There are different types of headaches and various triggers that can cause them. Some people struggle with them frequently and women seem to have them more often than men. They may be caused by tension or stress, health issues or allergies. Some have mild headaches and others have migraines that can be debilitating and last for days. Sometimes it is difficult to find the right treatment for a headache since you’re not sure what actually caused it in the first place. Many different essential oils can be helpful in treating a headache, but there are a few that are typically the best choices. You may have to experiment with a few of them to determine which yields the best results in your particular case.
Peppermint Essential Oil
One of the most popular oils for treating headaches is peppermint. One reason might be that the active ingredient in peppermint oil is menthol. When applied directly to the head it may effectively treat migraines. Menthol is useful for helping relax muscles as well as relieve pain. The aroma also has an uplifting effect that energizes.
Helichrysum Essential Oil
Even though this oil hasn’t yet reached the stardom level of some of the popular ones, helichrysum can be used for treating headaches. In some regions, it’s been used for years to treat a variety of ailments including migraines. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties that may be why it is useful for treating some conditions. Its analgesic properties may be why it is often an effective option for relieving headache pain. Sometimes helichrysum is blended with peppermint and other essential oils and used for pain relief.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Since eucalyptus oil is often used to help relieve sinus inflammation, it may also help if you have a sinus headache. Inhaling or diffusing eucalyptus can help alleviate symptoms. Some studies have indicated it might also be helpful for reducing blood pressure because of its calming effect.
Roman Chamomile Essential oil
Perhaps you have heard of drinking chamomile tea to help relax. The oil works much the same way. Roman chamomile oil has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help relieve anxiety or stress. It can also help relieve neuralgic pain. Roman chamomile is useful for helping to relieve stress-related headaches.
Rosemary Essential Oil
The natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Rosemary essential oil has made it a traditional means of treating headaches. It’s also been used to treat circulatory problems. Rosemary has a calming effect and can help lower stress and reduce emotional triggers that often cause headaches. It can also be calming to the digestive system and an upset stomach. This is helpful since they are often symptoms associated with a severe headache.
Ways to Use Oils to Treat Headaches
There are a few different ways you can use oils to help you fight off a headache. Here are some of the options so you can find what works best for you.
- Apply the oils topically. Dilute 10 drops of an essential oil with an ounce of carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil. Gently rub a few drops of the diluted oil on your temples, the back of your neck or across your forehead avoiding the area around the eyes.
- Use it in a diffuser. Diffusing an oil, or an oil blend in the diffuser during the night or day can help relieve or prevent a headache.
- Inhale the oils. Essential oils can be inhaled by putting a couple of drops on a cotton ball or a tissue. Hold it under your nose and breathe in slowly. You’ll want to take about five deep breaths. You can also put a few drops of an oil in a bowl of steamy hot water. Drape a towel over your head so you can breathe the steam in.
- Make a Compress. Choose your favorite headache relieving oil and add five drops to a tablespoon of carrier oil. Then add that to a quart of cold water. Let a cloth soak in the water and oil mixture, then apply the cloth to your forehead or the back of your neck. You can also use a warm compress to improve your circulation, but a cold compress works best for relieving a headache for most people.