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15 Essential Oils For Nausea: What Works and How to Use Them

Overview

If you experience recurring nausea because of pregnancy, stomach irritation, vertigo, or other conditions, essential oils might help you. Because they have few side effects and little risk, essential oils are becoming popular home remedies for all sorts of medical conditions.

Aromatherapy for Nausea

Nausea is a symptom that can arise from different conditions or causes. Some people feel nauseous because of motion sickness, while others may feel nausea when they are around certain foods or scents that trigger the feeling. Food poisoning, medical conditions and surgeries are also reasons for nausea.

Essentially, nausea causes discomfort in your stomach while making you feel like you need to vomit. In some cases, nausea leads to vomiting, but sometimes it passes by in waves.

Unfortunately, there isn't a fast-acting cure for nausea. There aren't many effective anti-nausea treatments that work without unwanted reactions. However, you can try using essential oils for nausea as it may provide relief with little to no adverse reactions. Aromatherapy for nausea is a natural remedy for preventing and treating the malaise. Clinical trial with control group has ratified to the effectiveness of this well known treatment method.

Complementary Therapies in Medicine published a report in 2016 that corroborates the use of aromatherapy in managing pain, vomiting and nausea. (1)

Another clinical trial looked at essential oils that may lower anxiety, nausea and depression in women during pregnancy. The result published in the Australian Journal of Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine concluded that essential oils (in this case rose) had a positive effect on mood swings. (2)

Essential oils have also been used as a treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting in hospitals. Study published in 2019 corroborates the statement. (3)

What essential oils help with nausea?

If you’ve been going through bouts of nausea lately, here are 15 best essential oils to help fight nausea and how to use them.

1. Ginger Essential Oil

Spicy and Earthy Ginger essential oils may soothe nausea, and it’s also great for soothing stomach aches! A popular oil for motion sickness, this oil is safe for pregnant women and is often a crowd favourite for people who suffer from persistent nausea. Ginger oil is one of the most researched oil in treating nausea and vomiting because traditional medicine makes use of raw ginger for treating vomiting and dizziness. Ginger oil can be applied on the pressure points or diffused in the air with steam dispenser. Studies have proved that ginger oil is the best oil to treat post-surgery nausea.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint tea is often recommended to soothe nausea but peppermint oil for nausea works just as well. Peppermint helps to get rid of nausea and has a fresh scent that is cooling and soothing for the senses. Peppermint oil for morning sickness is a helpful home remedy as it’s safe for pregnant women. This oil has been proven to relax the gastric muscles thus preventing from over contracting or cramping.

A study found that inhaling peppermint oil showed that it lowered the symptoms of nausea and eliminated it quicker. Although more research is needed to establish the actual effect of peppermint on nausea, one can safely diffuse the oil or inhale its aroma when feeling nausea.

A randomized clinical trial published on the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice in 2020 concluded that inhaling the aroma of peppermint oil reduced or treated nausea. (4)

3. Fennel Essential Oil

Fennel oil is popularly used to soothe upset stomachs and constipation. Using Fennel oil can relax the digestive tract, which prevents and soothes nausea. Flatulence and acidity can cause nausea, retching, and dizziness. By keeping the digestive system functioning normally, fennel oil treats nausea effectively.

4. Camphor Essential Oil

With a fresh, sharp, and woodsy scent, Camphor oil might just be what you need to calm nauseous sensations.

5. Nutmeg Essential Oil

Warm, spicy, and soothing, Nutmeg oil relieves upset stomachs and bouts of queasiness. Nutmeg is usually used during the winter season. Besides lowering the symptoms of nausea, nutmeg oil improves the immunity and nervous system of the body. Nutmeg oil can be applied to the body after dilution or inhaled (via aromatherapy or directly from the bottle).

6. Cardamom Essential Oil

If you crave a sweeter scent, Cardamom oil might be what you’re looking for. Sweet, spicy, and satisfyingly warming, Cardamom reduces nausea and retching. Cardamom belongs to the ginger family of plants and has similar properties. Research has found that blending cardamom with other oils (such as lavender oil) in a diffuser successfully treated post-operative nausea. However, cardamom can be used as standalone oil in treating anxiety, stomach upset and nausea.

7. Spearmint Essential Oil

The pure-bred cousin of Peppermint and Spearmint oil is as effective, if not better, at soothing nausea and dizzy spells. Spearmint oil not as well known in treating nausea as peppermint or other oils in the list, but it is effective nonetheless. Either its aroma is inhaled via a diffuser or it is mixed with jojoba oil and applied on the temples and neck region. Nausea caused due to viral infections can also be eliminated with spearmint oil. The minty fragrance of the oils also opens the respiratory tract which helps an affected person breathe properly.

8. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus oil is one of many essential oils to treat nausea and headaches. It has a minty, herbaceous, and slightly woodsy scent. It is used as a home remedy for nausea and is known to help with motion sickness, morning sickness, and travel sickness.

9. Cilantro Essential Oil

Not to be confused with coriander, cilantro refers to the leaves on the coriander plant. This herbaceous, sweet, and fresh oil help relieve nausea and indigestion.

10. Caraway Essential Oil

Herbaceous and spicy, Caraway oil contains properties that relieve indigestion, headaches, migraines, and nausea.

11. Mandarin Essential Oil

Sweet and citrusy, Mandarin oil improves digestion and relieves nausea thanks to its zesty scent.

12. Cumin Essential Oil

Cumin oil makes mealtimes enjoyable again. This earthy and nutty oil promotes smoother digestion and soothes nausea. It’s one of many ways to settle an upset stomach.

13. Chili Essential Oil

If you’re looking for a spicy and invigorating oil, look no further. Chili oil eases stomach pains and feelings of nausea for all-day comfort.

14. Garlic Essential Oil

Garlic lovers, rejoice! Garlic oil has a potent scent that kicks nausea to the curb and is a natural remedy for nausea and motion.

15. Mace Essential Oil

Mace is a spicy and soothing oil that soothes indigestion, making it one of many good essential oils for nausea to help you bid that pesky sensation goodbye.

How To Use For Nausea

Diffuse

The most common way to inhale essential oils is through a diffuser. A diffuser will gradually release essential oils into the air at room temperature so that those present in the room can inhale nausea-soothing scents.

Steam Inhalation

For steam inhalation, mix a few drops of essential oil into a bowl of hot water, dip a hand towel or handkerchief into the bowl, wring it out and then place it over the nose and mouth. Breathe normally and gently inhale the aroma of the oil.

Topical Application

Applying essential oils topically that help with nausea (such as over the chest and abdomen) can be helpful but be sure to dilute the oils with carrier oils such as jojoba oil or coconut oil first. A good rule of thumb is three drops of concentrated oil to one tablespoon of carrier oil.

Safety

Using an essential oil is excellent for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and follow caution when using them to keep ourselves and loved ones safe from its side effects. Generally essential oils are safe, but a few guidelines must be followed to avoid side effects. Also, the oils are different, made up of different compounds. Some people may be allergic to specific compounds while others may be allergic to others. Concentrated oil must be bought after careful deliberation. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  1. Read the label and instructions to ensure you use the oil correctly.
  2. While buying essential oils be wary of the terms fragrance oil, perfume oil and natural identical oil.
  3. The term pure essential oil can be widely seen on the bottles. These maybe made from substandard sources.
  4. Ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients or compounds in the oil.
  5. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  6. Do not add too much of the oil in the diffuser.
  7. Avoid using essential oils of sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  8. Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  9. Keep it out of reach of kids and fur kids.
  10. Do not diffuse the oil near kids and pets. Consult a doctor before doing so.
  11. Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  12. Check the label to see if the oil is photo-toxic.
  13. Always do a small patch test before topical application.
  14. The common unwanted effects caused by essential oils up on topical application are rashes, redness and swelling.
  15. If you show signs of irritation, stop use and consult a health professional.
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