If you suffer from headaches, you know how debilitating they can be. The many causes of headaches like stress, fatigue, hormones, allergies, and blood sugar levels leave millions of people to suffer from headaches every day. Finding how to get rid of a headache can be difficult, and many turn to over-the-counter painkillers, but those pills come with some nasty side effects. Some painkiller pills can even cause kidney and liver damage, and they do not deal with the root of the problem. Turning to essential oils for headaches is a natural remedy that is safe and effective. By using essential oils for headaches, you can treat the source of a headache at its root, and help to relieve it permanently.
Some studies show essential oils aid in the treatment of headaches. Many essential oils for headaches also come with additional health benefits like strengthening your immune system and reducing swelling or pain. Essential oils also improve blood flow to the brain and provide calming effects.
The Best Essential Oils for Headaches
Here are some of the best essential oils for headaches, treating the problem at its source naturally and effectively:
Peppermint oil is one of the most popular essential oils for headaches or migraines. It had been used in alternative medicine for thousands of years. With menthol as its active ingredient, peppermint oil is known to ease pain and relax muscles. This natural remedy for headaches has a cooling effect on the skin and is particularly recommended to get rid of tension headaches.
In a study done in 1996, participants reported that peppermint oil provided pain relief for headaches and relief in muscle tension as well. Peppermint oil proves to be a natural and cost-effective alternative to traditional headache remedies such as aspirin. Experts agree that peppermint oil for headaches is a safe and effective treatment with no adverse side effects.
To reduce pain and relieve tension, dilute peppermint oil with a carrier oil, and apply to the temples, forehead, neck, and shoulders. This essential oil works best when applied topically and provides an uplifting scent and soothing effect.
The most popular essential oil of all, lavender is known for its calming effects. This essential oil is most commonly used for stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Lavender works as a sedative, antidepressant, and calming agent. There is also strong evidence that lavender can help get rid of headaches and migraines.
Studies suggest lavender is an excellent natural remedy for migraines, especially those caused by stress. Many people reported a significant reduction in pain after only fifteen minutes of inhaling lavender oil in a 2012 study. Lavender essential oil is the best treatment for those who have allergy-related headaches.
Research shows that lavender is one of the best essential oils for headaches because it affects the limbic system. The limbic system supports a variety of emotional reactions, motivation, memory, and smell. Lavender oil can be used to treat headaches caused by anxiety or by restlessness as it regulates serotonin levels and minimizes pain.
To help with muscle tension, stress relief, sleep, and mood, diffuse lavender oil throughout the day and night as needed. You can also apply lavender oil topically to the neck, temple,s or wrists to relieve stress and reduce tension headaches. Lavender can also make a great addition to an aromatherapy bath with its sedative properties.
Eucalyptus is another top essential oil, useful for relieving pain and lowering blood pressure. It is one of the best essential oils for headaches that develop from sinus pressure, used to clear sinuses and reduce inflammation. This essential oil cleanses the body of harmful microorganisms and toxins.
Eucalyptus oil also has qualities that can improve one’s mood and promote emotional balance. It can be used to treat respiratory conditions that lead to coughing, sore throats, and tension headaches. People using eucalyptus oil report that it improves breathing and provides pain-reducing and relaxing effects.
To help with inflammation and treat respiratory conditions that lead to sinus headaches, eucalyptus oil is the best essential oil for the job. Simply apply topically to the chest, shoulders, neck, and forehead to clear your airway and alleviate sinus tension. Inhaling eucalyptus oil by adding to a cloth and breathing in also provides relaxing effects to the muscles and the mind.
One of the best essential oils for headaches, folk medicine, has used rosemary oil for centuries. Its stimulating, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties help treat headaches and poor circulation. Rosemary essential oil also reduces stress, has a calming effect, and improves alertness. It also helps reduce insomnia and relax muscles, all of which help with headache symptoms.
A study done in 2013 cites the effectiveness of rosemary oil as an herbal therapy for patients with opium abuse. In this study use of rosemary, the treatment proved to reduce tension, alleviate pain, improve sleep, and treat convulsions. You can apply all of these benefits to headache sufferers as well.
To use rosemary oil for its anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties, massage the diluted oil into the neck, temples, and forehead. Also, breathing in the scent of rosemary oil from a towel or a hot bath can also offer pain relief. Taking just one drop of rosemary oil internally through tea, water, or soup when trying to get rid of a headache also proves effective.
Another oil for headaches caused by stress and anxiety, chamomile oil proves to be very helpful. Its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities can relieve nerve pain that typically causes tension headaches. Chamomile oil relaxes the body and soothes muscles, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. As one of the best essential oils for headaches, it can help treat anxiety and insomnia which are common headache triggers.
Chamomile oil is also extremely versatile in its application. You can add a few drops of chamomile into an aromatherapy bath to promote its calming effect. You can also breathe chamomile oil in as a vapor through a diffuser or inhale by breathing deeply. It is also effective when taken internally through tea or water.
How to Use Essential Oils for Headaches
There is a variety of ways to use essential oils for headaches.
- Apply topically: You should never apply essential oils directly to the skin, instead dilute them in a carrier oil. Some carrier oils include coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil. Add five drops of essential oils for headaches to 1 ounce of carrier oil. After diluting essential oils apply them to your skin. Simply massage into the temples, across the forehead, or on the back of your neck as a natural remedy for a migraine. Be careful to avoid your eyes, as oils can irritate.
- Inhale the oil: You can inhale essential oils for headaches by simply adding a few drops to a tissue, holding under the nose, and breathing deeply.
- Diffuser: If you have an essential oil diffuser, you can diffuse the essential oils for headaches throughout the day or night. In addition to being a natural remedy for headaches, diffusing essential oils for migraines may help prevent a headache altogether.
- Compress: Create a compress with essential oils for headaches by soaking a towel in cold water along with a few drops of oil. Apply your compress to the back of the neck or forehead. While cold water is recommended, a warm compress helps improve circulation and gets rid of tension headaches.
- Aromatherapy: Adding essential oils to a hot bath can be a relaxing, stress-relieving way to treat a headache. Simply add 5-10 drops of essential oils for headaches to the water. Be careful to avoid adding under running water, as the essential oils will evaporate faster. For migraines, it can be helpful to add Epsom salt as well to help with your magnesium levels. A lack in the body’s magnesium can bring about migraines.
- Consumed: While it is not safe to consume all essential oils internally, but you can dilute some in a tea, water or soup and consumed for maximum results.
Using essential oils for headaches promotes safe and natural healing. Getting rid of a headache can be as simple as applying this natural remedy to your life! Good luck!
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