Essential Oils to Reduce Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting

Fearrington MA, Qualls BW, Carey MG
Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing,


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if using essential oil products for adult patients reduced the need for antiemetics for postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV).

DESIGN: A prospective and retrospective cross-sectional design using a convenience sample.

METHODS: Double blinded to the type of essential oil, subjects randomly selected a nasal inhaler containing peppermint, ginger, or a combination of both. A prophylactic dose was given preoperatively, and during the postoperative period nausea was assessed using verbal descriptive scale.

FINDINGS: Overall 322 same day surgical patients were analyzed (control group [n = 179] and intervention group [n = 143]). The intervention group had a greater history of PONV but received fewer doses of antiemetics postoperatively compared with the control group. There was no significant difference in the effectiveness of the three types of inhalers.

CONCLUSIONS: Aromatherapy demonstrated a statistically significant (P < .05) reduction in the need for antiemetics to treat PONV.


Fearrington MA, Qualls BW, Carey MG. Essential Oils to Reduce Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting. J Perianesth Nurs. 2019;

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