IBD Awareness

The Importance of Essential Oils

Essential oils are a huge part of my bedtime routine. In addition to my white noise machine that I mentioned in my previous blog post about getting a good night’s sleep, I have an essential oil diffuser I turn on about thirty minutes before I go to sleep. Essential oils have become very popular in recent years due to their newfound health benefits. I hope that after reading this blog post, you look into getting yourself some essential oils!

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

This article by Healthline talks about the multiple benefits of essential oils including relieving stress and anxiety, relieving headache pain (specifically with peppermint oil), improving sleep quality, and reducing inflammation. Some popular scents on the market right now are peppermint, which aids in digestion; lavender, which relieves stress; chamomile, which improves mood and relaxation; tea tree, which is used to fight infection and boost immunity; and lemon, which aids in digestion, mood, headaches and more.

Some things you want to look for when researching essential oils are natural ingredients, fragrance-free, and a reputable company that has been around for a while. If I am going to be using an essential oil every night, I want to make sure it has clean ingredients and is non-toxic. The essential oil brand I am using right now is called Cliganic and I really like them. Depending on my mood, I choose a different scent each night. If I want more relaxation I use lavender or eucalyptus. If I have a headache or any pain before bed, I will use the lemon or tea tree oil.

One great tip that I learned during my diagnosis was to use peppermint oil for pain. There were many nights where severe abdominal cramping kept me up at night and when Tylenol did not work, I would rub peppermint oil on my belly and the pain would immediately subside. Peppermint has this cooling effect that relaxes your muscles and soothes the pain. For those of you who struggle with cramping in IBD, try rubbing peppermint oil on your belly before bed or drinking peppermint tea! It was a lifesaver for me.

I have been using my essential oil diffuser for over a year now, and it has proven to be so beneficial to me. I try to substitute essential oils for candles now since the oils are more natural and are safe and environmentally friendly. Essential oils also have so many other uses in the home outside of aromatherapy, which is a plus! Essential oils are just another aspect of my nightly self-care plan, and I couldn’t imagine my IBD recovery journey without them.

Do you use essential oils? What are your favorite brands?

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