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6 Essential Oils for Nausea

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Essential oils for nausea - Dr. Axe

Nausea is such an unpleasant and inescapable feeling that can feel never ending at times. What is nausea? Nausea can be defined as a feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit. The moment you get that icky sensation in your body, I’m sure you’re immediately wondering about the best ways of how to get rid of nausea fast.

Nausea can be protective at times; for example, when you become nauseous and throw up as the result of eating food tainted with bacteria such as E. coli. Other times, nausea occurs due to pregnancy and is commonly referred to as “morning sickness,” even though it can occur any time of day or all day and night. Nausea is also a common symptom of motion sickness, which many people unfortunately experience on a regular basis.

There are thankfully a lot of great forms of natural nausea relief, and one of the best by far is definitely essential oils. What essential oils are good for nausea? There are actually several essential oils known to be awesome natural remedies for nausea.


6 Essential Oils for Nausea

1. Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger essential oil is one of the top natural remedies for nausea as well indigestion, diarrhea, stomach aches and even vomiting.

Experiencing postoperative nausea and vomiting are common side effects of general anesthesia. A scientific review published in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine in 2014 took a look at how effectively essential oils can decrease stress and nausea after surgical procedures. When ginger essential oil was inhaled, it effectively reduced nausea and the requirement for nausea-reducing medications after surgery. In addition, ginger essential oil has been shown to have impressive analgesic activity for a limited time in non-surgery related situation, which means that the oil can help to relieve pain. (1)

Ginger oil is also one of the best essential oils for nausea and dizziness. A study published in 2013 evaluated the effects of aromatherapy abdominal massage using ginger and peppermint oils on female subjects with dysmenorrhea. Both oils had impressive effects, but ginger oil was specifically linked to relief of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue and headache. (2)

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

Several studies have also shown that peppermint oil is helpful in cases of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Peppermint is known to have antiemetic and antispasmodic effects on the gastric lining and colon. (3)

A study published in 2013 investigated the efficacy of peppermint oil in preventing nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy treatment. Researchers found that there was a significant reduction in the intensity and number of times patients vomited in the first 24 hours of treatment when compared to the control groups with no adverse side effects reported. Treatment cost was also decreased through the use of peppermint essential oil. (4)

Peppermint is one of the best essential oils for nausea and diarrhea too. Research has shown that peppermint oil can help improve some symptoms of diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome, one of the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders today. One double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 74 patients (65 completed the trial) with IBS found that after six weeks of using peppermint oil three times daily, the oil’s most notable effect was an improvement in abdominal pain in diarrhea predominant IBS. (5)

3. Lavender Essential Oil

If you’re looking for essential oils for nausea and anxiety, lavender is an excellent option. Sometimes nausea can actually be brought on by stress and anxiety and lavender essential oil, well-known for its calming effects, can really help decrease both anxiety and nausea. It’s also known for its anti-depressive effects, as depression is another mental state that can lead to nausea. (6)

Research shows that lavender oil has a calming effect on both the body and mind. In several human studies, lavender oil has been employed via oral administration, aromatherapy or massage with great results. In addition to positive psychological effects, aromatherapy using lavender essential oil is believed to be therapeutically effective due to physiological effects of the inhaled volatile compounds.

When lavender oil is inhaled, it directly effects the limbic system, particularly the brain’s amygdala and hippocampus. When lavender oil is used topically, two of its active components, linalool and linalyl acetate, are very quickly absorbed through the skin and calm the  central nervous system. (7)

Thanks to its calming and antispasmodic effects, some people choose lavender as one of their go-to essential oils for stomach bug relief.

4. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon oil is one of the most commonly recommended essential oils for morning sickness, a common form of nausea experienced by pregnant women.

Just diffusing one or two drops of lemon essential oil has been shown to help soothe and relieve nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy. According to one study, 40 percent of women have used a lemon scent to relieve nausea and vomiting, and 26.5 percent have reported it as an effective way to control their symptoms.

A study published in 2014 investigated whether inhaling lemon could help nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. This randomized clinical trial involved 100 pregnant women with nausea and vomiting inhaling either lemon essential oil or a placebo as soon as they felt nausea come on. Researchers then recorded nausea, vomiting and retch intensity 24 hours before and during the four days of treatment and found that scores decreased during the four days of using inhalation lemon aromatherapy with a statistically significant reduction occurring the second and forth days.

Overall, the researchers conclude that the scent of lemon can effectively decrease nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy. Overall, the researchers conclude that the scent of lemon can effectively decrease nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy. (8)

5. Chamomile Essential Oil

What essential oil do you use for an upset stomach? There’s a few essential oils for stomach ache or upset stomach that you can choose from and chamomile definitely makes the list. Chamomile has actually been used since ancient times for digestive complaints and today, its use for upset stomach, gas and diarrhea as well as anxiety and sleeplessness are still going strong. With its incredible relaxing properties to soothe the gut as well as the mind, chamomile essential oil is a perfect choice for nausea. (9)

6. Fennel Essential Oil

When you’re experiencing nausea, your stomach definitely feels upset. What essential oil do you use for an upset stomach? Fennel is another is one of my favorite essential oils for upset stomach. Fennel oil is commonly used for heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating and loss of appetite, which are all digestive symptoms that can accompany nausea. (10) Fennel essential oil as well as fennel in its vegetable form can really help to calm digestive diseases when used both internally and externally.


How to Use Essential Oils for Nausea

You can use an essential oil for nausea in a few different ways including aromatherapy, ingestion or topical application.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine practice that utilizes aromatic essential oils derived from a wide variety of healing plants. When the scent of an essential oil is inhaled, molecules enter the nasal cavities and stimulates a response in the limbic system of the brain which leads to physiological and/or psychological effects.

Aromatherapy can be practiced in several different ways:

  • Inhaling oils through the nostrils directly off of a cloth or from the bottle
  • Diffusing a single oil or combination of essential oils into the air
  • Rubbing oils directly onto the skin
  • Receiving massage therapy that includes the use of essentials oils
  • Soaking in an oil-infused bath

Oral Application

Read labels carefully to make sure an oil is appropriate for internal use. There are many essential oils that can be ingested by the mouth; however, it is critical to make sure that the oils you use 100 percent pure, therapeutic grade and certified USDA organic. Many oils on the market today are diluted or blended with synthetics that are unsafe for ingesting.

In general, you should only use very small amounts of essentials oils internally, about one to two drops at a time and a maximum of up to two to three times daily. If you experience mouth or throat irritation, dilute the oil in liquid or food such as unsweetened raw applesauce before swallowing. It’s also best to take essential oils with food rather than on an empty stomach.

Other oral application options include capsules, adding a drop or two to your favorite beverage, making a tea, and cooking with essential oils. In all these scenarios, only a drop or two should be used.

Topical Application

You can use essential oils topically for nausea by applying them on your stomach area, back of the neck or bottoms of the feet. All it takes is a drop or two of oil and when the oils touch the skin, they penetrate rapidly.

Since essential oils are so potent, it’s a good idea to dilute them by blending them with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond, olive, jojoba, avocado or coconut oil. You can also add a couple of drops of pure essential oils like lavender or peppermint to a cool compress and place it over your head or on the back of your neck to help ease nausea.


Possible Side Effects and Caution 

If you are pregnant or nursing, check with your doctor before using any essential oils. If you want to use essential oils for nausea from chemotherapy, you should also check with your health care provider first.

Always check with your doctor being using essential oils if you have any ongoing health condition or are taking medication. Many medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, can interact with essential oils. Never use an essential oil externally or internally that you are allergic to.

Before using any essential oils internally, it’s vital to make sure that it is safe for internal use and that is is also 100 percent pure, therapeutic grade and certified organic, both for reasons of safety and effectiveness.

Sometimes, essential oils cause nausea when overused or misused so it’s important to use them correctly.

Call 911 or seek emergency medical assistance if nausea and vomiting are accompanied by other symptoms including chest pain, blurred vision, severe abdominal pain or cramping, confusion, high fever and stiff neck, fecal material or fecal odor in vomit, or rectal bleeding.  You should also see your doctor if you’ve experienced bouts of nausea and vomiting for more than a month or if you’ve noticed any unexplained weight loss along with nausea and vomiting.


Final Thoughts on Using Essential Oils for Nausea

  • Nausea is a very common and unwanted health symptom that can occur for various reasons.
  • What is the best essential oil for nausea? There’s actually several including ginger, peppermint, lavender, lemon, chamomile and fennel.
  • Lemon is definitely one of the top essential oils for nausea pregnancy symptoms, otherwise known as morning sickness.
  • How do you use peppermint oil for nausea? To use peppermint oil as well as the other top essential oils for nausea, you can use them in aromatherapy, topically or by mouth.
  • Only use essential oils for nausea that are 100 percent, therapeutic grade and certified organic.
  • Check with your doctor before using essential oils for nausea if you are pregnant, nursing, undergoing chemotherapy or have any other medical condition or are currently taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication.

Read Next: Stomach Pain Causes + 6 Natural Remedies to Treat Abdominal Pain

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