eat Right to Speed Recovery
When battling diarrhea, eat the right foods is a very important thing to do. You want to only eat things that are easy to digest.
That means avoiding foods that may upset your stomach (more than it already is!), may be difficult for your system to digest or things that may cause additional gastrointestinal issues.
An example of some foods you might want to stay away from are dairy products, overly spicy foods, and foods that you know will personally upset your stomach.
Avoiding these types of foods should reduce the amount of time you are experiencing diarrhea and speed up recovery. Instead, focus on easy-to-digest foods like rice, whole grains, ripe bananas and apples.
Drink Some Herbal Tea
Herbal Tea has been shown to be a good remedy for settling your system when experiencing diarrhea.
Drinking an herbal tea with some ginger and honey in it offers an effective combination for settling an out of whack digestive system, especially since the ginger is anti-inflammatory.
Use some of the other essential oils mentioned with the tea in order to combat your individual diarrhea symptoms.
Drink Plenty of Fluids in Order to Stay Hydrated
Remember that with diarrhea, your body is expelling a lot of excess water. That in of itself moves you towards becoming dehydrated.
The more you go, the more you become dehydrated as well. So, it becomes very important to try and stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water or electrolyte enhanced style sports drinks in order to get some fluids back into your system.
Coconut water or a rich, bone-based broth soup (like chicken noodle soup) are also good ways to get your fluids in.
A general rule of thumb under normal circumstances is that you should be drinking 1 ounce of water for each inch of your height.
With diarrhea, you want to make sure you are at least doing this amount, and perhaps, then some.
Get Some Sleep
Sleep is like the ultimate reset button for your body. If you are dealing with diarrhea, sleep still remains very important as it gives your body a chance to focus on healing while you are resting.
This helps speed your recovery too. As part of that overall rest, that means avoidance of strenuous exercise too as that may overtax your weakened system.
Consider Taking Some Supplements
Many of the essential oils mentioned here are available as supplements.
Taking these supplements may help to reduce length of the diarrhea occurrence, or when taken beforehand, the supplements can strengthen your immune system, helping to ward off the diarrhea bout.
The good bacteria of probiotics are an effective supplement and especially good for combatting bacteria-related diarrhea.
Check with your pharmacist for what supplements may be available at your local drug store to boost your immune system and speed recovery from an onset of diarrhea.
Essential Oil Blends & Recipes You Can Make
Here are some essential oil blends and recipes for the different types of diarrhea you might experience:
Diarrhea from Food – Related Illness
Topical Stomach Application of an Essential Oil Blend
Mix the essential oil and other ingredients together to make a single mix. Then, massage the combined mixture over your stomach for soothing and calming relief.
The peppermint oil will give off a cool and tingling sensation as it works to alleviate your stomach cramps. Let the mixture sit for at least 15 minutes for best results.
Essential Oil Diffusion Blend
Combine the peppermint essential oil and lemon oil blend into a cold air diffuser. Be sure to follow the manufacturer instructions for the diffuser in order to achieve the best results.
Homemade Peppermint Capsule Supplements
First, add the peppermint essential oil to one vegetable capsule. Then, add the 3 droplets of olive oil for a dilution effect to that same capsule and set aside the now full capsule until ready to use. Take one blended capsule every day over a 3 day period.
You can also substitute the peppermint oil with another type of essential oil from the list above.
Caution: ONLY use essential oils that are safe for ingestion; do not use the topical oils with this recipe!
Note: Always consult a medical professional before attempting to ingest any essential oil.
Bacterial or Viral Infection Related Diarrhea
Mix the ingredients together in a container or in the palms of your hand. Then, massage the combined oil onto your abdomen in a clockwise motion.
Do this massage twice daily to help alleviate stomach cramping and discomfort.
Healing Essential Oil Infused Bath
Draw a warm bath, and add in the Epsom salt while the water is still running in order to allow them to equally disperse throughout the bath.
Add in the milk and essential oils, with a gentle mixing in order to have them spread throughout the tub. Soak for at least 15 minutes, or longer, in order to get soothing aromas and immune system boosts, along with anti-inflammatory effects to take place.
Nervous Anxiety Based Diarrhea
Stress Reducing Anxiety Blend
Blend all of the essential and other oils into the bottle, adding the coconut oil last. Proceed to roll the blended oil over the back of the neck, behind the ears, across the shoulders and wrists as well.
Applying to these areas will place the blended oil over veins and arteries which will help to activate the soothing and calming scents and effects.
Soothing, Calming and Diffused Healing Blend
Add the essential oil blend into a cold air diffuser in order to gain the soothing and calming effect.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer instructions for the diffuser in order to achieve the best results.
Soothing Room Spray Blend
Combine all of the essential oils into the nozzle spray bottle, topping the blend with the distilled water.
Shake the mixture well in order to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Liberally spritz any room to rid it of anxiety and promote positive feelings and aura.
Parasitic Based Diarrhea
Oregano Oil Capsules
With oregano essential oil being a strong anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antibiotic agent which effectively combats bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi and other harmful microbes, you can take it internally in order to kill parasites within your body.
Available at most drug and herb stores, take one capsule daily, after a meal, until you experience relief.
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Final Thoughts About Essential Oils for Diarrhea
It is never a fun experience to have a bout and serious case of diarrhea.
Like this article notes, diarrhea can occur for a number of reasons and there are a number of essential oils to try and battle this illness and quickly you back up and going again.
(Remember, if the sickness does not clear up in a reasonable amount of time, consult a medical professional to see if there is a more serious issue going on.)
These essential oils provide some tried and true partners in combatting diarrhea.
While the blends, recipes and suggested uses provided here are good guides, go ahead and try your combination of oils to specifically address the symptoms that you are experiencing.
(Just remember not to ingest the strictly topical ones!). Let us know your results and how your blends and recipes work out too!