Increasing number of people are discovering the immense health benefits of essential oils.
Fortunately, there are a large variety of essential oils obtained from different plant sources.
They contain medicinal properties that can heal one disease or other.
A few of the essential oils work really well for relieving common health problems such as burping, bloating, acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, and stomach pain.
In this article, you are going to read about the best essential oils for heartburn and acid reflux.
A Word about Acid Reflux and Heartburn
According to a report published at WebMD, “Heartburn, also called acid indigestion, is an irritation of the esophagus caused by acid that refluxes (comes back up) from the stomach (1).”
A reflux action caused by acid in the stomach pushes acids and food particles into the esophagus.
It is a Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD which manifests several symptoms.
Most common symptoms of acid reflux are heartburn, difficulty in swallowing and regurgitation (2).
You could be suffering heartburn if you have symptoms like:
- a sour taste at the back of the throat, or
- a feeling of food being stuck in the throat.
If you are regularly experiencing symptoms of heartburn, they are most likely be caused by GERD.
Do Essential Oils For Heartburn and Acid Reflux work?
Essential oils are extracted from plant sources such as bark, roots, flowers, and seeds.
Most of these oils contain several natural chemical properties with high medicinal value (5).
Essential oils have been in use for various treatments throughout the centuries.
Unfortunately, research on essential oils is very limited.
Evidence from some the studies and scholarly writings on essential oils suggest that some of the oils may effectively relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn.
The mainstream medical community DOESN’T accept the potentiality of essential oils in healing health issues like acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion.
Medical community limits the EOs to aromatherapy for stress relief and moods enhancement.
However, experts of traditional medicines and Naturopathists vouch for the effectiveness of some of the essential oil in getting rid of Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
Here are the facts you need to know about using essential oils for heartburn relief.
4 Essential Oils For Acid Reflux and Heartburn (GERD)
Aromatherapy is a popular natural solution for overcoming GERD and other digestive problems.
There are a few essential oils that work extremely well for treating the symptoms of GERD.
We have chosen 4 essentials which have proven benefits in getting rid of heartburn and acid reflux.
1. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil can produce an alkaline effect which helps to reduce and balance acidity in your stomach.
Lemon oil contains properties that can naturally detox and cleanse the digestive system.
The antibacterial properties in lemon oil help to eliminate harmful bacteria that may cause infection and digestive issues.
Lemon oil is carminative; it helps to manage common issues in the stomach like indigestion, upset stomach, and cramps.
How to use lemon oil for heartburn:
It is safe to consume one or two drops of lemon oil diluted in a cup of warm water.
It is best to drink lemon oil mixed water 30 minutes before your meal and have it twice a day.
Rubbing a few drops lemon oil on your belly and inhaling the scent of this oil can give you some relief from distress caused by acid reflux.
2. Lavender Oil
Aromatherapy with lavender oil is well known for its instant calming and relaxing effects on both body and mind.
Lavender oil is endowed with several medicinal properties that can take care of a number of health conditions.
You might experience insomnia if you have night time acid reflux. Using lavender oil can calm down the distress caused by heartburn and give you a good sleep.
How to use lavender oil for heartburn?
Apply 3 drops of lavender oil on your belly by gently massaging with the palm of your hand.
Another method is to dilute 2 drops of lavender oil in a cup of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before the meal.
You can also have aromatherapy with lavender oil for calming down the distress caused by acid reflux.
Spraying a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow can induce proper sleep and rest.
3. Ginger Oil
Ginger oil is an effective home remedy for dealing with issues affecting the respiratory and digestive system.
This oil helps manage various types of gastrointestinal problems including acid reflux and heartburn.
Ginger oil applied on the belly or ingested internally aid in calming your stomach and bringing fast relief from acid reflux, heartburn, bloating stomach ulcers, and cramps.
How to use ginger oil for heartburn?
Add 3 drops of ginger oil to a cup of warm herbal tea and drink it 30 minutes before the meal.
If you have bloating or acid reflux in the stomach, you can gently rub a few drops of ginger oil on your belly.
Inhaling the aroma of ginger oil helps to quell nausea and heartburn.
Adding a few drops of ginger oil to warm bath water can help in reducing nausea and burping caused by acid reflux.
4. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is very helpful for digestion and healing upset stomach.
It is carminative and therefore helps in removing excess gas.
Some of the research reports have indicated proven effects of peppermint oil in treating heartburn when used in combination with caraway oil.
This oil helps in relaxing the smooth muscles of the GI tract.
A few studies have also shown the effectiveness of peppermint oil in relieving Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which may cause stomach pain and acid reflux.
Peppermint oil is used in the right dosage can soothe digestive distress and indigestions.
However, ingesting overdose of peppermint oil can cause counterproductive results by aggravating heartburn and bloating.
Infesting 1 or 2 drops of peppermint oil can bring quick relief from reflux, heartburn, stomach cramps, bloating, and nausea.
How to use peppermint oil for heartburn?
Add 2 drops each peppermint oil and caraway oil to a cup of herbal tea and drink it slowly 30 minutes before your meal.
Add ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey and a drop of peppermint oil to a cup of warm water. This refreshing drink can boost your digestive system and remove digestive disorders.
To get quick relief from bloating and acid reflux you can rub a few drops peppermint oil on your belly.
Do not ingest more than 2 drops of peppermint oil at a time.
Risks and warnings on using essential oils for acid reflux
Use of essential oils for acid reflux and heartburn is not backed by any scientific studies.
Essential oils might help in alleviating some of the symptoms of heartburn but may not assist in rooting out its cause.
Use essential oils only under the guidance of well-trained aromatherapist or physician.
Consuming essential oils internally is rarely recommended. They should never be ingested in excess dosage or without diluting.
Incorrect usage of essential oils can cause counterproductive results.
Before topical application, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil.
Use only the therapeutic quality essential oils sold by reputed companies known for quality products.
Aromatherapy is the safest way to use essential oils for treatment purposes.
After ingesting essential oil, if you face any unusual physical reactions like nausea, vomiting, lingering burning sensation, or upset stomach you must consult a physician.
Should you try essential oils for treating acid reflux?
Before you try essential oils to treat heartburn or any other condition it is important you study the oils, their risks, and side effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies essential oils as “generally recognized as safe (13).”
FDA does not closely monitor and test the quality of all essential oils sold in stores and online retailers.
After you have identified the right essential oils for heartburn symptoms, you have to choose the best quality oil from reputed producers and sellers.
If you are buying from online retailers, look out for genuine customer reviews and feedback of the product.
Essential oils are unverified home remedies for heartburn. Your doctor may not know much about the use of EOs for treating acid reflux.
It is important that you check up informative resources on EOs and identify possible choice of oils for treating reflux issues.
Test the oil in small quantity before you start using them regularly. Some of the oils may have quick side effects on your health like allergic reactions or upset stomach.
Other Effective Treatments For Heartburn
Prescription medicines recommended by your doctor is the best treatment for heartburn.
However, mild and occasional incidences of heartburn and acid reflux can very well be treated with Over-the-Counter (OTC) medications.
If you have severe and frequent heartburn, you must choose the best treatment options under the guidance of your doctor.
Here are some of the most common medications for heartburn and acid reflux:
H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs)
H2RAs are an effective treatment option for heartburn that can very well remove their symptoms.
H2RA medicines, under different product names like Famotidine, Cimetidine, Nizatidine, and Ranitidine, are sold in pharmacies as OTC or prescription medication.
H2RAs help in reducing the stomach acid you have.
For complete relief from heartburn, you may have to use a H2RA medicine for a longer period as recommended by your doctor.
OTC antacid is the most popular treatment for heartburn.
It is also used to get rid of the symptoms of extra gas such as bloating, belching, and pressure and pain in the stomach.
Simethicone in antacid helps break up gas bubbles in the gut.
Magnesium and aluminum antacids work quickly to lower the acid in the stomach.
Antacid gives quick relief from symptoms of heartburn.
However, antacid may not work for severe and recurring heartburn issues, but you have to use prescription-strength medicines.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of drugs which help long-lasting reduction of gastric acid production.
They are commonly used potent inhibitors of acid secretion available.
PPIs are effective in bringing down the amount of stomach acid made by the glands in your stomach.
Reckless use of PPIs can cause side effects like headache, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, flatulence, fever, vomiting, or nausea.
Take PPI medicines as prescription medicines if recommended by your doctor.
When to consult a doctor?
OTC medicines and natural remedies like essential oil are not meant for people suffering from frequent heartburn problems for a long period.
After using essential oil or OTC treatments for 2 days, if they do not reduce the symptoms of heartburn then you must discuss the treatment option with your doctor.