Digestive Distress and Essential Oils
By Dr. Lynn Thompson
The digestive system is how the body retrieves and absorbs nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, from the food we eat. The mouth, esophagus, small and large intestines, and rectum make up the continuous chain of muscular, hollow organs referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which is a subdivision of the digestive system. Accessory organs and body parts like the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, tongue and salivary glands, and teeth are also members of the digestive system. The tongue and teeth are involved in the first stage of digestion, the mechanical breakdown of food into smaller pieces. An enzyme in saliva called salivary amylase initiates the digestion of starch (found in potatoes, corn, and grains) in your mouth. The pancreas, liver, and gallbladder release enzymes used to digest the remaining carbohydrates, proteins, and fats further as they travel through the GI tract.
Symptoms of digestive distress may include stomach or abdominal discomfort, belching, gas, feeling over full and other issues. Compromised digestive function can result in energy deficiencies, lowered immunity, weight gain, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
The digestive tract is one of the body systems that research has shown to be most positively influenced by essential oils. Being the most innovative and science-focused company in the essential oil industry, doTERRA combined the most efficacious oils for digestive health support into one amazing blend: DigestZen Digestive Blend. This blend was formulated specifically to sooth discomfort and support healthy digestive system functions. Whether adding 2-3 drops to a glass of water before the meal, diffusing during the meal, or taking a softgel after the meal, the blend is a natural way to support healthy digestion.
Healthy function of the digestive system can be influenced by lifestyle, environmental and heritable factors. Overall recommendations to support the digestive system include eat a healthy diet high in fiber (soluble and insoluble), drink plenty of water (one half your body weight in ounces each day at a rate of 4 ounces at a time) and utilize a quality digestive essential oil blend (my preference is DigestZen), a quality blend of enzymes and a high quality probiotic.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
What's in DigestZen?
Whether used to address acute discomfort or to support overall wellness, it's a proprietary combination:
Anise - clinical and experimental research have shown that anise essential oil may support the health of the digestive tract and promote relaxation when taken internally
Peppermint - Human clinical research has shown that internal consumption of peppermint essential oil supports healthy digestive system function as well as reduces occasionial bloating
Ginger - research has shown ginger essential oil can support healthy digestion and reduce feelings of occasional nausea
Caraway - clinical research indicates help when taken internally, especially when combined with peppermint
Coriander - one of the oldest spices known to assist with GI health
Tarragon - used in traditional Ayurveda and Chinese health practices to ease discomfort
Fennel - interestingly, clinical research suggests even just inhalation of fennel essential oil may impart a calming and invigorating effect