GUTS Essential oils for Living Healthy Series
By Dr. Stewart Gillespie*, Osteopath, Functional Medicine, Clinical Nutritionist, Medical Intuitive

Digestive Health

I often get asked if I would take anything what would it be, or Doc what are you taking I need some of that. My answer “it depends!” There is no magic supplement or magic pill, or even magic essential oil out there to make things miraculously better. We have to get away from that idea and instead focus on whole body systems and take an integrative approach to health. Your body works as a whole and is not made up of separate systems. I do not understand why we need to see a separate Doctor for heart problems, or joint pain or allergies etc as if what happens in our hearts does not affect our joints or digestive system or brain, of course it does. But this reductionist approach to health means we take something for heart, something for digestion, hormonal control, cholesterol diabetes etc, etc, etc. But if we take a Functional Medicine approach and look for underlying causes, rather than symptoms, we stop chasing multiple areas of pain and disease.  So to answer  the original question, I would say you have to focus on 3 main areas of the body that I believe are the roots of all evil or stress or inflammation within the body.

  1. Adrenals and hormonal imbalance
  2. Gut Infections
  3. Detoxification pathways and brain

Our previous article was about the adrenals and stress (, as almost everyone I see relates their problem with some kind of stressful event, whether it’s emotional or physical or environmental. So without question adrenals are our first focus, and we talked about what to look for, and how to test and then what oil protocols to use. This article will focus on gut health.


MEDICAL DOCTORS ARE TRAINED TO IDENTIFY DISEASES by where they are located. If you have asthma, it’s considered a lung problem; if you have rheumatoid arthritis, it must be a joint problem; if you have acne, doctors see it as a skin problem; if you are overweight, you must have a metabolism problem; if you have allergies, immune imbalance is blamed. Doctors who understand health this way are both right and wrong. Sometimes the causes of your symptoms do have some relationship to their location, but that’s far from the whole story.

As we come to understand disease in the 21st century, our old ways of defining illness based on symptoms is not very useful. Instead, by understanding the origins of disease and the way in which the body operates as one, whole, integrated ecosystem, we now know that symptoms appearing in one area of the body may be caused by imbalances in an entirely different system.

If your skin is bad or you have allergies, can’t seem to lose weight, suffer from an autoimmune disease or allergies, struggle with fibromyalgia, or have recurring headaches, the real reason may be that your gut is unhealthy. This may be true even if you have NEVER had any digestive complaints.

There are many other possible imbalances in your body’s operating system that may drive illness, as well. These include problems with hormones, immune function, detoxification, energy production, and more. But for now, let’s take a deeper look at the gut and why it may be at the root of your chronic symptoms.


Symptoms  Throughout the Body Are Resolved By Treating the Gut

Many today do have digestive problems including reflux or heartburn, irritable bowel, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and colitis. In fact, belly problems account for over 200 million doctor’s visits and billions in health care costs annually. But gut problems cause disease far beyond the gut.  In School I learned that patients with colitis could also have inflamed joints and eyes and that patients with liver failure could be cured of delirium by taking antibiotics that killed the toxin-producing bacteria in their gut. Could it be that when things are not quite right down below, it affects the health of our entire body and many diseases we haven’t linked before to imbalances in the digestive system?


The answer is a resounding yes. Normalizing gut function is one of the most important things I do for patients, and it’s so simple. The “side effects” of treating the gut are quite extraordinary. Many patients find relief from allergies, acne, arthritis, headaches, autoimmune disease, depression, attention deficit, and more—often after years or decades of suffering. From elimination of small bacterial overgrowth, giardia, candida (yeast), worms, etc

These are not miracle cures but common results that occur when you normalize gut function and flora through improved diet, increased fiber intake, daily probiotic supplementation, enzyme therapy, the use of nutrients that repair the gut lining, and the direct treatment of bad bugs in the gut with herbs or oils.

In the West, our increased use of vaccinations and antibiotics and enhancements in hygiene have lead to health improvements for many. Yet these same factors have dramatically changed the ecosystem of bugs in our gut, and this has a broad impact on health that is still largely unrecognized.

There are trillions of bacteria in your gut, and they collectively contain at least 100 times as many genes as you do. The bacterial DNA in your gut outnumbers your own DNA by a very large margin. This bacterial DNA controls immune function, regulates digestion and intestinal function, protects against infections, and even produces vitamins and nutrients. Also toxins, metabolic by-products, and inflammatory molecules produced by these unfriendly bacteria can all adversely affect the brain.

Conversely, when the balance of bacteria in your gut is optimal, this DNA works for you to great effect. For example, some good bacteria produce short chain fatty acids (like Omega 3). These healthy fats reduce inflammation and modulate your immune system. Bad bugs, on the other hand, produce fats that promote allergy and asthma, eczema, and inflammation throughout your body. Simply by looking at the by-products of their intestinal bacteria (which are excreted in the urine—a test called organic acids testing), researchers could distinguish between autistic and normal children.

Even obesity has been linked to changes in our gut ecosystem that are the result of a high-fat, processed, inflammatory diet. Bad bugs produce toxins called lipopolysaccardies (LPS) that trigger inflammation and insulin resistance or pre-diabetes and thus promote weight gain. It seems remarkable, but the little critters living inside of you have been linked to everything from autism to obesity, from allergy to autoimmunity, from fibromyalgia to restless leg syndrome, from delirium to eczema to asthma. In fact, the links between chronic illness and gut bacteria keep growing every day.


So what can you do to keep your gut flora balanced and your gut healthy, and thus overcome or avoid these health problems? Follow these five simple steps to begin re-balancing your gut flora:

1. Eat a fiber–rich, whole foods diet

It should be rich in beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, all of which feed good bugs.

2. Limit sugar, processed foods, bad grain fed animal fats, and bad grain fed animal protein

These provide food for unhealthy bugs.

3. Avoid the use of antibiotics, acid blockers, and anti-inflammatories

They change gut flora for the worse.

4. Take probiotics daily

These healthy,  friendly flora can improve your digestive health and reduce inflammation and allergy.

5. Consider specialized testing

Such as organic acid testing, stool testing (new tests can look at the DNA of the bacteria in your gut), and others to help assess your gut function. You will likely have to work with a functional medicine practitioner to effectively test and treat imbalances in your gut, if you have chronic illness  even without digestive symptoms.

6. My Favorite oil protocols

Digestive:  1 drop internally before a meal, or rub 2 drops on the guts after

Parasites out: 2 drops in water or in a spoon of honey

Oregano  & Thyme oil or take combination in Red Dragon on a piece of bread

*So if you would like to know more about testing please email me at [email protected], visit my website at