9 Effective Essential Oils for Vertigo

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Using essential oils for vertigo is a popular strategy, as many of these oils can directly support the central nervous system, relieve anxiety and inflammation, and treat spasms as well as infections. Vertigo is another word for losing your balance or having a “dizzy spell”. These periods where your balance is impaired can be very brief, or it can be a chronic problem, seemingly coming out of nowhere, making you feel as if you or the rest of the world is spinning. There are multiple causes of vertigo, including inner ear infections, a build-up of calcium in the ear canal, various diseases, tumor, migraines or some type of head injury. Some people also experience acute vertigo or dizzy spells based on their diet, physical exertion, and use of alcohol or other substances.

When you undergo an episode of vertigo, it can go beyond merely feeling dizzy or sensing that the world is spinning. Other symptoms include nausea, headache, lack of balance, cognitive confusion, inability to focus, sweating, fever and hearing impairment, among others. While episodes of vertigo typically pass quickly, if you are a chronic sufferer, these conditions can severely impact your life. Formal treatments for this condition include certain forms of physical therapy (related to balance), medication and procedures to remove any possible calcium blockage. However, depending on the cause of your condition, the use of essential oils for vertigo is also a trusted and successful treatment strategy, provided you use the oils responsibly and in moderation [1]

List of Best Essential Oils for Vertigo

If you are interested in using essential oils for vertigo, the most reliable options are ginger, peppermint, cypress, rosemary, rose, basil, lavender, clary sage and frankincense oil, to name a few.

Lavender Oil

The uplifting and soothing qualities of lavender oil make it a perfect remedy for vertigo, as it can soothe the nerves and relieve anxiety, while also eliminating inflammation, which can often cause vertigo. [2]

How to Use – For people who suffer chronic vertigo, applying a few drops of lavender oil to the pillow at night can help promote restful sleep and a balanced morning. Room diffusers are also popular for all-day relief.

Ginger Oil

Many studies have shown that ginger oil and its active ingredients can have a positive effect on nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and other common symptoms of vertigo. By settling the stomach and calming the nerves, this oil is both a treatment and a preventive measure for vertigo. [3]

A container of ginger essential oil with sliced and whole ginger on a wooden table

Ginger oil is also known as “The Oil of Empowerment.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Use – Most people who use ginger oil tend to dilute it slightly, as it can be irritating. The blend is a popular mixture for rubbing on the chest, so that inhalation of the aromatic compounds can happen all night. It can also be applied to the temples and neck to improve balance.

Cypress Oil

The stimulating nature of cypress oil helps the brain function more effectively, due to an increase in blood flow. This elevated alertness and cognitive function make it more difficult for light-headedness and dizziness to occur. [4]

How to Use – Some people choose to add cypress oil to a room diffuser, or include it in a steam inhalation treatment. Diluting the oil and using it as a chest rub can also be effective.

Basil Oil

One of the stronger essential oils used for inhalation practices, its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds can help balance the nerves and soothe the mind, while also improving respiratory function. More oxygen means better brain function and fewer symptoms of vertigo. [5]

How to Use – You can add 5-6 drops to a pot of steaming water or you can include small amounts of basil oil in your room or home diffuser.

Clary Sage Oil

This essential oil is particularly effective for cases of vertigo caused by a nervous system malfunction. The active ingredients in clary sage oil act as sedatives and calm nervous function, promoting more normal cognitive processes and eliminating the dizziness and lack of balance caused by vertigo. [6]

How to Use – You should add 5-6 drops of this essential oil to a room diffuser, especially if you suffer from chronic vertigo. You may also create a diluted chest rub with this oil but this isn’t recommended for people with sensitive skin.

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil has been used for thousands of years for reducing anxiety and inducing calmness in the body and mind. It is known to balance the vestibular system and calm overactive nerves, promoting a normal sense of balance and stability. [7]

How to Use – If you place a few drops of this essential oil at the base of your neck, the temples and on your chest, the aromatic compounds alone are enough to help balance your nervous system and prevent vertigo symptoms.

Rosemary Oil

This powerful oil has been used for centuries to relieve cognitive discomfort, anxiety, and stress, but it can also help relieve the symptoms of vertigo. By soothing headaches and relieving dizziness, rosemary oil works as both an acute treatment and a preventive measure for chronic sufferers. [8]

A bottle of rosemary oil with a rosemary plant

Rosemary plant with rosemary oil Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Use – If you are feeling the effects of a vertigo episode, add 3-4 drops of rosemary oil to a pot of steaming water, cover it with a towel, and inhale deeply. For those who chronically suffer from vertigo, a few drops in an essential oil diffuser every day can help keep both your feet on the ground.

Peppermint Oil

The rejuvenating and anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint oil can help relieve all sorts of nervous tension and disorders. In the case of vertigo, it can clear the mind and improve the airways, thus ensuring proper oxygenation of the brain, while also soothing nausea. [9]

How to Use – This oil can be used in many different ways, ranging from a topical application on the chest, temples, and neck, or inhaling from the bottle, a steam inhalation treatment or in a room diffuser.

Rose Oil

Known to cause a sense of relaxation and calm throughout the body and mind, some people turn to rose oil when they experience a sensation of spinning. Its active ingredients can directly engage with your central nervous system to soothe anxiety and prevent many of the peripheral symptoms of vertigo. [10]

How to Use – You can add 5-10 drops of this oil to your bathwater if you want to relax and soothe your mind, while also helping to prevent or treat any vertigo episodes. For all-day effects, add 5 drops of rose oil to a room diffuser each morning.

Word of Caution: While using essential oils for vertigo can be extremely effective for some people, you should be cautious when using such potent and concentrated oils. Many essential oils have active ingredients that can cause skin irritation or inflammation, as well as allergic reactions, particularly for people with sensitive skin. Vertigo can also be a secondary symptom that is caused by a more serious infection or disease, in which case formal medical attention may be warranted. Before using essential oils for vertigo, it is best that you speak with your medical professional, to ensure that you do not run any specific risks.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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