Many people suffer from frequent headaches, which can make it difficult to meet the demands of daily life. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to this problem. Headaches can be triggered by stress, fatigue, poor posture, allergies, toxins in the body or environment, constipation, hormones, low blood sugar, nutritional deficiencies, and alcohol or drug consumption.
Migraine headaches are a particularly severe type of headache. They are very painful and can be accompanied by throbbing in the head, sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. Many people who suffer with this recurring condition find it necessary to adjust their schedules around episodes and often are put on medication to treat the problem. However, medications come with their own negative side effects, like liver and kidney damage, without treating the actual cause of the issue.
Some essential oils offer a variety of benefits that may help to relieve headaches and address the symptoms that lead to them. The following essential oils can be helpful in treating headaches by themselves, or you can make a blend of all 4 essential oils added to fractionated coconut oil and rub it into the temples, forehead, and back of neck.
1. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint has a long-lasting cooling effect on the skin, stimulates blood flow, and inhibits muscle contractions. Apply topically to the forehead and on the temples to relieve tension. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to fractionated coconut oil, and rub it into the shoulders, forehead, and back of neck to relax the muscles and improve blood flow.
2. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender induces relaxation and relieves stress. It is an effective sedative and calming agent and decreases anxiety. Some research suggests that lavender may aid neurological disorders. It relieves feelings of restlessness and disturbed sleep and regulates serotonin levels.
Diffuse lavender essential oil at home or in the office to reduce muscle tension, uplift your mood, relieve stress, and help you sleep. You can also apply lavender oil topically to the back of neck, temples, and wrists. Add 5–10 drops of lavender oil to a warm bath, and breathe deeply to relax the body and release tension that can lead to a headache.
3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil helps cleanse the body of toxins and harmful microorganisms, promotes emotional balance, and acts as a mood booster. It also opens the airways and eliminates pressure in the sinuses that could cause a bad headache. Eucalyptus essential oil has anti-inflammatory effects when used to treat respiratory issues.
Dilute a few drops of eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil, and apply it topically to the chest, back of the neck, temples, and forehead to alleviate sinus tension that could trigger a migraine.
4. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary has stimulating, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. It improves circulation and has a calming and uplifting effect on the body. It also reduces stress, muscle tension, and emotional triggers that can cause headache attacks and aids indigestion and other stomach disorders that contribute to the development of headaches.
Add 1 drop of rosemary oil to tea, water, or even soup when a migraine develops.
*When using these essential oils in sensitive areas like the nose and forehead, it’s best to dilute the oil in a carrier oil first. If you use these oils internally, only use 1–2 drops at a time, and don’t exceed a 4-week period without taking a week off from internal use.
See the Reference Guide for Essential Oils to learn more about how essential oils can help reduce headaches.
Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition, pp. 486–87.