8 Essential Oils For Headaches and Migraines
The throbbing pain, sensitivity to lights and sounds, nausea and more. You have a headache. A migraine is another possibility, and there are both natural pharmaceutical fixes for this. Using essential oils for headaches is a possibility, but you have to know which ones to use. We've picked out the eight best essential oils for migraines, and we'll explain what they are and how to use them below.
8 Essential Oils for Migraines and Headaches
We'll outline the 8 essential oils and give you science-backed reasons and studies that support how they can help you on migraines and headaches.
Lavender has a very light and floral scent. It's a very popular essential oil due to the calming and relaxing properties associated with it, and it has a long history of medicinal use among cultures around the world. There is a strong belief that lavender essential oil can go a long way at alleviating headaches.
Breathing in the scent of lavender oil can help you acutely manage the symptoms that come with migraines. One study showed that people could get relief in just fifteen short minutes of continuous inhalation of lavender essential oil. You can diffuse this into the room or apply it topically for the best results. (1)
Peppermint has a very strong and sharp scent. The ancient Egyptians used peppermint extract and leaves to help with abdominal pain, nausea, aches and pains and other digestive issues. There are over 25 species of peppermint, and you can create a solution with a few drops of peppermint oil and a carrier oil. Dilute the peppermint and massage it into your temples. (2)
Peppermint contains menthol, and menthol can help release any tension you may have in your muscles. If this is a trigger for your migraines, releasing the tension can help reduce your pain levels. It can work to improve your circulation as well, and this is a common cause of migraines. (3)
Rosemary is a very fragrant herb that you find in a lot of Mediterranean dishes. It dates back to 500 B.C. as an important medicinal herb. It comes with pain-relieving properties that work to relax your muscles. It works to boost your circulatory system and relieve pain, and this can help to improve your symptoms. (4)
You can add a few drops of rosemary oil to a diffuser and breathe the scent in for a few minutes at a time. It's also effective as a topical agent with your favourite carrier oil like coconut or almond. Studies show that rosemary oil can relax muscles, and this helps to encourage your headache to go away. (5)
Eucalyptus is a tree, and you get eucalyptus essential oil from extracting it from the leaves. There are chemicals in eucalyptus that help to reduce inflammation and pain, and it has a very sharp scent associated with it. Usage dates back centuries with various cultures around the world. (6)
Studies show that using eucalyptus essential oil can relieve tension, relax your muscles and help soothe both your body and mind. To get the best results, add a few drops of this oil to your warm bath water and soak. After a few minutes, you should notice your headache symptoms easing. (7)
Chamomile has a long history of having calming properties for people who use it. It's a popular tea to help promote relaxation. Chamomile comes from the flowering heads of the plant, and it has a very fragrant aroma. You dry these flower heads and use steam distillation to get the oil. (8)
Studies show that chamomile can be essential to reducing stress and anxiety, and this can help get rid of your headache symptoms. It can release the tension in your muscles while soothing your mental and physical stress. In turn, this lets you relax, unwind and feel your headaches fade. (9)
Frankincense comes from the Boswellia tree, and you get a very woody and spicy aroma with this essential oil. Popular with Ayurvedic medicine with hundreds of years of results behind it, it's a natural remedy from everything from arthritis to digestive issues. Applying the oil topically with a carrier oil mix is the most popular way of using it, so it seeps through your skin. (10)
This essential oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory due to the Boswellia acids and terpenes, and this can improve your circulation. One test-tube study showed that using frankincense essential oil can be as effective as using certain NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin. (11)
For people with stress as a major trigger for their migraines, citrus essential oils can be an instant stress reliever. It has a bright and uplifting scent that lingers for hours, and you can get the best benefits by either diffusing it in the room you're in or topical use with a carrier oil. (12)
Numerous studies showed that exposure to citrus-based oils could help to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. It also decreases the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in your system. Once your stress and blood pressure drops, you can start to experience relief from your headaches or migraines because it releases muscle tension and improves circulation. (13)(14)
Did you know that fluctuating hormone levels can cause headaches? Geranium's light and floral scent can help to level out your hormones, and it has years of evidence to prove it. You can add a few drops of geranium into a warm bath and soak. The oil's scent will rise during the course of your bath. (15)
One study showed that using geranium essential oil could stimulate the production of estrogen, and this is the hormone that fluctuates the most during menopause. Another study showed that this essential oil was beneficial in helping manage stress, and this can soothe your migraines. (16)(17)
How to Use Essential Oils for Headaches
Starting out, it can be intimidating to use essential oils for migraines and headaches, especially if you're sensitive to smells. However, one of the easiest ways to do this is to put five drops or your chosen essential oil into a diffuser. You'll do this for 45 minutes at a time up to three times per day. This way, it won't overwhelm your space. Adding a few drops into a warm bath is another way to relax.
Topical application is very effective for headaches too, and you can create a solution that you massage into your temples. You can add two or three drops of your chosen essential oil to 30ml carrier oil to create a massage blend. Massage it into your temples, chest and on the back of your neck. This can help reduce inflammation and tension, and this helps ease your headaches or migraines.
Choosing Essential Oils to Manage Headaches and Migraines
Since there are hundreds of essential oils available, how do you choose the correct one for your headaches and migraines? There are a few things you can do.
First, you have to know what triggers your migraines. Once you know your trigger, you pick out the essential oil that gives you the most support for helping you overcome your trigger. For example, maybe the biggest trigger for your headache or migraine is stress or anxiety. If you know this, you can find the essential oil that works best with reducing stress and anxiety.
Another common migraine and headache trigger is muscle tension. If this is one for you, you'd do a little research and find out which essential oil relaxes your muscles. If it's inflammation, an essential oil that reduces it can help ease your migraine. You can experiment with different scent levels until you find the one that helps soothe your migraines and headaches.
Shop Alcyon for Premium Essential Oils
If you'd like to incorporate premium essential oils into your routine for your headaches or migraines, shop our stock. We have an essential oil set that contains everything you need to soothe your pain and reduce your pain levels.