6 Essential Oils to Try If You Have Morning Sickness
Essential oils and aromatherapy are growing in popularity for all sorts of conditions and ailments, so it's no surprise many pregnant women are turning essential oils for morning sickness, but what really works? We caught up with experts to help us figure out which oils and scents can impact pregnancy in a positive way.
“Lemon scent can be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, says Christian Bogner, MD, FACOG who cites a 2013 study from Iran. Lemon essential oils are a widely popular natural treatment for allergy symptoms as well, making it an especially versatile choice.
You’ll be happy to know that just about everything in the citrus family results in a palpable decrease in morning sickness, which is why Dr. Bogner also recommends mandarin essential oils and aromatherapy. It was on a short list of complementary treatments that really work for post-surgical patients in one study, too. This beginner’s guide to essential oils will help you learn how to safely and effectively use them.
“Neuroscience research has shown that fragrance can help enhance well-being,” says Jennifer Genson, senior fragrance manager for Yankee Candle. “By slowing down the nervous system calming fragrances such as lavender and vanilla are known to reduce stress and anxiety.” Anxiety, as it turns out, is a trigger for nausea and can exacerbate morning sickness. Jennifer recommends burning a lavender and vanilla scented candle to keep a calm, stress-free environment. Here are some more tips for reducing and relieving stress.
“Pregnant women often report relief from nausea with the use of aromatherapy, especially ginger oils,” shares Christine Eady Mann, MD, family practice physician and associate clinical professor of family medicine, UNTHSC-FW. Ginger also cures belly bloat and a host of other digestive issues, and even hard-nosed medical studies have found several forms of ginger to be effective in battling a variety of different nausea types.
Sure, peppermint oils are great for boosting energy, but they’re also great for curbing morning sickness, says Dr. Mann. “When inhaled, these oils stimulate parts of the brain associated with emotions and mood.” Studies back up its use for battling upset stomachs in both ingested and inhaled forms.
Fennel essential oils for morning sickness may surprise you with just how effective they are. Experts suggest adding a few drops to a lukewarm bath, to a diffuser, or into a spoon of coconut oil to dilute and use as an aromatherapeutic, pregnancy-safe moisturizer that helps keep sickness at bay. One study found that fennel oil was best when combined with other nausea-helping oils, while anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that fennel is strong enough to use on its own. Fennel has also long been used as a general stomach ache remedy, so it’s a good one to add to your collection.