“I have been diagnosed with colitis. Have had diarrhea for over 10 years. Started with the GX in November, now on Life Long Vitality Pack and digestzen. Stools normal for about a day, then back to “cowpie” form, watery occasionally. Any suggestions.” – DY

What is Colitis?

Colitis is the general inflammation of the colon, or lower intestines, and ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. A similar disorder is Crohn’s disease, which is another form of inflammatory bowel disease. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are similar, but ulcerative colitis only affects the colon while Chron’s can inflame any part of the digestive track.

This is probably an autoimmune response, although the exact cause is unknown. Symptoms include diarrhea, frequent and urgent need to defecate and bloody stools and rectum. Symptoms range from mild to more severe and can disrupt daily life.

Some people experience a relief in symptoms when stress is avoided and a mild diet of softer, bland foods is eaten. Good nutrition is important since colitis can affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and protein.

Essential oils can also help colitis symptoms. Ginger,1 Helichrysum2 and Rosemary3 have all been found to reduce symptoms of colitis. Thyme and Oregano combined4 can also help symptoms, and Peppermint5 can help improve general indigestion.

Aggravators of Colitis

The exact cause of colitis is unknown, but symptoms can be aggravated by:

    • Stress
    • Poor diet
    • Heredity
    • Isotretinoin use (acne medication that increases risk for IBD)
    • Age
    • Race

Symptoms of Colitis

The most common symptoms of colitis include:

    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal Pain
    • Frequent, urgent need to expel stools
    • Bloody stools
    • Possible fever
    • Rectal bleeding and pain

Prevention of Colitis

Colitis can typically be avoided through dietary and lifestyle changes in the following ways:

    • Eat nutritious meals low in spice and fiber
    • Avoid stress

Beneficial Essential Oils for Colitis

    • Aromatic Use: Clove, Ginger, Helichrysum, Peppermint, Thyme
    • Topical Use: Clove, Ginger, Helichrysum, Peppermint, Thyme, Digestive Blend*
    • Internal Use: Ginger, Helichrysum, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Digestive Blend*

There are many different ways to use essential oils for colitis. Here are some suggested ways:

  • Apply 1-2 drops of Peppermint or Digestive Blend on abdomen and massage into skin.
  • Place 1-2 drops of Ginger or Helichrysum in capsule. Use capsules as directed on the package.
  • Diffuse Thyme, Clove or Peppermint into the air or inhale straight from the bottle.

*DigestZen Digestive Blend


  1. Rashidian, A., Mehrzadi, S., Ghannadi, A., Mahzooni, P., Sadr, S., & Minaiyan, M. (2014). Protective effect of ginger volatile oil against acetic acid-induced colitis in rats: A light microscopic evaluation. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 115-120.
  2. Minaiyan, M., Ghassemi-Dehkordi, N., Mahzouni, P., & Ahmadi, N. (2014). Anti-inflammatory effect of Helichrysum oligocephalum DC extract on acetic acid – Induced acute colitis in rats. Adv Biomed Res Advanced Biomedical Research, 87-87.
  3. Minaiyan, M., Ghannadi, A., Afsharipour, M., & Mahzouni, P. (2011). Effects of extract and essential oil of Rosmarinus officinalis L. on TNBS-induced colitis in rats. Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 6(1), 13-21.
  4. Bukovská, A., Cikoš, Š, Juhás, Š, Il’Ková, G., Rehák, P., & Koppel, J. (2007). Effects of a Combination of Thyme and Oregano Essential Oils on TNBS-Induced Colitis in Mice. Mediators of Inflammation, 1-9.
  5. Grigoleit, H., & Grigoleit, P. (2005). Gastrointestinal clinical pharmacology of peppermint oil. Phytomedicine, 607-611.


Other References

  • AromaTools.™ (2014) Modern Essentials. (Version 1.6.0) Retrieved from http://store.apple.com/us.
  • Crohn’s & Colitis. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2015, from http://www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-ulcerative-colitis/
  • Ulcerative colitis. (2014, September 9). Retrieved May 17, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/basics/definition/con-20043763
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