Dealing with headaches is not easy, and popping a pill each time you experience a headache can lead to more problems in the long run. Essential oils are concentrated liquids made out of leaves, flowers, roots, stems, bark, and other plant elements. Using essential oils can offer various health benefits, such as relieving stress and boosting circulation via sensory stimuli (scent).
Essential oils can also help with certain conditions, such as migraines or headaches. There are various headache essential oil blends available in the market these days. These oils provide all the benefits without the side effects that accompany headache and migraine medications. This article will help you find essential oils good for headaches and guide you on using them to maximize their positive effect.
Best Essential Oils For Headache
Some essential oils can relieve headaches arising from tension and stress while also helping in destressing. Before use, ensure that the essential oil you select is diluted in a carrier oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil since essential oils should not be directly applied to the skin or consumed. Five drops of essential oil must be added to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Some of the best essential oils that help with headaches are:
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil for headaches is a well-known cure. Peppermint oil is one of the most common essential oils used to treat migraine attacks and headaches. It contains menthol, which can help ease pain and relax muscles.
2. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil has some potent analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties. This oil has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years for pain relief, stress reduction, and improved circulation, which can help relieve headaches.
3. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is generally used for relaxation and stress relief. This oil is also recommended to treat migraines and headaches. Breathing in the fragrance from lavender oil can also help with managing migraines.
4. Chamomile Oil
The essential oil of chamomile soothes muscles and relaxes the body, and it is for this reason, chamomile oil can be a great aid in relieving tension headaches. This oil can also help with insomnia and anxiety that are the common causes of headaches.
5. Eucalyptus Oil
If sinus issues cause your headaches, then eucalyptus essential oils should be your new best friend. This oil helps clear the sinuses, opens up the nasal passages, and helps treat sinus tension that results in headaches.
How Do You Use Essential Oils For Headaches
Essential oils are highly concentrated; thus, they cannot be used directly on the skin. Here are a few ways that you can use the essential oils safely:
The best way to use essential oil for headaches is by diluting it and applying it to the skin, particularly in the area where you are experiencing pain. If you are experiencing a tension headache, you must apply the oil around your temples. Remember that essential oils need to be diluted in a carrier oil before applying them to your skin.
If you are not in the mood to apply the essential oil to your skin directly, you could always breathe in the scent of essential oil as this could also achieve headache-relieving benefits. To use an essential oil aromatically, you could add a few drops of your preferred oil to a diffuser in a well-ventilated area. However, do note that essential oils can affect everyone differently. Also, ensure that you keep children and pets away from the diffuser.
You also have the choice to create a compress by soaking a towel in cold water with a few drops of essential oil. Apply it to the area where you experience pain, such as your head or back of the neck. This is an excellent way to get some relief from your headache.
4. Add the Oil to Your Bath
Another great way to use an essential oil is to add a few drops of it to your bath. Adding some drops of essential oil to a hot bath can relax to relieve a headache.
Side Effects of Using Essential Oils For Headaches
Though essential oils are generally safe, their usage could lead to some potential side effects. Read on to understand the possible side effects of essential oils:
- Although breathing in the scent of essential oils is the safest method of using them, negligible side effects can be observed in certain oils. The possible side effects of breathing in essential oils include nausea, headache, burning of throat and eyes, shortness of breath, or cough. However, such side effects generally resolve once the fragrance disappears.
- Topical use of essential oils is also generally safe. However, specific oils could result in reactions, such as burns, contact dermatitis, and skin irritation. Always do a patch test when you use a new essential oil to check if you are sensitive to it.
- Some essential oils increase photosensitivity and increase the risk of sunburn, specifically citrus oils, such as lime, lemon, bergamot, and tangerine. It is recommended to stay out of the sun for 24 hours after applying these oils to your skin.
- Like any health supplement, essential oils could interact with prescription medications when taken internally and cause problems. It is recommended that you check with your pharmacist or doctor before combining any essential oil with medications.
Essential oils can have various medicinal benefits when used correctly, and they can help attain relief from migraine attacks and headaches. When it comes to essential oils, you must remember that a little goes a long way — and one to three drops are sufficient to do the trick.