Essential oils are heavily concentrated distillations of the active compounds in medicinal plants. They’re more than just fragrance oils, though. They have potent active ingredients that produce powerful medicinal effects at home and in clinical settings.
Essential oils have a variety of health uses. Some essential oils are antibacterial and antifungal. Others aid with digestion and reduce nausea. There are even essential oils that have sedative and muscle-relaxing effects. They can be powerful pain and stress relievers.
Nausea can have any number of sources. Pregnancy, digestive disorders, stress, anxiety, and food poisoning are among the most common. A simple remedy for nausea is slow, deep breathing. Still, you can experience even more relief using essential oil aromatherapy.
Essential Oils for Nausea
Nausea is one of the symptoms most commonly treated using essential oils. Studies have begun to show the efficacy of using essential oils to reduce nausea. Regardless of the cause, essential oils help relieve the symptoms.
Here are seven essential oils for nausea and upset stomach.
1. Cardamom Oil
Cardamom has a history in traditional medicine and home remedies. It has played a role in treating upset stomachs and ailments for decades. In a recent study on nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, cardamom essential oil was shown to reduce nausea in pregnant people with morning sickness.
Cardamom essential oil also reduces nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy. There are also other formulations of cardamom, such as powder capsules, which can help to reduce nausea in pregnant women and chemotherapy patients.
2. Fennel Oil
Fennel essential oil has powerful medicinal properties. In both traditional and modern medicine, it is an effective remedy for nausea and vomiting. Its benefits go even further than that, though. Studies are beginning to show that the compounds may also help with menstrual, menopausal, and sexual symptoms.
3. Ginger Oil
One study compared the effects of ginger aromatherapy on post-operative nausea and vomiting to other essential oils and a placebo. That study demonstrated that ginger essential oil aromatherapy is an effective treatment in reducing the severity of nausea and vomiting following surgery.
In that study, ginger essential oil provided nausea relief to over 65 percent of patients who received ginger oil as their treatment. It also helps with morning sickness, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and motion sickness.
4. Lavender Oil
Lavender is one of the most commonly used essential oils in clinical settings. Its effects on various ailments have been widely studied. Patients experience the effects of lavender essential oil aromatherapy and topical application on a neurological level.
Among the benefits of lavender essential oil are stress and pain relief, mood stabilization, and mild sedative effects. In one study, nearly 83 percent of patients experienced a reduction in nausea following lavender essential oil aromatherapy.
5. Lemon Oil
Lemon essential oil aromatherapy significantly reduces nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Diffusing lemon essential oil for several days reduced nausea in more than half of the recipients. Compared to 34% in the placebo group, the results were significant. One study reported that over 40 percent of pregnant women used lemon for nausea at some point.
6. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint leaves are a common ingredient in nausea-relieving teas. Clinical trials have shown that the use of peppermint oil directly impacts the physiology of the digestive system. Peppermint oil has several digestive benefits. Some examples are relief of postoperative nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, and stomachache discomfort.
7. Spearmint Oil
Peppermint isn’t the only nausea-relieving member of the mint family. In one study, researchers administered spearmint essential oil via sugar capsules under the care of a physician. This study found that the capsules reduced nausea following chemotherapy.
According to the study, spearmint essential oil was as effective as peppermint essential oil at reducing nausea. Patients reported no side effects from the internal use of spearmint oil. These results provide a basis for future treatments utilizing spearmint oil. Still, do not consume essential oils except under medical supervision.
How to Use Essential Oils
Patients can use essential oils in a variety of ways to treat nausea. Below are the most popular and convenient ways to use essential oils for nausea.
Believe it or not, one of the most common treatment methods using essential oils is simply inhaling the fragrance of the essential oils. Essential oils are so powerful that just inhaling them has immediate effects on the brain and body.
A diffuser is a device that slowly releases a small amount of essential oil into the air. A few drops of oil are added to water. The mixture is then warmed electrically or by a candle. The oil and water evaporate, releasing the essential oils and their active compounds into the air.
Steam aromatherapy is similar to using an aromatherapy diffuser. Instead of using a special device, though, you can simply add a few drops of oil to a shower or pot of simmering water.
Soothing Scents has over 15 years of experience in helping people find natural relief through the use of essential oil aromatherapy. We produce 100% natural essential oil inhalers in recyclable packaging. Inhalers make it easy to experience aromatherapy relief anytime, anywhere.
These inhalers contain essential oils and blends in a convenient spill-proof package. No diffuser is necessary. The convenience is especially helpful when you can’t carry around a whole bottle of essential oil.
Essential oils are often effective when used topically as well, but don’t try to use them directly on your skin. Essential oils are concentrated, and some may irritate or even burn skin. To use essential oils topically, you must first dilute them in a neutral carrier oil.
A carrier oil is a skin-safe oil with a neutral smell, such as almond oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil. Different oils have different textures so you can customize your formulas. Essential oils should only make up about 2 to 3 percent of the total volume of your topical oil but consult a medical professional prior to applying any essential oils directly.
If you’re using a combination of essential oils in your carrier oil, allow them to blend overnight for maximum potency. As the oil compounds combine, the scent of your mixture will evolve.
Risks and Side Effects
Always consult with a medical professional before adjusting any medical treatment plan. Essential oils are one part of an effective treatment program. While essential oils are generally considered safe, there are some risks involved in their use.
Never apply essential oils directly to your skin. All essential oils are concentrated, and many of them can irritate or even burn your skin. Most must be diluted in a carrier oil before use to be safe for use on the skin.
Essential oils can also be irritating to mucous membranes. Direct inhalation, in particular, can be irritating. Consult with a health care provider if you experience any discomfort after using an essential oil inhaler.
Not all essential oils are safe for use in pregnant or lactating women. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a doctor before using essential oils.
Nausea symptoms may persist or worsen after using home remedies. If so, consult a physician as you may be experiencing a serious medical condition.
Nausea is common and can occur at any time for a variety of reasons. There are plenty of over-the-counter treatments for nausea symptoms. Still, there is increasing evidence that essential oils are a natural, low-risk alternative.