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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

Essential Oils for Digestion: Anise, Mint & Citrus Recipe!

How essential oils for digestion can help

When your stomach is upset, essential oils for digestion can help by:

  • Calming muscle spasms (cramps)
  • Easing nausea 
  • Relieving bloating and gas
  • Supporting your digestion process

This belly oil recipe includes three essential oils for digestion, each one rich in components that help with all of the above.

The carrier for this blend is pure jojoba oil. (Technically, jojoba is a liquid wax, but it’s often called an oil.) The chemical structure of jojoba closely resembles the natural oils produced by human skin, so it tends to be gentle even for sensitive skin. 

Jojoba also has a super-long shelf life. Pure, organic, unblended jojoba oil can last 20 years or more!

Let’s get to the recipe, and then I’ll tell you more about why these essential oils for digestion are so effective.

Anise, Mint & Citrus Digestion Oil

  • 1 oz (30 ml) Jojoba oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 5 drops Spearmint essential oil (Mentha spicata)
  • 5 drops Sweet Orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis)
  • 3 drops Anise essential oil (Pimpinella anisum

Make this digestion oil in a 1 oz (30 ml) glass bottle.

Pour the jojoba into the bottle, then add your essential oils for digestion, drop by drop.

Close the bottle and shake it gently to thoroughly distribute the essential oils through the jojoba.

Use this recipe after a big meal (or before a big meal, to prepare your stomach), to calm nausea and anxiety that settles in your belly, ease bloating, relieve gas, or if your stomach just feels upset and you’re not sure why. 

Simply massage your digestion oil into your belly with a clockwise motion.

And don’t forget to inhale the aroma of the blend from your palms! 

How these essential oils for digestion help

Spearmint essential oil

Mentha spicata

Sweet, minty, and refreshing, Spearmint essential oil contains the ketone carvone.

It’s a rarely occurring component that has powerful cramp-calming effects. Carvone has also shown pain-relieving actions.

Like the other mint oils, Spearmint has a comforting, cooling touch. It gets energy moving by bringing more circulation to the area of application. In this case, that means stimulating and soothing the muscles in and around your belly to support digestion.

Sweet Orange essential oil

Citrus sinensis

Sweet Orange oil contains d-limonene, a well-studied inflammation-calming component that’s also a “penetration enhancer.” This means that the presence of d-limonene helps your skin absorb a blend more fully, and you’ll experience relief that much faster!

Sweet Orange is a traditional essential oil for digestion, being used to ease spasms and support the entire process.

It also adds a bright, fruity scent to this blend that helps balance the strong mint and licorice-like anise.

Anise essential oil

Pimpinella anisum

Anise essential oil has a powerful licorice scent. Just a few drops in this digestion oil go a long way!

It’s rich in a component called trans-anethole, which studies show to be anti-spasmodic. It can help the muscles in your belly relax.

Trans-anethole also comes with some significant safety precautions. 

In Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition, Tisserand and Young recommend avoiding anise essential oil if you’re pregnant, breast-feeding, or if you have endometriosis, estrogen-related cancer, or a bleeding disorder. Anise is also contraindicated if you’re on anticoagulant medications. It’s too strong for sensitive skin and for children under 5 years old. 

The authors recommend a maximum topical dilution of 2.4%. We’re only using 3 drops in our digestion oil, which is well below 1%, so we’re safe!

Another way to use essential oils for digestion…

… is to make an inhaler!

This Happy Belly Inhaler for Digestion recipe is made with Cardamom, Ginger, and two other oils that can calm your belly just by breathing them in. 

And if you don’t have Anise, Spearmint, or Sweet Orange, the oils in the inhaler recipe can work as good substitutes.

Orange Essential Oil Spotlight

Albuquerque AA, Sorenson AL, Leal-Cardoso JH (1995) Effects of essential oil of Croton zehntneri, and of anethole and estragole on skeletal muscles. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 49 (1): 41-49. Cited by Bowles EJ  (2003) The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils 3rd Edition. Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin

Takayama, K., Nagai, T. (1994) Limonene and related compounds as potential skin penetration promoters. Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy 20, 4, 677-684.

Karen serves as Co-Director of Education at Aromahead Institute, where she works closely with students and helps them earn aromatherapy certification. Karen’s strong values for healthcare, education, and sustainable practices have guided her entire career, and remain the principles that shape her daily activities at Aromahead. Karen loves sharing her knowledge of essential oils and how they can enhance the beauty of ones’ journey through life and has authored numerous articles and guides on the safe and effective therapeutic uses of essential oils. In Karen’s free time, she can be found hiking amongst nature, reading, and enjoying her family.

Topics: how to use orange essential oil, essential oils for digestion, natural remedy for digestion, how to use essential oils for digestion support, essential oils to support digestion, spearmint essential oil, anise essential oil

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