Need essential oils for motion sickness? 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 on a boat for long periods can seem 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 and 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, but remember that 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 overeating 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 switch seats with someone
• Using essential oils for both treatment and prevention of motion sickness like peppermint oil, spearmint oil, fennel oil, cardamom oil, and lavender oil
• 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.
Everyone 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 whose scent 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
• Cardamom– has relaxing properties with plenty of other benefits related to digestive health (i.e., constipation, gas, bloating, etc.)
• Coriander seed
• Dill – One of the best essential oils for children who suffer from motion sickness and bloating. It pairs well with lemon.
• German chamomile
• Ginger – An amazing essential oil as a digestive aid and for treating nausea and vomiting and especially good for anxious motion sickness, stomach irritation, and other issues associated with digestive tract discomfort.
• Lavender – Lavender essential oil has a soothing effect on the nervous system and is great to use when anxiety causes nausea.
• Palo Santo
• Patchouli – My favorite essential oil for motion sickness! 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 by blocking the body’s signals to the brain that facilitate sensations of motion sickness.
• Peppermint – a wonderfully cooling oil that eases nausea and settles queasiness (even post-operative nausea). 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
If you are experiencing cramps in your gastric muscles due to nausea, clary sage essential oil may be a good option to look into. Adding a drop or two to your essential oil blends (works well in a roller bottle).
Please refer to this article for maximum dilutions (for adults).
How to Use Essential Oils for Motion Sickness
Aromatherapy has long been used as a natural, holistic therapy to help alleviate symptoms of motion sickness.
It involves using various essential oils that are known to reduce feelings of nausea, dizziness, and headaches associated with motion sickness and even morning sickness.
This is a great preventative measure. Mix 4 drops of EO with 1 tsp of carrier oil (like jojoba oil, coconut oil, or sweet almond oil) and massage your abdominal area before setting off on your trip. This will help relieve stomach troubles (including gas) before they begin and is a favorite remedy in my family.
Tissues and Handkerchief
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.
This works well for pregnant women with an upset stomach without having to directly apply the oils.
Using a Car Diffuser
A super convenient method for scenting the car with anti-motion-sickness goodness is by using an essential oil diffuser made for use in a car.
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 are 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 the best results.
If you don’t have a tissue, car diffuser, or nasal inhaler handy, you can add 1 drop of diluted essential oil in the palm of your hand in dire situations.
I like to rub my palms together and cup my nose and mouth while breathing deeply for fast relief.
Natural Remedies for Motion Sickness Recipes
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
Frequently Asked Questions About Essential Oils for Motion Sickness
Does peppermint help with motion sickness?
Yes, peppermint is one of the most popular essential oils used for motion sickness, morning sickness, and general sensations of nausea.
Peppermint oil contains menthol, which has a cooling sensation when applied to the skin and can relieve nausea and dizziness when applied diluted to the back of the neck.
When inhaled, the strong aroma of peppermint essential oil is also known to help mitigate feelings of nausea related to sea sickness, air sickness, car sickness, and morning sickness.
How can I stop motion sickness naturally?
Many natural remedies can help alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness, such as:
- Ginger: Ginger is a natural anti-emetic that has been shown to help reduce nausea and vomiting. Ginger can be used in various forms, such as ginger tea, candies, essential oils, or supplements.
- Peppermint: Peppermint is another natural remedy that is known to reduce nausea and vomiting. It can be used as tea or used as an essential oil in a diffuser, nasal inhaler, or tissue.
- Acupressure: Many find that acupressure bands, which apply pressure to specific points on the wrist, can greatly help alleviate motion sickness symptoms.
- Deep breathing: Slow, deep breathing can help calm the nervous system and reduce symptoms of nausea.
- Avoid heavy meals: Eating heavy or greasy foods before traveling can exacerbate motion sickness symptoms, so eating light is best.
Is lemon essential oil good for motion sickness?
Some evidence suggests that lemon essential oil may help alleviate symptoms of motion sickness, but more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness.
Lemon essential oil is believed to have a calming and soothing effect on the digestive system, which can help alleviate nausea and vomiting. It also has a refreshing scent that can help ease feelings of queasiness.
To use lemon essential oil for motion sickness, inhale it directly from the bottle or add a few drops to a diffuser.
Where do I put peppermint oil for nausea?
Peppermint oil can be used topically to help alleviate nausea through:
- Inhalation: You can inhale peppermint oil directly from the bottle or add a few drops to a diffuser. Inhaling the scent of peppermint oil can help calm the digestive system and reduce feelings of nausea.
- Topical application: You can mix a few drops of peppermint oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or almond oil, and apply it to your temples, forehead, and the back of your neck. This can help alleviate nausea and provide a relaxing cooling sensation.
- Aromatherapy jewelry: You can also use aromatherapy jewelry, such as a diffuser bracelet or necklace, to enjoy the benefits of peppermint oil throughout the day.
How long can motion sickness last?
The duration of motion sickness can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. In general, motion sickness usually lasts for a few hours and typically resolves once the motion stops.
However, in some cases, motion sickness symptoms can persist for several hours or even days.
The symptoms of motion sickness can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, fatigue, and sweating. These symptoms can be quite unpleasant and can interfere with daily activities.
Be sure to plan ahead when traveling to prevent motion sickness if you’re prone to it to make your journey more comfortable.
If you experience motion sickness, it’s best to avoid further exposure to the motion that triggered your symptoms until you feel better. This might include pulling over and getting some fresh air.
You can also try some natural remedies, such as ginger or acupressure, to alleviate your symptoms.
Why do I get motion sick so easily?
Motion sickness is caused by a conflict between the signals your brain receives from your eyes, inner ears, and other sensory systems.
When these signals don’t match up, it can cause the symptoms of motion sickness, such as nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.
Some people are more prone to motion sickness than others, and several factors can increase your risk of developing motion sickness.
- Sensory conflict: As mentioned earlier, motion sickness is caused by conflicting signals from your sensory systems. You may be more prone to motion sickness if you’re particularly sensitive to these conflicts.
- Genetics: Some studies have suggested that there may be a genetic component to motion sickness. If other family members are prone to motion sickness, you may also be more likely to experience it.
- Age: Children between the ages of 2 and 12 are more prone to motion sickness than adults. This may be because their sensory systems are still developing.
- Travel conditions: Certain types of travel, such as car rides on winding roads or boat rides in rough seas, can increase your risk of motion sickness.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as inner ear disorders, migraines, and anxiety disorders, can increase your risk of motion sickness.
You may also enjoy reading:
Sickroom Spray Recipe for Cold and Flu
5 Essential Oil Blends for Nausea
8 Amazing Home Remedies for Nausea
What have been your favorite essential oils for motion sickness? Please let me know in the comments below!
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Herchel A Scruggs says
I use a blend of ginger, lavender, peppemint, and spearmint in sweet almond oil. It smells so good and helps with carsickness too!
Hey Tash, we use the Peppermint and Lemon with a little Lavender when we travel – which we do a lot by road. It keeps us awake and, without realising it I think it probably avoids the motion sickness for us as well.
Have you tried Lavender and Cedarwood for jetlag/travel tiredness? It really works a treat.