The use of essential oils for diarrhea can be a viable choice for those looking for a natural remedy to manage their gastrointestinal symptoms. Diarrhea is defined as having frequent watery bowel movements that are often an inconvenience in people’s lives, with most seeking a speedy resolution to this uncomfortable problem.
Everyone has experience diarrhea at some point in their lives, and they know that loose stools are only part of it. Most diarrhea cases are often accompanied by abdominal cramping and nausea, for which the right essential oils can mitigate. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all cases of diarrhea should be treated in this manner, with some requiring prompt medical treatment.
In this article, we will go over what essential oils are good for diarrhea, as well as the best ways to utilize them.
Also read: 5 best essential oils for bloating
How essential oils benefit diarrhea sufferers
Essential oils should be treated as an ancillary treatment for cases of diarrhea and be paired with more traditional pharmaceutical treatments. This means that you should not solely rely on them to treat the condition. Instead, let them aid in the treatment process.
Diarrhea is a broad diagnosis as there are several different causes for it, which means that depending on the cause, a particular treatment targeting that cause will be required to cure it. Severe infectious causes of diarrhea can result in dehydration, which may lead to potentially life-threatening complications. While essential oils may help reduce the symptoms of diarrhea, it will not be enough to treat a particular case caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses.
However, several of the essential oils we will discuss have important antibacterial and antiviral properties, possibly aiding in the eradication of diarrhea-causing pathogens. But unfortunately, they haven’t been studied extensively enough to be a surefire cure for the condition.
Essential oils are useful in treating diarrhea thanks to their diarrhea for their anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects to help sooth spasms and cramps. They may also help to stimulate digestive processes, helping to expel gas or relieve nausea.
14 best essential oils for diarrhea
Peppermint essential oil
A great anti-spasmodic agent that’s useful for relieving symptoms like bloating, cramps, and nausea. Peppermint is known for having high amounts of menthol, which makes it a great choice for relieving gas and flatulence. Menthol has also been known to help on a physiological level, blocking calcium channels in our cells, leading to reductions in blood pressure and arterial dilation.
Peppermint oil for diarrhea, however, should be used with caution as it may have several unwanted side effects. These include estrogen-like effects, inducing kidney or bile problems and even potentially inducing seizures
Cinnamon essential oil
Considered one of the more effective essential oils for diarrhea as it can possibly help get rid of causative bacteria and parasites living in the gastrointestinal tract. Cinnamon oil was also found to have antibiotic-like effects when given at high concentrations. However, because of its potency, its effects can be felt with very small doses. Cinnamon may also help soothe intestinal cramps and muscle contractions, often seen in diarrheal cases.
Those with asthma should avoid using cinnamon oil, as it can sensitize the skin or mucous membrane leading to a reaction. It is therefore recommended to speak to your doctor before using it.
Cardamom essential oil
Helps improve digestion and promote the intestinal gas release. Cardamom oil is also a great antispasmodic, helping to reduce muscle contractions and calm down muscle spasms. This essential oil may also be useful against diarrhea-causing intestinal parasites, speeding up recovery.
Oregano essential oil
This popular herb is a common ingredient in many meals and also holds anti-inflammatory properties as well as strong antibacterial and antibiotic effects. Oregano oil is also a natural cholesterol-reducing agent. Because oregano oil is so potent, it is recommended to be used only in small amounts, as it may disrupt the intestinal flora and cause vaginal infection. It may even cause diarrhea in misuse.
Ginger essential oil
Known as having powerful antibacterial and antiviral effect, although not as much as cinnamon or oregano. Ginger oil can still be a great choice for improving digestion and soothing intestinal inflammation.
Tea tree essential oil
Known for having antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, making it quite versatile for helping treat potential causes of diarrhea. Tea tree oil may also help stop gastrointestinal inflammation, helping to relieve pain at the same time.
Ravintsara essential oil
Considered a powerful antiviral because of its high 1,8 cineole (eucalyptol) content, but it also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well. When used to help treat diarrhea, ravintsara oil can be a great choice for its antispasmodic effects.
Roman chamomile essential oil
This plant is known for helping us relax to get much-needed sleep, but it can also be used to help relieve pain as well thanks to its sedative properties. Chamomile oil contains luteolin, quercetin, and apigenin, which are known to provide powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have found chamomile to be as effective as NSAIDs at reducing inflammation.
Clove bud essential oil
Known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, clove oil can be a great choice for helping regulate immune processes in the body. The active ingredient found in cloves called eugenol is an effective platelet inhibitor, helping to prevent blood clot formation. Due to its high amount of eugenol, clove bud oil can be useful against intestinal and respiratory infections.
Thyme essential oil
Contains ursolic and oleanolic acids, which have the ability to treat muscle pain through their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Thyme oil is also known for its potent antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Lavender essential oil
Known for having many therapeutic properties, of which its anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions can be used to relieve symptoms of diarrhea. Lavender oil can help calm and soothe the mind and body with its pleasant scent. It may also help dilate blood vessels by eliminating stress, anxiety, fear, and tension, all of which may contribute to painful muscle cramps.
Eucalyptus essential oil
As this oil is absorbed by the body, the powerful compound Eucalyptol works as a potent vasodilator, increasing the size of blood vessels. This allows for more blood to flow and circulate around the body. This action helps to relieve pain as well as stimulate the brain, improving alertness and energy levels. It also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that can help relieve some of the symptoms of diarrhea.
Sweet orange essential oils
This common fruit can also be found in oil form. It’s citrusy energetic scent is great for stimulating the senses. Additionally, orange oil can be used to make you feel more productive and focused. The oil also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce pain caused by inflammation, making it a great choice for treating the symptoms of diarrhea.
Frankincense essential oil
Also known as Boswellia carterii or Boswellia Sacra, it is a great healing essential oil. Frankincense helps promote pain relief throughout the body. It is thought to work by blocking leukotrienes; substances that initiate inflammatory responses in the body. This essential oil can also act as a mild sedative, making it great for stress and pain relief.
How to use essential oils for diarrhea
The following are some recipes outlining how to use essential oils for diarrhea
Recipes for food-related diarrhea
Stomach Rub Blend
- 3 drops peppermint oil
- 2 drops lavender
- 1 drop eucalyptus
- 1 tsp olive oil (a carrier oil)
Mix these essential oils and massage on your stomach to help relieve stomach cramps. It is recommended to lie down for at least 15 minutes in between stomach massages using this oil blend.
- 3 drops peppermint oil
- 3 drops lemon oil
- Cold air diffuser
Mix and add to an essential oil diffuser of your choice to reap its aromatic effects.
- 1 drop peppermint essential oil
- Vegetable capsules
- Olive oil (carrier oil)
Before attempting to make peppermint capsules, it is important to ensure that the essential oil you are using is 100% pure and free of any contaminants. Also, it is advised to consult with your doctor before ingesting any type of essential oil.
To make peppermint capsules, simply open one vegetable capsule and carefully add a drop into it. Now fill up the rest of the capsule with olive oil. It is recommended to take one of these capsules only once a day for three days.
Recipes for bacterial or viral diarrhea
- 1 drop lavender
- 1 drop tea tree
- 1 drop lemon
- 1 drop ginger
- 1 tsp olive oil
Mix these essential oils along with a carrier oil and massage onto your abdomen twice a day.
- ½ cup Epsom salts
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 7 drops ginger oil
- 10 drops frankincense
- ½ cup whole milk
Begin by adding your Epsom salts to a warm bath, allowing it to dissolve completely. Now mix up your while milk with your essential oils, then add them to the bath. Make sure you stir up your bath water to make sure everything is completely dissolved. Now take a soak until you find relief from your diarrheal symptoms.
Having severe cases of diarrhea can be an excruciating experience that should be looked at by a doctor if the pain becomes unbearable. Sometimes, you may need prescription grade medication to help deal with the condition. It is important to keep in mind that results will vary depending on the cause of your pain and other factors. Speak to your doctor before starting any new kind of medical treatment, as it may interfere with existing conditions and treatment or cause unwanted side effects.