The effect of aromatherapy with peppermint essential oil on nausea and vomiting after cardiac surgery: A randomized clinical trial

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2020 Aug;40:101199. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101199. Epub 2020 May 18.


Background Postoperative nausea and vomiting are common in patients who underwent cardiac surgery. This study aimed to examine the effect of peppermint essential oil inhalation on the postoperative nausea and vomiting after cardiac surgery. Methods In this clinical trial study, 60 cardiac surgery patients were divided into control and intervention groups. The intervention group underwent nebulizer aromatherapy with peppermint essential oil before the endotracheal tube was removed after surgery. Patients' nausea and vomiting were then assessed through a checklist. The independent-samples t-test, chi-square, and Generalized estimating equation were used for data analysis. Results Totally 85.7% of the patients undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The two groups did not significantly differ in terms of their baseline demographic and clinical variables (P > 0.05). Significant differences were found between the intervention and control groups in terms of the frequency of nausea (0.63 ± 0.81 vs. 1.46 ± 1.21), its duration (3.78 ± 5.09 vs. 7.97 ± 5.55 min), and severity (2.43 ± 2.84 vs. 4.61 ± 2.85), and in the frequency of vomiting episodes (0.17 ±.46 vs. 0.73 ±.60) in the first four hours after extubation (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Peppermint essential oil inhalation has beneficial effects on reducing nausea and vomiting after open-heart surgery. Using peppermint essential oil inhalation for managing postoperative nausea and vomiting is recommended.

Keywords: Aromatherapy; Cardiac surgery; Clinical trial; Herbal; Nausea and vomiting; Peppermint.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aromatherapy*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Mentha piperita
  • Oils, Volatile* / therapeutic use
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / drug therapy


  • Oils, Volatile