Essential Oils

Can Essential Oils & Aromatherapy Help Vertigo?

Updated on 18 August 2020 • 3 minute read
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Overview

Have you ever felt like the room was spinning? 

Or have you ever felt off balance? 

That’s the sensation of vertigo. 

Vertigo symptoms can include: 

  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea
  • Motion sickness 
  • Loss of balance 
  • Sweating 

 

Common causes of vertigo include: 

  • BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) – certain head positions and movements trigger vertigo symptoms
  • Migraines and headaches 
  • Meniere’s disease – inner ear disorder that can also cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and even hearing loss
  • Labyrinthitis – inner ear infection 
  • Head or neck trauma

The course of treatment will depend on the cause of vertigo. 

Severe cases might be treated with physical therapy rehab the parts of the brain that connect your sense of balance to the central nervous system. 

Your doctor might also perform canalith repositioning maneuvers and the Epley maneuver, a series of head and body movements, particularly for BPPV. 

Medicines like antihistamines may also work to relieve symptoms. 

Mild vertigo can often go away on its own or with the help of home remedies like essential oils. 

 

Essential Oils As A Natural Remedy

Essential oils (EOs) are highly concentrated plant extracts thought to possess many healing benefits. 

Plant extracts have been used as a form of herbal medicine for hundreds of years by many cultures, including ancient Egyptians and Greeks, Indian Ayurvedic medicine, and Traditional Chinese medicine. 

A growing body of research suggests that the active compounds found in essential oils can help with vertigo symptoms thanks to the following: 

 

The Best Essential Oils for Vertigo

Ginger oil    

In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger essential oil is used to address intestinal and liver issues, gas, upset stomach, and anemia. 

This root is also widely used to aid with dizziness, morning sickness, joint pain, and fatigue. 

A 2017 article in the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine found ginger oil to significantly lower postoperative nausea. (1) 

 

Spearmint & Peppermint oil 

Peppermint tea is a good idea whenever you’re feeling a little queasy or have indigestion. 

A 2013 study researching the effects of peppermint and spearmint on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting found both oils significantly reduced the intensity of symptoms compared to the control group. (2) 

 

Lemon oil 

Lemon essential oil is an effective remedy for nausea and morning sickness.

A 2014 study found lemon oil to reduce pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting effectively compared to the control group who received a placebo. (3)

Other citrus essential oils like bergamot, grapefruit, and tangerine oil can also help. 

 

Melissa aka Lemon Balm oil 

Melissa oil can calm the nervous system and help reduce nervous tension and dizziness. 

It’s frequently used in Iranian traditional medicine as a natural treatment for vertigo. (4) 

 

Other oils you can also try for managing vertigo are: 

  • Lavender oil
  • Geranium oil 
  • Cypress oil
  • Frankincense oil      
  • Thyme oil 
  • Rose oil 
  • Rosemary oil
  • Basil oil 
  • Clary sage oil

 

Safety Concerns 

  • Essential oils are potent. A little goes a long way, and you only need a few drops to reap the benefits. 
  • If you use them carefully and mindfully, there’s a low chance of adverse side effects. (If you have a known allergy to a specific plant or oil, avoid using it.) 
  • If you experience any adverse reaction to any essential oil, then discontinue use immediately. 
  • Be aware of the contraindications for each oil you use as some of them aren’t safe for babies, young children, pregnant women, or those with high blood pressure or epilepsy. 
  • EOs are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so it’s important only to choose the highest quality products. Always choose certified organic, therapeutic grade oils that are 100% unadulterated. 
  • Perform a patch test on a small area of your skin and wait 24-48 hours. Proceed with the oil if you do not react. 

 

How To Use EOs for Vertigo  

Topically: 

Dilute your essential oils in a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil. 

Dilute 2-3 drops of EO per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for adults. 

This will protect your skin from possible irritation while ensuring that the oils get absorbed into the skin for maximum therapeutic effect. 

You can massage the mixture on your temples, forehead, outer ear area, neck, and shoulders. 

 

Inhaler: 

Another direct method is to add 30-40 drops of essential oils to the cotton wick of a non-plastic inhaler. 

Take deep breaths as you inhale the aromas. 

 

Diffuser: 

A less direct method is to use a diffuser that will disperse the oils’ active compounds into the air.

You can add 12-15 drops of essential oil per 200 ml of water. 

 

References: 

(1) https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/acm.2015.0328

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3562057/

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4005434/

(4) http://jbes.uludag.edu.tr/PDFDOSYALAR/23/mak06.pdf

 

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