What makes Essential oils so essential for our bodies?
Essential oils have a unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and travel throughout the blood and tissues. The unique lipid-soluble structure of essential oils is very similar to the makeup of our cell membranes. In addition, the molecules of essential oils are relatively small which enhances their ability to penetrate into the cells. When topically applied, essential oils can travel throughout the body in a matter of minutes.
It is for this very reason that we need to carefully select our essential oils so that we can get the utmost benefit and receive the purest form – especially if we are using them daily to support our digestive health.
Essential oils are extracted, usually through steam distillation, from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, seeds, and leaves. Some plants have very high concentrations of essential oils, which they have developed for protection. We call them herbs and have used them for thousands of years to add to our own body’s defense mechanisms. Here are some herbal oil blends specifically for digestive health.
Peppermint is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for soothing digestion. Many studies have been performed on the efficacy of peppermint and its use as a digestive stimulant.
Acting on our psychological “stomach,” peppermint is also known for its centering and concentrative qualities. It has been studied by schools and universities for its ability to provide focus and attentiveness. A study published in the 2008 “International Journal of Neuroscience” found that participants exposed to peppermint oil experienced enhanced memory and processing speeds. Therefore, peppermint is ideal for digesting and absorbing our mental inputs as well.
Aroma Ease helps us to mentally digest the external factors which we cannot control. It encourages us to stay in a state of acceptance by calming, grounding and providing clarity for our own needs.
AromaEase essential oil is a blend of peppermint, ginger, fennel, spearmint and cardamom and has naturally occurring constituents such as menthol, l-carvone, zingiberene, linalool, and ocimene to soothe and calm the body, mind and spirit.
The compound l-carvone, which is naturally found in spearmint, has been shown to strongly inhibit muscle contractions in the digestive tract, which may explain how this herb helps relieve digestive upsets.
Preclinical studies have also shown that zingiberene, a chemical compound of ginger, possesses carminative, gastroprotective, antiulcerative, and antiemetic properties to prevent epigastric discomfort, dyspepsia, stomachache, abdominal spasm, and cancer of the gastrointestinal system (Ali et al., 2008; Chrubasik et al., 2005)
Ayurvedically speaking, fennel, ginger, peppermint and cardamom are powerful digestive herbs. Fennel acts as a general toner for the digestive system and is particularly good for enhancing Agni or the digestive fire. Ginger enhances appetite and pacifies stomach disorders. Peppermint alleviates nausea and ulcers and is a specific remedy for irritable bowel syndrome. Cardamom can reduce bloating and intestinal gas.
AromaEase is formulated to address emotional stress that effects the stomach and digestive tract. It can also be used as a nervine and calmative, enhancing relaxation. I have just recently discovered AromaEase and find it’s scent to be very pleasing due to its cool minty oil combination which automatically soothes my system. I use AromaEase to maintain digestive health by diffusing the blend or using it in the shower with my liquid soap – I love the balance of focus oils and digestive oils that this blend contains.
As a soon-to-be Ayurvedic counselor, I hope to continue to delve into digestion and the specific essential oils that can assist the system. My goal is to verify the efficacy of the oils in comparison with the ancient herbal remedies as I continue to study and learn.
Remember, we are what we digest!
Namasté, Kim 🕉