Another not so glamourous topic of conversation today – diarrhoea! There’s no need to go into all the gory details and explain what this is to you – we’ve all been there, we’ll probably all be there again. Diarrhoea is the body’s natural reaction to the presence of toxins, infections, or unwanted substances in the digestive system, which it then seeks to expel. It can be provoked by many things, such as a viral or bacterial infection, anxiety/nerves, digestive disorders, a side effect of prescription drugs, dehydration, eating something that doesn’t agree with you – there are many different possible triggers, but essentially what they all cause is an inflammation of the bowel, which interferes with the ability of the colon and small intestine to absorb fluid, which in turn leads to… well, you know.
There are a number of medicinal interventions that you can use to help treat diarrhoea, but most of them tend to just put a stopper in things for a while, so whilst helpful in certain situations, aren’t really a remedy, as such. In order to effectively treat diarrhoea, you need to look at the underlying cause, and address that. Natural remedies, and essential oils in particular, can be an excellent first port of call. Of course, if acute diarrhoea persists, medical assistance should be sought, as this could lead to extreme dehydration, or indicate a more serious health problem.
How can Essential Oils for Diarrhoea Help
Essential oils can help address both the underlying causes of diarrhoea (in some cases) and help ease the associated discomfort and abdominal pain. A number of essential oils are particularly renowned for their digestive benefits, and have been used for centuries to help improve digestive health and treat disorders of the gastrointestinal system, as they have natural anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic (muscle relaxing) properties. A particularly helpful way to treat diarrhoea naturally is through drinking herbal teas, as this has the added benefit of helping you to stay hydrated, which is of utmost concern in cases of acute diarrhoea.
However, in terms of essential oils, internal ingestion should only be done under the supervision of a trained professional; though there are many other methods by which essential oils can help with the treatment of diarrhoea, including topical application (diluted in carried oil) direct to the abdomen.
Which Oils Can I Use?
Peppermint is an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, so is particularly good for diarrhoea caused by IBS or other similar conditions involving intestinal irritation, and has natural carminative properties, so is really your best friend when it comes to gastrointestinal issues. It reduces bowel inflammation and soothes the digestive tract, which helps to reduce the occurrence of loose stools; it is also a menthol, and so has strong natural healing properties.
Ginger is another natural carminative and anti-inflammatory; it is also a digestive stimulant, and promotes gastric motility, encouraging the movement of food substances through the digestive tract, so is excellent for promoting healthy digestion and bowel movements. Ginger tea has been consumed for centuries to relieve stomach cramps and abdominal pains, which are commonly associated with diarrhoea. It is also highly effective at neutralising any acid and toxins in the intestines that might be contributing to or causing intestinal inflammation and discomfort. Flaxseed oil has also been shown to reduce the duration of bouts of diarrhoea.
Both orange oil and geranium oil are volatile oils with antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as having a mild sedative effect; the combination of these benefits can provide much relief to individuals suffering from diarrhoea and associated pain and discomfort – try a massage oil blend. Furthermore, orange oil also stimulates the digestive system but calms the intestines, helping to ensure healthy and comfortable bowel movements.
Catnip! A surprising one perhaps, but an effective one, too. A natural antispasmodic, carminative, and mild sedative (yes, really!), it has an ideal combination of properties for calming digestive irritation and providing relief from diarrhoea by reducing intestinal spasms. Calendula is also great for alleviating gastrointestinal inflammation and associated cramps, due to its antispasmodic properties – it also has the added benefits of being a natural antiviral and antimicrobial too, so is particularly beneficial if diarrhoea is caused by a viral or bacterial infection.
Once things are looking up and you are getting some relief from the symptoms, marshmallow root is excellent for soothing and healing the intestinal tract – be careful, though, as too much can actually have a laxative effect, so go easy or you could be back to square one! For more recipes and tips on how to use essential oils to treat diarrhoea, check out the advice on our website at: Diarrhoea Recipes