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IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome. It is a condition that affects the digestive system. It can cause symptoms such as cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Essential oils may have numerous benefits, including treating IBS symptoms, though research is ongoing.

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While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA does not monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It is important for a person to talk with a healthcare professional before using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

Some studies suggest that certain essential oils may help relieve various IBS symptoms. For example, a 2019 study found that people with IBS experienced a reduction in abdominal pain after taking peppermint oil capsules orally.

Additionally, a 2016 study found that orally taking anise oil capsules significantly reduced IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and more.

A 2013 study found that various essential oils, including thyme and tea tree oil, have antibacterial benefits that could help prevent intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Other essential oils, such as peppermint, lemongrass, rosemary, and fennel were less effective but still showed some potential for treating IBS symptoms.

Learn about using essential oils for treating constipation.

Essential oils are very potent but generally considered safe if a person uses these products as directed. A person should never ingest essential oils or add them to beverages unless the product specifies that this is safe to do and only when directed by their doctor. Some essential oils are toxic.

Essential oils require a person to dilute the liquid with a carrier oil before bringing it into contact with the skin. Before applying essential oils to a wide area of skin, patch test a small amount on the inner arm and wait 24 hours to see if there are any adverse reactions.

People who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or nursing should avoid using essential oils. Do not use essential oils on infants without medical guidance.

Essential oils are available in different forms like topical dilutions, oral capsules, and herbal teas.

Peppermint essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil and applied to the skin if the product advises that it is safe. People can also use a diffuser to inhale the essential oil. This is known as aromatherapy.

Learn more about essential oil diffusers here.

Essential oil capsules, nutritional supplements, and teas can be ingested as directed. Follow guidelines carefully to ensure it is safe to do so.

Learn about teas for IBS here.

People should speak to a doctor before using essential oils to treat IBS. Essential oils should not replace medical treatment and are not a cure for IBS.

Never ingest pure essential oil straight from the bottle.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

The FDA does not regulate essential oils. A person should therefore ensure that they are purchasing from a reputable and legitimate source.

Zongle Peppermint Oil

This oil is USDA certified organic, and the company claims it is ethically and naturally produced. It is suitable for vegans.

The company claims that, if ingested, this oil can help promote digestive function and respiratory health.

The company states it is safe for ingestion as it has been tested for harmful substances. A person should dilute one drop of oil in liquid before ingesting.

It is available for $13.95 for a 30-ml bottle.

Learn more about peppermint oil here.

Revive Digest Support

This product is a blend of peppermint, ginger, tarragon, fennel, caraway, coriander, and star anise essential oils.

The manufacturer claims this oil may support the digestive system and ease stomach problems. It is GC/MS tested and has undergone purity tests.

The company suggests adding a drop to a glass of water or a cup of tea. A person can also apply this topically if they dilute it first.

It is available for $14.50 for 10 ml.

Gaia Herbs Ginger Root

This herbal extract contains ginger root to give relief from the occasional upset stomach and feelings of nausea.

This product is USDA certified organic and made in the USA. It is also vegan, purity tested, and free from soy, dairy, gluten, corn, peanuts, yeast, shellfish, sugar, and tree nuts.

The manufacturer recommends a person take 15–20 drops in a small amount of water three times a day between meals.

It is available for $14.99 in a 30ml bottle.

Rocky Mountain Oils Tummy Time Roll-On

This product is a roll-on that contains fennel oil and black pepper oil, to relieve stomach cramps and reduce bloating.

The Tummy Time Roll-On is pre-diluted, so a person needs to roll the product on to the stomach when needed. It is safe for children over 2 years old to use.

The product is third-party tested in an individual lab. These results are available to view online.

It is available for $14.95 for a 10-ml bottle.

Plant Therapy Gut Aid Essential Oil Blend

This product is for topical use only and comes in a dropper bottle. A person should roll this onto the abdomen when needed. The company claims it can aid occasional symptoms such as gas, bloating, and indigestion.

The oil is a blend of peppermint, tarragon, lemongrass, sweet fennel, star anise, and ginger root. It has a minty scent.

The company recommends a person dilute the oil in a carrier liquid before massaging into the abdomen.

It is available to purchase for $19.95 for a 30-ml bottle. A person can also buy this pre-diluted for $14.95 for 30 ml.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) states that doctors may use the following methods as alternative treatments for IBS:

Learn about medical and alternative treatments for IBS here.

A person should visit their doctor if they think they may have IBS. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

People with IBS may want to speak to a doctor about treatment options if symptoms are impacting daily life or are severe.

A person should visit their doctor urgently if they have any of the following symptoms:

Some essential oils may help with IBS and other digestive symptoms, though research is limited. Peppermint, oregano, and other essential oils may ease IBS symptoms.

It is usually recommended that a person does not ingest this essential oils. Peppermint oil, however, is one that, if in capsule form and distributed as a nutritional supplement approved by a doctor, is generally considered safe. Some peppermint oils may require a diluted topical application instead, like all other essential oils.

A person should speak to a doctor about using essential oils or alternative therapies to treat IBS symptoms. Essential oils are not a cure or replacement for other treatments or lifestyle changes to manage IBS.