Greatest Important Oils for Crohn’s Illness Signs


Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with some pretty nasty symptoms. There is currently no cure. While prescription drugs can help, they sometimes have quite undesirable side effects.

Some people suffering from this disease may turn to alternative medicine for relief. But is there any evidence that essential oils can be effective for Crohn’s disease? We found out.

While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA does not monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It is important to speak to your doctor before starting essential oil use and to find out about the quality of any branded products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

More than half a million people in the United States have Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease can affect anyone, but it is more likely that you will develop in your 20s or if you smoke regularly. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue. Researchers aren’t sure what is causing it, but stress and certain foods seem to trigger symptoms.

If you have Crohn’s disease, you will experience times when your bowel inflammation flares up and times when it’s in remission. Medications (such as corticosteroids, aminosalicylates, and immunosuppressants) can help. But they may not eliminate all of your symptoms. Some patients are also looking for alternative treatments, including essential oils.

Essential oils are extracted from flowers, roots, stems, leaves and other parts of plants. When you inhale a scent, it triggers a strong emotional response. The essential oil molecules can also get into your lungs and bloodstream, and then to organs and other tissues. You can also absorb them through the skin.

A report in a nursing journal suggests aromatherapy could relieve symptoms such as:

  • pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomit
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • emphasize
  • insomnia

Here’s some of what scientists have learned so far about essential oils and Crohn’s disease.

Artemisia Absinthium (also known as wormwood) sounds like something you would find in a magic potion book. Is This Shrubby Plant a Magical Treatment for Crohn’s Disease? No. But there is some research to suggest that wormwood is more effective than a placebo for achieving remission.

There are two small, older studies that gave Crohn’s patients wormwood powder to take. In each study, the majority of patients who took wormwood experienced remission. Keep in mind that this study did not include essential oils, but it is encouraging that this plant could be useful in treating Crohn’s disease.

Patchouli oil comes from the leaves of the Pogostemon Cablin plant. Love it or hate it, you can find fragrant patchouli pretty much anywhere, from cosmetics to meditation. But does it actually work?

It turned out that there is some evidence of this trend. Animal studies support claims that patchouli is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and beneficial for digestive ailments such as ulcers and colitis.

Who doesn’t love peppermint? If you’ve ever popped a mint or drank mint tea to soothe an upset stomach, you are not alone. It’s a common herbal remedy for digestive problems, and there is even some research to support it.

Studies suggest that peppermint oil may help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is not the same disease as Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory bowel disease, but they have similarities. The potential anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint could be helpful for people with Crohn’s disease.

In a 2018 study, researchers gave rats with colitis menthol (a compound found in peppermint). Treatment improved weight gain, ulcers, oxidative stress, and inflammation. This is promising, but the menthol used in this study was not in the form of an essential oil. We need more research before we know if peppermint oil is safe and effective.

Perhaps you know frankincense as one of the famous gifts of the wise, or as the woody-smelling incense stick that your free-spirited friend burns. Frankincense is made from the wood and resin of the Boswellia tree and is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy for inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease.

However, there isn’t much scientific research on whether it can help with Crohn’s disease. Here’s what we know

  • In a study of 102 Crohn’s disease patients, Boswellia serrata extract induced better remission than the drug mesalazine.
  • Another study of 82 patients found that incense capsules were no more effective than placebo pills at maintaining remission.
  • In a study on intestinal cells produced in the laboratory, the use of frankincense extract appeared to protect the intestinal barrier from inflammatory damage.

Could it be good for more than one delicious caprese salad? Basil is a traditional remedy for indigestion, but there is very little research on the use of basil essential oil to treat gastrointestinal disorders.

There is some evidence that basil essential oil may have anti-inflammatory effects in rats when taken orally. Since Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition, it is possible that basil may have some benefit. In a 2018 study with mice, scientists also found that basil extract had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on gastric ulcers caused by aspirin.

PSA: Despite these promising results, many health professionals warn against ingesting essential oils as it can lead to serious side effects. Always speak to your doctor before trying to understand the risks.

There just isn’t enough research to outline a dosage and protocol for using essential oils for Crohn’s symptom relief. While some options like basil and peppermint are common and safe food ingredients, the quality and effects of extracts can vary widely.

Talk to your doctor before adding an essential oil to your treatment plan. They can help you figure out the right dosage and recommend a trustworthy brand if they think it might benefit you.

As a reminder, essential oils are not a product that the FDA is closely monitoring for quality or effectiveness. The use of essential oils can be associated with risks. They can catch fire, be toxic if swallowed, and cause allergic reactions, skin irritation and eye injuries. Never ingest essential oils without your doctor’s advice.

In addition to the potential side effects, another disadvantage of taking essential oils is that they can lose their antioxidant properties before they reach the small intestine. (That is where they would be most effective at treating Crohn’s symptoms.) Also, the contents of your essential oils will depend on where the plants were grown, how the oils were extracted, and more.

We really need more research on the specific components of essential oils before we clearly understand the pros and cons of these oils.

There isn’t as much evidence for complementary therapies as there is for more conventional treatments. However, some therapies are of particular interest to people with Crohn’s disease.

  • Probiotics. Some studies suggest that these friendly bacteria can improve digestive health.
  • Turmeric. There is some evidence that this spice can relieve inflammatory diseases.
  • Aloe vera juice. This calming sip can also be anti-inflammatory and is traditionally used for wound healing.
  • Cannabis. The compounds in this plant can help control nausea and improve appetite.
  • Acupuncture. Studies suggest that this type of traditional medicine might help.

Some scientists believe that essential oils are a promising alternative treatment. But there isn’t enough research behind essential oils and Crohn’s disease to know if it’s safe or effective. Always talk to your doctor before using this alternative therapy.