7 Essential Oils to Cure Your Worst Hangover

essential oils for a hangover
Honey and Silk

A hangover is the universe’s curse for having a good time. Usually, the unpleasant feeling can be attributed to dehydration, but as the symptoms build in the morning, nothing can save you. Even if you drink enough water and eat well, a nagging headache and nausea remain to taunt you for the entire day. But not anymore.

What Is a Hangover?

A hangover is a collection of symptoms caused by drinking alcohol excessively. Symptoms usually include fatigue, thirst, nausea, headache, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Essential oils have a diverse number of effects on our bodies and minds. We consulted Sara Panton about how essential oils might help the morning after a night of drinking. As it turns out, there are many possible ways to incorporate them into your own personal hangover cures. Citrus oils can help you find energy while herbal oils will promote a sense of calm.

Meet the Expert

Sara Panton is co-founder and CEO of Vitruvi, a personal care company that creates essential oil based beauty, body, and home products. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Forbes, and Harper's Bazaar among others.

Panton recommended her favorite essential oils for a hangover below and included suggestions on how to apply them to your skin. Recover from your night faster with these tips.

Grapefruit Essential Oil for hangover
Vitruvi Grapefruit Essential Oil $13

1. Grapefruit Oil

Grapefruit essential oil is a hangover favorite because its energizing aroma is the perfect way to wake up in the morning naturally when you’re feeling a little groggy. The aroma is clearing and energizing, helping to increase alertness.

To use: Upon waking after a night out, put two drops of grapefruit oil in a warm face cloth and wipe your face clean taking three deep breaths. You got this.

Peppermint Essential Oil for hangover
Vitruvi Peppermint Essential Oil $15

2. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint essential oil has an incredibly fresh and bright scent that leaves you feeling more balanced and can help decrease feelings of nausea. Peppermint herb is known to help with decreasing stomach aches and is more popularly used as a tea, but applying topically for the aroma has similar benefits and is easy to take anywhere.

To use: If you’re really feeling not so great, apply two drops directly to the back of your neck (if you have sensitive skin, dilute it in one teaspoon of coconut oil); then breathe deeply. A tingling sensation on the skin is normal. Make sure you wash your hands clean of the peppermint oil and avoid touching your eyes. 

Spruce Essential Oil for hangover
Vitruvi Spruce Essential Oil $14

3. Spruce Oil

Spruce is my favorite for feeling a little more grounded and for creating a healthy nap ritual for days that you need to recuperate with. Like a nice nap in the forest, this grounding scent brings nature indoors and has a clear scent that leaves you with a little more perspective.

To use: Add a drop to the palm of your hands and rub them briskly together before falling asleep. Loosely cup your hands over your nose and mouth and take three deep cleansing breaths. 

Lavender Essential Oil for hangover
Vitruvi Lavender Essential Oil $18

4. Lavender Oil

It brings a calming feeling and helps promote deep restful sleeping, which is important for recovering after a night out.

To use: To create a soothing bath that can help ease tense muscles or aches and pains, simply add five drops to a warm bath to help you relax before bed (or a much-needed nap).

Tea Tree Essential Oil for hangover
Vitruvi Tea Tree Essential Oil $15

5. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree essential oil is an herbal, slightly bitter oil that creates a feeling of cleanliness. It helps establish order and is also has been shown to have natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties.

To use: Add five drops to two inches of warm water in a bath or basin. Soak your feet for five to 10 minutes while taking deep breaths. The grounding and fresh properties of tea tree will help set your energy and mood and establish order and a feeling of cleanliness, which is especially important if you’re feeling nauseated. 

Lemon Essential Oil for hangover
Vitruvi Lemon Essential Oil $13

6. Lemon Oil

Lemon is a fresh, energizing essential oil that creates a care-free, happy vibe and can help lift your mood regardless of how cloudy you might be feeling. A few simple drops are the perfect way to start your day if you’re feeling a little under the weather.

To use: Add four drops of lemon to a warm damp face cloth and wipe the face clean, breathing deeply. This both helps reset your mood and face feeling fresh, and the aroma is uplifting and energizing.

Frankincense Essential Oil for hangover
Vitruvi Frankincense Essential Oil $18

7. Frankincense Oil

My favorite for feeling a little more grounded, Frankincense is a resinous essential oil that helps you feel calm and relaxed.

To use: Try this Sleep Is Sacred Diffuser Blend by adding seven drops of Frankincense and six drops of lavender to a diffuser before bed for a grounding home aroma that can help you ease into sleep after a day of feeling not so great.

Article Sources
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  2. Chumpitazi BP, Kearns GL, Shulman RJ. Review Article: The Physiological Effects and Safety of Peppermint Oil and Its Efficacy in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Other Functional Disorders. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2018;47(6):738-752.doi:10.1111/apt.14519

  3. Koulivand PH, Khaleghi ghadiri M, Gorji A. Lavender and the Nervous System. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:681304.doi:10.1155/2013/681304

  4. Swamy MK, Akhtar MS, Sinniah UR. Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:3012462.doi:10.1155/2016/3012462

  5. Dosoky NS, Setzer WN. Biological Activities and Safety of Spp. Essential Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(7).doi:10.3390/ijms19071966

  6. Han X, Rodriguez D, Parker TL. Biological Activities of Frankincense Essential Oil in Human Dermal Fibroblasts. Biochim Open. 2017;4:31-35.doi:10.1016/j.biopen.2017.01.003

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