Using Essential Oils to Relieve Headaches and Migraines
For those who suffer from migraines, we're sorry. The pain can be all-encompassing. There's good news – there are essential oils that can help.
Migraine headaches are the worst. Intense pain, sensitivity to sound and light, nausea – the whole experience is terrible. But, did you know that essential oil for headaches can help?
Migraine headaches are the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world, with 12% of the population suffering from migraines. Many more women than men suffer migraines, and the pain is debilitating – more than 90% of those afflicted cannot work or function normally during a migraine.
There are many ways to get relief. For those looking for a natural solution, essential oils for headaches can make a big difference – especially if anxiety and stress are contributing to your migraines.
The Best Essential Oil for Headaches
When you're looking for essential oil for headaches, keep in mind that there are both blends and specific oils that can help. Here are some of the individual oils we have found the most useful:
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is made from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which are dried, crushed, and distilled to produce the oil. The tree is Australian, and Aboriginal Australians used eucalyptus leaves in a variety of medicinal ways.
Later, Chinese, Greek, European, and Ayurvedic practitioners began to see the benefits of eucalyptus leaves and oils and began to use it for everything from disinfecting to treating colds.
When it comes to migraine headaches, eucalyptus essential oil shines due to its anti-inflammatory and expectorant qualities. Both of these properties help eucalyptus oil bring relief to migraine sufferers.
It's important to remember that eucalyptus essential oil must be diluted before it can be used for medicinal purposes. If you have chronic sinusitis that contributes to your migraine headaches, eucalyptus is one of the best essential oils for headaches.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is created by distilling the flower spikes of certain species of lavender. Lavender oil has long been used as a perfume and is also well known for its relaxing properties.
When you're struggling with a migraine headache, it's hard to relax. Lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory and calming effects, which makes it a great essential oil for headaches in the evening or when you need to sleep.
In 2012, a scientific trial found that therapeutic grade lavender essential oil aromatherapy is effective in relieving migraine headaches. In the trial, the group using lavender essential oil reported a 71% improvement in the severity of their symptoms and significantly fewer migraines than the placebo group.
Tell me that's not a great reason to try lavender essential oil for headaches!
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is distilled from the leaves of the peppermint plant. It has a variety of uses in industry and natural medicine, including the treatment of pain.
The menthol in peppermint essential oil is known for its cooling and soothing effect. It can help clear sinuses and also helps reduce stress. It has also been known to help soothe upset stomachs, which can help with nausea from a migraine attack.
Peppermint is being studied for its ability to boost both mood and memory as well. If you need to work or handle other daily tasks, peppermint essential oil for headaches would be perfect.
Migraine Oil Blends
Another option when you're looking for the right essential oil is to try a migraine blend that is made with many of the best essential oils for headaches. This can help relieve several symptoms of your headache at once.
Be sure to read the instructions for use, as many oil blends need to be diluted before they can be safely used for headaches.
How to Use Essential Oils for Migraines
If you have a migraine, you want immediate relief. It's important to be prepared beforehand because no one functions well during a migraine. You don't want to be counting oil drops with a pounding head!
Instead, take a look at these ways to use essential oils for migraines, and prepare yourself in advance. This might mean having a diffuser ready that you can turn on, or pre-diluted essential oils ready for application.
Inhalation and Aromatherapy
Inhaling essential oils is one excellent way to take them into your system easily and allow them to get to work. It's important to note that you need to use therapeutic grade oils, not simply scented oils. Only therapeutic grade oils are pure enough to work properly.
There are several ways to inhale essential oils. In many cases, you can simply put a few drops on your hands and hold them to your face and inhale the scent. This works well with gentle oils like lavender.
If you're on the go, consider using a diffuser necklace. These necklaces have a variety of designs and all of them allow you to inhale your essential oils throughout the day to enhance relaxation, keep your sinuses clear, and keep migraines at bay.
Finally, you can inhale steam with essential oils diffused in it to help with your migraine. If you have an essential oil diffuser, you can prepare this in advance and simply turn it on.
If you don't have a diffuser, here's an easy hot water trick: add two or three drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of steaming hot water. Lean over the bowl and breathe in the steam. This works especially well if your migraine is accompanied by a cold.
Let me say first that it's vital to know which oils need dilution and which do not before you apply them to your skin. Be sure to dilute eucalyptus oil, for example, but you don't need to worry about lavender.
To apply essential oil for a headache, simply apply one to three drops to your fingers and rub your temples gently. This allows the oil to penetrate the skin and ease your pain.
Anyone who has had a migraine headache knows how debilitating they are. Fortunately, there are a variety of essential oils that can help with your pain and allow you to relax and find relief. You can apply them directly or breathe them in.
No matter how you use them, essential oils for headaches make a difference!