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The Benefits of Essential Oils for Gut Health

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Using essential oils for gut health is beneficial in various ways, including improving digestion, increasing good bacteria, and soothing irritated bowels. If you suffer from GI symptoms, essential oils may help you find some relief.

Essential oils, eucalyptus, and sea salt

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Using essential oils for gut health is an underrated part of a gut healing protocol.

Are you familiar with the scene in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where the traditional, Greek father claims the power of Windex over everything and anything? Do you have a skin rash? Grab the Windex. Suffering from a headache? Windex is the cure. Is the countertop dirty? Windex will clean it up.

Similar to Windex, some may argue that essential oils are the end-all-be-all for health and wellness. And while I don’t believe essential oils are a cure-all, they certainly can be beneficial to our health. Case and point: they can help restore the integrity of our gut!


Essential oils are powerful compounds that are extractions of super-concentrated properties from plants. Using essential oils can benefit our gut health in various ways, including improving digestion, increasing the good bacteria, and soothing irritated bowels. If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, essential oils may help you find some relief:

Benefits for essential oils

The key to reaping gut health benefits from essential oils is to determine the right essential oils for your needs and understand how to use them effectively. With so many options available, how do you know which one to choose? Let’s dive into all things you should consider with essential oil use:

How to choose the right essential oil

In addition to determining the right essential oils for you, it’s important to consider the quality of the oil, including the purity and efficacy. One way to ensure the quality of your essential oils is to review the brand’s Seed to Seal. The Seed to Seal is a set of standards that guarantees the purity and efficacy of the product because #qualitymatters.

Personally, I love Young Living’s essential oils because of their Seed to Seal and guarantee of quality and efficacy. The Seed to Seal focuses on the sourcing, science, and standards of the essential oils and the process in creating them.

The source of your essential oils is important because it helps ensure there were no unethical production practices or added synthetics, contaminants, or cheap fillers. Inexpensive essential oils are often synthetic or unethically sourced. Always choose brands with transparent traceability. Testing is also something to consider when choosing an essential oil. I suggest choosing one that has gone through physical, chemical, and microbiological scientific tests to ensure the highest quality.


You can use essential oils in a variety of ways that are effective and safe, including: 

How to use essential oils for gut health topically, through inhalation, and internally

You can use essential oils topically on your skin. However, it’s important to mix the oil with a carrier oil, like castor, jojoba, or argan. The recommended dilution is 1.5% to 3% for adults, which is about 10 to 20 drops per ounce of carrier oil. You should never apply essential oils directly to skin because without a carrier oil they can cause irritation. I recommend testing the oil on a small area of skin first to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation. For gut health specifically, I suggest giving yourself an abdominal massage along the length of the colon.

Through inhalation

Apply a few drops to a bandanna or tissue and hold the item near your nose. Take deep breaths and exhale through your mouth. Or you can also add essential oils to a diffuser and breathe in the steam. This is the most common way to use essential oils. And in addition to the health benefits, it’s also a great way to make your home smell amazing. 


You can actually consume essential oils! However, if you plan to ingest your essential oils, it’s important to make sure you use a culinary-grade oil, like those from Young Living. Try adding various essential oils to your smoothies, baked goods, cooking recipes, or simply plain water. Always talk to your practitioner before consuming internally. 

Ways to ingest essential oils

An important note: Essential oils can’t always identify the difference between pathogenic bacteria and healthy gut bacteria. Therefore, do not use any oil internally long-term, unless directed by a health practitioner.

Essential oils that are great for gut health such as thieves and peppermint
1. Thieves 

Thieves is a blend of cloves, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary oils that you can use for aromatherapy or topically. It can help boost immune function, purify the air, and aid in detoxification. Try adding culinary-grade Thieves to your morning smoothie or Chai tea. Alternatively, you can apply it topically to the bottom of your feet to help pull out toxins in the body.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint has powerful digestive properties. By using it topically or aromatically, you can improve feelings of nausea, boost energy, and relieve sore muscles. In fact, studies have shown that peppermint oil has a beneficial effect on the balance of gut bacteria, particularly for SIBO. AND its monoterpene compounds show to be helpful with irritable bowel syndrome. Diffuse the oil or mix it with a carrier oil to topically apply to your stomach for digestive soothing. You can also add a few drops to warm water to create a natural peppermint tea or add it to smoothies for a holiday kick!

3. Digize

Digize is Young Living’s special blend to promote healthy digestion. It combines the beautiful aromas of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli. To soothe inflammation and improve digestion, simply add this essential oil to filtered water or massage over the abdomen topically, especially after meals. 

4. Fennel 

Fennel is derived from the seeds of a fennel plant. It’s licorice-like scent is often added to soaps and candles. Fennel essential oil has antimicrobial and antioxidant effects due to its phytochemicals like flavanoids, phenolic compounds, fatty acids, and amino acids. It also contains essential minerals and vitamins. You can enjoy fennel essential oil as an herbal tea by adding a few drops to warm water. Studies found that a tea made with fennel essential oil can help with constipation and cramp relief. 

5. Lavender 

Lavender is a superstar for digestion. It reduces inflammation, relieves stress, and calms the mind. You can diffuse lavender, apply it to the skin with a carrier oil, or add it to a bath to relieve stomach distress. It also seems to recognize the difference between healthy and harmful gut bacteria, and in turn does not damage beneficial bacteria though it is antibacterial towards pathogens. Lavender can also support good sleep, which is restorative for the gut. 

6. Frankincense 

Frankincense can be used to improve stress support, immune function, mental calmness, and reduce inflammation. In one study, they found that frankincense, an extract of the Boswellia serrata tree, was as effective against Crohn’s disease as the traditional medication mesalazine. More research is of course needed as it was a small study, however it’s a great start to showcasing the powerful efficacy of essential oils for inflammation. To use, simply diffuse the oil or apply it to the skin (bottom of the feet or stomach) with a carrier oil.

7. Clove

Clove is known to reduce inflammation, act as an antispasmodic to help regulate bowel movements, and work as an antifungal to help remove parasites and candida yeast overgrowth. It contains high amounts of eugenol, which has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Use clove by adding a few drops to hot water as a tea. Or, combine it with cinnamon powder to make a homemade chai.

8. Oregano

Oregano essential oil is one of the most potent. It helps improve the integrity of the gut and serves as an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. It contains compounds such as carvacrol, thymol, and rosmarinic acid, which can help fight free radicals and can be used against bacterial infections, including E. Coli. Culinary-grade oregano can be used in cooking or taken orally. However, it’s advised not to take internally for more than 10 days as overuse can kill beneficial bacteria. 

As you can see, there are many essential oils that can effectively benefit the gut. From indigestion to constipation, there’s an oil for almost every symptom. It’s important to note that it’s always wise to use essential oils under the supervision of a healthcare professional. In addition to a custom nutritional protocol, these essential oils can help you get your health back. 

If you need additional guidance to heal your body from the inside out, please reach out. I would love to talk with you about how I can support you throughout the gut healing process!

Bottles of oils like clove and oregano and greenery
  1. Can you add more then one oil in your food or drinks?

    • Nikki Yelton says:

      Hi Brandy! Yes you can but I always recommend making sure you are getting specific essential oils that are food grade safe since you don’t want to just add any essential oils internally.

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"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."

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