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Essential Oils for Headaches – Ultimate Guide
Headaches are very usual, however, the truth is that they differ in severity.
It is believed that headaches are the result of underlying issues which makes it important to find out why they keep reoccurring.
However, the most important thing for anyone suffering from a pounding headache is to find the quickest pain relief.
The very initial thing many people think about is medication, and with plenty of painkillers available over the counter, it is easy to gain access to the medication.
Nevertheless, it is always advisable to find more natural ways of relieving headaches.
In some instances, dehydration leads to a headache, and it means you will find relief by drinking enough water. Essential oils are another natural remedy for the headaches.
The oil options are numerous, and you can use them to enjoy effective relief depending on the kind of a headache you are suffering from. They offer aromatherapy when inhaled from a bottle or applied to the skin. Here is how you can use essential oils for headaches.
Essential Oils for General Headaches
Table of Contents
- 1 Essential Oils for General Headaches
- 1.1 Essential Oils for Gastric-Related Headaches
- 1.2 Essential Oils for Migraines
- 1.3 Essential Oils for Tension-Related Headaches
- 1.4 How to Use Essential oils
- 1.5 Blending Essential Oils for Different kinds of Headaches
- 1.6 How Essential Oils Alleviate Headaches
- 1.7 Top 10 Essential Oils for Headaches
- 1.7.1 1. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
- 1.7.2 2. Lavender (Lavandula)
- 1.7.3 3. Eucalyptus ((Tasmanian blue gum)
- 1.7.4 4. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- 1.7.5 5. Helichrysum (H. italicum)
- 1.7.6 6. Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
- 1.7.7 7. Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
- 1.7.8 8. Jasmine (Jasminum)
- 1.7.9 9. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- 1.7.10 10. Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
- 1.8 CONCLUSION
General purpose oils include rosemary and peppermint. Others that can make very good choices for general headaches include marjoram, lavender, eucalyptus, basil, and clove. Rosemary and peppermint, however, remain to be some of the best in this category, and all you need is to apply a drop around the aching area to enjoy relief.
The most popular of the mints is peppermint.
In fact, it is the most used essential oils in aromatherapy today, vying for the top spot with Lavender — interestingly with almost opposite effects.
Peppermint is by far the most widely used stimulant oil, encouraging the actions of both the digestive system and the mind. The oil is often reached for to help alleviate headaches and has topical analgesic activity as well. Further, the aroma almost instantly opens the sinus passages, clearing the airways and delivering more oxygen to the brain.
Essential Oils for Gastric-Related Headaches
It is very usual for people to suffer from headaches after eating bad food. This kind of a headache can be relieved using peppermint, rosemary or lavender. They are the best for gastric headaches, and you will find fast relief when you apply or inhale the aromas.
Essential Oils for Migraines
A migraine, as a chronic neurological disorder is characterised by a repeated attacks of painful headaches. The migraine patients properly understand the pain indication with intense throbbing in the particular area of the head.
The major symptoms of a migraine are nausea, sensitivity to light, sound and smell, sick feeling, poor sight and many other symptoms along with the severe head pain. Sometimes, the patient gets relief with the effective and soothing effects of essential oils and proper rest.
Even the expert medical professionals are not able to diagnose the exact cause of this neurological disorder.
Causes of Migraines
In this particular situation, dehydration, stress, poor circulation, fatigues and a poor digestion play the major role. The sufferer needs to know the safety measures at the initial stage before the problem turns from a minor to severe condition.
At the initial stage, an individual has to select the natural treatment option in the form of essential migraine oils and maintain a healthy diet.
The migraine patient has to limit the use of coffee and chocolates. As per the physician’s tip, the patient has to properly take care of their health and keep it hydrated for the whole day.
Thus, to get the break from a migraine, use of essential migraine oils is beneficial. The use of lavender oil with peppermint into the a good diffuser is an excellent way to diffuse the scent. This great idea is useful especially in a dark room at the time of resting conditions.
In a similar way, the cold compressor (a blend of lavender oil with ice water over the forehead) also provides the supportive results. The particular process delivers positive symptoms along with the relief factor.
Essential Oils for Tension-Related Headaches
These are a common kind of a headache mainly as a result of stress. They are characterised by dull pain on both the sides of the head.
What goes on with a person internally can trigger symptoms, as can what happens externally. There could be an issue that is going on in a relationship, or the environment at home or work that causes an issue.
As an example insomnia, poor health, and bad eating habits can be contributors. Any of these may be temporary and allow stress to pass quickly. It is when there is no relief from it that there are more serious consequences.
When this happens, a method must be found to manage it. Exercise, good nutrition and getting the right amount of sleep can go a long way toward that management.
Any outstanding or possible health problems should be taken care of so as not to produce any further worry.
How to Use Essential oils
When essential oils have been used to help find relief. They should never be applied directly to the skin. They are very intense and must be diluted with a carrier oil. This is an oil that does not change the effectiveness or interfere with the original smell.
These may be a vegetable, nut or seed oil that can be easily absorbed by the skin. Other ways to deliver the oil is into the air with an oil burner or diffuser.
Some that are commonly used are sandalwood which is used for calming the mind, relieving depression and insomnia. Rosemary increases mental acuity, while Clary Sage promotes relaxation. Lavender helps with both relaxation and stress. Other relievers are geranium and chamomile.
Lemongrass decreases anxiety and increases relaxation. Frankincense can decrease fatigue which is just one of the symptoms. Apply peppermint oil and massages the sides of your head gently to enjoy fast and quick relief.
Blending Essential Oils for Different kinds of Headaches
The best thing about essential oils is that you can make your combinations to deal with different kinds of headaches. You can, for instance, prevent emotional stress by blending lin aloe wood, sweet marjoram, and neroli oil drops and then massage it on the skin.
Menstrual pain related headaches can be relieved by creating a blend of lavender, sweet marjoram and valerian for fast treatment. When making the blends, you can include carrier oil on each to make them most effective. The essential oils are easily available in the market today, giving you a natural, easy way of getting over the pain without any risks.
How Essential Oils Alleviate Headaches
Aromatherapy is an ancient technique that involves the use of potent natural plant-based extracts (essential oils) to manage or even permanently alleviate various disorders. Among the disorders that can be easily alleviated using these potent natural essential oils are headaches.
Headaches, which are very common today, are often characterised by significant pain in multiple regions of the head. Headaches can be classified into hormonal headaches, cluster headaches, sinus headaches, tension headaches and migraine headaches depending on their cause.
Natural essential oils are a safer, effective treatment option for headaches unlike conventional treatment options like painkillers that often cause various side effects.
It is, however, very important to note that constant headaches can be an indication of a serious underlying medical condition. This makes it crucial to first consult your medical practitioner so as to identify the root cause of your headache before trying to treat it.
Top 10 Essential Oils for Headaches
Headaches can also be caused by various factors, including drug and alcohol consumption, constipation, allergies, fatigue, hormones, stress, poor posture and nutritional deficiency among other causes. Below are the top 10 leading essential oils for headaches.
1. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
This natural essential oil, which is extracted from the “Mentha piperita” herb, is considered to be among the most effective oils for headaches. Peppermint oil contains a significantly high amount of a certain compound called “menthol.” This compound has been scientifically proven to be quite effective in easing muscular aches, tension headaches and various types of pain. The compound can also ease nausea and pain that are commonly associated with migraines.
Peppermint essential oil also has potent expectorant and decongestant that can be used to treat sinusitis which can cause headaches. Topical application of the natural oil has been proven to trigger a specific tingling, cool sensation, particularly on the skin, which in turn relieves pain, promotes blood circulation and actively relaxes both your nerves and body muscles.
2. Lavender (Lavandula)
Lavender oil is rich in esters like linalyl acetate that provide it with its powerful sedative and anti-inflammatory properties(1). This oil is particularly used to alleviate painful headaches during the evening and night hours. According to various credible scientific studies, the topical and aromatic use of this essential oil can directly affect the limbic system.
This is thanks to its major constituents like linalyl acetate and linalool that can be easily absorbed through the skin and then later used to calm the central nervous system. This alone makes lavender essential oil a safer natural treatment option for headaches that are caused by anxiety related disorders. The oil is also able to alleviate insomnia and feelings of restlessness both which are common headache symptoms.
3. Eucalyptus ((Tasmanian blue gum)
Eucalyptus essential oil is commonly used to ease sinus headaches. This is thanks to its 1,8-Cineole compound(2) that acts as a powerful expectorant and anti-inflammatory agent. Being a powerful expectorant, the 1,8-Cineole compound easily eliminates sinus pressure and opens the nasal airways both which are common sinus headache symptoms.
Multiple scientific studies indicate that eucalyptus essential oil can reduce a person’s blood pressure and pain. These relaxing and pain-reducing properties can be quite useful to any person suffering from tension headaches.
4. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary oil has been widely used in the homeopathic medicine field to treat headaches for a long time now. This is thanks to the natural essential oil’s potent ability to reduce stress and any other emotional triggers, help in digestion, soothe an upset stomach, improve sleeping patterns and reduce muscle and tension jerks. All these are common causes of headaches.
According to a scientific study that was published in the 2010 “Korean Biological Nursing Science” journal, eucalyptus oil when combined with Rose, Lavender, and Basil can be used to treat anxiety and headaches(3).
5. Helichrysum (H. italicum)
Helichrysum essential oil has been widely used in various countries for many years to treat various medical conditions including headaches. The natural oil, which is extracted from the “Helichrysum italicum” plant, has potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties which can be used to treat headaches. This oil can be used to eliminate mucous and phlegm from the respiratory system. This alone plays a major role in alleviating headaches.
The expensive natural oil can be combined with Clary Sage, Lavender and any other carrier oil to make a potent mixture that can be used to alleviate arthritis, muscle strain, and headaches.
6. Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Just like Lavender, this natural essential oil also contains esters such as “Isobutyl angelate” that provide it with its potent sedative and anti-inflammatory properties. Roman Chamomile essential oil has been scientifically proven to help with stomach ache, menstrual problems, tension, and headaches.
Apart from that, this oil can also be used to alleviate stress and depression both which are common causes of headaches. Roman Chamomile oil, which can be used when diluted or undiluted, has also been proven to alleviate insomnia which also causes headaches.
7. Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Spearmint essential oil can be used as a substitute for Peppermint oil, especially by individuals who consider Peppermint to be extremely strong for them. The essential oil, which is extracted from the “Mentha spicata” plant, has similar medicinal properties to Peppermint oil.
Being an emmenagogue, Spearmint oil can be used to alleviate headaches that are caused by hormonal issues. The essential oil is also a potent cephalic that can be used to alleviate stress due to its ability to relax and cool the brain. This makes Spearmint natural oil an effective treatment option for headaches and any other stress related disorders.
8. Jasmine (Jasminum)
This rare and relatively expensive essential oil can also be used to alleviate headaches. Jasmine essential oil can easily provide relief from depression, anxiety, and stress all which can cause headaches. The oil can also alleviate PMS symptoms like unpredictable hormonal changes which can also cause headaches.
Jasmine essential oil can decrease the pain associated with childbirth and pregnancy while also alleviating insomnia which can be highly beneficial to most headache sufferers. The oil’s potent ability to sedate the nervous system makes it a perfect treatment option for jangled nerves, depression, insomnia, and headaches.
9. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger essential oil has powerful pain relieving properties that can be used to alleviate headaches. The essential oil can also be used to alleviate nausea that is associated with migraines. The natural oil contains more than 400 compounds that provide it with its unique healing properties.
The anti-inflammatory compounds, for instance, can be used to soothe tension headaches and migraines.
This makes the essential oil a perfect natural treatment option for headaches unlike popular conventional anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin. People taking medication should not use this remedy as it may interfere with the drugs they are taking. Interesting, Ginger Tea also helps Headaches.
10. Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
This natural essential oil, which is extracted from the “Origanum majorana” plant, is a potent analgesic that can be used to alleviate pain including that caused by headaches. Being an antispasmodic, Marjoram essential oil can, therefore, help to relieve the tight, sore muscles that are known to accompany migraine headaches.
You can easily combine this essential oil with Lavender to alleviate migraines that are characterized by tense neck muscles. Inhaling Marjoram natural oil can be beneficial for treating sinus and nasal congestion that is commonly associated with headaches.
The top 10 essential oils for headaches discussed above can be used to manage, prevent and even alleviate the painful condition. However, you should always seek medical advice whenever your headaches become even more severe or common.
All the essential oils discussed in this article also have other valuable medicinal properties that can be used to treat diseases and boost your immune system. This makes it incredibly wise to have all these essential oils in your medicine cabinet.