Diarrhea Relief Using Essential Oils


Female client has experienced diarrhea for three days.  Pepto-Bismol and Ammodium AD did not help relieve her bowel problems and was willing to try aromatherapy.  She was instructed to mix Black pepper, Cinnamon, and Vetiver essential oils into water and drink.  The client experienced relief within fifteen minutes and had normal bowel movements after second dosage, fifteen hours later.

Case Study Description

Client (C.S) is a 38 year old Caucasian woman, who has had diarrhea for three days and frequented the bathroom around seven to eight times per day.  She has tried Pepto-Bismol and Ammodium AD.  Nothing helped relieve her symptoms.  She would like an oil blend to help relieve her symptoms.  She is not sure of the diarrhea’s cause.  C.S. maintains a healthy lifestyle.  She swims and bicycle riding twice per week and running three times per week.  She eats nutritious food, drinks one to two 8 oz. cups of coffee per day, one to two 8 oz. glasses of wine as well as 64 oz. of water daily.

She has not consulted her primary medical doctor but is willing to contact her if things don’t change.

Literature Review

Black pepper Piper nigrum essential oil is harvested and distilled mainly from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sumatra, China, and Madagascar.  The United States and Europe import the fruit for distillation (American College of Healthcare Sciences, 2012, p. 41).  The essential oil is distilled from the plant’s dried, whole unripe fruit.  Piper nigrum’s therapeutic action relevant to this case study: antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antiviral, digestant, stomachic, tonic.  Mehmood & Gilania (2010) conducted an original study finding a “possible explanation for the medicinal use of pepper and piperine in gastrointestinal motility disorders.”

Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum essential oil is harvested from Ceylon, Seychelles, Madagascar, Martinique, Jamaica, Brazil, and Sri Lanka (American College of Healthcare Sciences, 2012, p. 59).  The essential oil is steamed distilled from the bark and leaves.  Cinnamomum zeylanicum’s therapeutic action relevant to this case study: anthelmintic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antiviral, digestant, germicide, sedative, stomachic.  Reported in Planta Medica (1989) cinnamon may improve circulatory disorders and gastric cytoprotection.

Vetiver Vitiveria zizaniodes essential oil is water and steam distilled from vetiver grass’s roots.  Vetiver is widely cultivated in the tropical and subtropical regions.  Vitiveria zizaniodes’ therapeutic action relevant to this case study: antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, depurative, immune system stimulant, sedative, tonic (American College of Healthcare Sciences, 2012, p. 200-201).

Treatment Protocol/Methods

C.S. was instructed add the following formula to an 8 oz glass of temperate water and drink up to three times daily: 1 drop of Black pepper Piper nigrum, 1 drop of Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum, 1 drop of Vetiver Vitiveria zizaniodes.

C.S. was informed of the essential oils cautions and possible contraindications:

  • This blend contains oils with toxic rating I and II. A skin patch test is required.
  • Recommended Daily Dose: 1 drop three times daily.
  • Don’t exceed RDD, may cause liver problems. Contraindicated if client has liver disease.
  • Do not use during pregnancy, lactation or suffering from stomach or intestinal ulcers.

Client Response

C.S. experienced relief within fifteen minutes of drinking the blend and did not need a second dose until fifteen hours later.  After the second dose her stools were back to normal.


The overall effectiveness of the essential oil blend was positive.  C.S. has not had any signs of diarrhea since taking the blend.  She is very happy with her results and would recommend this blend to others.


American College of Healthcare Sciences. (2012). ACHS Aroma 303 and Aroma 304 Essential Oil Monograghs. (pp. 41)  Portland: American College of Healthcare Sciences.

Keville, K., & Green, M. (2009). Aromatherapy: a complete guide to the healing arts (2nd ed.). New York: Crossing Press.

Mehmood, M., & Gilani, A. (2010). Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of black pepper and piperine in gastrointestinal disorders. Journal of Medicinal Food, 13(5), 1086-96.

Tanaka, S., Yoon, Y., Fukui, H., Tabata, M., Akira, T., Okano, K., . . . Yokoyama, K. (1989). Antiulcerogenic Compounds Isolated from Chinese Cinnamon. Planta Medica, 55(3), 245-248.

Valnet, J. (1990). The Practice of Aromatherapy. (R. Tisserand, Ed.) Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.