Abdominal pain is something that we will all suffer from at some point in our lives, most likely multiple times, and for various different reasons. All too often we just grin and bear it, or look to traditional painkillers to treat the symptom of abdominal pain, when in fact we should be thinking about what’s caused it, and if there’s something we can do to tackle the root cause – this tends to provide longer lasting relief. As a common ailment that can have any one of a number of causes, and one that can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain, it will be of no surprise that natural remedies for abdominal pain go back centuries. Our ancient ancestors had stomach aches too, of course, and without the assistance of modern medicine they used natural ingredients to create medicinal pastes, ointments, incense and, of course, oils, to gain relief from all manner of aches, pains and ailments. Incredibly, many Native American, Egyptian and Roman recipes and treatments for abdominal pain are so effective that they are still used and prescribed today, often before pharmaceutical pain killers.
Typically abdominal pain will be related to either the reproductive/urinary system, or the digestive system, and can range from sudden and sharp shooting pains, to cramps and aches. This covers a pretty wide range of possible causes and problems, but the good news is that, once you have identified where exactly your abdominal pain is, aromatherapy and essential oils are fantastic for helping to alleviate the pain itself. This great news for individuals who are unfortunate enough to suffer from a long-term or chronic condition where abdominal pain is frequent and/or severe. However they also come in handy for those of us who maybe have mild food intolerances, but just can’t seem to help ourselves when it comes to the good stuff – because who can resist a bread basket?
One of the most common forms of abdominal pain is gas, and a traditional treatment that has been used for centuries is chamomile; Roman chamomile oil is particularly good for general abdominal pain, irritability or discomfort, such as digestion related pain. Ginger oil, and peppermint oil are also both renowned for being particularly kind to stomachs – a capsule after eating, or a peppermint tea in the evening, can work wonders at settling a stomach and reducing bloating. Juniper in a herbal tea has also been known to work wonders for indigestion, so why not try making your own blend?
One of the first essential oils to ever have been used medicinally was peppermint oil, a menthol oil derived from a natural combination of watermint and spearmint. Peppermint oil is truly one of the great saviours when it comes to using essential oils to alleviate abdominal pain. When massaged directly onto the affected area, it is great for reducing inflammation and relaxing aching muscles, as it improves blood circulation – this makes it particularly good for menstrual cramps, a very common form of abdominal pain. It is also antispasmodic, particularly in relation to the digestive tract, as it soothes the stomach lining, so it’s a fantastic treatment for nausea, stomach aches and indigestion. Generally, if you’re experiencing abdominal pain or discomfort, and you’re not quite sure of the cause, peppermint oil is a good first port of call.
If you don’t like peppermint, though, there are quite a few essential oils with analgesic (pain relieving) and/or anti-inflammatory properties, including lavender oil, and German chamomile oil, and we have some great recipes and ideas for how you can use them to alleviate abdominal pain. Clary sage oil is a particularly powerful pain killer, excellent at reducing cramps and spasms in the stomach and lower abdomen – this makes it excellent for more severe stomach aches and menstrual cramps, but it has to be applied topically, and with caution, and should never be taken internally.
If you’re suffering from abdominal pain and want to try out a natural remedy, our website has some great information about what types of essential oils can be used in different ways to treat various forms of abdominal pain, and explains which essential oils are more beneficial for different bodily systems – you can find the link to that here: Recipes for Abdominal Pain – we’re sure you’ll be waving goodbye to tummy troubles in no time!