Top 5 Essential Oils for Nausea
Let's face it. We've all been there before. We're just going about our business, enjoying life as usual, and then all of a sudden we are hit with a bout of feeling rather nauseated. Sometimes it can be out of the blue, sometimes it can be from eating just a tad too much at the annual family gathering, and other times it could be from illness. Either way, it sucks and is not pleasant.
This brings us to essential oils! Those lovely little amber glass bottles of aromatic oils that everyone rages about. There's so many of them out there, how do you know which to choose? That's where I come in, with the list of the top five essential oils that are indicated for topical use with instances of nausea. (Don't forget to properly dilute them!)
1. Lemon (Citrus x limon): Lemon is a citrus oil that comes from the family Rutaceae. The oil is expressed from the peel of the fruit and its main constituent is limonene (56.6-76%). Lemon essential oil has a low risk of being phototoxic, but can become irritating to the skin if it becomes oxidized. Maximum dermal use is a 2% dilution.
2. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): Also called "blue chamomile" due to blue color from the constituent chamazulene, this essential oil comes from the Asteraceae (Compositae) family. The essential oil comes from the aerial parts of the flowering plant. German Chamomile is contraindicated for individuals taking drugs that are metabolized by the CYP2D6 pathway. German Chamomile is not phototoxic and should be diluted at 4% maximum.
3. Melissa (Melissa officinalis): Melissa essential oil is also commonly called "lemon balm". This botanical belongs to the Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family and the fresh aerial parts of the plant are used for the essential oil. Melissa essential oil is contraindicated for dermal use with individuals who have sensitive, diseased, or damaged skin and also for children under the age of two years old. When diluting Melissa, the maximum dilution is 0.9%.
4. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita): Peppermint has long been used for cases of nausea such as sucking on peppermint candies or drinking peppermint teas. The essential oil of peppermint comes from the botanical family Lamiaceae (Labiatae). Caution should be taken when using peppermint essential oil because it is a low risk mucous membrane irritant, choleretic, and has potential for neurotoxicity. Contraindications include cardiac fibrillation, G6PD enzyme deficiency, and do not apply around the face of infants and children. When using peppermint essential oil topically, the maximum dilution ratio is 5.4%.
5. Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Ginger is probably my favorite essential oil to use for nausea. The essential oil of ginger comes from the family of Zingiberaceae. It has no hazards or contraindications for topical usage, but for safety reasons you should still keep dilution at a maximum of 4%.
These are some pretty snazzy essential oils that you can use topically (diluted, of course) to help ease the symptom of nausea when it creeps up on you. As always, double check any essential oil or herb you use for contraindications and any other cautions that may be listed. When in doubt, reach out to a qualified aromatherapist, qualified herbalist, or other professional with formal training in aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy for Health Professionals 3rd Edition; Edited by Shirley Price, Len Price
Essential Oil Safety - A Guide for Health Care Professionals 2nd Edition; written by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, PhD