Essential Oils for Headaches

Headaches usually strike when you least expect it, sometimes causing unbearable pain that can make the easiest of tasks seem nearly impossible to complete, due to your inability to concentrate on anything other than the throbbing pain in your head. As headaches can have numerous causes, you may experience them more frequently than you would hope, but fear not, as there are natural solutions to this common problem. If you have frequent headaches but wish not to ingest medication (with numerous side-effects), then you may wish to try the use of essential oils for headaches; some of which can be extremely beneficial.

9 Essential Oils That Really Work for Headaches

1. Basil Oil

Basil leafs have been used as medicine in many cultures due to their medicinal qualities. Basil oil can be beneficial to headaches as they are natural muscle relaxants, meaning they can reduce pain from headaches caused by tension. It is also effective in dealing with diarrhea, constipation, cough, as well as some skin related conditions.

2. Peppermint Oil

The calming and numbing benefits of peppermint oil make it extremely useful in treating a number of ailments, including headaches, indigestion, nausea, etc. It is important to note that the effect of peppermint oil on pregnancy is unknown, and therefore women who are pregnant should try to limit their consumption of peppermint oil.

3. Lavender Oil

Although more research is needed on the actual effect of lavender oil for curing headaches, it is known to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and calming benefits. It is thought that the anti-inflammatory benefits of lavender oil are what make it one of effective essential oils for headaches, as it helps to regulate the proper function of blood vessels.

4. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil can be used to treat many conditions, including headaches, due to its natural relaxing properties. When used in headache treatment, its calming and relaxing properties help to eradicate the pain associated with a headache, as well as clear nasal passages and get you on your way to feeling healthy and active.

5. Juniper Oil

Juniper can help to relieve pain due to its antispasmodic and antirhumatic properties. The oil also has a fresh fragrance which can help to motivate and inspire you. Juniper oil will be beneficial in treating most aches and pains, making it one of the greatest essential oils for headaches. It is important to note that juniper can be highly stimulating, meaning it shouldn't be used at night (unless you don't want to sleep).

6. Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil has numerous benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties; making it helpful in treating headaches. On top of its anti-inflammatory benefits, chamomile can also help to relax you and relieve stress.

7. Rosemary Oil

Rosemary is not only a delicious herb used to add flavour to various meats or starch-based dishes, it is also available as an essential oil, encompassing numerous health benefits. What makes it so useful in the treatment of headaches is its antispasmodic and analgesic properties.

8. Marjoram Oil

As stress is a major cause of headaches and migraines, the use of an essential oil that works to relieve stress may be beneficial in treating headaches. That's where marjoram oil comes in, which is an incredibly strong natural sedative, helping to relieve numerous conditions, including headaches.

9. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil is thought to have the most powerful anti-inflammatory properties of all the essential oils, making it highly beneficial in helping to ease aches and pains, including headaches and migraines.

10. More Oils That’ll Help

Below is a list of more essential oils for headaches, which may provide you with more choices to get relief:

  • Helichrysum
  • Sandalwood
  • Bergamot
  • Clove
  • Idaho Balsam Fir
  • Ginger
  • Neroli
  • Jasmine
  • Myrrh
  • Valerian
  • Wintergreen

How to Use Essential Oils for Headaches

There are numerous essential oils that can be beneficial in treating or eradicating headaches, that being said, not all may work for you.

Some oils have particularly strong smells which may cause stress and upset, so smell the oil before applying it to ensure that this does not become a problem. If the oil causes distress, it is best avoided. Once you have found an oil that you love, you can now think about application. Applying the oil directly to the skin is often the best method of application, although it is often best to dilute the oil with a carrier oil, as direct contact may cause irritation. Below are some methods of application that you can try:

1. Topical Application

Mix around ten drops of your chosen essential oil into around 1 oz. of carrier oil (coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil etc.), then massage the mixture gently onto the back of your neck, your forehead, and temples, whilst avoiding the eyes and their surrounding area.

2. Diffuse

Follow the instructions of your diffuser to diffuse essential oils throughout the day to help ease or prevent headaches and migraines.

3. Inhalation

Mix a few drops of essential oils for headaches into a bowl of boiling hot water, then place a towel over your head and inhale the steam coming from the essential oil and water. Alternatively, you can rub a couple drops of oil into your palms and rub them together, then cup your hands over your nose and take 4-6 slow and deep inhales.

4. Cold Compress

Add around 5 drops of your chosen essential oil into a bowl of cold or icy water, and soak a clean cloth in the mixture. Strain the cloth to remove excess solution and place the cold compress across your forehead, or on the back of your neck. The same method can be done with a warm compress, or you could alternate between the two.

5. Aroma-Therapeutic Bath

Once you have run a bath, it can be highly beneficial to add a few drops of your favourite essential oil, to help relieve aches and pains. It is important to add the oil once the bath is ready, as opposed to whilst the water is still running, as the running water will cause the oil to dissolve quicker, taking away its benefits. You may also wish to mix the essential oil with a carrier oil before adding it to your bath, to provide extra moisture and prevent irritation.

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