Diarrhea is the frequent and uncontrollable watery bowel movements. Diarrhea has a detoxifying effect on the body; but, this is a feeling that one get the next day after recovering. But, the discomfort, agony, inconveniences, and oftentimes embarrassment felt on that day is inexcusable. People suffering from diarrhea often hope for a speedy recovery.
There are a few foods that can stop diarrhea, but these take time to be effective. Then there is the plethora of over the counter medications that can treat diarrhea. But, those looking for natural alternative to lessen and treat their gastrointestinal problems and its symptoms choose essential oils for diarrhea relief.
Diarrhea affects everyone at least once in their lives. Its main symptom is loose stools but there are other symptoms including nausea, fatigue, stomach cramps and dehydration. Essential oils for diarrhea not only treat the conditions, but some oils also take care of the individual symptoms.
Essential oils are good in dealing with diarrhea, but there are some instances that need medical attention. Do seek a doctor’s guidance in such cases. Here we will discuss about the essential oils that provide relief from diarrhea and how to use these oils.
What Are Essential Oils And Are They Effective?
Essential oils are plant oils extracted in such a manner that it does not disrupt its molecular integrity and retains the properties of the plant. In minor cases of diarrhea (also diarrhoea) or dysentery the use of essential oils will treat the condition. However, in major cases, modern pharmaceuticals must be used and essential oils can be used as a complementary treatment.
Some cases of diarrhea can cause extreme dehydration and can result in health complications. Hence, essential oils must not be the only mode of treating diarrhea.
Different Causes Of Diarrhea
There is no one reason for the cause of diarrhea. There are several underlying causes that can result in the gastrointestinal problem. Hence, the cause must be treated first to treat diarrhea. The causes of diarrhea might be viral or bacterial; luckily different essential oils have different strong properties that including antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory that will deal with the underlying cause of diarrhea.
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine lists out the causes of diarrhea. (1) Another study on viral causes of diarrhea was published in the Gastroenterology Clinics in 2001.
15 Essential Oils For Diarrhea Treatment And Relief
Essential oils have therapeutic properties including antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that soothes the intestines and eliminates the pathogens that cause diarrhea. There have been some research on these essential oils, but more research on human subjects is needed. Use essential oils for diarrhea, upset stomach and digestive problems with care.
Some essential oils also have antispasmodic properties that stop the spasms and cramps in the abdomen. The essential oils with carminative properties get rid of flatulence thus offering further relief. Here we don’t have a list of 10 best essential oils associated with diarrhea, we have 15 effective essential oils for diarrhea. So, let’s learn about the essential oils for diarrhea.
1. Peppermint Essential oil for Diarrhea
The first essential oil that has to be mentioned in the alternate treatments of diarrhea is peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil has powerful antispasmodic properties that are useful in bringing down abdominal cramps, bloating and nausea.
The high content of the cool menthol in peppermint relieves flatulence and prevents the further buildup of gas. The compound menthol also has physiological effect on the body. It lowers the calcium channels in the cell. This reduces the dilation of the arteries and lowers the blood pressure. Peppermint oil is great anti-inflammatory agent with warm scent that help relieve stomach cramps, reduce stomach pain and give best results in at least 15 minutes.
A randomized controlled trial published in Mymensingh Medical Journal in January 2013 found that peppermint oil was effective in lowering the stomach pain due to diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (2)
However, due diligence must be followed while using peppermint essential oil for treating diarrhea. Excess use of peppermint oil can cause kidney problems and affect bile production. This oil may also help with skin irritations.
2. Cinnamon Essential Oil for Treating Diarrhea
Cinnamon is known to fight and eliminate bacteria and parasites residing in the gut and gastrointestinal tract. It eliminates the causative bacteria of diarrhea. The oil of cinnamon when used in high doses has antibiotic properties. But, it is better to administer the oil in small doses.
Diarrheal symptoms including intestinal cramps and muscle contractions are taken care of with cinnamon oil. A 2014 study substantiated the anti-diarrheal properties of cinnamon leaf extract. (3)
However, it is important to know that cinnamon can sensitize the mucus membrane and can trigger asthma attacks in people who are prone to the ailment. Consult a doctor before using the oil.
3. Treat Diarrhea With Cardamom Essential Oil
Cardamom is used in food preparation as it improves digestion and prevents flatulence or accumulation of intestinal gas. It is an antispasmodic that prevents muscle convulsions and soothes muscle spasms.
Cardamom essential oil is effective in eliminating the parasites that cause diarrhea, thereby decreasing the recovery time. A study published in 2021 in the Microorganisms has evaluated the anti-pathogenic properties of cardamom essential oil. (4)
However, cardamom essential oil is not for everyone. Those suffering with gallstones, asthma and seizures must refrain from using this oil.
4. Relieve Diarrhea symptoms with Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano is an herb that has several therapeutic properties for the gastrointestinal system and is hence used in preparing food items. The essential oil of oregano has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antibiotic activities. Oregano oil is a potent oil and should be used in minimal amounts.
A 2017 study on animals published in the Research in Veterinary Science investigated the effect of oregano oil on the neonatal diarrhea syndrome in calves. It found that oregano had a preventive effect. (5)
However, oregano oil must not be used in excess as it can trigger diarrhea. Excess use may also disrupt gut bacteria and lead to infections.
5. Ginger Essential Oil for Diarrhea Management
Ginger is root herb that is the stomach’s companion. It is widely used in Ayurveda to treat stomach ailments. It has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties. Ginger oil is used to boost digestion, reduce inflammation and eliminate flatulence. There have been several researches on ginger oil and its uses in stomach health and diarrhea management.
One such study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2007 which found that ginger and its compounds was effective in treating diarrhea due to E. coli. (6)
6. Tea Tree Essential Oil Stops Diarrhea
The essential oil of tea tree has the following properties – anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. And, each of these properties is quite powerful. This oil has many therapeutic uses. It soothes gastrointestinal inflammation and eliminates diarrhea causing pathogens.
The International Journal of Biosciences in 2014 published the pharmacological properties of tea tree oil.
7. Ho Leaf Oil Or Ravintsara Essential Oil
This oil has good amounts of 1,8 cineole which makes it a potent antiviral. The other properties of the oil are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. This oil is used to treat diarrhea because it controls muscle spasms.
8. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil for Diarrhea Relief
The oil of Roman chamomile is gentle in nature and can be used by anyone. It has good sedative nature along with analgesic properties. It has active ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties. The compounds that give it these properties are luteolin and apigenin.
A 2009 study investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile oil. It was found that chamomile oil functions as an non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). (7)
9. Essential Oil of Clove Bud for Diarrhea
Clove bud essential oil is used for its analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory (soothing) properties. This oil prevents the clotting of blood due to the presence of the bioactive compound eugenol, which is present in high quantities. This bioactive compound is also useful in taking care of infections of the respiratory and intestinal system.
A 2011 study on clove extract published in the International Journal of Biomolecules and Biomedicine concluded that clove bud was antibacterial agent and can be used as a replacement for drugstore antibiotics. The study also reported significant anti-diarrheal activity of clove. (8)
10. Thyme Essential Oil Diarrhea Remedy
How does thyme oil treat diarrhea? It has the ingredients ursolic and oleanolic acids, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The oil also has antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It is thus used to remove the pathogens causing diarrhea and provides relief to the stomach muscles. It lowers inflammation and stomach cramps, and treats anxiety related diarrhea.
11. Lavender Essential Oil For Diarrhea Treatment
Lavender oil is a versatile oil that is used for treating several ailments including diarrhea. Its two main activities that act against diarrhea are anti-inflammatory and analgesic. The soothing aroma of the oil also calms the nerves and gets rid of the mental agony that accompanies this condition. The aromatic molecules of the oil also dilate the blood vessels which lowers the blood pressure and other contributing factors of abdominal cramps.
12. The Oil Of Eucalyptus Reduces Diarrhea And Symptoms
Eucalyptus essential oil is used to lower the pain and discomfort caused due to diarrhea. This oil has the powerful compound Eucalyptol, which is a vasodilator and opens the blood vessels. When it is absorbed into the body through the skin it increases the blood vessel size and cause more blood to flow. This oxygenated blood relieves pain and promotes energy levels in the body.
Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties and can tackle diarrhea caused due to bacteria or fungus. The antibacterial properties of eucalyptus oil have been proven in a 2022 study published in the International Journal of Research Publications. (9)
13. Sweet Orange Essential Oil Diarrhea Medicine
The use of sweet orange essential oil for diarrhea treatment comes from its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce the swelling and inflammation of the intestines caused by the condition. The aroma of the sweet fruit has an energizing effect on the body and mind. The fatigue caused by diarrhea can be overcome with the oil from the sweet orange plant.
14. Frankincense Essential Oil Diarrhea Treatment For Adults
Frankincense is a good diarrhea remedy for adults. Extracted from the Boswellia Sacra plant, the oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and sedative properties. Frankincense is efficient in blocking out pain.
Research has shown that the inflammation causing mediator leukotrienes is blocked by frankincense oil. The oil is also a sedative that calms the nerves and relaxes the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil have been published in the Seminars in Cancer Biology. (10) This oil is great for relieving acute diarrhea.
15. Lemon Essential Oil Diarrhea Therapy
The oil extracted from citrus limon has antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. The oil can eliminate the pathogens from the stomach and balance the acid levels in the stomach. It also nourishes the body with Vitamin C, which improves the immune system.
A study established that lemon was effective in stopping the growth of diarrhea-causing bacteria. (11) Its aroma can soothe the mind and body.
Must read our article about essential oils for gallbladder.
Using Essential Oils As Diarrhea Remedy
Essential oils have several therapeutic properties and active ingredients. It is always recommended to blend several essential oil as they enhance these therapeutic properties. Here are some essential oil recipes for treating diarrhea.
Diarrhea Caused By Food Items
Essential Oil Blend 1 for Diarrhea – Topical Application
- 4 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 3 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- Mix the above mentioned oils in a bowl and apply it on the stomach to get rid of stomach pain and cramps.
- Massage the oil on the abdomen for 10 minutes till the oils are absorbed.
Essential Oil Blend 2 for Diarrhea – Inhalation Aromatherapy
- 3 drops of lemon essential oil
- 2 drops of chamomile essential oil
- 3 drops of peppermint essential oil
- Add these 3 oils to a diffuser and allow the aroma to fill the room.
- Inhale the scent for a few minutes to get relief and lower the symptoms of diarrhea.
Diarrhea Caused By Pathogens
Essential Oil Blend 1 for Diarrhea – Massage Oil
- 2 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops of thyme essential oil
- 1 drop of tea tree essential oil
- Quarter cup of olive oil
- Mix these oils in a bowl and apply it on the whole abdominal region.
- Apply and massage the oils during regular intervals.
Essential Oil Blend 2 for Diarrhea – Therapeutic bath
- 10 drops of frankincense essential oil
- 10 drops of Roman chamomile essential oil
- 5 drops of ginger essential oil
- Quarter cup of Epsom salt
- The Epsom salt is added into the bath water to dissolve the essential oils in the water.
- You can also add milk into this mixture, but it is optional.
- Before using this water for bathing, make sure to stir it to mix all the ingredients.
- Bathe with this water to get relief from diarrhea symptoms.
Essential oils for diarrhea provide relief from the symptoms of diarrhea and treat the condition over time. However, serious cases of diarrhea with severe pain must be treated only after consultation with a doctor. In many cases of severe diarrhea over the counter medicines offers quick relief. In such cases, essential oils can be used as a complementary treatment for diarrhea. Also ensure that the essential oil is diluted. But, talk to a doctor before using essential oils with other prescription medicines.
Some essential oils may interfere with other medications and cause needless complications. Also, it is important not to ingest these oils to help relieve stomach problems and for recovery and healing from diarrhea. In severe cases use essential oils for diarrhea as a complementary treatment; but consult with your doctor.
What essential oil is good for diarrhea?
The essential oils that are good for diarrhea or the essential oils that are used to mitigate the symptoms of diarrhea are as follows: –
1. Peppermint essential oil
2. Oregano essential oil
3. Cinnamon essential oil
4. Cardamom essential oil
5. Lemon essential oil
6. Sweet orange essential oil
7. Lavender essential oil
8. Clove bud essential oil
Does peppermint help diarrhea?
Peppermint essential oil has antispasmodic properties that reduce the spasms in the stomach. The menthol content in the oil soothes the stomach and suppresses agitation. A study has found that peppermint oil reduces stomach pain due to diarrhea.
Does oil of Oregano help with diarrhea?
Oregano essential oil is useful for the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal system. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antibiotic properties. Research has shown that oregano oil can prevent neonatal diarrhea syndrome in calves. A small dose of oregano oil can prevent and reduce diarrhea.
Does coconut oil help with diarrhea?
Coconut oil can prevent and treat diarrhea caused by certain strains of bacteria. It was also found that consuming coconut oil on an empty stomach can lower stomach inflammation. Hence, coconut oil can be mixed with essential oils and used to reduce the effects of diarrhea.
- Henry J. Binder, M.D. (2006). Causes of Chronic Diarrhea. https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp068124.
- Richard W. Goodgame, MD. (2001). VIRAL CAUSES OF DIARRHEA. https://www.gastro.theclinics.com/article/S0889-8553(05)70210-7/fulltext.
- M S Alam 1, P K Roy, A R Miah, S H Mollick, M R Khan, M C Mahmud, S Khatun. (2013). Efficacy of Peppermint oil in diarrhea predominant IBS – a double blind randomized placebo – controlled study. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23416804/.
- Nandu Kayande Nimar Institute of Pharmacy. (2014). Evaluation of Anti Diarrheal Potential of Cinnamon Leaves. http://www.pharmatutorjournal.com/index.php/pt/article/view/102.
- Anti-Pathogenic and Immune-Modulatory Effects of Peroral Treatment with Cardamom Essential Oil in Acute Murine Campylobacteriosis. (2020). https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/9/1/169.
- Research in Veterinary Science. Volume 115, December 2017, Pages 478-483. Evaluation of the in-field efficacy of oregano essential oil administration on the control of neonatal diarrhea syndrome in calves. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034528817304940.
- Ginger and Its Bioactive Component Inhibit Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Heat-Labile Enterotoxin-Induced Diarrhea in Mice. (2007). https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf071460f.
- Janmejai K Srivastava,1 Mitali Pandey,1 and Sanjay Gupta. (2009). Chamomile, a novel and selective COX-2 inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2784024/.
- Md. Mostafizur Rahman University of Rajshahi. (2011). In vitro controlling of selected human diarrhea causing bacteria by clove extracts (Syzygium aromaticum L.). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221668889_In_vitro_controlling_of_selected_human_diarrhea_causing_bacteria_by_clove_extracts_Syzygium_aromaticum_L.
- Antibacterial Effects of Eucalyptus Oil (Melaleuca leucadendra) Made in Lamongan against Escherichia coli Bacteria In vitro Study. (2022). https://www.ijrp.org/paper-detail/3930.
- Seminars in Cancer Biology. Volume 80, May 2022, Pages 39-57. Anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities of frankincense: Targets, treatments and toxicities. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1044579X20300341.
- ER Ekawati1 and W Darmanto2. )(2019). Lemon (Citrus limon) Juice Has Antibacterial Potential against Diarrhea-Causing Pathogen. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/217/1/012023/meta.