Are Essential Oils For Altitude Sickness Effective? (Plus 5 Most Popular)

Essential Oils For Altitude Sickness

Being a supplement manufacturer out of Colorado for over 10 years, we scoured all the research to find out if essential oils help altitude. In this article, we'll look at some of the most common essential oils for altitude sickness and see what science has to say about their efficacy.

Essential Oils For Altitude Sickness: Benefits And How They Work

Essential oils are derived from plants and contain chemical compounds that offer therapeutic benefits. When used topically, these oils are absorbed into the skin and body where they interact and produce their desired effects.

While there are many options for altitude including herbs for altitude adjustment, altitude adjustment pills, and altitude adjustment packets --- essential oils have become more recently promoted for altitude sickness.

Below we review each of the 5 most popular essential oils for altitude sickness and the benefits of each.

Essential oils for altitude sickness that some may use include the following:

1. Peppermint Essential Oils

Peppermint oil has been promoted to be used to relieve headaches and reducing pain. Limited evidence suggests peppermint may help tension headaches.¹ A 2013 peppermint study also showed its effectiveness in exercise to support performance and respiratory rate.¹⁰ It appears to be safe whether taken topically or orally, and is even included in some herbal teas.

2. Eucalyptus Essential Oils

Eucalyptus oil is a popular essential oil with many uses. In one study, the inhalation of eucalyptus oil was shown to decrease blood pressure and pain in patients.² It's also touted to help respiratory conditions for breathing improvement.³ Eucalyptus oil can be used as a balm or massage oil to help soothe your muscles. It can also be ingested in capsule form or inhaled.

3. Thyme Essential Oils

Thyme has been used medicinally for thousands of years, with references found in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman texts.⁵ Thyme essential oil is well known for its ability to support your immune system and and may stimulate blood flow or circulation in the body.⁴

4. Lavender Essential Oils

Lavender oil, native to the Mediterranean areas, is touted for its many benefits with promoting relaxation as one of its most popular usages. Being a sleep aid is another potential usage of Lavender shown in studies, which might come into play with altitude which negative effects sleep.⁶

5. Lemon Essential Oils

Lemon essential oil is used in aromatherapy, massage, and as a dietary supplement. Lemon essential oil has a refreshing citrus scent that can help improve mood and relaxation.⁷ In a study done in 2014, it was also found to have a statistical difference in lowering nausea and vomiting in morning sickness pregnant women.⁸

      With so many benefits of essential oils, we'll reveal below l if essential oils for altitude sickness actually works.


      Are Essential Oils For Altitude Sickness Effective?

      While essential oils are popular natural remedies, what do the scientific studies say about essential oils for altitude sickness? Do they work and are they effective?

      In our research, we could not find any specific studies that shows essential oils help with altitude sickness. 

      While there are many anecdotal stories of people using essential oils for altitude sickness and other studies to show possible related benefits such as improved performance, relaxation, immune support, blood flow, and sleep --- there were zero studies done on essential oils and altitude sickness specifically.

      The short answer is no, however, we did find some evidence of essential oils helping altitude sickness from Dr. Axe:

      • Dr Axe recommends lemon and peppermint essential oils for nausea from altitude sickness. Second, for altitude headaches and pain recommends applying peppermint oil as well. And third, recommends lavender oil to aid sleep when in high altitude conditions.⁹

      While there's some evidence essential oils may help altitude sickness, there are not any concrete studies to prove it. And they may not be as effective as some people claim. That means you'll have to make up your own mind about whether essential oils for altitude sickness is worth bringing along.

      History of Essential Oils

      Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. While it may seem like a new trend, the history of essential oils dates back to ancient times.

      The use of essential oils has been documented in Egypt as early as 4500 BC. In Egypt, incense was used for religious ceremonies and to treat illness. The ancient Egyptians were also known for using fragrant herbs such as cinnamon, myrrh and frankincense for medicinal purposes.

      What Is Altitude Sickness?

      Altitude sickness is a condition that occurs when people travel to high altitudes too quickly or without proper acclimatization, typically usually above 8,000 feet but as low as 3,000 feet.

      The air at high altitudes is thinner than air at sea level. The partial pressure of oxygen (the amount of oxygen molecules in each breath) is lower, which means that it takes more breaths for the body to get enough oxygen.

      This causes their bodies to have difficulty with the reduced oxygen levels at those altitudes. Because of this lower partial pressure of oxygen, some people experience symptoms such as headaches, nausea and fatigue when they ascend rapidly to high altitudes.

      Symptoms of altitude sickness may include:

      • headache
      • nausea
      • trouble breathing
      • fatigue 
      • weakness
      • sleeping issues

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      1. Peppermint Oil
      2. Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement
      3. 9 Unexpected Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
      4. 21 Incredible Health Benefits Of Thyme Essential Oil
      5. Thymol and Thyme Essential Oil—New Insights into Selected Therapeutic Applications
      6. Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
      7. What You Need to Know About Lemon Essential Oil
      8. The Effect of Lemon Inhalation Aromatherapy on Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy
      9. Traveling into Thin Air: Altitude Sickness Prevention
      10. The effects of peppermint on exercise performance