I. What You Need to Know about Headaches And Essential Oils
Headaches can be some of the most painful and exhausting experiences that we ever face. While headaches are occasionally caused by some serious underlying medical problem, the majority of people who suffer from headaches are otherwise healthy. For many people, simple, everyday events can trigger terrible headaches, while others suffer from headaches that seem to come from nowhere.
Can essential oils help here? Based on my own experiences and research, I have to say the answer is a resounding “yes”.
There are many different mechanisms in our bodies that can cause headaches, and different essential oils address these different pathways. Some oils offer direct pain relief. Others reduce inflammation of nerves and blood vessels that seem to be tied to various types of headaches. Some oils offer stress relief, or address conditions that lead to headaches, such as sinus infections.
And since there is still much we don’t know about the physical causes of headaches, it’s likely that many essential oils work to eliminate headaches in yet unknown, mysterious ways. Personally, I think that the important thing is that they do work.
There are two quick things you should know before you get started with the rest of this book. The first important thing is that you might have to experiment a bit. Headaches can be triggered by many underlying causes, and the same pain might actually reflect different physical pathways. Also, different people react differently to essential oils.
The rest of this book lists essential oils that are helpful in dealing with headaches, as well as some common ways of using those oils. However, if you try something and it doesn’t work for you immediately, don’t lose hope. Try another of the recipes or a different way of applying the same essential oil, until you find a combination that works for you.
The second thing is to be mindful of how your body reacts when you first start using one of the oils below. Sometimes, strong scents themselves can trigger headaches. While this doesn’t seem to happen with most essential oils, some people have reported that extended exposure to certain oils, such as ylang ylang, can cause headaches.
It’s a good idea to start slow. If you are comfortable being exposed to a minimal dose of the essential oil, then move up to the amount that the different protocols suggest.
Now, let’s get started.
II. Key Essential Oils for Dealing with Headaches and Migraines
Bergamot is used to treat stress, anxiety, depression, skin infections, fatigue, and is also effective at treating headaches.
Bergamot has a delightful light citrus scent, (it is a cross between an orange and lemon). This fruit’s oil, however contain an ingredient that can become toxic if exposed to sunlight. So, be careful and keep your bottles in a cool dark place.
To treat headaches or other sources of pain, use a drop of Bergamot oil with a few teaspoons of coconut or avocado oil and rub it on your skin, where you are experiencing the pain. This oil will help by releasing some hormones into your body causing you to be less sensitive to pain.
You can also use this oil in a diffuser safely. It is however not recommended to take it orally unless advised and supervised by an expert.
It is good to know that chamomile can also help you reduce inflammation and fight bacteria because of its multiple beneficial properties.
The flowers of this plant can also, of course, relieve pain form headaches and migraines. The analgesic properties of the plant can not only help your head pain, but can relieve muscle and joint pain, sinuses, toothaches and bone injuries.
Also, it acts as an antispasmodic, meaning it can help in reducing nervous system issues.
To use this fantastic oil, you can simply drop a few drops into your favorite herbal tea. You can also decide to diffuse the oil at home before bedtime or when you are experiencing headaches or migraines.
You could also mix chamomile, lavender oils (10 drops of each) and wild orange oil (5 drops), in a small spray bottle. Before your nap or while resting form a headache, spray on your comforter or pillows.
03. Clary Sage
Clary sage oil can greatly help women because of its hormone-like components. It can help in soothing menopausal issues (hot flashes), menstrual pain, and can even help reduce muscle pain. Clary sage can definitely help regulate blood pressure and treat fatigue as well as some respiratory illnesses.
Clary sage can also help with our main focus – reducing headaches and migraines. It can additionally help improve memory, reduce anxiety and stimulate mental activity.
You can use the sage oil just like the lavender oil, and add a few drops into your warm bath to ease your pain due to headaches.
You can directly rub the oil behind your neck and that stiffness and pain will amazingly go away pretty fast.
Use it in your diffuser, along with peppermint and/or orange, you will love the smell and feel the benefits. If you use it before bedtime, it will also help you relax as well.
Eucalyptus can also be used to fight migraines, but also fevers, respiratory issues (inflammation), and bacterial infections, so let’s see how it can relieve this awful pain we often experience.
Because Eucalyptus works as an expectorant, it will help in opening your nasal passageways and reduce that sinus pressure that is often responsible for these terrible headaches.
Dilute two or three drops of eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil, and massage it on your chest, back of your neck, temples, and forehead. It will actively work on eliminating the nasal congestion and relieve that tension to liberate you from headaches, or even from migraines.
Also, use eucalyptus oil to kill the mold in your house instead of bleach. This will greatly assist with any symptoms of headaches associated with allergies or the presence of mold.
The flower of the plant is used to help make this essential oil. It can be used for many purposes such as a sleeping aid and sedative.
So, not only will jasmine help you get relief when you have headaches but it will also relieve anxiety, stress and many mood disorders such as depression. It can help with inflammation in your body as well.
Apply the jasmine oil on your pulse points and soothe your nervous tension or place a dab of oil in your hands, rub them together and inhale deeply for relief.
06. Ginger Root
I am sure you already know the numerous benefits of ginger when you use it in cooking. Now, learn how to use the ginger root to get rid of headaches and migraines.
Ginger oil can also help with many other health conditions such as digestion, inflammation, heart conditions, respiratory problems and menstrual disorders. It even has some aphrodisiac properties!
Rub two or three drops of the essential oil on your forehead, temples and beck and wait for sweet relief.
Although lavender is used for many purposes, such as relieving stress, treating depression, as a decongestant, and also as an anti–inflammatory, it can also greatly help with your unpleasant migraines and headaches.
The reason why lavender can also help reduce headaches lies in the fact that the use of lavender oil will affect your limbic system. So, the linalool included in the lavender is absorbed quickly by the body and can directly play on the nervous system.
While headaches can be reduced, other conditions can also be prevented, that could potentially be the cause of headaches. Lavender oil will help reduce feelings of restlessness and agitated sleep. Because it regulates the serotonin levels well, it can also help minimize the pain in the nervous system synonymous with potential migraines.
In order to use the lavender oil efficiently, you can apply a few drops of the lavender oil directly on the back of your neck, temples and wrists, and this should help in relieving headache symptoms.
Another way to use lavender oil, is to add it into your warm bath. Use approximately 10 drops in your warm bath water and take long deep breathes while bathing to maximize the tension relieving properties of the lavender oil.
Finally, you can also use a drop of lavender oil at home or in your office, to help reduce stress muscle tension and help boosting your moral, your mood.
Lemongrass oil offers many benefits such as headache relief, energy boost, germ killing agent, muscle pain reliever, stomach pain soother and fever reducer. But again, let’s concentrate on how to reduce headaches.
Create your own lemongrass body scrub. Combine 10 drops of lemongrass, coconut oil and Epsom salt. While showering, apply everywhere, including your temples, forehead neck and shoulders to help relieve pain.
You can actually use the lemongrass oil “au natural” and rub it where you need some pain relief. Also, use the diffuser to create a calm atmosphere before bedtime as lemongrass oil is known to relieve anxiety’, irritability and help fight insomnia.
Although oregano has been mainly used in the past to treat symptoms of cold and flu as well as bloating, earaches and fatigue, it appears that it can also be efficient in helping reduce migraines and headaches.
You can actually ingest it directly. Use three drops of oregano oil under the tongue, at the first sign of a migraine or headache and see how you feel. Beware of the very strong taste, it will surprise you, but it is harmless.
Oregano seems to also have anti-inflammatory properties and you can find it in capsule form at your drugstore if you don’t like taking the oil orally.
Because it such a great decongestant, if you are experimenting headaches due to congestion, oregano oil can make a difference. Try to use a mixture of oregano oil and olive oil (50/50), and run between your eyebrows, your forehead and temples. Be careful, do not get it in your eyes.
You can actually apply peppermint oil directly on your forehead and temples to relieve headaches.
It is also recommended to use a combination of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and ethanol (alcohol) to treat head discomfort. Do not use regular rubbing alcohol, but instead look for grain alcohol. When peppermint is mixed with ethanol is usually helps reducing sensitivity while experiencing headaches.
Another great way to use peppermint oil is to dilute it with two or three drops of coconut oil. Use a cotton ball and rub this mixture on your neck, shoulders and forehead, right next to your hairline. Reapply 2 or 3 times. You should feel better in about 30 minutes after applying. If you have not experienced relief within an hour, reapply the essential oil. Peppermint oils are not recommended for small children.
You can make your own mix using one of the suggested methods in the previous chapter or you can find peppermint oil in pharmacy or natural food stores.
On top of relieving your headaches, Peppermint can help sharpen your focus, enhance your mental alertness, and act as an energy booster.
Rosemary oil can also help relieve symptoms associated with headaches. In fact, it will help reduce stress or emotional triggers, by giving its user some great calming benefits.
Additionally, Rosemary can help in relieving inflammation, blood circulation problems, upset stomachs and digestion problems.
Use one drop of rosemary oil in your tea, water or soup and you can help soothe your migraine.
Also, to help relieve frequent headaches rub your temples, back of the neck and forehead a few drops of rosemary oil mixed with either peppermint or coconut oil.
Sandalwood oil is extracted directly from the trees mainly found in Indian territories.
The oil offers many properties, such as mental clarity, alertness, and calming and relaxing effect. It is also known to act as a memory booster and help in fighting spasms (nerves, muscles and blood vessels).
Try using the sandalwood oil in a lamp, to help you get rid of your headache when it occurs. It will certainly at least help you get rid of some of the stress you may be experiencing.
13. Sweet Marjoram
This herb has some sedative properties and will definitely help people get relief from spams, stiffness, rheumatisms, insomnia, fatigue, joint pain, stress, colds, asthma, and the even the infamous migraines.
Note that the marjoram essential oil can blend nicely with chamomile, lemongrass, rosemary, eucalyptus, or even bergamot oils.
Dilute a few drops and apply in the proper areas, neck, shoulders, and temples to relieve headaches or migraines.
Also, before bedtime to favor relaxation, use the diffuser with marjoram essential oil.
This herb is certainly widely used in cooking, and now can be used as an essential to treat joints, muscle pain and backache as well as headaches and migraines.
Use one or two drops of essential thyme oil, or a mix of rosemary oil and thyme oil, and apply on your temples and forehead. Gently rub for a few minutes. It is reportedly almost as efficient as ibuprofen.
You can also use the thyme essential oil by diluting the oil in fraction of coconut oil and rubbing on the painful areas. Apparently, if you or someone you love have problems with snoring, apply one drop on the big toe before bedtime on a daily basis.