Essential Oils For Heartburn
Heart burn is a form of indigestion that is often caused by acid reflux. What happens is that the acids normally produced in the stomach end up re-entering the esophagus. This causes them to travel upward instead of down and create a burning sensation that feels as though it is located in the chest. This is also accompanied with bloating, difficulty with swallowing, indigestion and other symptoms.There are a number of different causes of acid reflux and many treatments that can help to alleviate the condition. We will look at both further in this article.
First though, we will address one of the most popular options for treating the condition: using essential oils. Essential oils can help to reduce acid reflux in a number of ways and are very effective when used correctly.
How to Use Essential Oils to Combat Heartburn
Heartburn is caused in the stomach where digestive enzymes are produced to help break down food. Understanding this, it should be immediately evident that the essential oils will need to be ingested to be effective and can’t be applied topically or inhaled.
With that in mind, you can use a number of essential oils to create an effective beverage that will help to ease the indigestion and heartburn so you can enjoy your dinner pain free! An added bonus of this is that the warm water itself will also help to reduce indigestion and discomfort. That’s because warm water is naturally relaxing and can also help to relax the muscles preventing some of the spasms that may lead to reflux. What’s more, is that drinking water can also aid digestion, saliva production and dilute the stomach acids for all-round relief.
Ginger oil can be used by adding just 2-4 drops to a cup of hot water. Let it stand for a while to cool (or add a little cool water) and drink just before your meal. This will help to block some acid production and suppress h.pylori bacteria. It can also be effective in treating and preventing stomach ulcers.
Ginger tea actually has a large number of benefits and is generally very good for you, providing numerous nutritional benefits and also being an effective vasodilator that can help to widen the blood vessels to encourage blood flow and oxygen supply throughout the body. Drink this before you start eating and it should help to reduce the amount of acid produced.
Actually though, blocking stomach acids is not always going to be the most effective or useful way to combat heartburn. That’s because you actually need your stomach acids to aid with digestion and to encourage health absorption of nutrients in your food. So in fact, reducing your acid production may cause other digestion issues!
In this case, marjoram oil could offer an alternative solution. This is an anti-spasmodic essential oil that can be safely consumed but must be diluted (read the packaging). This also happens to be anti-spasmodic, meaning that it can help to reduce muscle spasms – which actually are one of the biggest contributors to acid reflux.
In some cases, spasms cause acid reflux because they cause the sphincter around the esophagus to expand and contract, allowing the acids to travel upwards. In this case, using something like marjoram oil can be highly beneficial.
At the same time, marjoram oil may also help to balance the bacteria in the stomach just like ginger oil.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is a very soothing and helpful essential oil to consume if you are suffering from acid reflux. Peppermint oil is naturally analgesic and can help to reduce discomfort as a result. What’s more is that it is very refreshing and can act almost like Gaviscon or other indigestion medication.
Note that peppermint oil is very strong and needs to be diluted heavily. You can do this by mixing just a single drop with some apple cider vinegar (which will help to neutralize some of the acidity in the stomach) and honey which can help to coat and sooth the esophagus.
Lemon is an essential oil that can be useful in combating heartburn and indigestion. This is actually an acid oil which you might think would make matters worse. However, that’s not quite how this works.
Rather, lemon oil can be effective at helping to encourage the production of digestive enzymes and particularly in the mouth. In other words, this helps you to begin digesting your food before it even makes it to the stomach. This can thereby help to improve absorption of nutrients and reduce the incidence of various forms of indigestion.
As an added bonus, lemon oil is also very refreshing and also works as a natural painkiller. This is because it increases serotonin – the happiness hormone – which is also the body’s natural analgesic. So when you combine those effectives into a refreshing beverage, it can help a great deal with indigestion.
Wild Orange Essential Oil
Orange Essential Oil is a very popular essential oil for treating indigestion and is also commonly used for constipation and bloat. It’s a great drink to sip after dinner and is actually very tasty. Take four drops and mix with one teaspoon of grapeseed oil as the carrier. It can also be applied directly to the chest, which some people report offers them relief.
Notice that each of these essential oils works slightly differently. Some block acid production, some encourage the production of digestive enzymes. Others prevent spasms in the stomach and other still numb discomfort.
What this tells you is that what works for one person might not work for someone else. So how do you know what will work for you?
The answer is just to be systematic in testing different approaches to find what is most effective. Try drinking lemon oil before eating or try consuming wild orange or peppermint afterward. If you find it doesn’t help, move onto the next essential oil and try again!
More Treatments for Acid Reflux
While these essential oil warm beverages can be very helpful in treating heartburn/acid reflux, it’s also a good idea to consider some of the other ways that you can lessen the effects of heartburn and also prevent it from occurring in the first place.
The first and most obvious tip then is simply to eat more slowly. One of the most common causes of indigestion and related problems is simply eating too fast and swallowing air while you do. This then causes hiccups, spasms and also belching – all of which might lead to heartburn.
Of course eating more slowly is easier said than done if you’re someone who really loves their food! One tip then is to try chewing more as you eat – you can even set yourself a target for how many times you’ll chew each piece of food. Another tip is to try laying your knife and fork down during each mouthful. Finally, consider investing in some smaller cutlery. This is a small change by it makes a big difference to your eating speed!
Another potential problem is not taking the time to relax after eating. Your posture is very important during eating and afterward. While eating, make sure to sit up straight and not to slouch. Once you’ve eaten, make sure that you stay upright and avoid lying back which can create problems. You should also avoid any strenuous activity. Things like running or jumping can actually cause stomach acids to jump back up the esophagus too. Basically, the aim is to help gravity do its work by remaining as upright as possible.
Stress can also encourage acid reflux. Try to control your stress levels then – perhaps by using other essential oils like bergamot oil or valerian root oil. Meanwhile, make sure that you are drinking lots of water and perhaps try using digestive enzymes like bromelain.
And lastly, think about the types of foods that are causing the acid reflux. It might be that you have difficulty digesting certain types of food and this could even be due to an intolerance or an allergy.
If your indigestion continues and you’re unsure what might be causing it, consult with your doctor. While unlikely, continuous heartburn can sometimes point to other more serious conditions and it’s important to rule these out. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe you medication to take more potent action against the condition.