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Flush that feeling: How to use essential oils for constipation

Constipation is a common problem. But it’s one that doesn't often get talked about. Discussions about bowel movements aren’t at the top of anyone’s list, but if you’re suffering from constipation, it’s hard to get it out of your mind.

person in the toilet having trouble with constipation

While there are plenty of constipation remedies, there’s one that’s all natural that many sufferers of this uncomfortable condition swear by. Using essential oils for constipation is a safe and effective way to find relief. Not only can certain essential oils help to alleviate constipation, but they can also reduce and eliminate all the nasty side effects that come along with it, such as bloating and gassiness.

If you want to know more about what essential oils are good for constipation, how you can use them and the science behind why they work, this guide covers it all.

Content/Quick links

  • How to use essential oils for constipation relief
  • Inhalation
  • Topical application
  • Massage
  • The best essential oils for constipation
  • Lavender
  • Lemon 
  • Peppermint
  • Fennel seed
  • Ginger oil
  • Roman chamomile
  • Rosemary
  • What the research tells us
  • Aromatherapy massage for constipation
  • Ginger’s health benefits
  • Peppermint oil for IBS
  • The positive pharmacological properties of fennel seed
  • How to safely use essential oils for constipation 
  • Effective essential oil blends for constipation
  • Roller blend for improved digestion
  • The belly-discomfort-be-gone blend
  • An inhaler to kill the queasiness
  • The after-dinner digestive blend
  • The digestive diffuser blend
  • The lift-me-up blend
  • The soothe-my-stomach blend
  • Essential oil for constipation FAQs
  • What essential oils are good for constipation?
  • Where should I massage essential oils for constipation relief?
  • How do you use essential oils for constipation?
  • Are there any safety precautions I should be aware of when using essential oils?
  • Can I use essential oils internally?
  • Get natural relief from blocked bowels

How to use essential oils for constipation relief

Not only are there many essential oils that can help you deal with constipation, but there are also multiple ways that you can use them.

How do you use essential oils for constipation? Choose from the following methods:

Inhalation

woman inhaling essential oil directly at the bottle

Inhaling the best essential oils for constipation can be just as effective as applying them directly to your skin after properly diluting them. You can inhale them directly from the bottle, ensuring that they don’t come into direct contact with your skin.

Another option is putting them into a diffuser, which will disseminate their fragrance all around the room very effectively.

Topical application

woman applying essential oil on wrist

When you know what essential oils are good for constipation, you can apply them topically, after diluting them properly.

One way to do this is by adding them to your bath. You can also mix them into your favorite body lotion or add them to a hot or cold compress to get their benefits.

Massage

aromatherapy massage

Blending essential oils for constipation with a carrier oil and then massaging your abdominal area in a clockwise direction is another extremely effective method of combating constipation.

The best essential oils for constipation

While they should never replace medical treatment, using certain essential oils for constipation relief can be a very effective way to feel better.

The following oils are all recommended for treating this ailment:

Lavender essential oil

volant lavender essential oil and white diffuser

Diffusing lavender essential oil can drastically reduce your stress levels and help you to relax and unwind. This means it’s effective as a preventative method for tension-related constipation, gas and stomach aches. Stress can reduce or even stop intestinal motility, which keeps things from moving. Lavender’s anti-inflammatory properties also help make it a good choice for dealing with digestive issues.

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volant organic lavender essential oil that promotes relaxation and better sleep
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Organic Lavender Essential Oil

13 €

Lemon

volant lemon essential oil

Lemon essential oil is highly concentrated and contains several antioxidants that improve digestion while reducing inflammation. Both these processes pave the way for improved food maceration which, in turn, eliminates the likelihood of constipation.

Bear in mind that lemon is phototoxic, so you'll need to stay out of the sun if you’ve applied it to your skin as part of a diluted mix.

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Organic Lemon Essential Oil

12 €

Peppermint essential oil

volant peppermint essential oil

Because of its antispasmodic properties that relax our digestive tract muscles and loosen the bowels, peppermint essential oil is another good essential oil for constipation. It will ease the pain of cramps and can lessen bloating and gas.

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Fennel seed

fennel essential oil

Fennel seed essential oil is a powerful digestive stimulant that can have a laxative effect on our bodies. Fennel seed can soothe irritation and swelling in the intestines and aid indigestion, and it may help relax the muscles in this area too. This helps to relieve the gassiness often associated with constipation. The anethole component in fennel seeds is responsible for these benefits.

Ginger oil

ginger essential oil

Ginger is another commonly used oil for both improving digestion and reducing nausea. It’s an effective treatment for constipation because it stimulates our digestive systems. This increases gastric motility which prevents and treats constipation.

Roman chamomile

volant Roman Chamomile essential oil

With its analgesic properties, Roman chamomile essential oil is wonderful for easing inflammation and improving blood circulation. It’s excellent at improving digestion and relieving gas. It is widely used to deal with bloating, constipation, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.

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Rosemary

volant Rosemary essential oil

Rosemary essential oil has a spasmolytic effect, so it relaxes your muscles and suppresses muscle spasms. These processes may jump-start your digestive system and get things moving again.

Rosemary oil can also help with other gastrointestinal disorders like bloating, cramps, gas and indigestion, and it stimulates the creation of bile, a fluid vital for digestion.

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What the research tells us

Although widely held to be an ineffective method of dealing with serious issues for many years, scientists have started taking essential oils far more seriously recently.

The results of their research have revealed that many oils are very effective when it comes to helping with anxiety, depression, infections, pain, inflammation, tumors and many other ailments. Below is a summary of some of the research on essential oils useful for constipation and related illnesses.

Aromatherapy massage for constipation

Lemon, peppermint and rosemary essential oils proved very effective in treating older patients suffering from constipation in this 2005 study. The oils were used as part of aromatherapy massage compared with only massage for constipation. The group who received aromatherapy massage had more bowel movements and less discomfort than the massage-only group, and the treatment effect also lasted longer.

Another recent aromatherapy massage study similar to the one above used ginger and lavender essential oils for 15-minute aromatherapy massage sessions for elderly subjects with constipation 5 days a week for 4 weeks versus no treatment at all. The aromatherapy massage group experienced significant reductions in constipation and related symptoms.

Ginger’s health benefits

Evidence has been found for the belief that ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea and antioxidant agent. Its protective effect against a range of other diseases has also been confirmed.

Peppermint oil for IBS

A 2008 BMJ meta-analysis concluded that antispasmodics, fiber and peppermint essential oil were all more successful in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome than placebos were.

One of the characteristics of IBS is constipation, proving that peppermint oil is on the list of answers to the question of what essential oils are good for constipation.

The positive pharmacological properties of fennel seed

The efficacy of fennel seeds in their capacity as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antispasmodic and antiviral agent is evident in compiled data from several studies. Fennel is a common folk remedy for digestive issues, and one study found that a turmeric and fennel extract significantly improved IBS symptoms.

How to safely use essential oils for constipation

women applying essential oil while sitting at the couch

Even if you only ever use the best essential oils for constipation that are 100% natural and organic, there are important safety guidelines that you must adhere to at all times:

  • When you’re relying on essential oils for constipation relief or anything else, it’s important to know that they are not to be taken orally without proper medical supervision.

    Follow the directions of use to the letter and you’ll run no risks using them, but deviating from these is not recommended.
  • When you’re learning about how you use essential oils for constipation, remember that not all of them are safe for use around children or pets, so be sure to determine their effect if you have little ones or furry friends.
  • Certain essential oils for constipation are also not proven safe for use by pregnant women, those trying to conceive or breastfeeding women.

    Do your homework on the oils you want to use before introducing them to your environment.
  • When you know what essential oils are good for constipation and have decided which ones you’re going to be using, you need to test for an allergic reaction before you start treatment.

    Oils are potent natural substances and must be diluted before coming into contact with your skin. Test the combination of essential oil and carrier oil that you’ve made on a small, obscure patch of skin. If you don’t have any kind of reaction in 24 hours, you can consider it safe to use.

Effective essential oil blends for constipation

women sitting at couch holding and looking essential oil blend

Now that you know more about using essential oils for constipation relief and know how many different oils are effective, it makes sense to experiment with blends to find the ones that give you the relief you need.

Use these ideas as a starting point but feel free to experiment on your own as your knowledge about oils and the best combinations of these for dealing with constipation increases.

Roller blend for improved digestion

You’ll need a roller bottle for this blend. Combine 2 drops each of cardamom, ginger and lime essential oils with 10 ml of jojoba oil in the vial. Then add the rollerball and shake well, or roll the bottle between your hands. Apply the mix to your forearms and wrists when needed and breathe deeply to properly inhale the scent.

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The belly-discomfort-be-gone blend

Add 6 drops of sweet marjoram, 4 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of lemon essential oil to 1 ounce of jojoba oil in a 1-ounce dropper bottle. Rub this mix into your belly when necessary in a clockwise motion.

An inhaler to kill the queasiness

Add 7 drops each of basil and peppermint essential oil to an aromatherapy inhaler wick and then place the wick inside your inhaler. Take a deep breath of this mix when you need it, and remember to replace the cap when it’s not in use to preserve the aroma.

The after-dinner digestive blend

Harness chamomile’s natural antispasmodic properties to treat gas and irritation. The after-dinner digestive blend can really help when you’re feeling too full or uncomfortable after you’ve had supper by supporting healthy digestion.

Place 4 drops each of Roman chamomile and cardamom with 3 drops of ginger and 1 of peppermint essential oil into a 1-ounce dropper bottle. Add an ounce of carrier oil and shake well to blend the oils. Apply it in a clockwise motion to your belly whenever you need it.

The digestive diffuser blend

Ginger essential oil’s anti-inflammatory qualities can be a great help for an upset stomach, and it can promote proper digestion too. This mix is also effective when you feel bloated after eating.

Combine 3 drops of ginger essential oil with 2 drops each of lemon and peppermint. Add the mix to your diffuser with the recommended amount of water and then sit back and let it do its work.

The lift-me-up blend

The combination of 4 drops of lemon and 2 drops each of peppermint and rosemary essential oils can be a great antidote to feelings of sluggishness.

Applying them to your belly after diluting them with a carrier oil as part of an abdominal massage will bring you relief from constipation.

The soothe-my-stomach blend

Blending 4 drops of chamomile with 2 drops each of fennel and mint and then adding a carrier oil may also work wonders when it comes to soothing abdominal cramps, bloating and gas.

Essential oil for constipation FAQs

What essential oils are good for constipation?

Chamomile, fennel, ginger, lavender and peppermint are some of the best essential oils for constipation.

Where should I massage essential oils for constipation relief?

Use your diluted essential oil/carrier oil mix to gently massage the abdomen, working the oil into the skin in a circular motion.

How do you use essential oils for constipation?

You can use the oils in a diffuser to benefit from their therapeutic properties, massage them into your body, especially your abdomen, or add them to your bath.

Are there any safety precautions I should be aware of when using essential oils?

Using essential oils for constipation is not just generally safe, it’s recommended in some cases. But never use them on your skin undiluted.

Can I use essential oils internally?

No, not unless you’re under the guidance of a licensed medical professional. 

Get natural relief from blocked bowels

Now that you know what the best essential oils for constipation are, you can safely use them as an effective natural treatment.

It’s always important that you purchase quality essential and carrier oils from a reputable provider. This is the only way to ensure that the oils are pure and organic, as well as sourced, processed and packaged ethically and responsibly. It’s also how you can ensure that you get the best results from your oils. An inferior, impure product won’t offer the same benefits as one that’s pure and chemical or additive-free.

Volant ticks all these boxes and has a wide range of 100% organic essential oils that are ideal for use when you’re feeling a little backed up, bloated and uncomfortable. You can rely on every oil being of the highest quality and can rest assured that you’re reaping the maximum benefits from every drop.

Constipation doesn't have to be a condition that you suffer from endlessly. Seeking relief from essential oils can make you feel so much lighter - in so many ways.

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