Essential Oils for Upset Stomach

All of us at some time have experienced that horrible queasy feeling; when the world seems to spin around us, swaying and moving. You would be probably experiencing nausea. The word ‘nausea’ is derived from Latin meaning ‘seasickness’ and from Greek meaning ‘sailor’.

Motion sickness

Motion sickness usually happens when your balancing system gets overloaded from messages from your senses, particularly your ears and eyes. With motion sickness you will show signs of nausea and even hyperventilation. When it comes to motion sickness prevention, here is a wonderful recipe to prevent nausea:

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops of ginger essential oil
  • Combine with a tablespoon of a good vegetable oil such as jojoba or coconut oil. Keep in a small container. You can rub from 6 to 10 drops of this solution onto your chest and stomach an hour or so before travelling.


Using peppermint oil for little children is not suitable for children under two; rather uses spearmint oil. If you think that peppermint is not suitable for you as an aroma, there are others:

  • Patchouli
  • Nutmeg
  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Spearmint
  • Roman Chamomile

What triggers nausea

Feeling nauseated isn’t a good feeling, but it actually can be triggered by a couple of factors. These can be either psychological or physical in origin. Nausea is actually a protective mechanism in your body. The part of your brain which receives the nausea messages and the urge to vomit also has an area which is called the chemoreceptor trigger zone. This trigger zone forms part of the medulla oblongata and receives the message that you need to vomit. These urgent messages come from sources such as:

  • An imbalance or abnormality in your bloodstream
  • Your stomach and intestines experiencing pressure, irritations, infection, obstruction or constipation, causing upsets
  • Your brain where there might be increased pressure because there is a tumour growth
  • Your emotions coming on strongly because of total exhaustion, fear and anxiety which bring on nausea
  • Your senses might have reacted to something seen, smelt, tasted or felt like pain
  • Your inner ear might send messages to the brain after experiencing motion sickness or dizziness. There are times when what your eyes see do not match with what the inner ear is feeling

Overeating, over drinking, morning sickness when pregnant, food poisoning, getting flu, kidney stones and gallbladder problems are all further examples of how nausea can strike. You get an upset stomach or a headache. Even certain medical treatments that are not natural to the body, such as radiation treatment or chemotherapy can cause nausea in the body. Messages are sent to your brain because there is a threat to your body like strong negative emotions, an intestinal blockage perhaps or toxins invading your body. Nausea causes you to feel the need to vomit. You will need to forcefully empty your stomach of its contents via your mouth. When you are feeling nauseous, your face might suddenly become pale, you often go into a cold sweat, you might produce more saliva in your mouth and your heart or pulse rate will increase. Vomiting relieves you of the sick sensation because your body has rejected the harmful substance or blockage that caused you to feel so ill.


Conventional medicines will be dispensed to you from your doctor in the form of antihistamines or other medications. These usually provide relief from nausea. But there are also natural remedies that you can think of that will bring relief; some you might even have in your kitchen cupboard. For quick, effective and natural relief from nausea, reach for ginger, chamomile or lemon tea, peppermint essential oil and vitamin B6 – all will assist.

How does peppermint oil help?

Because peppermint oil has powerful healing and soothing qualities because of its antispasmodic and antiemetic and antispasmodic effects on the colon and gastric lining, it comes highly recommended for nausea.

Studies have shown the efficiency of peppermint oil in its capacity to reduce postoperative nausea and vomiting. Several years ago, in 2012, Molloy College, New York, researchers researched the effects that aromatherapy had on postoperative nausea and how severe it was. They carried out their research on women who had undergone surgical procedures in the post-aesthesia care unit. The women who complained of postoperative nausea were given the traditional anti-emetics, saline vapors and inhaling of peppermint oil. There was a good effect of the peppermint essential oil aroma in reducing the nausea. However statistical significance was not obtained due to this research carried out on a few patients (1).

Later on, in 2013, further studies designed to determine the efficiency of peppermint oil for the after effects of nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy revealed that there were fewer cases of nausea and vomiting in the first twenty-four hours after treatments, compared to other groups. There were also no side effects. It was also discovered that costs for treatment were reduced when peppermint essential oil had been used.

Peppermint oil for nausea is present in a variety of blends for upset stomach. You can always choose one the suits you best.

Another essential oil which is highly recommended is Chamomile essential oil. Traditionally Chamomile is noted as a digestion relaxant, recognised for its ability to treat gastro-intestinal disturbances. This includes nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, indigestion, relaxation of the muscles that transport food through the stomach and a general soothing.

Alongside the use of peppermint essential oil, some general tips for reducing nausea are:

  • Get fresh air, maybe taking a walk outside
  • Place a cool compress on your forehead or at the back of your neck
  • After eating, stay upright or sit up so as to avoid pressure on your stomach; eat smaller meals
  • Acupuncture is a good alternative
  • Avoid high-fat foods, which slow down digestion
  • Avoid drinking carbonated beverages that can produce gas.
  • Take deep breaths and stretch as this helps to reduce anxiety
  • Consume plenty of water

There are bountiful health benefits in peppermint oil and other essential oils. The use of peppermint oil dates back to 1,000 BC, documented in the ancient Egyptian pyramid times. Have you tried peppermint oil for nausea?

Leave a Reply