In America, average over 45 millions people suffer from headaches. It is popular typically women develop this symptom more than twice men. For those people, it is necessary to find the suitable and effective treatment to ease it. Essential oils for headaches are fairly common nowadays. It is one of the first options for control headaches.
To compare with painkiller, essential oil for a headache is fewer side effects that might affect to liver or kidney. Otherwise, painkiller deals temporarily not for the main cause of the condition. But, essential oils may treat the main reason of headaches or reduce the headache trigger.
The essential oil is made from stems, flowers, roots, leaves, bark and other parts of a plant. They are highly-concentrated liquids. You might know about aromatherapy. This refers to essential oils that use for promoting circulation through sensory stimuli and easing stress, anxiety.
Why do you get headaches?
This is caused by pain-sensitive structures in your head that is overactive. Some specific of primary headaches are a cluster headache, tension headache, migraine or trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia.
On the other hands, there are some underlying diseases that can lead to a primary headache such as cough headaches, exercise headaches, sex headaches and chronic daily headaches.
Your lifestyle can trigger a primary headache, including:
- Lack of sleep
- Poor posture
Headaches might be a specific symptom for some diseases. These are some common causes of secondary headaches, including :
- Dental problems
- Brain tumor
- Blood clot
- Acute sinusitis
- Ear infection
- Overuse of pain medication
- Pain attacks
Top 10 best essential oils for headaches
Essential oils are safer and more effective than the painkiller. They contain a huge number of useful components and health benefits like promoting your immune system.
One of the reasons why women suffer from headaches more than men is hormonal change. Headaches are triggered by estrogen fluctuations typically before and after the periods. At this time, the estrogen levels reduce.
Furthermore, the hormonal imbalances during menopause or pregnancy may develop headaches. Using essential oil is suggested to relieve tension and soothe the pain.
So what essential oils are good for headaches? These 7 amazing essential oils below will answer for you this question:
1. Lavender essential oil
Lavender is a famous and beautiful flower that contains a bunch of health benefits. Lavender essential oil is the most popular essential oil in the world nowadays. This is used widely and over 2000 years.
Lavender loads of many antioxidants enzymes like glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase. Antioxidants help body free radicals.
For instance, Romanian scientists have found similar results that diffusing this oil protected cells from damage will cause cancer.
Lavender essential oil works as an anti-anxiety, sedative, antidepressant, anticonvulsant and calming agent. Hence, this oil serves as a helpful treatment for neurological disorders.
Because of linalool and linalyl acetate, topical and aromatic of lavender essential oil affects the limbic system. Moreover, it is quickly absorb via skin and lead to depression. Therefore, lavender oil eases headaches that caused by anxiety disorders.
Lavender oil contains some elements that minimize affects the nervous system and migraine attacks .
Lavender essential oil is used for sleep and insomnia as well. According to a study from Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine, it found that lavender helped immediate improvements on 5 women and 5 men who suffered from insomnia .
How to use lavender essential oil:
- You should use lavender oil with peppermint oil then rubbing on the back of neck. After that rubbing, the lateral side temples of your forehead accompany with inhaling it.
- Additionally, you can add 5 to 10 drops of lavender essential oil to warm water bath them breath deeply to reduce the headache tension.
2. Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary is more than an aromatic herb. It is powerful essential oil on the planet. This herb has a woody and is part of the mint species. For instance, it might boost nerve growth factors and help brain function.
Rosemary also contains a good source of antioxidants. Thus, it is known as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer.
Rosemary essential oil used for improving personal orientation and calming effect. It reduces stress and headache attacks. According to Addiction and Health , rosemary essential oil is used as a therapy for withdrawal syndromes. As you are known some popular symptoms of opium withdrawal symptoms include nausea, muscle aches, fever, insomnia, and headaches.
How to use:
- Add one drop of rosemary oil with some tea or water when you get headaches. This is a good essential oil for migraine attacks.
- For reducing headache pain, you should take two drops of this oil with two drops of rosemary essential oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil then rub on back of the neck, temples and forehead.
- Other option, rosemary might improve memory by mix 3 drops of rosemary essential oil with a half of teaspoon coconut oil then rub the upper neck area.
3. Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil brings a cooling sensation for skin and inhibits muscle contractions for the body.
Peppermint is a hybrid species of water mint and spearmint. The most active ingredients consist of menthone 910-30%) and menthol (35-45%).
Peppermint essential oil has a bunch of health benefits that help ease digestive issue and get rid of bad breath as well. Otherwise, peppermint oil is a good essential oil headache relief you should consider.
These are some useful functions when you use peppermint essential oil include:
- Reduce stomach aches
- Clear respiratory tract
- Reduce tight muscle
- Soothe headaches
- Boost energy
How to use peppermint oil for headaches:
- To reduce headache pain, you dilute two to three drops of this essential oil with one or two teaspoons of coconut oil (or other types of carrier oil) then rub it on the back of neck, forehead and temples.
4. Eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus tree is also called Tasmanian blue gum that is food source of koala bears (this animal is famous in Australia). The eucalyptus essential oil is extracted from eucalyptus leaves.
Eucalyptus essential oil might clean the body by kicking out harmful microorganisms and toxins. These materials make you get colds or flu. To relieve colds, you can use diffuser then put some drops of eucalyptus oil and take it before going to sleep.
A study is in Korea showed that when you inhaling eucalyptus oil may lower blood pressure and ease pain . It also promoted stable emotion and help people who get tension headaches.
How to use:
- Dilute 2 to 4 drops of eucalyptus with some drops of carrier oil then rub to the forehead and temples to reduce headache in temples. If you want to ease respiratory problems, you might apply on the chest.
5. Chamomile essential oil
Chamomile essential oil calms the body and eases the muscle. Otherwise, this oil is a great remedy for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms such as back pain, depression, headache, hot flashes and constipation.
Chamomile is one of great essential oils for tension headache you should buy and apply. However, chamomile essential oil is not a pregnant headache remedy because it is a risk of miscarriage.
How to use:
- Add some drops of chamomile oil then dilute with a carrier oil. Take a hot bath with it. Other option is breathe in the steam.
6. Helichrysum essential oil
This oil is not common in United State and it costs much more than other essential oils. But, you should know some health benefits of helichrysum essential oil such as reducing migraines, ease headaches pain.
We should thank to its powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory components. This is used for wound healing and moisture skin as well. Helichrysum essential oil supports soothe the nerves hence it is good for relieve tension headache.
How to use:
- You can dilute one or two drops of helichrysum essential oil with a carrier oil then apply on the back of neck, temples and forehead to get effectively.
7. Rose essential oil
This is not popular as above essential oils but it is also one of the best essential oils for headaches and migraines.
Rose oil calms the nervous system, reduce headaches and make your body in a deep relaxation.
How to use essential oils for headaches
There is a number of ways to use essential oils for headache attacks. But you should know what kind of essential oils are suitable with kind of headaches.
Remember: To avoid allergic reactions with essential oils, you should try to apply one drop on your hand first then wait for a few hours to watch any disnormal symptoms from that area.
Tension headache: This is also called “stress headaches”. It is characterized as constant pressure and dull pain. Tension headache might affect neck, shoulder are. You should use peppermint, chamomile and eucalyptus essential oil to reduce symptom.
Migraine headache: There are some common essential oils for migraine headaches like lavender and peppermint oil. Migraine is a painful and severe headache that related to nausea, sensitivity to light and throbbing pain. Causes of migraines are sleep deprivation, anxiety and hormonal changes. You may use lavender oil or peppermint oil to cure headaches and reduce the feeling of anxiety and nausea.
Sinus headache: This condition is characterized by swollen and inflamed sinus cavities therefore you may suffer from forehead pressure. Eucalyptus is an appropriate essential oil for sinus headache. Put the eucalyptus essential oil topically onto the temples, chest and top of nose to soothe sinus tension.
Sugar headache: Because of low status of blood sugar thus it appears sugar headache. You should use lavender, rosemary with a carrier oil then apply topically to forehead, temples and back of the neck to relieve a sugar headache. Otherwise, you can add one drop of rosemary with a cup of smoothie or soup.
What are carrier oils and why it is necessary?
Carrier oil might not be common for everyone. But you should know that it is really necessary when you want to treat or relieve health conditions by essential oil.
So in this part, I want to introduce and talk clear about carrier oils.
Carrier oil is a vegetable oil that is derived from the fatty part of a plant. It might be the nut, kernel or seed. The choice of the carrier oil depends on the remedy or essential oils you will use. Normally, essential oils will dilute with a carrier oil before applying to your skin.
The carrier oil will prevent evaporating by essential oil. There are some common carrier oils like almond oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, hazelnut oil, hemp seed oil, cranberry seed oil, peanut oil and jojoba oil.
Side effects of essential oils for headaches
Essential oils are normally safe and less side effect than painkiller or other headache medications. However, they still have some risk of an allergic reaction. There are some signs and symptoms including a burning feeling, redness, stinging or a rash.
In conclusion, there are many effective essential oils to use for ease headaches. But you should ask your doctor carefully about detail and type of essential oils to avoid side effects.
Question and Answer
1. How many ways to use essential oils for headaches?
There are five ways to use essential oils, including:
- Topically: dilute a few drops of your favorite essential oil with a carrier oil then massage gently on back of the neck, the forehead.
- Diffuser: Use a diffuser at night or throughout the day to prevent migraines or headaches.
- Compress: Take a clean cloth then apply the essential oil and carrier oil solution as a compress on the back of neck or forehead.
- Inhalation: Add two drops of essential oil onto a cotton ball and a tissue then place gently under the nose; get 5 deep breaths to relieve headaches. Another option is to mix essential oil with some boiling water then drape over your head by a towel and steam.
- Aromatherapy bath: Take 5 drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil then take an aromatherapy bath. For migraine attacks, you can put some Epsom salt to reduce quickly.
2. Do you know about aromatherapy for migraines and headaches?
Aromatherapy is a great therapy for migraines. It reduces the feeling of nausea and gets your body relax.
Aromatherapy is used by essential oils that extracted from plants. Aromatherapy divides into two forms: inhalation and application to the skin.
There are several ways to help migraines, including: smelling salts, roll-ons, bottled blends, aroma lamps, and diffusers.
3. What are some popular brands of essential oils in the US?
There are some best essential oil brands in the US; you can shop easily on AMAZON such as:
- Young living essential oil: you can get young living oil for a headache in this company. It is good quality and effectiveness to reduce headache pain.
- doTERRA essential oil: they have doTERRA peppermint oil, doTERRA eucalyptus and other essential oil for reducing headache with doTERRA brand.
- Plant therapy essential oil: they guarantee all products with 100% pure and highest quality.
4. What are the risk and complications of essential oils for headaches?
Some complications of essential oil for headaches include irritation, stinging, burning feeling, rash or redness. However, essential oils are safe and fewer side effects than other headache medication. To ensure, you should do a small test by applying a drop of essential oil on your skin then if the reaction does not appear between 24-48 hours, it means it is safe.
5. What should I do if these essential oils not ease headaches?
When you have tried to apply essential oils, but the headaches are still annoyed and not eased, you should visit a doctor to detect the cause and find a suitable treatment.