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5 Powerful Essential Oils For Natural Relief From Headaches and Migraines (And How to Use Them)

 A safe, natural and effective home remedy to quickly get rid of your pain - without medicine…

5 Powerful Essential Oils to Help Ease Headaches and Migraines Naturally (And When to Use Them)

If you’re one of nearly half of the world’s population who suffers from some form of headache, you know how draining they can sometimes be. It doesn’t matter if these are tension headaches (the most common), migraines, sinus headaches, hormonal headaches or even a hangover headache, there are often very few things which can help…

You can lie down for a while and hope it passes, or drink lots of water (maybe you’re dehydrated?). However, most of us just pop a pill and hope the pain will go away – and fast.

But what if you could get rid of a headache naturally – without taking any medication?

It turns out you can. Essential oils are great natural home remedies that have been shown to be highly effective for relief from both headaches and migraine attacks.

But why would you use aromatherapy instead of popping a pill? And why are essential oils so good for headaches? 

Unlike regular medicines which only target pain reduction, essential oils also tackle the underlying causes of headaches – and do this naturally. This makes them not only a much safer but more efficient alternative to getting rid of pain.

Among other benefits, these little miracle workers are renowned for reducing stress - one of the main causes of headaches and migraines, helping to decongest blocked sinuses, improving blood flow and reducing inflammation. And they do all this without any of the scary side effects of many conventional medicines.

It’s no wonder that more and more people are turning to the natural healing powers of essential oils as the best home remedy for a headache or migraine…

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The beauty of essential oils is that they not only help to naturally get rid of headache symptoms and pain but also get to the root of the problems causing that pain.

Just like conventional medications, essential oils that help relieve headaches and migraines are effective in reducing inflammation and pain - but without any of the negative side effects to your health. Many oils also have a calming effect on your body and can even improve blood circulation to your brain, which are vital when dealing with headaches.

Peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary and chamomile are 5 of the best essential oils to help get rid of your pain fast and effectively – no matter what type of headache you have…

1. Peppermint Oil

Best for: Stress or tension headaches, migraines, hormonal and hangover headaches. Daytime use only.

Peppermint essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils to treat tension headaches and migraines. Peppermint contains menthol which help the muscles relax and ease pain. It also lessens the intensity of acute migraines by stimulating blood flow and eliminating inflammation. As menthol is a stimulant, peppermint oil should not be used before bedtime.

A 2016 study found that diluted peppermint oil was as effective as aspirin and paracetamol in reducing tension headaches. Another study found that a menthol gel (44% of peppermint is menthol) applied to the back of the neck decreased pain intensity after 2 hours and may help in treating an acute migraine attack.

2. Lavender Oil

Best for: Migraines due to stress and lack of sleep, tension headaches, hormonal, period and hangover headaches. Perfect for night time use.

As a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic,  lavender oil and most well-known for its sedative and calming properties, so if your headaches are caused by stress and anxiety, this may be your answer for some quick relief, especially before you go to sleep.

There is strong evidence that lavender is one of the best essential oils for both headaches and migraines. One study found that inhaling lavender provided relief in the early stages of acute attacks by helping with a significant reduction in pain after only 15 minutes. It also showed that 71% of patients’ migraine attacks were resolved or partially resolved by inhaling lavender.

What's Lavender Oil Good For? 12 Reasons Why You Absolutely Need To Use It  - Read More

3. Eucalyptus Oil

Best for: Sinus headaches, tension headaches and neck pain. Best for day use.

If you are prone to sinus headaches, eucalyptus essential oil can become your new best friend. This oil will quickly open up the nasal passages, clear the sinuses and help relieve the sinus tension that often causes the headaches.

A 2011 study shows that the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties of eucalyptus oil help to ease sinus pressure and improve respiratory conditions that lead to headache pain and tension.

One study also found that a combination of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and ethanol provided relaxing effects to both the muscles and the mind, which could help soothe headaches. Another study found that eucalyptus oil was effective for relieving pain and lowering blood pressure when it was inhaled.

As eucalyptus is a strong oil, please ensure that you follow the correct safety guidelines for use with children.

20 Incredible Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil That Seem Too Good to Be True – Read More

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4. Rosemary Oil

Best for: Stress and tension headaches, migraine, hangover, hormonal  and period headaches.

Rosemary oil has stimulating properties, and has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years to boost circulation and improve alertness.

However, it’s powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) properties can also reduce stress, provide relief for pain, and improve circulation, all of which can help headaches. It also helps reduce insomnia and relax tense muscles - two of the main causes of headaches.

A 2008 study examined the effects of rosemary essential oil and found that it successfully inhibited both inflammation and pain. One study even found that rosemary oil helped with withdrawal symptoms like headaches, nausea and mood changes.

5. Chamomile Oil

Best for: Tension or stress headaches, migraine. Ideal for night time use.

Usually, chamomile tea is sipped before bed to signal your body that it’s time to relax and get ready for a good night’s rest. But smelling it in essential oil form can also help calm your body and your mind.

Chamomile oil is a sedative that relaxes the body and soothes muscles, so is perfect for headaches caused by stress, better known as tension headaches. It can also help with anxiety and insomnia, which are common causes of headaches.

Although often used to treat migraines, there is little clinical evidence to prove its effectiveness. However, in a 2014 study published in the journal Medical Hypotheses, researchers hypothesized that the known actions of chamomile would certainly make it a beneficial option for migraine pain relief.

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The most popular way to use essential oils for headaches and migraines is to apply a few drops to your temples and forehead - or wherever you are experiencing pain.

Because they are so concentrated and can cause skin sensitivity, it’s best to dilute them in a carrier oil like fractionated coconut, jojoba or almond oil. Just one to three drops for every tablespoon of carrier oil is all that’s needed.

Inhaling the oil directly from the bottle or on a cotton ball will also provide quick relief. Otherwise, you can use a diffuser (keep it to one hour at a time), or burn 100% essential oil infused candles.

For immediate headache relief, add a few drops of essential oil to a wet wash cloth to use as a warm or cold compress on your forehead or neck. Or for the ultimate in convenience, use an essential oil infused neck pillow or spa mask which can be either heated in the microwave or cooled in the freezer depending on whether you need hot or cold therapy for your pain. Most headaches and migraines respond best to a hot compress, while cold therapy is good for sinus headaches, and can also be alternated with heat therapy for migraines.

Finally, you can add 10-15 drops of a calming essential oil like lavender to a hot bath and indulge in a soothing 15-minute soak before you go to sleep.

While you can use an essential oil on its own, you can also or blend two or three together. For example, 3 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of lavender essential oils can be combined as a diffuser blend to treat migraines. A blend of 3 drops lavender, 2 drops Roman Chamomile and 2 drops Frankincense will in turn help relieve stress and a tension headache.

For an on-the-go, pain relief roll-on recipe, add 4 drops each of lavender and peppermint oil plus 2 drops rosemary oil in a 10ml roller ball bottle and fill with jojoba oil. Dot on the temples and forehead, and massage into your skin.

Experiment with different blend options to find out which works the best for you.

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When faced with the choice of using a common painkiller which will only temporarily minimize pain and comes with a host of unwanted side effects, there’s no question that essential oils are a natural, safer and more beneficial way to treat the root causes behind your headache.

And even better, aromatherapy also offers a ton of other benefits for your health and immune system…

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If you’re experiencing headaches that are frequent or severe, you should get them checked out by a doctor before exploring alternative remedies.

There's a difference between an essential oil or simply an oil, which is basically a perfume. If a label does not clearly state that it is an 'essential oil,' then it is not a pure oil and should not be used as suggested.

Looking for the best essential oils for migraines? Explore our range of essential oils for headaches and other lavender and eucalyptus products on the Sonoma Lavender website.