In today’s fast pace, high-stress word, headaches are all to common these days. Headaches have many different triggers including stress, blood pressure and circulation issues, toxins in the food we eat and the water supply, air quality, and other chemicals we expose ourselves to at work and home. However, when the pain of a headache strikes, fingering out the root cause tends to go right out the window, and most people just want quick relief, yet pain relievers come with unwanted side effects that impact our health. Essential oils offer fast-acting relief when applied, and, actually, tend to get to some of the root causes of headaches like stress. What essential oils help with headaches? Let’s take a moment to explore.
Peppermint Oil- Classic Headache Relief
Peppermint essential oil is probably the number one go to for headaches. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Peppermint oil helps with all types of headaches and is excellent for sinus headaches. As an added bonus it works well for relieving nausea which can go along with severe headaches.
Rub some peppermint oil on your temples or apply to the soles of the feet to relieve headaches. (Just use caution when applying to avoid it ending up in the eyes).
*A research study at the Christian-Albrecht University in Kiel, Germany found that peppermint oil alone, and in combination with eucalyptus oil, was just as effective at blocking pain from tension-type headaches as acetaminophen (Tylenol).*
Clove- Headache with Dental Relief
Clove essential oil is an anti-inflammatory. It, also, functions as an analgesic (pain reliever) and an anesthetic, thus it is excellent for general headaches. Clove can be used to numb the gums, if a tooth issue happens to accompany the headache.
*Caution- Be sure to dilute clove with a carrier oil before applying directly to skin.
Eucalyptus- Great for Sinus Headaches
Another great oil for headaches, ecualyptus essential oil can be used individually or in combination with peppermint to pack a powerful pain relieving punch. Eucalyptus helps sinus headaches tremendously because it reduces inflammation of the sinus and respiratory system. It helps with allergies too which can be a trigger of headaches.
Lavender Oil- Calming & Relaxing
Lavender oil is known as the “universal oil” because it has so many uses, one of which is headache relief. Lavender is calming and relaxing both physically and mentally. Because lavender provides stress relief it can be beneficial for tension (stress) headaches. Lavender, also, has a vasodilating function (widening of blood vessels) which can further aid its headache reduction function. It is useful for allergies, as well.
Valerian Oil- Melt the Tension Away
Valerian essential oil can be, particularly, helpful for tension (stress) headaches as it is calming and relaxing. In fact, it is probably one of the best options for stress headaches. Valerian has a bit of a tranquilizing effect one could say; certain compounds within it produce a calming effect on the central nervous system. It can be helpful with anxiety which, also, can trigger headaches.
Copaiba- Powerful Relief
Copaiba is powerful anti-inflammatory and, therefore, provides excellent pain relief for headaches. It is especially helpful for migraine headaches. Capaiba provides relief from muscle pain, as well. Animals in the wild will, actually, rub against copaiba trees in order to heal from wounds.
Basil- An Excellent Choice for Migraines
Basil is one of the best essential oils for migraine headaches. It posses anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is a muscle relaxant, as well. When faced with a migraine headache, apply 1-2 drops undiluted basil oil to the temples, at the base of the neck, the center of the forehead, and at the nostril openings.
PanAway- A Fantastic Pain-Relief Blend
PanAway is an essential oil blend made by Young Living meant to reduce pain and inflammation, increase circulation, and speed up healing. The blend contains wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint oils. It is beneficial for headaches, including stress headaches and can be helpful with migraines, as well. Dilution with a carrier oil is recommended, as this is a powerful blend of oils.
Other Essential Oil Options for Headaches
The list below offers some other options to try out to assist with headaches. By no means will you need all of them, but everyone’s health is slightly different, so this allows you have some other choices based on your unique situation. I would recommend, at a minimum, having a couple of the more frequently used oils mentioned earlier to start off with.
- Cardamom (Tension headaches)
- Dorado Azul
- Frankincense (Tension headaches)
- Marjarom (Migraines)
- Roman Chamomile
- Tea tree (Sinus headaches)
General headache relief:
- Apply 1-3 drops on the back of the neck, behind the ears, on the temples, on the forehead, and under the nose. Dilute with a carrier oil if needed. Caution- keep away from eyes and eyelids.
- Massage 2-4 drops of the oil on the bottoms of feet right before bedtime.
Migraine headache relief:
- Apply 1-2 drops neat (undiluted) to the temples, at the base of the neck, in the center of the forehead, and at the nostril openings. Also, massage onto thumbs and big toes.
- Place a warm compress with 1-2 drops of chosen essential oil on the back of the neck or on the back.
Tension headache relief:
- Apply 1-2 drops diluted around the hairline, on the back of the neck, and across the forehead. Refrain from using too much, as it will burn if any of the essential oil drips near the eyes.
Effective Natural Relief Is Closer Than You Think
Overall, essential oils promote circulation, reduce muscles spasms, and decrease inflammatory response, making them perfect for true headache relief. The aroma of essential oils alone can affect the body in as quick as 3 seconds, so no need to wait for relief. Instead of masking the pain, you will be doing something that improves you health in multiple ways. Armed with a couple of these options, when a headache occurs, you will be able to reach for something other than a pain pill.