Gas, Flatulence, & Digestion


Flatulence is a common problem affecting most anyone at one time or another.  It can be embarrassing and painful at times. It can be caused by many different things, including but not limited to, food allergies, swallowing too much air, or even disease.  

The two most common causes of digestive issues are food allergies and/or an out of balance gut flora (commonly called candida overgrowth). (Food allergy testing absolutely can be done without the use of needles.  Contact us at support@selahoils.com for a recommendation to a natural healthcare provider in your area who can do this sort of allergy testing.)

Gut health depends on the correct balance of the gut flora, or bacteria. The good bacteria is called probiotics (you've heard of this before, I'm sure!) and even though it is largely villainized, candida is also needed by the body. 

But... Candida albicans, commonly called "yeast", can cause major problems if it exists in the gut in a larger proportion than the good bacteria. 

Because our diet is the main contributor to the state of our digestive system health, diet is really the best way to correct gut health.  (Don't worry, I'm going to give you some great ideas on how to use essential oils too in just a second!)

Things to Avoid:

    • Cellulose and starchy foods such as potatoes, wheat, peas, onions and carrots
    • Pasteurized dairy (usually there's an unknown allergy to dairy)
    • Added sugar (sugars feed candida, the most common gut health killer)
    • Refined vegetable oils (canola, soybean, corn, etc.)
    • Hydrogenated fats (or trans fats) - they are synthetic, unfamiliar to the body and are almost completely identical in their makeup to plastic! Please don't put this in your body! 

Excess gas can also occur after a course of antibiotics because they kill off large quantities of helpful organisms living in the intestines. 

Correcting the gut flora in your digestive tract is crucial!  

Things to do:

    • Get on a high count probiotic. Go to your nearest health food store and ask for a good brand.  They will know where to direct you.
    • Don't go easy on it!  It is often necessary to take triple the recommended daily amount on the bottle.  Take them on an empty stomach if possible.  (And, of course, always check with your doctor first!)  
    • Eat a variety of fermented foods such as sour kraut, kombucha, miso, kefir, yogurt, etx.  Kefir or yogurt should be unpasteurized and sweetened only with raw stevia or a small amount of whole fruit pieces.
    • If you are going to eat a salad or raw fruits/veggies at a meal, eat them 15 minutes before the main course (or cooked food).  If you eat a salad followed immediately by dinner, the foods will ferment in your stomach and often cause excessive gas and bloating.
    • Drink herbal teas (or spiced teas)
    • Eat healthy fats (nuts, seeds, raw coconut oil, grass-fed butters, MCT oils, etc.)
    • Eat wild caught fish at least twice a week 

Now back to oils... After your meal you can sip a glass of hot water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and 1 drop of either peppermint or spearmint essential oil.  (Worwood, 298)

If you are experiencing pain, a good recipe is 2 drops cardamom and 3 drops peppermint mixed in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil.  Massage this mixture over the whole abdomen in a clockwise direction. 

Using essential oils diluted and rubbed in a clockwise rotation on the abdomen can help ease the intestines until the helpful flora has been re-established.  Suitable oils would be BergamotBlack PepperCamomileFennel, Lavender or Marjoram. (Davis, 122)

One of our favorite blends to use is Tummy Troubles mixed with carrier oil and massaged on the abdomen in a clockwise direction. 

Intestinal Gas Massage Blend

Mix thoroughly in a glass jar.  Massage abdomen in a clockwise direction. (Purchon, 218)

Oils targeting the Digestive System, Gas/Flatulence: GingerLavenderTummy Troubles,  PeppermintFennelAniseCardamomCorianderCopaibaEucalyptusJuniperMyrrhRoman ChamomileRosemarySpearmint.

Application ideas:
Dilute oil of choice as recommend and apply to large intestine, stomach, abdomen or feet.

*If you suffer from chronic flatulence it is best to consult with a licensed physician to rule out any chronic issues. 

Resources:

  1. Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy an A-Z. (2000), p. 122
  2. Purchon, Nerys & Cantele, Lora. The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness. (2014). p. 218
  3. Worwood, Valerie. The complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. (1991). p. 298