Did you know that it’s not only what we eat that affects our digestion but also our ability to digest, absorb, assimilate, and eliminate food? For optimal digestion, the body must be in a state of “rest and digest” also known as the parasympathetic state. Once in this state, we are able to enjoy food and eat in reverence. This means that we’re relaxed and focus on chewing properly, eating at a comfortable pace, and truly enjoying our food. Unfortunately, with the average lunch break being only 30 minutes, most of us feel rushed and wolf down our food before getting back to the grind.
This rushed and stressed out state of mind is known as the sympathetic state which is a bit ironic because who doesn’t sympathize with people who have to eat in a hurry? If you’re one of them or have been there before then you know how uncomfortable it is after the fact. You only have X amount of time so you’re rushing to decide what to eat for lunch. You’re probably pretty hungry because you didn’t have time for breakfast that morning so you’re not capable of making the healthiest choices (I’m totally guilty of this). Once you get your food you eat quickly and forget to chew your food properly. After your meal, you feel heavy and bloated and maybe even a bit sleepy. You don’t even want to think about how you’re going to feel later. The sympathetic state literally shuts down your digestive system but pulling blood away from the midsection.
Some symptoms of eating in a stressed state include:
• Acid reflux
• Stomach cramps
• Intestinal pain
While a lot of us have trouble avoiding this scenario we can make things better – you guessed it, with essential oils!
Essential Oils for Digestion
Of course, there are several ways to improve your digestion and get into that parasympathetic state.
If you are able to, try these tips:
• Sit upright and relax
• Practice mindful breathing
• Stop thinking about work or other stressful situations
• Eating slowly
• Chew well
• TASTE your food – revere it!
It can definitely be a challenge to relax fully for meals so be sure to try your best to prepare for them like:
• Preparing your lunch ahead of time
• Choose healthy options for meals and snacks
• Make sure your meal is conveniently packed with all necessary utensils, napkins, a drink, and condiments you need so you can grab it and go relax
• Find somewhere peaceful to eat if you can
Now on to the oils!
In my experience, I have found the best combination to be clove and lime. I know I sound like a broken record about this combo but it’s amazing! All you have to do is make a roll on with equal parts clove and lime essential oil. I usually do 5 drops of each in a roll-on bottle because it lasts a long time. You can also dilute it by filling the rest of the roll on bottle with a carrier oil like sweet almond, fractionated coconut, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, etc. You can also get this blend already made here.
This blend works so well because it triggers your digestive system into gear.
Here’s what this blend does:
1. Triggers the release of saliva
2. Increases stomach acid
3. The pancreas releases enzymes
4. The gallbladder releases bile
5. The small intestine increases its enzymatic activity and nutrients are better absorbed
6. Elimination becomes easier
Pretty amazing right? And all you have to do is put a small drop right behind the ear above the jawbone before meals. This is called the vagal nerve. Always test it out on your wrist first to make sure your body is ok with the straight blend. If not, wash it off and dilute it as described above.
As a bonus, this blend also helps with anxiety, depression, and headaches!
Another awesome blend for digestive support is a mix of tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise, and patchouli. All of these essential oils have an affinity for stimulating healthy digestion.
Mix 7 drops of each essential oil in a roll-on bottle. Test a small swipe of it on your wrist to see how you react. If you don’t react well, dilute it with carrier oil.
This blend is amazing when applied in a clockwise ring around the navel. Apply it before meals or when your digestion feels less than optimal.
This blend is sooo relaxing and stress relieving. The lavender really helps bring you back to a parasympathetic state. The Roman chamomile is also relaxing but it also decreases intestinal inflammation and helps eliminate gas. It’s a win-win in my opinion!
So there you have it! The best essential oils for digestion 🙂
What have been your favorites?
Don’t know where to start with essential oils? Check out the articles below:
Beginners Guide to Essential Oils- Part 1
The Beginners Guide to Essential Oils- Part 2
How to Use Essential Oils
Where to Start with Essential Oils
Gas? Bloating? Cramps? Other Digestive Issues? You May Want to Consider Peppermint Oil
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