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Feeling nauseous might be one of the most uncomfortable things ever. Whenever I feel queasy, I'm desperate to figure out how to deal with it. There definitely are a few tricks you can try to alleviate nausea. According to The Cleveland Clinic, drinking clear or ice-cold drinks; eating light, bland foods; eating slowly and smaller, more frequent meals; and avoiding any activity after eating are all things you can do to ease nausea.
You can also try other methods like using essential oils, either topically or as a part of aromatherapy. Not all of them have the same effect, so the experts shared some of the best essential oils for nausea with us. "These oils have been well studied as digestive aids used in fresh or dried herb form for cooking or tea. So naturally, the essential oils would have effectiveness used topically, or in a diffuser. They may be used on their own or in combination," explains Aba Gyepi-Garbrah, certified aromatherapist and founder of Aba Love Apothecary.
But there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when using essential oils. "As with any essential oil use, it's important to talk to your doctor to make sure you can safely use natural products," explains Nicole Stevens, Director of Clinical Research at DōTerra. "Each person's genetics, health history, medications, and other supplements can all affect the choice of which essential oils to choose (or avoid). In general, it's best to use essential oils in small amounts since they are very concentrated mixtures of plant chemicals."
Stevens also recommends trying one oil at a time so you'll know which ones work best for you and if any cause weird side effects. Then, once you've found some favorites, you can experiment with your own blends or branch out to newer ones.
And if you're applying them topically, you'll want to safely diffuse in a carrier oil because applying the oils directly onto the skin can cause irritation. Gyepi-Garbrah recommends mixing them in with fractionated coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, or sweet almond oil.
Now, take a look at some essential oils that can help with nausea below.
Essential Oils to Relieve Nausea
"One of the most well-studied essential oils for soothing the digestive system is peppermint," Stevens says. "Multiple clinical trials point to its use internally as a natural product that's great for feelings of stomach upset, and the herb has a long history of traditional use for general digestive health."
2. Japanese Mint (Cornmint)
"It's amazing for travel sickness, while clarifying the mind and keeping oneself alert. This mint does not have the sweetness of peppermint," Gyepi-Garbrah says.
"Another oil that probably won't come as a surprise is ginger. This essential oil has been studied as a good way to calm the stomach," Stevens says.
Lemon can be used to relieve morning sickness, Gyepi-Garbrah adds.
Do's and Don'ts of Using Essential Oils to Treat Nausea
There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you're using essential oils to deal with nausea. Gyepi-Garbrah shared some tips.
Do diffuse the scent: If you're sensitive to strong smells, you should try to diffuse the scent, either with a diffuser, or dropping it on a tissue or cotton ball. Smelling straight from the bottle might be too much for some people.
Don't ingest essential oils: Only do this under the guidance of a licensed medical professional.
Do check the authenticity: Make sure that the bottle does not say "fragrance oil," which is something entirely different (usually synthetic) and will not help nausea. Look for botanical names and buy organic from a trusted source.
Don't use on skin directly: Remember to dilute it with a carrier oil.
Do use caution if you're one of these groups: Pregnant people, the elderly, and young children should check with their doctor first.
How to Use Essential Oils
You might be able to find some of these essential oils in a rollerball, or you can DIY it with a carrier oil. Gyepi-Garbrah recommends using a rollerball in five ways:
Palming: Swipe across palms and inhale five times until you feel relief.
Pulse points: Apply dabs to the wrists and temples. "I also like to do a small dab on the upper lip for long car rides (especially under a mask)," she says.
Sternum: Apply with a roller to the sternum/heart center.
Stomach: Apply it here if nausea is also accompanied by an upset stomach.
Lower abdomen: Apply here if nausea is also accompanied by cramps.
Investing in a diffuser can pay off because you can use aromatherapy and other essential oil blends to help with sleep, energy, stress, and anxiety.
On a Tissue
Putting a few drops on a tissue and inhaling five times until you feel relief is another quick fix, Gyepi-Garbrah says.
Gyepi-Garbrah says this one is great for travel. "Mix essential oils with a combination of high-proof alcohol (Everclear or vodka) with distilled water and shake," she says.