Suffering from chronic headaches can be a major dilemma and cause serious disruption to your daily life. When seeking pain relief for headaches, there are natural alternatives to taking pain medicine. One of the best alternatives is using essential oils.
Using essential oils draws on the timeless practice of aromatherapy for healing ailments. The natural world is packed with medicinal plants and one way to access the benefits of these plants is by using a concentrated form of its properties.
Furthermore, learning to use essential oils for healing is a great way to move away from resorting to manufactured medicine for relief!
7 Best Essential Oils for headaches
Naturally Made Essentials
Naturally Made Essentials
Naturally Made Essentials
*The companies chosen above are based upon my personal opinion based upon me giving them a try and testing their quality.
Headache Causes Are Complicated But Relief Doesn't Have To Be!
It can be difficult to diagnose the cause of your headache because often times a variety of factors amalgamate and result in headache symptoms.
Some factors may be uncontrollable, like stress at work, a seasonal pollen allergy, or hormonal changes. Since it can be difficult to stop chronic headaches altogether, you can benefit immensely from learning how to use essential oils to treat pain.
Essential oils are used externally to treat internal discomfort and the National Institute for Health considers it a very low-risk treatment. Given the application is external, there isn't a risk of side-effects or long-term organ damage.
In contrast, the daily use of pain medication as a treatment for headaches can result in severe long-term damage to your health.
Why Essential Oils Are Able To Squash Headache Pain
Headaches come in a variety of forms, including cluster headaches and more severe migraine headaches.
Essential oils are able to help you manage this pain because each drop of an essential oil contains a concentrated amount of the plant that it originates from. As a result, you receive all the medicinal benefits of the plant.
The essential oil is combined with a carrier oil and then applied directly to the skin. The oil penetrates into the skin, providing aromatherapeutic pain relief.
This method is especially effective for sinus headaches because breathing in the essential oil will clear the nasal passages.
Vital Knowledge For Using Essential Oils To Cure Headache Pain
Given that essential oils are made from highly concentrated plant matter, you don't want to apply undiluted essential oils directly to your skin.
Undiluted essential oils applied directly to your head could cause a burning sensation in your eyes on your skin. To avoid discomfort, proper application of essential oils requires the use of a carrier oil.
A carrier oil is an oil that you use to dilute an essential oil. A popular oil commonly used for this purpose is coconut oil, but other oils like olive oil and jojoba oil can be used.
Generally speaking, any oil that can be safely applied to the skin can be used as a carrier oil.
Something important to keep in mind when choosing a carrier oil is its scent. Coconut oil and argan oil have a light scent that won't overpower the added essential oil.
You only need to add 1-3 drops of essential oil to every tablespoon of carrier oil. You can adjust this measurement based on how strong you want the scent.
However, veering towards a smaller amount during the trial period is advised.
Last, essential oils benefit your health in additional ways other than providing headache pain relief. So, you may experience an elevation in mood, stress relief, and even an immune boost, depending upon which oils you are using.
In addition, according to WebMD, carrier oils like coconut oil come with the added benefit of moisturizing and protecting your skin.
Once you've combined the oils, you can store the mixture in a roll-on tube or a small jar. If you choose the roll-on option, choose an oil that won't solidify at a cooler temperature, like jojoba or argan oil. Coconut oil will begin to solidify at and below room temperature.
You can apply the balm directly to across your forehead or to your temples. You can also massage it into the scalp, but most importantly you want to apply the balm wherever you're experiencing pain.
Get Creative With Your Essential Oil Application
In addition to a topical application, there are several other ways to use essential oils to relieve headache pain that doesn’t involve using a carrier oil.
These alternatives include inhalation, compresses, and therapeutic baths. You can use a combination of these approaches to cure your headache or choose your favorite method!
You can simply hold the essential oil bottle a few inches below your nose and inhale deeply. Alternately, you can apply a few drops onto a cotton ball and hold it under your nose.
In addition, you can create a cool or warm compress. You can choose the temperature based on personal preference or the time of year.
Simply wet and ring out a washcloth before dapping a few drops of essential oil on it and then apply the washcloth directly to your forehead for a few moments while laying down.
Last, go all out and relax in a warm bath with bubbles and candlelight. Simply add a few drops of essential oil to your bath and breath deeply while soaking for at least 15 minutes. This option also relieves tension build-up in the body.
Peppermint oil stimulates blood flow and alleviates tension headaches. The cooling properties of peppermint oil stalls throbbing pain while helping to relieve compression in the forehead.
If you're experiencing pain throughout your entire head, apply some oil to the back of your neck in addition to your forehead.
In order to relieve a tension headache, apply the peppermint and carrier oil mixture across your forehead. Be careful not to apply the oil below your eyebrows, to prevent the oil from getting into your eyes.
To expedite relief from your headache, massage the oil into your temples briefly.
Peppermint has been used throughout history and across the globe to relieve pain. It is prized for its soothing and cooling properties, as well as, availability and affordable price.
Applying peppermint oil at the onset of a headache or discomfort can relieve pain faster, but even if your headache becomes severe before the oil application, you can still expect relief within 15 to 30 minutes.
Eucalyptus is especially helpful in relieving sinus headaches and pressure. It's so effective at relieving discomfort due to sinuses because it unblocks nasal passageways.
This congestion is what causes pain to build up and cause a headache, so by targeting it you'll destroy the cause of your headache entirely.
Other symptoms related to sinus and allergy irritation like inflammation in the nasal passages and throat can be reduced by using eucalyptus oil. It is a timeless remedy for symptoms associated with the common cold and flu, as well.
When determining how to use eucalyptus oil to relieve a headache, consider where the cause of the pain is rooted.
For sinus headaches, inhale the aroma of the oil either directly from the bottle or on a cotton swab.
If the source of a headache isn't allergies or sinuses then apply the oil topically to your temples.
Lavender oil may be one of the most calming essential oils and it's great for relieving headaches too! An important point is that lavender is extremely calming, making it an excellent option for headaches felt before bedtime.
It's an excellent stress reliever as well, so if you usually get headaches after a long day then this is an oil you should always have on hand.
People suffering from migraine headaches will especially benefit from lavender oil. Lavender oil is mild compared to eucalyptus and peppermint, making it an excellent option for migraine sufferers who's senses are often heightened during migraines.
Lavender essential oil is also excellent for helping to relieve anxiety and depression, which can be triggers of chronic headaches.
For headache relief, apply lavender oil topically to your forehead or as part of a warm compress. To experience whole body relaxation, soak in a warm bath with 10 to 15 drops of lavender oil.
The world comfort instantly comes to mind at the mention of chamomile. Traditionally, it is used in tea form to help people experience calmness and successfully achieve a good night's rest.
It is also effective at soothing nerve pain, making it especially useful for reducing headaches induced by stress, better known as tension headaches.
Chamomile essential oil carries a much stronger scent than its tea form, so you'll still want to dilute it with a carrier oil prior to applying it to your forehead.
It makes an excellent addition to a warm bath at the end of the day and can even help reduce irritability.
Helichrysum has been used in Mediterranean countries for centuries to cure a spectrum of ailments, but it remains relatively unknown in America. It's anti-inflammatory properties are what make it especially helpful in reducing headache pain.
Another popular use for Helichrysum essential oil is treating wounds and skin problems. Its antibacterial properties make it excellent for preventing infection.
Since Helichrysum benefits the skin, you can combine this essential oil with another oil like peppermint oil, to achieve a strong headache-busting blend!
Incorporate a carrier oil into the mixture and then apply it directly to your forehead and the back of your neck, this mixture will provide relief from seriously severe headaches.
Rosemary oil has so many incredible health benefits that you'll certainly want to add it to your medicine cabinet.
It stimulates the veins and increases circulation, allowing healthy blood flow throughout the body. When applied to the forehead, it reduces feelings of pressure and headache.
This herbal oil helps promote feelings of emotional stability, which helps support an active lifestyle and better overall mood.
Individuals experiencing a heightened overall sense of well-being are less likely to suffer from chronic headaches.
Rosemary can also help with sleeplessness because its calming aroma induces a relaxed state.
Individuals who have a problem with low blood pressure may benefit from incorporating rosemary oil into their daily routine.
In fact, it seems that rosemary can actually increase blood pressure levels to where the levels should be in a healthy adult.
If you want simply to alleviate a headache then apply rosemary oil directly to your forehead. Rosemary oil is especially good at reducing migraine tension.
If you'd like to take a whole body approach to reap health benefits then try adding rosemary essential oil into your bath or using the inhalation method.
Geranium oil actually improves circulation. This benefit could be what causes headache relief among its users. This oil is specifically good for cluster headaches because an increase in circulation helps break up a headache.
Floral scents are also excellent for elevating your mood. Geranium oil is a good option if you notice that your headaches are triggered by stressful situations.
You can even apply your geranium carrier oil blend prior to stressful events like meetings and presentations as a preventative measure.
In addition to relieving headaches, geranium oil supports the adrenal glands and helps balance the hormones.
So, this is an excellent oil for women who are experiencing headaches due to menstruation.
Final thoughts on essential oils for headaches
There are many options for using essential oils to seek relief from headache pain. If you're a chronic sufferer of headaches, you'll benefit from adding these seven essential oils to your medicine cabinet.
Peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, helichrysum, rosemary, and geranium can be used to stomp out the source of your headache.
If you experience cluster headaches, tension headaches, or migraines on a regular basis and want to stop relying on pain medicine for relief then the time is now to get started with the healing benefits of essential oils.
To get started, spend some time considering the cause and type of headaches you have been experiencing. Then, start with the essential oil and application process that best serves your needs.
As you gain more experience and comfortability with essential oils, you can gradually increase your collection and stop suffering from headache pain altogether!