Clinical Aromatherapy and Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting (PONV)

Posted by Mark Kohoot on

Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) can be crippling in patients who have undergone even the most minor surgeries.  And in certain patient populations, it can be even more devastating -- children are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of post-op nausea, both physically and emotionally.

PONV is an undesirable side effect of anesthesia for more than just reasons of discomfort.  It can also be detrimental to patient recovery, frequently resulting in longer hospital stays, which can be a financial and emotional burden to families, as well as an operational issue for hospitals.

Previous research (Hunt et al.) has demonstrated promising results that clinical aromatherapy can provide effective, natural relief to children who experience postoperative nausea. To gain further quantitative knowledge of how essential oils may aid in relieving PONV, Ascents® has teamed with the Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C.

A randomized double blind study involving Ascents®' Nausea Relief No. 44 will examine whether essential oils are a valid treatment for PONV to the study group, who will be administered a mixture of cardamom, fennel, ginger and spearmint essential oils via inhalation therapy. While there is existing scientific evidence to support clinical aromatherapy as a valid method of treating postoperative nausea, no research has been completed with the combination of essential oils included in this study.  

The goal of this research is prove that clinical aromatherapy is a valid first line of defense against PONV before resorting to pharmaceutical antiemetic (anti-nausea) medications. Children’s National Medical Center has already witnessed very encouraging results from Ascents®’ Nausea Relief blend during non-formalized trials.  Further exploration of inhalation therapy as a viable alternative to drug intervention may aid patient populations who would benefit from an effective, safe, natural and affordable adjunct treatment for their post-op nausea.

To learn more about Ascents® clinical aromatherapy, or to purchase Ascents® products for personal or commercial use, visit

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