Feeling nauseated is quite disturbing, even for people with an otherwise high tolerance for pain and sickness. Unfortunately, there aren’t many over-the-counter medications for nausea and prescription-grade remedies are often dangerous. The medicines available tend to cause numerous side effects that most people would rather avoid, but the right essential oils can be just as beneficial without all the worries.
Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments, from headaches and hot flashes to nervousness and nausea. And while the legitimacy of using essential oils has been tainted by the skeptic’s brush, numerous independent studies have discovered the true nature and power of these volatile substances. Before we jump into which essential oils are best for nausea, lets look at some causes of nausea.
What Is Nausea?
Nausea is classified as a generalized sensation in the stomach that occurs shortly before vomiting. Although not all bouts of nausea are followed by vomiting, the two are very closely related. In fact, most people end up vomiting simply because the sensation of nausea is so overpowering.
Eventually, a forcible involuntary or voluntary series of actions occurs, which causes the contents of the stomach to be emptied out through the mouth. This is often referred to as “throwing up.” As natural as it may seem, both nausea and vomiting can be extremely painful. Prolonged and unchecked nausea and/or vomiting may even cause serious long-term health problems.
What Causes Nausea?
Nausea and vomiting are caused by a whole host of things, with each person having unique triggers. It’s important to note that neither nausea nor vomiting are diseases. They are both symptoms of a more pressing issue and typically indicative of one or more of the following conditions (not an exhaustive list):
- Early pregnancy
- Motion sickness
- Reaction to smells
- Extreme pain
- Food poisoning
- Drug and/or alcohol ingestion
- Emotional distress
More Serious Causes of Nausea (but are not limited to):
- Alcohol poisoning
- Gallbladder disease
- Bulimia nervosa
- Heart attack
- Brain tumor
- Concussion and/or brain injury
- Bowel obstruction
- Certain forms of cancer
The causes of nausea and vomiting vary from person to person, plus they differ according to a person’s age. For example, children and seniors are more likely to feel sick or vomit from things that robust adults could otherwise withstand. Kids and elders can become nauseated more easily after simple things like viral infections, food allergies and even coughing. Before we get to our list of essential oils for nausea, lets dive into how they actually work.
How Do Essential Oils Help Nausea?
The best essential oils for nausea will work primarily through the power of aromatherapy. However, many high-quality oils can also be used topically or even mixed with food and beverages. For aromatherapeutic purposes, either sniff the oil’s scent directly from the bottle or add a few drops to an oil diffuser. As always, follow any specific instructions given by the oil’s manufacturer. Those instructions should be listed on the box or label.
By nipping nausea in the bud with the right essential oils, you can avoid the costly and dangerous side effects of medication while enjoying quick and natural health care that’s safe for people of all ages. It’s important to note, however, that prolonged nausea and/or vomiting may require medical attention. If inhaling essential oils or using them topically does not stop your nausea or vomiting, consult a doctor immediately. Now lets discuss the best essential oils for nausea.
What Are the Best Essential Oils for Nausea?
Knowing what essential oils are good for nausea can help you combat symptoms long before they turn into full-blown vomiting. Excessive sickness may lead to dehydration and is especially dangerous for pregnant women. The best essential oils for pregnancy nausea can prevent mothers from expelling too many of their vital nutrients. Those same oils may help non-pregnant individuals combat nausea as well. Okay, its finally time to discuss which essential oils are best for nausea.
Since nausea and vomiting often make it difficult to ingest anything, the following essential oils can be either consumed or inhaled. And while the following 8 essential oils only scratch the surface, they are (in general) considered the safest, easiest to find, and most affordable.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Perhaps the best essential oil for nausea – certainly the best-known – is peppermint. Its unique mentholated properties make it a primary ingredient in many over-the-counter and prescription anti-nausea and anti-vomiting medications. Commonly used in foods and beverages, especially those of the seasonal variety, peppermint essential oil has been respected for its innate potency for centuries. In fact, it’s one of the safest anti-nausea remedies during gestation.
Fortunately, peppermint essential oil is not the only hope we have. Holistic experts have dug deep to discover how the average human body responds to different volatile compounds. As a result, they’ve found several essential oils for nausea and dizziness – each of which has several other purposes and can be obtained without a prescription.
Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger essential oil is one of the best-known home remedies for nausea and vomiting, especially for pregnant women and those undergoing treatment for cancer (chemotherapy). As an antiemetic and anti-spasmodic substance that’s often sold as a concentrated liquid, ginger oil soothes the lining of the stomach while improving the efficiency of the digestive tract and fighting off gastrointestinal infections.
USAGE TIPS: Add 3-5 drops of ginger essential oil to a small cup of warm water or tea. Drink it as quickly as possible. Repeat as needed. For aromatherapy, inhale the oil’s scent directly from the bottle or place 3-5 drops in an essential oil diffuser.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is commonly used by pregnant women to soothe the symptoms of gestational nausea (morning sickness). This refreshing and invigorating oil settles an upset stomach on contact and can also ward off hazardous infections that might cause indigestion or threaten the safety of an unborn child.
USAGE TIPS: Mix 5-10 drops of lemon essential oil into a glass of warm or cold water and drink it as quickly as possible. Repeat as needed. For aromatherapy, inhale the oil’s scent directly from the bottle or place 3-5 drops into an essential oil diffuser.
Fennel Essential Oil
Fennel essential oil not only soothes the digestive tract but it also helps to eliminate abdominal bloating and excessive flatulence – two relatively minor conditions that can lead to nausea and/or eventual vomiting. This naturally-derived substance supports proper digestion and contains several nutrients that boost the immune system, which leads to an increase resistance to nausea causing bacteria and viruses.
USAGE TIPS: Add 2-3 drops of fennel essential oil to a warm glass of water or flavored tea and sip. Never consume undiluted fennel. For aromatherapy, put 3-5 drops in an essential oil diffuser.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oil is ideal for bouts of nausea that stem from dizziness, lightheadedness or emotional distress such as depression or anxiety. This potent oil not only improves cognitive function to clear negative thoughts but it also provides a quick boost of energy that could eliminate the urge to throw up.
USAGE TIPS: Combine 3-4 drops of bergamot essential oil with 3-4 drops of peppermint or lemon oil, then add the mixture to tea or water. For aromatherapy, put 5-10 drops of bergamot in an essential oil diffuser.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil has natural sedative and soothing properties, making it the perfect holistic companion for anyone suffering from nausea. It not only relieves muscle spasms, including spasms in the stomach and intestines, but it also helps put an end to dizziness and lightheadedness.
USAGE TIPS: Add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil into a warm cup of flavored tea. For aromatherapy, put 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil to a room diffuser.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oil can relax irritated stomach and bowel muscles, namely the ones that contract right before you vomit. In addition, this relatively innocuous yet extremely effective substance can also reduce excess gas and eliminate abdominal bloating.
USAGE TIPS: Put 2-3 drops of chamomile essential oil into a warm cup of tea. For aromatherapy, inhale directly from the bottle, add 3-4 drops to a diffuser or drip 5-10 drops into a warm bath.
Anise Essential Oil
Anise essential oil combats gastrointestinal disruptions of all sorts and is commonly used in over-the-counter and prescription digestive aids. It decreased gut spasms, helps loosen fecal matter from obstructed bowels, relieves gas, reduces bloating and soothes cramps as well.
USAGE TIPS: Very small amounts of anise essential oil are needed for a powerful and immediate effect. Mix 1-2 drops with a large glass of warm water or tea. For aromatherapy, put 2-3 drops in an oil diffuser.
3 Tips for Using Essential Oils for Nausea
To ensure you get the best results from your essential oils, follow these 3 simple guidelines:
- Be sure you know how your body will react to each oil. Do not use an essential oil if you have allergies to any of the ingredients.
- Only use therapeutic grade essential oils that are made under strict manufacturing standards using top-quality, organically-derived ingredients.
- Always use your oils as directed by the manufacturer or a holistic practitioner.
While it’s ok to combine essential oils to create your own mixtures, only do so under the supervision of someone who knows about the unique properties of each oil.
There are numerous essential oils to help with nausea, whether your upset stomach stems from pregnancy, food poisoning, dizziness, anxiety or even chemo. Remember, the best essential oil for nausea will always be the one that works well with your body’s chemistry without imposing any allergic reactions.
Also, don’t forget that most essential oils can be combined with others to create an extra-potent mixture. For example, bergamot and lemon can be added to peppermint essential oil for nausea, vomiting and lightheadedness. As always, talk to your doctor if you’re unsure about how an oil will affect you or if your nausea and/or vomiting do not subside after several attempts with essential oils.
If you loved this article about the Essential Oils for Nausea, then you would love our cornerstone article, Essential Oils Guide: The 7 Essential Oils Everyone Should Have.