While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

Headache, nausea, and fatigue — many of us have experienced symptoms of a hangover after a night out. While hangovers are unpleasant, they eventually go away on their own. But are there ways to ease symptoms more quickly?

You’ve probably heard of a variety of different home remedies to help relieve hangover symptoms. One of them may have been to use essential oils.

But are essential oils actually useful for a hangover? And if so, which ones? Keep reading as we tackle these questions and more below.

Very little research has been performed on essential oils and their effectiveness in easing hangovers. Much of the current evidence for their use is anecdotal, meaning that it’s based on personal experience.

However, some types of essential oils may be helpful for some of the common hangover symptoms. Below, we’ll explore the research into three essential oils that may work to ease a variety of hangover symptoms.

The ginger plant is used in cooking, teas, dietary supplements, and essential oils. Products containing ginger are actually made from the underground stem of the plant, which is called a rhizome.

Many studies have been performed on the potential health benefits of ginger. Ginger essential oil can be inhaled using a diffuser or applied topically as a massage oil. It may help with several types of hangover symptoms.


Two small studies have been done on ginger aromatherapy and postoperative nausea and vomiting:

  • One 2017 study in patients who had undergone abdominal surgery found that their nausea and vomiting scores were significantly lower following aromatherapy with ginger oil.
  • Another 2016 study saw a small positive effect of ginger oil aromatherapy on nausea and vomiting. However, this effect wasn’t statistically significant.

Aches and pains

Studies on ginger essential oil have focused on topical applications to help ease pain in older individuals:

If you’re applying essential oils topically to soothe aches and pains, be sure to first dilute them using a carrier oil.


Alcohol can increase inflammation in the body, which is also believed to contribute to a hangover. Many studies have investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger.

A 2016 study on rats investigated the effects of ginger essential oil on rheumatoid arthritis. It found that ginger essential oil helped prevent chronic joint inflammation.


A 2013 study assessed the use of massage with ginger essential oil in women with menstrual cramps. In addition to reducing the severity of the cramps, massage with ginger essential oil also appeared to reduce dizziness.

When to use it

If your hangover has you feeling nauseous and achy, consider trying ginger essential oil.

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Peppermint is a type of herb that’s actually a cross between two different types of mint plants. It’s available in many forms, including flavorings, teas, and essential oils.

Peppermint essential oil may be used topically or through a diffuser. It may work to ease the following hangover symptoms:


Peppermint oil has been studied extensively for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), in which results have been promising. However, studies into its impact on nausea have been mixed:

  • A 2016 study looked at peppermint oil aromatherapy for postoperative nausea. It found that participants rated their levels of nausea as lower after inhaling peppermint oil.
  • However, a 2018 study investigating the effect of peppermint oil aromatherapy on nausea and vomiting during pregnancy found no difference between peppermint oil and the placebo.


Studies on using peppermint for headache and migraine often focus on one of its active ingredients: menthol. In fact, studies from 2010 and 2015 indicate that various menthol preparations may be effective in easing both headaches and migraine.

A 2019 study compared the effect of peppermint essential oil to that of the local anesthetic lidocaine during a migraine attack. Researchers found that using 1.5 percent peppermint oil or 4 percent lidocaine had similar effects.

Mental fatigue

A 2018 study looked at the effects of peppermint essential oil capsules on mental fatigue. Researchers found that people who took the capsules had lower rates of mental fatigue when performing demanding cognitive tasks.

A small 2013 pilot study found that inhaling a blend of peppermint, basil, and helichrysum oils led to lower levels of mental fatigue and burnout.

When to use it

The effectiveness of peppermint oil for nausea is mixed. However, if you have a headache or need a mental pick-me-up, trying out peppermint oil may be a good bet.

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Lavender is a fragrant herb that’s grown in many parts of the world. It’s used in a variety of dietary supplements, in making tea, and as an essential oil. Lavender essential oil can be used in a diffuser or applied to the body after diluting it in a carrier oil.

Lavender essential oil may help with the following hangover symptoms:

Aches and pains

A 2016 study assessed massage with lavender essential oil in people with knee arthritis. Significant decreases in pain severity were seen 1 week after starting treatment. However, after 4 weeks, there was no difference between the treatment and placebo groups.

A 2019 study on mice looked at lavender essential oil and its impact on neuropathic pain. It was observed that giving lavender essential oil orally to the mice helped ease neuropathic pain.


Lavender oil is commonly associated with relaxation, and there’s evidence to suggest that it can relieve headaches and symptoms of migraine.

Research from 2012 assessed the effect of inhaling lavender essential oil on migraine. Out of the 129 migraine attacks that were investigated, it was observed that 92 of them responded completely or partially to lavender.


Lavender is often mentioned as a way to lower anxiety. Research from 2017 concluded that lavender essential oil might be an effective short-term treatment for some anxiety disorders, although more research is needed.

A 2017 study looked at the effects of inhaling lavender on vital signs of people in the intensive care unit (ICU) for open-heart surgery. It was found that lavender appeared to have a calming effect, lowering blood pressure and heart rate.

When to use it

Does your hangover involve a pounding headache and other aches and pains? Or maybe you woke up on edge after a night out? Lavender essential oil may help ease these feelings.

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If you choose to use essential oils to ease your hangover symptoms, be sure to do so safely. Follow the tips below:

  • Essential oils can be toxic if consumed. Never eat or drink essential oils. Store all essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
  • When diffusing an essential oil, make sure that the room you’re in has good ventilation. Consider pets, children, and pregnant women who might be inhaling aromatherapy. Some essential oils are dangerous for pets and children. Many essential oils aren’t recommended for pregnant women.
  • If applying an essential oil to the skin, be sure to dilute it appropriately in a carrier oil before doing so. You should also perform a patch test by putting a small amount on your skin before applying it to larger areas.
  • Know that some essential oils shouldn’t be used on or around young children. One example is peppermint essential oil.
  • If you experience a reaction to an essential oil, stop using it.
  • If you’re taking prescription medications or are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using essential oils.

While hangover symptoms can vary by individual, some of the common ones are:

Alcohol has several effects on the body that contribute to developing a hangover. Some examples include promoting dehydration, irritating your digestive tract, and disrupting sleep.

Hangovers typically go away on their own over several hours. However, in some cases, symptoms may last 24 hours or longer.

There are other things that you can do at home to help ease your hangover symptoms. These include:

  • Hydrate. Since alcohol can dehydrate you, focus on replacing lost fluids. In addition to drinking water, having sports drinks or Pedialyte can also help rehydrate you and replace lost electrolytes.
  • Eat something. Try eating foods like crackers or toast to help boost blood sugar and calm your stomach. Additionally, soups and broths can help replace electrotypes.
  • Use a pain reliever. Taking some ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) can help with pain, but remember that it can also irritate your stomach. Avoid taking acetaminophen (Tylenol), as it could further stress your liver.
  • Rest up. The only tried and true cure for a hangover is time. Sometimes, going back to bed and getting more rest can help you get through the worst of your symptoms.

A hangover can occur after you’ve had too much alcohol. Some of the common symptoms include fatigue, nausea, and headache. Hangover symptoms typically go away on their own after several hours.

Research on essentials oils and their effectiveness in treating hangovers is currently very limited. There are some essential oils, such as ginger, peppermint, and lavender, that may work to alleviate specific hangover symptoms.

If you do use essential oils for a hangover, always follow appropriate safety precautions. Other things that you can do to feel better include rehydrating, having a snack, and getting some rest.