Thanksgiving is right around the corner in the US! It's just one of many holiday celebrations that usually includes family, friends, and tables full of rich, delicious food.

2020 might include some smaller celebrations (understandably so). Yet many of our tables will still be overflowing with a bounty of good food and tasty treats.

In this post, you'll learn how to use essential oils to help digestion naturally, including why they work, which oils to use, and recipes you can make today.

How can essential oils help digestion?

Using essential oils for digestion is primarily about:

  • Calming muscle spasms
  • Relieving sensations of bloating
  • Easing a queasy belly

Other ways essential oils can help include boosting your appetite (or curbing cravings!), and encouraging an overall healthy flow of energy throughout your body. This can help everything keep moving smoothly through your belly, and create a refreshing detox effect if you overindulge in rich food.

Inhalers, diffuser blends, and topical products massaged into your belly work remarkably well.

7 Essential oils for digestion

There are plenty of essential oils that can help digestion!

Each supportive product and recipe in our library is listed under the wellness category "Digest," which you can see here. While all of the products and recipes in that category have something to offer the belly, you can also organize them into more distinct groups:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Queasiness
  • Regularity

Let's take a look at 7 of our top essential oils for digestion, and the science behind why they're so supportive.

1. Anise Oil (Pimpinella anisum)

Anise contains over 80% E-anethole, which is a powerful spasm-calming component. Anise oil has a sweet, slightly licorice-like scent. This oil is potent—while you can use it for support during issues like queasiness and gas, it’s contraindicated if you have a bleeding disorder or take anticoagulant medication. Dilute anise oil at no more than 2.4% (10 to 13 drops of oil in 1 oz/30 ml of carrier).

2. Black Pepper Oil (Piper nigrum)

Warm, spicy, and dry, black pepper oil helps get energy circulating. It’s a widely loved essential oil for digestion due to the way it releases stuck energy in the belly. This is largely thanks to its combination of sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes, which help calm muscles and ease sensations of bloating.

New to blending by chemical component? Check out this learning guide.

3. Cardamom Oil (Elettaria cardamomum)

Cardamom is chock-full of natural esters, especially terpinyl acetate! This is one reason cardamom is one of the most popular traditional oils for soothing belly spasms. We’ve also included cardamom in our wellness category “Digest: Queasiness,” as its spicy-sweet scent can help the belly feel steady.

4. Ginger Oil (Zingiber officinale)

Like cardamom, ginger is a spice oil that’s traditionally used for digestion. It’s rich in sesquiterpenes that can soothe sore, achy issues, as well as queasy sensations. Smelling just like the kitchen spice, ginger oil is hot and spicy—keep your drop count low to protect your skin and mucous membranes.

5. Orange Sweet Oil (Citrus sinensis)

Orange is an excellent essential oil for digestion! With its high quantities of d-limonene, orange can calm spasms and help the body through its natural detox process, such as queasy and unsteady feelings in the belly.

6. Peppermint Oil (Mentha x piperita)

Fresh, minty, and perfect after a satisfying meal! Keep peppermint oil on hand if your belly sometimes feels bloated or queasy. Peppermint’s high menthol content means it can relax muscles, and offer an overall refreshed, comforted experience.

7. Marjoram (Sweet) Oil (Origanum majorana)

Terpinen-4-ol is a naturally occurring monoterpenol that’s been shown to relax smooth muscles. It shows up in abundance in sweet marjoram oil! Use sweet marjoram in your blends for calming spasms and supporting regular digestion. It’s also a must-have when you’re “detoxing” after a fun night.

Carrier oils & hydrosols for digestion

You also have the option of working with carrier oils and hydrosols for digestion.

1. Castor Oil (Ricinus communis)

Castor oil is widely used for the belly! It can help break up “stuck energy,” allowing movement to flow more easily through your belly, and releasing tight, cramped, bloated sensations. A popular way to use castor oil for digestion is to make a compress. Soak a soft flannel cloth (or a paper towel) in the oil, and rest it on your belly. If you like, you can rest a hot water bottle or heating pad over the castor oil to encourage deeper absorption. Be sure to protect your heat source with another layer of cloth so it doesn’t get too messy with the castor oil!

2. Ginger Hydrosol (Zingiber officinale)

Sweet and spicy with a hint of lemon, ginger hydrosol will become a new favorite for your belly blends! Hydrosols are aromatic waters that offer profound comforting effects, yet they’re much gentler than essential oils. So you can actually sip on ginger hydrosol! Add a teaspoon to some sparkling water to help calm your belly after a big meal, or when you feel queasy.

Learn more about hydrosols

Essential Oil Recipes for Digestion

Our recipe library includes over 15 recipes for digestion support.

These six are some of our top recipes, and include inhalers, oils, and lotions.

Stay inspired!
Learn about a new essential oil every week—including its researched properties, how to use it, and DIY recipes—when you join our email newsletter. You’ll also get exclusive savings!

Grab these essentials

Anise Oil
From $13.00 USD

15 reviews
Ginger Oil
From $12.00 USD

80 reviews
Orange Sweet Oil
From $8.00 USD

285 reviews
Peppermint Oil
From $6.00 USD

231 reviews
Castor Oil
$15.00 USD

31 reviews
Ginger Hydrosol
$21.00 USD

24 reviews
November 16, 2020 — Karen Williams