As far as I’m concerned, there are few things in the world that are worse than having an upset stomach. Headaches I can deal with; cramps, bring ‘em on! But feeling like I’m about to hurl my innards all over the place is something that I’d rather not have to deal with, especially if I’m planning to do something that day.
It doesn’t happen often; to be fair it probably happens to me far less than most people because 1) I don’t have any kids running around and spreading their germs like candy, and 2) I work from home so my exposure to germs is far less than average. The Mister on the other hand does not work from home, and so every once in a while something will come through those doors that hits me like a ton of bricks and makes me feel as though I’m on the brink of death.
Luckily, there’s an essential oil for that! We’ve already talked about essential oils for allergies, skin issues, pain relief, holiday spirit, and other things (for a complete list of these articles, click here), and really there’s an essential oil for just about every issue you can think of (you just have to know where to look and how to use them properly, which we’ll talk about later). Here are the ones that can help ease the pains of feeling nauseous:
Oregano is a champion oil, and if you only decide to invest in one of the things on this list I would seriously consider making it this one if I were you.
Sure, it might not have the most pleasant smell of all the oils, but it’s a complete powerhouse when it comes to the healing department – It’s both antibacterial and antiviral, so it’ll definitely cure just about anything that ails you!
How To Use It
It can be mixed in a carrier oil (more on that in just a couple of minutes) and rubbed on the soled of your feet for quick and easy absorption, but most people prefer to take it orally in capsule form (you should be able to find them at just about any health food or grocery store).
If everyone in your house is sick and the germs just seem to keep spreading no matter how much you clean and disinfect your surfaces, you might even want to consider diffusing it to help cleanse the air.
Keep in mind though that the aroma of this essential oil isn’t super pleasant to everyone – If you’re not a huge fan of the smell of oregano (or if you don’t necessarily love the idea of your house smelling like pizza for a prolonged period of time), the capsules are probably your best bet.
Lavender oil isn’t going to do a whole lot in the way of easing stomach pain, but it can help ease nausea faster than most of the other oils on this list, and since the scent of lavender is super relaxing you might find that it helps you sleep the bug you have away.
If you’re someone that especially susceptible to the relaxing effects that lavender tends to have, you might want to save it for nighttime application to avoid falling asleep while you’re supposed to be doing other things.
How To Use It
Lavender oil is mild enough that it doesn’t usually need a carrier oil, but if you’re someone that has sensitive skin it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to use it (read: it’s always better to be safe than sorry).
Place a few drops on your pulse points or on the nape of your neck and rub it in to help ease the discomfort of the nausea, diffuse it in the air while you’re relaxing to help you sleep the bug away, or simply open the bottle and inhale it through your nose if you’re feeling like you’re about to be sick – In my experience, it helps take the edge off almost immediately nine times out of ten.
You’ve likely heard of people chewing on ginger root or candies when they’ve had a sore throat and/or nausea, but for those of us that aren’t a huge fan of chewing on a hunk of ginger (seriously, I’ll never understand how some people are able to do it), ginger oil is a great alternative.
People have been using it since the dawn of time to settle stomach upsets, so there’s absolutely no doubt that it works; it’s just a matter of figuring out a way that it’ll work for you.
How To Use It
Mix the ginger oil with a carrier oil and apply it directly to the area you’re feeling the most upset (although I usually cover my entire stomach in it to make sure that I get everything, you don’t necessarily need to do this. Especially if you’re not a huge fan of the smell of ginger). If you don’t want to apply it directly to your skin, diffusing it into the air can also help provide some relief.
Cinnamon is usually mixed with lemon and drank in tea form when you’re experiencing a sore throat (much like the ginger), but did you know that it’s also super handy to have around when your stomach isn’t feeling so good either? We have its super antiviral properties to thank for that.
The cinnamon oil smell is much more potent than the sticks or ground spices you get at the grocery store, so you’ll really want to use it sparingly.
How To Use It
This oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the soles of your feet if you’re going to be lying in bed for a while, but unless you really like the smell of cinnamon you might want to stick to throwing a drop or two (and no more than that) in a diffuser. It’ll help clean the air and should help settle the nausea you’re experiencing as well. Another thing to keep in mind (although I’ve never experienced this myself) is that sometimes cinnamon – when applied to the skin – can raise your body temperature. If you’re already experiencing a fever you probably don’t need or want that.
Peppermint oil is another cure-all, and something that you should definitely always have on hand in your natural first aid kit. Whether you’re experiencing stomach pain, the flu, or you’ve simply eaten too much dinner and you’re feeling a little queasy, this stuff should definitely help take some of the pain away.
It also seems to take some of the inflammation and bloating away when you’ve got menstrual cramps.
How To Use It
If you’ve simply eaten enough to feel nauseated, usually simply opening the essential oil bottle and inhaling deeply a few times seems to do the trick. If you’re actually sick, try applying the oil to your pulse points (with a carrier oil of course!) or diffusing it in the room.
Spearmint oil is another great oil for helping to sooth a nauseated stomach. It’s also handy to keep on hand at work because not only will it help you from losing your lunch when a bug hits in the middle of the day (or you know, you get super nervous about an afternoon meeting you forgot to prepare for.
Hey, it happens, it’s also great for keeping you alert when a midday slump hits (which it always does, whether or not you were binge-watching Netflix the night before).
How To Use It
Personally, I enjoy diffusing the oils in the mint family because they make the area smell amazing. That can’t always be done at work though, so feel free to apply it with a carrier oil to your pulse points and/or the nape of your neck whenever you need to ease the pain. You might smell a little bit like a Christmas tree, but hey – Tis the season!
Noticing the trend yet? Just as citrus oils are what you want to have on hand for whenever a cold comes out of thin air and smacks you in the face, it’s the mint family of oils you want to have on hand whenever a flu, indigestion, or other stomach issue does the same thing.
How To Use It
Just as you would with any of the other essential oils in the mint family – Inhale, diffuse, or apply to the affected area and or your pulse points if you can stand the intense mint smell. You’ll probably read in a few places that adding a few drops of the essential oils (especially the ones in the mint family) to some water will also help to calm your stomach, but I’d steer clear of that if I were you.
Because here’s the thing – Essential oils are incredibly potent, concentrated substances. I’m not an aromatherapist, so I’d never suggest internal usage. If you absolutely want to try it out, please consult with someone that can tell you how to do it safely.
What Is A Carrier Oil?
Because essential oils are so potent and concentrated, almost all of them (with the exception of lavender and a couple of others unless you have sensitive skin) should only ever be applied topically if you’re diluting them using a carrier oil. I prefer coconut oil myself because I like the smell of it, but just about any oil will do – Jojoba, olive, argan, and the like.
Also, please do a skin test in a small area on the back of your hand before slathering it all over your body unless you know beyond a doubt that you’re not allergic. It’s no fun to feel nauseous and be itchy, red, and swollen.
What Is A Diffuser?
A diffuser is the handiest thing you’ll ever invest in if you’re into essential oils. The one I use personally is from PureSpa because it doesn’t take up a ton of space, it’s cute, and the scent lasts for hours. I’ve had it for more than a year now, use it close to every single day, and it’s still going strong. In addition to making the house smell absolutely wonderful, it also helps put moisture in the air (and with the awful, dry, Canadian winter about to rear its ugly head, that’s something that both me and my plants need desperately).
The Usual Statement
Just a friendly reminder that I’m not a doctor or an aromatherapist, and that I don’t know you, your situation, or your medical history. For the most part essential oils are harmless when used correctly, but it’s never a bad idea to consult with your medical and/or holistic professional before making any sort of big lifestyle change; just to make sure that your health is where it should be.
What are your favourite essential oils and what do you use them for? Let us know in the comments section below!
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