Best Essential Oils for IBS – Top 5 List

Best Essential Oils for IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that is characterized by symptoms like pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramping and constipation. It’s considered a chronic and long term condition that may require regular management in some cases. This varies however, because not all people with IBS have symptoms all the time. Further, though IBS symptoms can be bothersome and uncomfortable, the condition itself does not cause any noticeable changes in the intestine or increase the risk of illness or disease. It’s unknown just what causes IBS, but some triggers have been identified such as illness and certain foods. Other perhaps more common causes and triggers include hormones and stress. It’s these secondary sources where natural treatment options such as essential oils for IBS may be the most beneficial, in addition to the natural remedy’s long history of digestive aid.

Stress relief is one of the most popular essential oils uses today, and this is important news for IBS sufferers, because studies have found that people have a tendency to have exacerbated symptoms when their stress levels are increased. However, research has found that essential oils uses for IBS may be limited in this regard because although symptoms may be worsened by stress, it’s rarely the root cause. Hormones, on the other hand are believed to be a direct cause of IBS related symptoms, because the condition is more prevalent in women. Not surprisingly, along with digestive aid and stress relief, hormone balancing is another popular application for essential oils.

Between purported digestive, stress reduction and hormone balancing effects, it’s fairly easy to see why using essential oils for IBS relief has become so popular. But, aside from anecdotal use and a history of use in alternative medicine, there are actual studies that have been performed in order to evaluate and substantiate this relationship. While preliminary evidence is impressive, especially when combined with a long history of medicinal use, it’s important to remember that consulting a physician before using essential oils for IBS relief is important. Not all oils are safe to apply topically neat, and some can be toxic if ingested. A professional herbalist or aromatherapist can also provide advice on oil safety and ensure that therapeutic grade oils are used as well. More research will be needed to fully understand the wealth of medicinal benefits that essential oils have to offer, including the best five for IBS found below.

1. Cumin Oil: With statistics indicating as many as one in five Americans have the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, the medical community has begun to invest some time into finding options for symptom relief. A study done on cumin essential oil found that in fifty people studied, observable changes in bowel patterns were noted as well as stool mucus reduction and most importantly, a reduction in discomfort. This research means that cumin may be one of the best essential oils for IBS, particularly due to its apparent wide range of symptom relief.

2. Peppermint Oil: There are numerous ways that peppermint may be useful in managing IBS. From a basic and simple standpoint, it’s purposeful in aromatherapy, and may bring about stress relief, which is especially useful if emotions are contributing to symptom enhancement. But, peppermint is also beneficial amongst essential oils for IBS because when combined with a carrier oil and massaged into the abdomen externally, it may help reduce nausea, indigestion and generally support healthy digestion.

3. Ginger Oil: It’s probably no surprise to most that ginger is one of the best essential oils for IBS. Well known for its use in relieving nausea, ginger is also associated with reducing bloating, gas and inflammation as well. Inflammation can be responsible for much of the pain related to IBS, and the serotonin antagonists found in ginger may help reduce intestinal muscle spasms for a dual pain relieving effect, according to many in the herbal healing community. Ginger oil is often used in aromatherapy, diluted in a carrier oil for external application or ingested in the quantity of one drop diluted in a glass of water.

4. Lavender Oil: When stress is at the root of digestive upset or symptom exacerbation, one of the simplest ways to bring about peaceful calm is by using lavender essential oil in a diffuser to inhale its delicate scent. Aromatherapy remains incredibly popular in terms of natural options for stress relief, and for these reasons, lavender is a very useful selection amongst essential oils for IBS.

5. Oregano Oil: There are a lot of bacteria in the gut, and some are good and some are bad. Distinguishing between the two can be challenging, but oregano oil is purported to be able to tell which flora are good and bad. This can be beneficial in cases where there may be a pathogenic source to irritable bowel syndrome. Using oregano as one of the essential oils for IBS is best done by adding a single drop to a capsule with a carrier oil, assuming doing so has been discussed with a health care provider.