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


Hernia typesHernia describes any occurrence where the lining of a body cavity become compromised and the contents protrude out through the lining of the cavity. The most common types of hernia are abdominal hernias. When there is a weakness in the muscle wall of the abdominal cavity you may notice a lump that may go away if pressed or you lie down. There may be pain with heavy exertion or strain, possible even with coughing. Hernias are categorized by the area of the body in which they occur. Common types of hernias are:

Inguinal hernia. Three out of four hernias are this type also known as a groin hernia. It is much more common to men than women (25:1). They typically occur at the intersection of the thigh with the torso in what is know as the inguinal crease. There are two different mechanisms that may result in this type of hernia know as Indirect Inguinal Hernia and the Direct Inguinal Hernia.

Indirect. During the development of the fetus the testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum and the pathway normally closes before birth. If this pathway does not close properly a hernia may develop with some cases the protrusion being exterior where others may go into the scrotum. This hernia may occur at any age in life.

Direct. In this case the abdominal wall is naturally thinner more towards the center of the body in the inguinal crease and with age this area can weaken and a hernia develop.

Femoral hernia. This type occurs in women more than men and the resulting bulge is just below the inguinal crease in the mid-thigh area. They develop because the femoral canal, the path for the femoral artery, becomes enlarged to the point that intestine or other contents can move into the canal.

Umbilical hernia. Another common hernia that is usually noticed at birth when the navel does not naturally close just before birth and it protrudes. Small protrusions usually close by themselves by age 2. This may also be a weak area in the abdominal wall and with the stress of pregnancy and childbirth a hernia may develop.

Incisional hernia. Surgery in the abdominal area can weaken the abdominal wall and in a small percentage (2-10%) a hernia may develop.

Epigastric hernia. Another weak area of the abdominal wall is the between the navel and the lower rib cage. If a hernia develops in this area the protrusion is usually not intestine but rather fatty tissue.

Hiatal hernia. This is not a hernia of the abdominal wall but rather an enlargement of the opening between the abdomen and the chest cavity that carries the esophagus to the stomach. This opening through the diaphragm is known as the hiatus. In the most common type of hiatal hernia the stomach bulges up the opening forcing the esophagus up and out of the opening. This is known as a sliding hiatal hernia. Less common is the paraesophageal hiatal hernia wherein the esophagus remains in place and the stomach protrudes through the opening next to the esophagus. Some with hiatal hernias will experience heartburn others may have no symptoms at all.


[search helps: paraesophageal, obturator, spigelian, umbilicus ]

Essential oils can be of help prior to surgery to help manage the pain and after surgery to both manage the pain and to help speed up the healing process.  Essential oils also will be helpful to reduce scarring if that is an issue.  The essential oil blend Soothing Blend is good for deep muscle pain and therefore will be helpful for most types of hernia pain as well as after surgery.  Others report Frankincense and/or Peppermint helpful as well.  Helichrysum, Frankincense, and Lavender all promote healing and can speed this part of the process.  Additionally they will help reduce scarring.  All may be applied topically directly  in the area of interest.

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Essential oils will speed the process as the body heals minor hernias but to repair most abdominal hernias surgery is required. Essential oils can be of help prior to surgery to help manage the pain and after surgery to both manage the pain and to help speed up the healing process.  Essential oils also will be helpful to reduce scarring if that is an issue.  For hiatal hernias where acid reflux is a problem essential oils can be of great help.

Oils & Blends: 

Repair tissue: HelichrysumC, Frankincense, Anti-Aging BlendC, LemongrassC

Pain:  Massage Blend, Soothing Blend, Frankincense, PeppermintC

Acid reflux (hiatal hernia): Digestive Blend, Frankincense

Scar reduction: HelichrysumC, Frankincense, LavenderC

Essential oils based products:

Also consider: Abdominal: BasilC, GeraniumC.  Hiatal: FennelC, GingerC

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

Suggested protocols:

Abdominal hernias: Apply Anti-Aging Blend with a carrier (makes it easier to apply) over the area 2 to 4 times a day. If Anti-Aging Blend is not available use 2 drops each Helichrysum and Frankincense. For pain topical application of Soothing Blend or Soothing Blend Rub to the area.

Hiatal Hernias: For heartburn take Digestive Blend internally (capsule or directly), usually 2 - 3 drops will help settle heartburn for most folks. Some apply Frankincense topically to the throat and esophagal area to relieve hiatal hernia discomforts.


Experiences and Testimonials of others

see also Especially for Kids tabs above.

Julia - What can I apply or take for a hernia on a c-section scar? I'm waiting for my doctors appointment to see when I can get into surgery. Meanwhile, this hurts and I really don't want to take Tylenol if I can avoid it. So far I have been taking Protective Blend, Oregano, Frankincense 3 times a day.

Debbie - Peppermint and Soothing Blend would be good for the pain.   Also, I would add Helichrysum if you have it.

Tamalu - I used Frankincense, Lavender and Peppermint for my muscle issue last winter. Those would also be exceptional for reducing that scar. They assisted with pain and tissue repair, and have helped several friends with similar problems. I have also used Massage Blend for pain.


Lacy - Any oils to help with hiatal hernia?  How to use the oils on it too?

Michelle - My mother found that if she rubbed Frankincense on her throat and chest area it took the burning and pain away almost immediately.  When in doubt, use Frankincense! 


Brenda - Has anyone had success using oils with a hernia.  I found the suggestions of lemongrass and lavender.  Anyone had success?  What did you use, how often, where, etc., Thanks so much.

LF - My husband has an outie bellybutton.  After crawling around under the house and working on the truck, he told me his bellybutton was swollen and hurting.  This was five days ago.  He has been applying Frankincense three times a day, daily.  Swelling has gone down, with no pain.

Pat - Apply topically in the hernia area, it will also depend on how severe it is. Sometimes it becomes necessary to have it taken care of surgically and use the oils to heal properly.


Sylvia - My auntie has been diagnosed with cancer and I just got an email from a friend that states that lemon is known for its combating effects towards cancer.  I shared this with my auntie but she claims she can't take anything acidic because she has a Hiatal Hernia. Would she have the same problem if she used (...) Lemon Essential Oil?

Pat - The acid in lemon is from the juice, our lemon oil is pressed from the rind so this would not affect her hernia.

Nicole - I also have a hiatal hernia.  Digestive Blend has been life changing for me in eliminating the reflux associated with it.  i drink the lemon oil in my water daily and have no problems with anything.  Good luck!


Barb - My mom had a colostomy 20 years ago, and has a hernia on her stoma, which the doctors have told her is inoperable and will continue to grow.  Are there any essential oils that can help shrink this type of hernia?  It doesn't cause her pain, but it's huge.  Any help is greatly appreciated!

Carol - I had been dealing with an incisional hernia, at the site of a now- reversed colostomy. Hoping to avoid surgery, Dr. Hill had suggested Anti-Aging Blend and FCO several times a day plus occasional lemongrass.  I believe it was healing, really, but decided to go ahead and have the surgery while it was small and manageable.  Now (1week post-op) I am using the same oils on the incision to assure real permanent healing of the tissue so I don't have to go thru it again.

Anti-Aging Blend has the combination of oils (frankincense, helichrysum, etc) which was being suggested individually. I apply it to the entire affected area, with FCO (fractionated coconut oil, which also dilutes it) it is easy to take a few drops and mix with the FCO to cover the whole area.

Protocols folks recommend for children

Dani - My 13 month old just got out of surgery today for a hernia repair and they also repaired an undescended testicle.  He has a 1 inch incision on his lower abdomen/groin area and another small incision (1cm.) on his testicle.  They have him take Tylenol with codeine for the pain.   What oils would be best to help in his recovery and to get him off the pain relievers?  Would you rub any oils on the incisions themselves or will that complicate them? Thanks for your imput!

Kendra - Frankincense and Helichrysum would be very good to use.  I know that they are probably the most expensive essential oils to use, but please do not use anything but the very best, on my grandson.

Jan - My grandson had the same surgery at 4 months and 5 and a half months. And each hernia developed a hydroceil. Very painful. Poor little guy. I put Lavender right on the incision after the sturry strips came off, and put it directly on the bottom of his feet with Wild Orange and Frankincense while he was still in the hospital. Every other time I put oil on his feet I used a different oil. He never fussed and became quite sleepy. We only used the Tylenol for about two days, and that only because my daughter said she had to do what the doctor said.


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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.