Essential Oils for Hangover
Hangovers are an unpleasant and sometimes painful consequence of drinking alcohol. Anyone who has ever had a hangover has likely searched for natural remedies for hangovers in hopes of eliminating the symptoms as quickly as possible. While there is no quick cure for a hangover, there are a few essential oil cures that can alleviate the symptoms.
A hangover is a collection of symptoms caused by a significant drop in your blood alcohol level after drinking too much alcohol. As the body works to eliminate the alcohol from your body, symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headache, weakness, thirst and exhaustion may occur.1 The symptoms can be so intense that it may feel nearly impossible to do anything until the hangover subsides.
While there is no way to actually cure a hangover, there are several ways to heal hangover symptoms. Plenty of water, rest, and the following detox essential oils should provide relief.
Fennel Essential Oil
One benefit of fennel essential oil is that it may help promote healthy kidney function and eliminate toxins from the body. Historically, it has been used as a diuretic by boosting kidney function, which is responsible for extracting toxins from the blood. Because of these properties, fennel essential oil is thought to be one of the best detox essential oils to use during a hangover.
To use fennel essential oil, mix 1-2 drops with a tablespoon of carrier oil, such as jojoba oil. Apply to skin and gently massage.
Ginger Essential Oil
The analgesic, energizing, anti-nausea and liver-protecting properties of ginger essential oil make it a natural essential oil detox remedy. A study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine reported that ginger essential oil was effective in reducing pain in participants with moderate abdominal pain and cramping.
According to a 2005 study, ginger essential oil also may also combat fatigue. In the study, test subjects who inhaled ginger essential oil had 5% increased mobility during a physical activity test. Fatigue is one of the debilitating symptoms of a hangover, so the stimulatory effects of ginger essential oil could prove to be helpful.
Another beneficial property of ginger essential oil is its ability to fight nausea. In a 2012 meta-study, it was reported that inhaling ginger essential oil significantly reduced nausea symptoms and decreased total nausea episodes.
Finally, ginger essential oil supports liver health. In a recent clinical study, researchers found that the biomarkers for alcoholic fatty liver disease were significantly reduced after the subjects were administered the essential oil. The liver is responsible for removing toxins from the body, especially alcohol, making ginger essential oil one of the best essential oils for detox.
Lavender Essential Oil
The headache that comes with a hangover can be crushing. According to a 2016 study, the therapeutic qualities of lavender essential oil may be able to reduce headache severity by about 50%. The participants in the study regularly suffered migraines and used lavender essential oil over a three-month period to help treat the pain.
Lavender essential oil has also been noted to have sedative and pain-relieving properties that may be useful when trying to sleep off the symptoms of a hangover.
To use lavender essential oil, add 2-4 drops into 2-3 cups of boiling hot water or a diffuser. Place in a well-ventilated space and inhale the diffused oil.
Lemon Essential Oil
One valuable benefit of lemon essential oil is its natural anti-nausea properties. In a recent study, researchers found that pregnant women with symptoms of nausea inhaled lemon essential oil, they reported a significant reduction in nausea and vomiting. Lemon essential oil is considered one of the best natural remedies for hangover nausea.
Further research has also noted that lemon essential oil may also have natural anti-depressant-like activity. Often considered a ‘happy’ essential oil, inhaling lemon essential oil may help users feel better. In test models, lemon essential oil increased levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
For aromatherapy, place 2-4 drops of lemon essential oil in a diffuser and inhale the aroma.
Black Pepper Essential Oil
One benefit of black pepper essential oil is natural pain relief. When applied topically, black pepper essential oil has been reported to provide relief for upset stomachs, bloating, cramping and indigestion.
To use black pepper essential oil for stomach relief, mix 2-5 drops with 4 Tsp. of carrier oil. Apply the mixture to the stomach area and gently rub until fully absorbed.
Marjoram Essential Oil
If an upset stomach is one of your hangover symptoms, marjoram essential oil’s properties may provide some relief. Marjoram essential oil has been noted to reduce stomach cramping, bloating and calm digestive issues. To relieve an upset stomach, add 2 drops of marjoram essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil. Apply the blend on to the abdomen and massage into the skin.
Peppermint Essential Oil
There are several benefits of peppermint essential oil that make it a great natural hangover remedy. With anti-nausea, pain-relieving, carminative (gas-relieving) and stimulating properties, peppermint essential oil provides relief for both digestive issues and headaches.
In a 2012 clinical trial, researchers found that peppermint essential oil may be effective in eliminating nausea. Participants in the study regularly faced nausea due to cancer treatments. The participants who inhaled peppermint essential oil daily reported a significant decrease in nausea symptoms compared to those who didn’t.
In another study, applying peppermint essential oil to the temples of the forehead helped reduce headache symptoms. The cooling effects can significantly increase blood flow to the head, which may help alleviate the symptoms of a headache.
Peppermint essential oil has also been noted for its ability to significantly reduce fatigue after only 11 minutes of inhalation.
To make your own peppermint oil detox, mix 2-4 drops with 2 Tbsp. of a carrier oil, like coconut oil. Place a few drops onto your temples and gently rub.
Spearmint Essential Oil
To relieve nausea and vomiting you may want to reach for some spearmint essential oil. According to a 2013 study, one notable benefit of spearmint essential oil is its ability to significantly reduce nausea.
To use spearmint oil to treat nausea, add 1-4 drops to a diffuser and inhale the aroma.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Mayo Clinic. (2014, December 20). Symptoms-Hangovers. Retrieved May 12, 2017 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hangovers/basics/symptoms/CON-20025464 – View reference