Aromatherapy is a popular method used in many countries to relieve stress, headaches, migraines, depression, and other health conditions. It mainly involves the use of essential oils and carrier oils via a sensory stimulus, scent.
You must have heard of various types of essential oils over the years, but have you ever wondered what exactly are essential oils? And does it really prove effective against headaches and migraines? Well, essential oils are concentrated liquids derived from different types of leaves, flowers, roots, barks, and stems. Over the years, we have witnessed a rise in essential oil usage and have discovered many of its health benefits, especially for headaches and migraines.
There are some essential oils for headaches and some for migraines, but every oil is different and has various organic chemical properties beneficial for your health. Generally, essential oils, to some extent, can help treat and relieve some symptoms of headaches and migraines. Many of these oils can help reduce stress, fatigue, tension, and anxiety. Oftentimes, doctors recommend essential oil blends, suggesting a carrier oil combination with a specific essential oil, since these oils can be very concentrated, therefore diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil, etc., can help provide patients relief and prevent any allergic reaction, given the individual’s medical history. Plus, essential oils should never be applied directly to any areas of the skin or ingested.
So, what essential oils are good for headaches and migraines? Hence, let’s get down to business and look into some of the best essential oils for headaches.
- Lavender Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Chamomile Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Geranium Oil
- Ginger Root Oil
- Frankincense Oil
- Sage Oil
Essential oils, such as lavender oil, have helped many people combat stress and anxiety. It can ease the stress and tension in the body. It soothes pain and headaches caused either by stress or migraines. Directly inhaling it can be very effective, and it is often recommended to inhale it before sleeping since it helps with relaxation and induces sleep. You can also apply it on the skin along with a carrier oil. Make sure to dilute it before applying it to the skin. Some of the most popular and best lavender essential oils in the market are DoTERRA Lavender Essential Oil, Radha Beauty Lavender Essential Oil, and First Botany Cosmeceuticals Pure Lavender Oil.
Rosemary oil is one of the best essential oils for migraine headaches, or stress caused headaches since rosemary oil has strong and powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to its strong pain-relieving properties, it is commonly used to treat headaches. For long, rosemary oil has been used to treat pain, reduce stress, improve circulation, relax muscles, and induce sleep, especially to people who have insomnia. It can also help individuals suffering from withdrawal symptoms.
Mixing rosemary oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and massaging particular areas of the body, can help relax the muscles and improve the circulation of the blood vessels. Inhaling the scent can also soothe the pain.
Chamomile oil is another suitable essential oil for a tension-related headache since it has a sweeter scent compared to the above mentioned essential oils. It can relax the muscles and soothes the pain experienced throughout the body. This oil is also great at reducing anxiety and stress, and it can also help treat insomnia caused by a common headache.
Another way of obtaining all the benefits of chamomile is by drinking chamomile tea, or you can spice things up by drinking chamomile with lavender tea, this blend in tea can provide a stronger effect and can combat other health issues as well. It’s advised to drink it before sleeping since it does not have caffeine; this will work great in easing tension and preventing insomnia.
Tip: Pregnant women are not recommended to drink chamomile tea since it can increase the risk of a miscarriage.
Peppermint oil for centuries has been in use as alternative medicine. It can help ease the pain from headaches and migraine attacks. It’s often said to be a great essential oil for migraine headaches since it contains methanol, which has stimulating properties that can relieve headaches and migraine attacks. However, peppermint oil should not be used by children or pregnant women.
Eucalyptus oil is commonly used to treat sinus, and it can help open up the nasal passage and get rid of the sinus, which in some cases can be a migraine-related symptom. The eucalyptus oil has a more subtle and tolerable scent, which is excellent at reducing inflammation and does not irritate the throat or trigger coughs.
A recent study showed a blend of eucalyptus oil with peppermint oil and ethanol is more effective against headaches as it relaxes the muscles and the mind. You could inhale the vapors of eucalyptus oil via a diffuser or can dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it on the chest. This will help clear up the sinus and reduce the chance of tension headaches.
This essential oil is a great addition to our list due to its flowery and subtle perfume. It is helpful in balancing hormones. It can also be effective in helping menopausal issues and headaches that are often caused during menstruation. The best way of using it is by diluting it with a carrier oil and massaging it on the temple for a few minutes.
Ginger Root Oil
Ginger essential oil is said to be an “all-purpose” oil. Due it has multiple properties to treat various health issues. It is effective in reducing nausea and migraine attacks. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help treat all sorts of pain throughout the body, mainly joint pain. It’s also a good muscle relaxant, which is why people often drink ginger tea.
Other benefits of using ginger essential oil is that it helps blood circulation, especially in pumping blood into the heart, preventing cancer due to antioxidant properties, and is antibacterial. It also protects the body from bad cholesterol, in turn reducing the risks of heart attacks. More importantly, it plays an important role in preventing the development of diabetes.
Frankincense oil has amazing and powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which is effective against clusters of headaches that can often develop due to over stress or tension.
It relieves the pain and reduces the discomfort experienced in areas such as the neck, back, and other muscles, which may be triggered. Plus, it is an antioxidant, therefore helps reduce the damage on cells caused during cluster headaches.
It is great at calming the nerves and is an effective relaxant.
This essential oil is another important and popular oil in aromatherapy. It’s a wonderful and simple oil. It’s great against stress-induced headaches. Sage oil can be used to treat PMS, as well as the fight against depression. Often, to increase its effectiveness against depression, a combination of sage and lavender oil is used.
One of the most comforting scents in aromatherapy is lemongrass oil. It can help relax the muscle, hence reducing fatigue caused by stress and can relieve mental exhaustion. Its uplifting scent is helpful against depression. Moreover, the pleasant and beautiful aroma can ease the pain experienced in migraines and prevent panic attacks and keep you feeling more alert and refreshed.
Aromatherapy or the use of these essential oils, whether for medical purposes or commercially, is beneficial either way. However, it’s how much you use it and the method of using it that can put you in danger. Since these essential oils are extremely concentrated, it’s harmful to use without a carrier oil, as mentioned above. Subsequently, one to two drops of the essential oil is more than enough, it’s best to follow the recommended dose provided by your doctor. Also, if you are unaware of your medical history, it is best to seek advice from your doctor before purchasing particular essential oils because allergic reactions and skin irritation are common when unknowingly using essential oil.
There are plenty of different methods of using essential oils. Such as, applying diluted essential oil on the temple or specific areas and massaging it. You can also inhale the scent via using a diffuser, which is easy to find and affordable, or you could also add a few drops of essential oil in a hot bath. Lastly, you can soak a towel or a cloth in cool water with a few drops of essential oil. This creates a compress that you could apply on your forehead, neck, and back. More importantly, remember to keep essential oils away from children and pregnant women.
These oils have been in use for centuries. And as we at Auraat strongly believe, if you’re interested in essential oils, it’s best to consult a doctor or simply start off with a skin patch test. Plus, if the essential isn’t proving helpful, you may have to seek immediate professional help for your migraine attacks and headaches.