Aromatherapy for nausea after surgery

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Study shows aromatherapy success for nausea after surgery

Patients often experience nausea and vomiting after surgery. A study now examined the benefits of aromatic oils (aromatherapy) for these complaints.

The American scientists wanted to know which aromatic oil essences affect postoperative nausea. They examined 303 subjects with nausea symptoms after the operation. The intensity of the nausea was measured on a 4-point scale. The patients were randomly divided into four groups. One group inhaled normal saline (placebo) when they woke up after the operation. The second group smelled of a 70 percent alcohol solution. The third and fourth groups inhaled a ginger oil essence or a mixture of different essences such as ginger, spearmint, peppermint and cardamom oil.

The ginger oil essence and the mixture of different essences were superior to alcohol and saline. In particular, the participants who had smelled the cocktail from several oil essences needed fewer additional antiemetics. (Hunt R, Dienemann J, Norton J et al .: Aromatherapy as treatment for postoperative nausea: a randomized trial. Anesth Analg 2013; 117 597-604)

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