What is motion sickness?
Motion sickness is triggered by plane, boat, train, or car rides.
This condition is caused by mixed signals between your body’s sensory receptors and your brain.
Symptoms of motion sickness can include feelings of nausea, dizziness, wooziness, vomiting, and tiredness.
If you suffer from this condition try focusing your eyes on a single object, don’t read or look at your phone.
While there are several over-the-counter options for motion sickness and nausea if you’re looking for a natural alternative the use of essential oils and aromatherapy might also help.
How can essential oils help?
Essential oils (EOs) are natural remedies and highly concentrated plant extracts most commonly processed through distillation.
Thanks to their hundreds of active compounds, there are many physical, emotional, and mental health benefits of essential oils:
- Boosting immunity
- Decreasing inflammation
- Soothing arthritis symptoms
- Relieving pain and discomfort
- Stress management & anxiety
- Increasing wellness and managing depression
Certain EOs can also help with bloating, upset stomach, nausea, and morning sickness, even in pregnant women.
The best essential oils for motion sickness
- Spearmint oil
- Peppermint oil
- Ginger root
Note that essential oils don’t have the same effects on everyone.
An oil that’s known for a certain medicinal benefit might not have the same effect on you.
That’s why it’s important to test each oil and pay attention to how your body and senses respond.
How to use essential oils for motion sickness
You can inhale EOs by using the following:
- Essential oil diffuser – Ideal for large enclosed spaces
- Car diffuser – Ideal for road trips and long, bumpy, or curvy rides.
- Inhaler – portable and easy to use anytime
- Roller bottle or rollerball – also portable and easy topical application.*
*Always dilute EOs with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil before applying directly to your skin.
The pros & cons of EOs for motion sickness
- EOs are potent – a little goes a long way. You only need a few drops to help ease your queasiness.
- High-quality, pure essential oils possess the highest therapeutic and medicinal value.
- If used with care and mindfulness EOs are relatively low-risk and offer little to no side effects when compared to over-the-counter drug store options.
- You can mix and blend various EOs together to enhance and amplify their anti-nausea effects.
- EOs are potent – using too much or incorrect dosage may lead to making symptoms worse.
- EOs aren’t regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Many products are diluted and contaminated with potentially harmful chemicals and solvents. Make sure you’re getting the highest grade quality.
- EOs aren’t cure-alls, especially if you’re experiencing severe motion sickness or nausea. (If you’re dealing with a persistent or unusually severe motion sickness episode, please consult with your health care provider prior to using them.)
- There’s is very little research on the effects of EOs on nausea. More research is needed to reach definitive conclusions in order to determine exactly how EOs work for motion sickness.
How to choose the right high-quality EOs for motion sickness
Since many EO products on the market are diluted and contaminated it’s important to know how to choose the highest quality options as they will be the ones to offer the most medicinal effects.
Here are 7 tips to help you:
- Look for certified organic therapeutic grade essential oils.
- Check that proper testing has been done.
- Research the company. Is it reputable?
- Check the label. Is all the relevant information there?
- Check the price. Too cheap is a red flag.
- Check the Latin name. This is the plant’s actual botanical name.
- Check in with yourself. Your body will give you feedback so trust your intuition!
2 DIY essential oil blends for motion sickness
Car diffuser blend:
- 5 drops of peppermint essential oil (or spearmint is peppermint is too strong)
- 2 drops of ginger essential oil
- 2 drops of lemon oil
- 1 drop of fennel oil
- 10 drops of peppermint essential oil (or spearmint is peppermint is too strong)
- 10 drops of ginger essential oil
- 10 drops of lemon oil
- 10 drops of fennel oil
Apply the oils to the cotton wick of your inhaler and take slow deep belly breaths as needed.