I’ve had Crohn’s disease for 23 years. I have a colostomy bag. So, I’ve had my fair share of rotten times. I know lots about this disease and am pretty confident in talking about my own journey and changes I’ve made to help me feel better. I’m no expert and I am not preaching to you, but I get so many emails asking what I use in the way of essential oils. I thought I’d write down my own experience and you can decide for yourself. 🙂
I started getting in to essential oils after my colostomy surgery last year. I wanted my health back and I wanted to be more in control. It doesn’t mean I am cured, and this disease can get you when you least expect it! But I have positively benefited from these small changes/additions to my life.
I am talking about doTERRA in this blog post, but if you use other 100% pure oils then that’s cool too! 🙂
I am NOT recommending or suggesting essential oils will treat, cure or prevent any kind of medically diagnosed immune problem. I am not suggesting anyone change their medication, stop it, or ignore symptoms which need to be treated. That would be ridiculous. Crohn’s and Colitis is very complex and everyone’s diagnosis is different.
However, I love using essential oils to help manage my symptoms AND bring me small bits of relief without reaching for additional medications.
For example, us Crohnies get the flu often, we have grumbling and sick bellies, we get sore joints, we don’t sleep well and we’re lethargic often. We have low iron, abnormal liver function, take too many antibiotics, have a high white cell count and sometimes we can’t even explain what’s wrong!
So, PURE essential oils used in many different ways CAN assist in managing symptoms and making us feel a little brighter (and a little more in control!).
This is my bestie and I at the doTERRA convention last week in Sydney. Once you start to learn about the HOW and WHY essential oils work, then you will be so pleased you made the changes.
Of course diet does play a factor in managing Crohn’s and Colitis symptoms. When you’re well, you can eat what you like. But when you’re sick you should keep things simple. So the diet thing is a balancing act. Diet does not cure Crohn’s or Colitis, but it will help settle your belly and stop you racing to the toilet as often. It’s obvious though – less rubbish, more good stuff. Everyone is different, but at some point you will need to consider supplements to assist you. When you eat less, or you run to the loo often you will not be getting the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body going. I do take doTERRA’s supplements and they are truly awesome. I can attest to that.
Yep, it really sets me off personally! Anxious feelings, too much on my plate… all of those things. They make me unwell. That’s because stress triggers my immune system. Since using essential oils I have found ways to really reduce those stressful feelings. Stress is just life, but it really makes my body over-react and my immune system struggles. I use LOTS of essential oils to calm me. More below.
If I don’t get enough sleep then I am not well. The cells in my body are already stressed from Crohn’s symptoms, but being able to truly switch off and create a good night time routine is the best thing I’ve ever done. A combination of oils on my body and in a diffuser will help calm every single cell in my body.
Hands down the best the I ever did was start to go low-tox in my home. I’d say I’ve reduced my entire toxic load in the house and on my body by about 90%. That’s been the most awesome and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I knew that toxins were something I could easily control! Deerrrrr…. I was already adding medications to my body, but why was I adding extra chemicals to it??
In today’s world we are surrounded by toxins – the air we breathe, the products we use, the things we eat. I am not an expert at this yet, and I still have a long way to go in learning, but I am on the right path.
Endocrine disruptors (scented and artificial smells) are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine (or hormone) systems at certain doses. Any system in the body controlled by hormones can be derailed by hormone disruptors. I felt my hormones were suffering and in turn I wasn’t feeling great or sleeping well (on top of Crohn’s symptoms!).
Smells are all around us, from fancy candles, to car diffusers, scented sticks in our bathrooms… the list goes on. We spray scents all over our bodies, light candles to set a certain mood, and to mask natural odours in the home. But they could be making us sick.
Perfumes contain neurotoxins, which have a causal link to central nervous system disorders, headaches, confusion, dizziness, short-term memory loss, anxiety, depression, disorientation, and mood swings.
It was time to ditch the chemicals and fragrance and start using more natural products. I changed deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, face creams, washing detergent, cleaning products… everything!
Essential Oils for Crohn’s Disease
These are oils which are helping ME!! Again, this is not medical advice, but it makes sense to help treat yourself naturally where you can.
Frankincense essential oil speeds up the secretion of digestive enzymes, increases urination production, relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract and also helps to improve circulation. Overall, it improves digestive health and has been shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms of Crohn’s disease as well as leaky gut syndrome, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis and IBS. Add one to two drops of oil to 200ml of water or to a tablespoon of honey for GI relief. If you’re going to ingest it orally, make sure it’s 100 percent pure oil, and don’t ingest fragrance or perfume oils. (source)
Research shows Frankincense can pass the blood brain barrier and is very powerful and very healing. Great for mood and focus. When inhaled or diffused, Frankincense promotes feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness. Take one to two drops in a veggie capsule to support healthy cellular function. It’s believed to be able to communicate with the limbic system to influence the nervous system.
May also help with arthritis and joints due to anti-inflammatory properties.
Lemongrass essential oil can help relieve pain from gas irritation in the stomach and bowels. Lemongrass has anti-inflammatory properties that come from the limonene that’s present. Inflammation is associated with just about every health condition, including Crohn’s disease, and since lemongrass fights inflammation, it makes a great addition to any Crohn’s disease diet. Adding one to two drops of lemongrass oil or infused lemongrass water to your tea or soup can treat stomach pains, nausea and diarrhoea. (source)
DoTERRA has an excellent blend called DigestZen. I really LOVE this oil. It can help to reduce bloating, gas, and occasional indigestion. It helps when you’re feeling queasy or yucky in the belly. Rub it over your belly area. Add some Frankincense too.
Need to relax and sleep better? Lavender has been used forever and ever. It’s gentle, soothing, cooling. Add to bath water to soak away stress or apply to the temples and the back of the neck. Add a few drops of Lavender to pillows, bedding, or bottoms of feet to relax and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Lavender has been proven to lower your heart rate, cool your body temp down and lower your cortisol levels. So if you have a busy mind before bed, use a combination of lavender and a couple of other oils to calm your body down. You can also use Lavender Peace blend – The addition of Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile and Vetiver.
You’ve all heard of Cannabis Oil and its ability to have a profound positive impact on those with various health challenges??
This is not cannabis, but it does have similar therapeutic properties to a CBD oil. I don’t know the science off by heart, but I have read a lot about Copaiba and I’ve been using it pretty much daily.
Copaiba essential oil comes from the resin of a copaiba tree. This oil has been used for centuries for all kinds of common as well as more serious medical concerns. What are the benefits of copaiba oil? Possible copaiba oil benefits include its ability to act as a natural anti-inflammatory, neuroprotecter, possible liver damage preventer, dental/oral health booster, pain helper, skin improver and calming agent. Copaiba essential oil uses can be incorporated into everyday life by taking copaiba oil internally, using it topically or diffusing it in your living space.
On Guard blend
If you want to keep the colds and flu at bay, then make sure you are supporting your immune system. This oil can do just that! Apply to your body, diffuse in the air or rub on your feet to protect you against those winter threats! It can be taken internally on a daily basis to maintain healthy immune function and support healthy cardiovascular function.
DoTERRA has an oil (and a gel rub) called Ice Blue. Use this for your joints and muscles. It’s cooling, soothing and also uplifting at the same time. Try it. You’ll know what I mean! I have the gel rub and use it all the time. Many of the oils included in this blend are excellent for inflammation. Do some research on this one. Don’t use rubs that are full of chemicals because that will defeat the purpose!
3 ways to use essential oils
The sense of smell can elicit powerful physiologic, mental, and emotional responses. Essential oils are quickly absorbed by the smell receptors, which have a direct link to the limbic system by way of the olfactory nerve. The limbic system is part of the brain that supports a variety of functions including smell, emotions, behaviour, and memory. Some essential oils induce uplifting or invigorating effects, while others are more calming. Diffusion is the simplest method for using essential oils aromatically.
Once absorbed, they stay in the applied area for a localised benefit. Using a light massage will increase the blood flow to the area of application, in turn improving distribution throughout the body. Use of a carrier oil can also increase absorption. Apply topical recipes every 4-6 hours.
Essential oils contributes to health benefits as well as flavouring and aroma properties to foods. When in their concentrated form they can be used as dietary supplements for more targeted and potent health benefits. They enter the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. Proper dosing according to labeling recommendations and other professional guidelines should be strictly followed to avoid toxicity.
Finally, take some supplements.
Like I mentioned before, take any supplements you like. Make sure they are 100% GOOD. Do some research. I take these.
Get real though
Just remember essential oils are natural products. They metabolise quickly so don’t think after one week of using essential oils “these don’t work!” That’s because you HAVE to make the changes and commit to using them every day. It’s a lifestyle change too. 🙂
- Small changes to your whole body
- Improve your diet
- Get more sleep
- Get rid of the chemicals
- Use oils to help with symptoms
- Learn meditation (best thing ever!)
Also, please let your doctor know you’re using essential oils and taking supplements. It’s the right thing to do! Just be responsible, take your OWN action, and do the research.
Hope I’ve given some of you a little bit of light today. ♥ KC.