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acid reflux (heart burn) and gerd

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also digestive disorders

Acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) are very closely related.  Food we eat enters the stomach from the esophagus through a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).  This valve, made up of muscles around the esophagus, may not close completely allowing acids (bile) and/or food to move back from the stomach into the esophagus.  With that there may be a bitter taste, the taste of some foods, or a burning sensation in the chest (heart burn).  If this progresses and happens frequently it has become GERD.

The reasons for the lower esophageal sphincter to not close properly may be mechanical.  This can happen with a hiatal hernia (part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm), pregnancy, severe weight gain, over eating, or lying down right after a meal.  Certain prescription medications including sedatives, antidepressants, high blood pressure, motion sickness, and asthma to mention a few can bring on or worsen acid reflux.  Aspirin and ibuprofens can also contribute.  Diet can also be a factor.  Items to avoid include alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, chocolate, garlic, onions, citrus, tomato, spicy, fatty foods, or tobacco.

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  Digestive BlendC, GingerC, LemonC, PeppermintC, SandalwoodC

Essential oils based products:

Also consider: BasilEC, Black PepperE, EucalyptusC, Frankincense, Roman ChamomileC, Wild OrangeC

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

For adults:

 Digestive Blend taken internally in a capsule, add Ginger, Peppermint, or Wild Orange to strengthen.

 or ... Frankincense topically on the throat and chest

 or ... Lemon, 3 -5 drops in the back of the mouth. Follow with water.

Note: some find Peppermint helpful but others find it makes acid reflux worse.

For infants:

  Digestive Blend rubbed on the feet, stomach, or chest.  (protect from the baby touching the area and rubbing their eyes)


  Maggie Tisserand, Aromatherapy for Women speaks very highly of Sandalwood for heartburn during pregnancy. Her personal use was taking one drop internally. Our recommendation would be to seek professional confirmation of such a self-help procedure.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Tony - I have suffered from heartburn for years and had been taking 40mg (a high dose) of Nexium per day when I heard Dr. Hill's recommendation to use essential oils.  I began with 10 drops of Digestive Blend (boy, I can't tell you enough what a perfect name that is for this blend...especially the Zen part!!) with 4 drops of Peppermint in capsules twice a day.  I completely stopped the Nexium while doing this.  After 3 weeks of this routine, I began to taper off the amount of both oils and now I am down to 3 drops of Digestive Blend and 1 drop of Peppermint twice a day and sometimes only once a day.


Mariette - A friend wants to know what oils are good for handling acid reflux?

Pat - Digestive Blend first, or Ginger or Peppermint. My experience has been Digestive Blend, hands down!

Ramona - There are several things that can be done to help with acid reflux.  Digestive Blend is AWESOME help!  When my 2 month old baby had it so bad they wanted to medicate him, I treated it completely with Digestive Blend.  I would rub it on his chest after every feeding.

I think diet plays a large role, as well, so make sure they are not drinking caffeine and watching their sugar intake.  I would also put a few drops of Digestive Blend in water, every day and drink it to help heal the esophagus. 


Linray - Does anybody have a good treatment plan for Acid Reflux?

Michelle - My mom has found rubbing Frankincense on her throat and chest seems to do the trick almost immediately.  She gave some to a friend who had the same result. Seems to work well for her!

Energy4life - Acid reflux is often caused by the H.Pylori bacteria. There was a study that showed Lemongrass essential oil is more effective at killing H.Pylori than the powerful antibiotics currently prescribed for it.  Not only that, the bacteria do not become resistant to Lemongrass whereas they do become resistant to antibiotics. GI Cleansing Formula has powerful oils including Lemongrass, so I would suggest doing the cleanse followed by Probiotic Defense Formula.

Lori - I have tried many things for acid reflux.  I have had the most success with Lemon essential oil.  It works within 5 minutes.  I just put 3 to 5 drops in the back of my mouth and follow with a glass of water.  I'm so grateful that I found this remedy since I suffered for years with this problem.  I I have also had some limited success with Digestive Blend and Peppermint, but by and far, Lemon essential oil works the best.


Samara - What oils would work for GERD?

Rob - Some people have had success taking Peppermint in warm water 2-3 times per day and at the onset of symptoms.  I would s put Digestive Blend over my stomach and chest/throat area at the same time and always drink plenty of water with Lemon in it. The later has helped my wife with that choking feeling in the throat that is sometimes a symptom of GERD.

Kathy - I have taken capsules of 3 drops each Peppermint and Frankincense for GERD and/or acid reflux.  I take them when I feel that burning that I know will lead to an episode.  I have also swallowed a few drops of Peppermint in a small shot glass of warm water.

If you have serious on-going issues, you might want to consider a diet change.   Are you eating plenty of raw healthy foods?  Avoiding high fat foods, especially at night?  Drinking plenty of water?

Protocols folks recommend for children

JCM - I have put Digestive Blend on the bottom of my infant grandson's feet and it has stopped his acid reflux. Just dilute it 50/50. I also let him suck my finger with it diluted on my hand. Hope this helps. A little goes a long way.


Ramona - There are several things that can be done to help with acid reflux.  Digestive Blend is AWESOME help!  When my 2 month old baby had it so bad they wanted to medicate him, I treated it completely with Digestive Blend.  I would rub it on his chest after every feeding.

Lynda – Another oil that seems to help is Wild Orange.  Either on the feet for little ones or directly on the abdomen.


Pam - I have a friend who has a baby that is about a month old.  They believe she has colic or acid reflux, because she cries about 80% of the time.  Any suggestions for her? 

Bubba - Pam you may try Digestive Blend. Before (...) essential oils my wife and i would use a product from a health food store with catnip and Fennel and it worked great.  Since discovering (...) we use Digestive Blend for our little boy and it works great. Just a dab on the pinky finger and right on the tongue and it seems to do the trick quickly. He would make a horrible face and momentarily object but would get over it very quickly. Of course on the feet or tummy would also work

Rob - For a baby, I would try Digestive Blend or Peppermint with a few drops of carrier and drop them right in the infants belly button, then begin lightly rubbing in a clockwise circular motion around and away from the belly button.

Also a drop or two on the infants feet with a light massage can be effective.  Place the drops right in the center of the foot. Frankincense is another oil that is great for digestive problems with infants. Put socks on the feet, etc. to protect against cross contamination to the eyes with babies.


Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils


What Science & Research are saying



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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.