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Aromatherapy for Nausea

author image Amber Keefer
Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.
Aromatherapy for Nausea
Peppermint eases nausea. Photo Credit peppermint candies image by Margaret M Stewart from Fotolia.com

Although there are a variety of home remedy treatments for nausea, talk to a health care professional about any persistent nausea or nausea that recurs. There is a range of causes for nausea, including stomach flu, morning sickness, food poisoning, motion sickness, migraine headaches, chemotherapy and menstrual cramps. Natural remedies such as aromatherapy can sometimes help relieve the discomfort, but make sure that your doctor is aware and approves.


See your doctor if nausea is accompanied by sudden, severe pain in the chest or abdomen. Although aromatherapy can be an effective treatment for relieving mild to moderate cases of nausea, the symptom can sometimes be a sign of a more serious health problem. Pay attention to other warning signs such as severe headache or abdominal pain, signs of dehydration, skin that is cold, pale and clammy, high fever and stiff neck or blurred vision. Any one of these symptoms in combination with nausea may indicate traumatic brain injury, meningitis, liver failure, bowel obstruction, brain hemorrhage, gallstones or appendicitis, to name only a few conditions. Elderly people should seek immediate medical advice if they have a high fever or show signs of confusion along with nausea or vomiting.

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Jeanne Rose, chairwoman of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, recommends peppermint to help relieve the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Methods of application other than by massage include steam or candle diffusion to emit the fragrance into a room. You can also sprinkle a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil onto a tissue. Hold the tissue to your nose and take two or three deep breaths. Keep your eyes closed as you slowly breathe in the aroma.

Other Aromatherapy Methods

Some people find it soothing to soak in an aromatherapy bath. Add five to 10 drops of the essential oil into a tub filled with tepid water. If you choose to spray the fragrance around a room, add 10 drops of essential oil to a 4-oz. spray bottle filled with distilled water. Shake the bottle well before spraying. Individuals who are sensitive to fragrances should not use essential oils.

Aromatherapy Blends

In addition to mints like peppermint and spearmint, which are known for their ability to help calm the stomach, ginger is a common aromatherapy recipe used to ease nausea. Other aromatherapy blends for nausea may contain ingredients like basil, clove, lavender, sandalwood, rose, chamomile and anise. For severe nausea, mix a blend of one drop each of peppermint, basil and lavender essential oils with two tsp. of carrier oil. Rub your hands together to warm the oil before gently massaging it over your abdomen.

Healing Properties

The menthol in mints has a cooling property that acts to soothe the stomach lining and relax stomach muscles, which can cause cramping. Ginger has long reputation for its healing properties in easing an upset stomach, especially the nausea associated with morning sickness. Lavender essential oil is a popular herbal remedy often used to help relieve a queasy stomach and promote sleep. Anise is another essential oil that can offer relief from both nausea and indigestion.


Consult with your physician first, and then follow the instructions provided by a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before inhaling or rubbing any essential oils on your body. To be certified as an aromatherapy practitioner in the U.S., a person must have a state-issued license. However, licensing is not required. Look for someone who has received at least 200 to 300 hours of training from an accredited aromatherapy program.

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