Headache pain is no fun, but thank goodness there are essential oils for headaches. If you suffer from migraine headaches or tension headaches, here is what you need to know about essential oils for headache relief.
Most everyone suffers from a headache from time to time. It can be difficult to get through the day you have a million and one things to do and your head is pounding.
According to the National Headache Foundation, there are at least two dozen type of headaches. Among the most common types of headaches are tension headaches and migraines. It is estimated that up to 80% of the population gets occasional tension headaches. Although migraines are less common, impacting just 12% of the population, they can be debilitating to the point that they require you to put your life on hold.
Luckily, essential oils for headaches can be very effective!
Important Note – When to See a Doctor Immediately:
Occasional headaches are one thing, but there are certain things that you don’t want to ignore. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should head to the doctor right away:
- You experience speech or vision problems or lose your balance.
- You have a high fever with a headache.
- You develop intense pain that comes on suddenly.
- You are disoriented and lethargic
- You suspect you are having a stroke.
- You suspect, for any reason, that what you are experiencing is more than just a standard headache. When in doubt, see a professional!
Why use Essential Oils for Headaches?
If you have been around here long, you know that I am not a big fan of taking medication unless something serious is going on. While there can be a time and place for pain relievers, they do not come without risks. They can cause stomach distress, gastric damage and are very hard on your liver. This is why it is important to know the best essential oils for headache pain! Here are my favorite remedies for headaches.
The Best Essential Oils for Headaches
- Roman Chamomile
Essential Oils for Headache Relief (Recipe)
- Blend oils and carrier oil in a small dish.
- Apply to temples, forehead, and back of the neck as often as needed.
Peppermint Essential Oil for Headaches
If you had to pick a single oil to use for your headaches, the best essential oil for headache relief is peppermint. According to a study of Germany, peppermint essential oil may work just as well on headaches as acetaminophen.
In addition to using peppermint in essential oil blends for headaches, try these methods.
- Place 1 drop of peppermint on your thumb. Press to the roof of your mouth every 30 minutes.
- Massage the back and neck with diluted peppermint oil and then place a warm moist compress on top of the area for 15 minutes.
- Try a self-massage. Dilute 3 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil in a 1/2 ounce of carrier oil. Dip your thumbs into the blend and then clasp your hands behind your head. Place your thumbs on the spot where the neck muscles attach to the skull and massage.
Essential Oils for Migraines
According to a clinical trial published in European Neurology, inhaling lavender oil for 15 minutes can reduce the severity of migraine headaches.
- 6 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 ounce carrier oil
- Blend together essential oils and carrier oils.
- Dab under your nose and inhale deeply.
- You may also use an essential oil diffuser to diffuse lavender.
Essential Oils for Tension Headaches
- Combine lavender, Roman chamomile and carrier oil in a small dish.
- Massage the base of skull, hairline, neck, shoulders and upper back with the blend.
- Place a hot pack at the base of the neck and shoulders.
- You may also alternate with a cold pack on the temples.
Tip for Tension Headaches –
Tension headed can be caused by overtaxed muscles in the neck and shoulders. Try texting less! Angling your head over your phone can put up to 50 pounds additional pressure on your spine, as compared to when your head is upright.
Other Natural Treatments for Headaches
- Did you know that cayenne can help with migraine pain? A study in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that capsaicin in nasal spray form reduces migraine pain.
- Ever heart of butterbur? Yeah, me neither. If you have migraines, you will want to learn all about it. Studies show that after taking it for three to four months people experienced a reduced frequency of migraine attacks. The plant contains a compound called petasin which is believed to be extremely anti-inflammatory. “I’ve had patients get off their migraine prescriptions after taking butterbur,” says Aaron Michelfelder, professor of family medicine and bioethics at Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine.
- Talk to your doctor about two newly FDA approved gadgets for migraines. Cefaly is a band you wear across your forehead for 20 minutes a day. It uses electrical signals to stimulate nerves in the head. SpringTMS is a device you hold to the back of your head at the onset of pain. It uses magnetic energy to stimulate the nerves.
- Some evidence suggests that biofeedback is effective and managing migraines.
- Consider Osteopathy! Just what is it you ask? According to the Austrialian Osteopathic Association, it can be defined as “a form of manual medicine which recognizes the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopathy focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.” It has been reported as being effective at treating a wide range of conditions, including migraines.
- Consider if gluten is a problem for you. A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. Migraines were among them.
- Supplement with magnesium. Most people don’t get enough, and it is believed that this could be a factor most common headaches too.
Have you used essential oils for headaches? Please share your experience!
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