GROW: The Book
What are your go-to essential oils for a tummy ache for both children and adults?
Essential oils should not be taken internally for a tummy ache as they can be caustic and burn the esophageal and stomach lining - even if put in water, which does not dilute the oil. (Oil and water do not mix.) Source: David Crow (master herbalist and essential oil expert)
It would be better to use some sort of demulcent, soothing plant like aloe vera (gel), marshmallow, slippery elm, etc. to coat the stomach lining.
What are the symptoms of the tummy ache? That will dictate what herbs to go to.
As said above, EOs should not be used internally even when diluted in a carrier oil. You could dilute some lavender or chamomile EO in oil and rub on the stomach for a calming smell.
Depending on the stomach ache cause... you could attempt a soothing cooling effect with peppermint or ginger tea.
Honestly I prefer a simple tea of chamomile for most tummy aches. I love essential oils and use them in many ways but for me the tea works better. Some prefer a peppermint tea but if I have tummy issues that just makes me nauseous. Ginger works well if a warming herb is needed but don't brew it too strong.
@Denisha Cole Glad you asked.
So many reasons for tummy upset; so many different symptoms; so many different herbs to assist.
Chamomile is generally a go-to remedy for tummy aches and can be effective for adults as well as children. Catnip is another good one and is often combined with chamomile. Both are really good for teething babes as well. Mints, particularly peppermint, taste good so help with blend of not so nice tasting ingredients, as well as relieving pain due to gas and/or cramping. Ginger is great for nausea. They are all quite safe herbs, too, just for general recommendations. If it is a chronic thing involving digestion, then digestive enzyme like bromelain or papain might help. But there are many other herbs that may be of more assistance depending on the individual, symptoms involved and root causes. As @seeker.nancy - Central Texas has suggested, what may be quite helpful for one person, might do the opposite or nothing at all for someone else.
While there are essential oils that could be used externally, diluted in a carrier oil and rubbed on the tummy, an aromatherapist would be the best person to match up the symptoms with the appropriate treatment. Children are particularly sensitive to essential oils so should only be used with great caution.
An herbalist or an aromatherapist will usually do a full work-up asking many questions about the symptoms as well as history, diet, sleep patterns, mental and emotional stressors, etc., etc. etc., before deciding on a course of treatment.
I've used doTERRA's Digestzen blend externally over the stomach area.
According to Doc Jones parsley is great for stomach aches. It is also very nutrient dense. The only contradiction is to not use if you are pregnant or lactating as it dries up milk.
What kind of tummy ache?
I'm with the 'Essential Oils are too concentrated for this use' group, but there are a lot of nice herbal remedies. Organic Catnip is actually very good for tummy aches, and they don't make people goofy. I only specify 'organic' because it matters where you get your catnip from; if you grow your own, yay! but it's in so many cat toys etc that I wouldn't put that stuff in either my cat or my body.
Lavender is nice, chamomile is nice. Pretty much any mint is nice. However, I get a type of heartburn from almost all of these water-herb infusions, so I heat up almond milk and make a strong infusion and mix with the almond milk. Sometimes I only need some warm almond milk to settle my stomach. If you can tolerate animal milk, scalded milk actually does calm down the tummy; a little molasses is nice but not necessary.
There are a few herbs that are culinary that help with stomachaches as well. Cardomom tea is nice, again, I make it strong and then add to warm milk. Fennel tea is used all over Europe for stomach upset. Anise as well. Ginger tea can be really nice as well - I prefer honey with mine, I keep ginger root in the freezer and then grate it for teas.
Also, nettle tea can be quite effective for general stomach unease.
Pickles are another thing that really helps my stomach, but there is quite a bit of salt in pickles. At one point my (holistic) doc said to me, 'you know, you could make dill tea instead. It works just as well". She's right. It does. I just like pickles to munch on.
Also in Germany, there are a lot of folks that use the probiotic-type remedy: sauerkraut juice is sold in the supermarket next to orange juice. Vinegar with herbs are sold in bottles, diluted in water and taken as a tonic for stomach issues. Eating sauerkraut and kimchi and even pickled fish (herring) can be helpful.
I like Plant Therapy’s kid-safe products. I have “Tummy All Better” that we will rub onto bellies or just inhale a bit to calm upset stomachs. It is a blend of Petitgrain, Dill Weed, Roman Chamomile, Spearmint and Ginger Root with coconut oil.
I have heard a lot about essential oils, I see them in stores, but I am not sure which ones are good. Do you know if it is possible to make them?
@Nicoleburba Essential oils are distilled from plant material. So you need a still. I have seen some on the market for around $500. But I Would get an expert to show you how to use it. Essential oils take a great deal of plant material to make. For example, it takes 3 lbs of lavender flowers to make 1/2 ounce of lavender essential oil. Some other plants require even more. So its not a very sustainable practice for the home grower.
Do some research to find good quality oils. Check out the companies and ask the advice of an aromatherapist as to which brands of oils are the best. Don't take the word of a sales rep in a store unless they have some sort of qualifications as an aromatherapist or natural health practitioner.
If you are thinking of using essential oils therapeutically you should take an introductory course in aromatherapy. Essential oils are very potent and have some contraindications that are important to know. There are some fairly inexpensive courses online through several aromatherapy or natural health schools.
@torey thank you for detail explanation. Now I understand that my best bet is to look for a reliable vendor vs making it myself. I will follow your advice and do some work before I start using them.
Challenge to all - what is your favorite essential oil and why.....???
@dalans I don't very often use essential oils but I would have to say that the evergreens are favourites. Balsam Fir, Cedarwood and maybe a Pine of some kind. I like forest scents and find them to be calming. Antibacterial. Good for the respiratory tract.
I’m an Certified aromatherapist and the only way I would give a blend is to someone whom I’ve done an health evaluation to. One oil does not fit all. Robert Tisserand has a great deal of safety and whys. He’s not hook to any mlm company and is the leader in safety. Lavender and chamomile is a great blend but it depends on age and do they have any ragweed allergies. You can go to NAHA and look up registerEd aromatherapist. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for essential oil.
@dalans frankincense hands down, great for skin, immune system and has had studies done on cancer fighting qualities
Catnip tincture or tea and peppermint tea or peppermint oil capsules for ibs. (Supplement)