With summer on the way many of us are thinking about vacations to exotic places, fun ocean activities, and long road trips. While the prospect of getting away from the grind of daily life has its appeal, sitting in a car, on an airplane, or being on a boat for long periods of time can seem a bit daunting, especially if you suffer from motion sickness. The good news is, there are effective essential oils for motion sickness that help take the edge off, settle your stomach, and ease symptoms of nausea.
How to Prevent Motion Sickness
Of course, knowing what triggers your motion sickness is a great way to prevent it from happening. For me, I know that I need fresh air, a bottle of water, and I need to be able to see the road if I’m sitting in the back seat of a car. Having small hard candies to suck on helps immensely as well. Each person may need different things to keep motion sickness at bay.
Some key things that may contribute to motion sickness include:
• Consuming too much alcohol before travel
• Eating too many rich/sugary foods (including drinks)
• Getting too hot
• Having a headache during travel
• Not being able to see the road
• Not being hydrated enough
• Not eating or eating too much before departure
• Reading or checking your phone during travel
• Stuffy air
Some of the best ways to alleviate nausea and motion sickness include:
• Breathing deeply
• Drinking peppermint tea before traveling
• Eat saltines, a slice of bread, or a banana before travel
• Getting fresh air
• Having a cold pack that you can place on the back of the neck or forehead
• Sipping ginger ale
• Stopping travel if possible to get out of the car or switching seats with someone
• Using essential oils for both treatment and prevention of motion sickness
• Using wrist bands
The Best Essential Oils for Motion Sickness
Below I’ve listed many of the best essential oils for motion sickness. I’ve also put a note next to the best of the best to make choosing a little easier. Each person may find certain EOs more helpful than others, so it’s good to experiment and see which ones appeal to your senses. It wouldn’t be good to use an oil that makes you gag amiright?
Also, PLEASE refer to this article for oils that are safe during pregnancy and nursing and this article for oils that are safe for children before using any of the oils below. This is super important for safety reasons!
Here are the best essential oils for motion sickness:
• Bergamot (use FCF bergamot if you plan on using it topically. Read why here.)
• Black Pepper
• Coriander seed
• Dill – One of the best essential oils for children who suffer from motion sickness and bloating. Pairs well with lemon.
• German chamomile
• Ginger – An amazing essential oil for treating nausea and vomiting and especially good for anxious motion sickness.
• Lavender – Great for when anxiety causes nausea.
• Palo Santo
• Patchouli – contains compounds known to be extremely effective for preventing vomiting. This is due to its ability to reduce gastrointestinal muscle contractions associated with vomiting.
• Peppermint – a wonderfully cooling oil that eases nausea and settles queasiness. I like to apply it diluted to the back of my neck when feeling unwell.
• Roman chamomile
• Spearmint – Another cooling EO with motion sickness preventing properties.
• Sweet orange
Please refer to this article for maximum dilutions (for adults).
How to Use Essential Oils for Motion Sickness
This is a great preventative measure. Simply mix 4 drops of EO with 1 tsp of carrier oil and massage your abdominal area before setting off on your trip. This will help relieve any stomach troubles (including gas), before they even begin.
Simply adding 1-2 drops of essential oil to a tissue and cupping the nose and mouth while breathing in slowly is a great way to help ease motion sickness. I recommend using this method before even getting into the car to help fortify your stomach.
Using a Car Diffuser
A super convenient method for scenting the car with anti-motion-sickness goodness is by using a diffuser. I recommend trying a single drop of essential oil at first and then up it to 3 drops as needed. You can get my favorite car diffuser here.
Using a Nasal Inhaler
This is a wonderful option especially if everyone needs different oils and doesn’t want to smell someone else’s. They’re small and super convenient to use as the whole family can each have their own personal blend. I recommend using the inhalers before setting off on your trip for even better results.
You can get nasal inhalers here.
Essential Oil Recipes for Motion Sickness
Here’s a few simple yet effective recipes to try that many have found useful for preventing and treating motion sickness.
Simply mix the EOs below and use one of the above methods for best results.
If you don’t have a tissue, car diffuser, or nasal inhaler handy, you can just add 1 drop of diluted essential oil in the palm of your hand. I like to rub my palms together and cup my nose and mouth while breathing deeply for fast relief.
1. Equal parts lemon and peppermint essential oil
2. Equal parts lemon and ginger essential oil
3. Equal parts cardamom and sweet orange essential oil
4. 3 drops grapefruit, 2 drops ginger, 1 drop spearmint
5. 1 drop grapefruit, 1 drop ginger, 1 drop cardamom
6. 1 drop spearmint and 1 drop ginger
7. 3 drops peppermint, 3 drops cardamom, 7 drops roman chamomile
8. 2 drops patchouli, 1 drop lavender
What have been your favorite essential oils for motion sickness? Please let me know in the comments below!
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure and disclaimer.