Top 5 Best Essential Oils For Headache And Migraines

best essential oils for headache

Headaches and migraines can strike anyone at any time, and often quite without warning. There is not one cause for migraines and headaches. It could be anything from hormonal changes, diet and certain food additives, stress and physical exertion, genetics, or as simple as lack of sleep. 

Read my article about essential oils and sleep to get an overview what essential oils help you with your sleeping problems.​

While there are many over-the-counter and prescription drugs to choose from, there’s also a several non-drug options. This includes meditation, getting enough sleep and rest, and topical treatments. Essential oils are particularly good as a topical treatment and are generally safe to use because it won’t give the lining of your stomach or your poor old liver a beating the way the really potent medications do. Below are only some of the best essential oils for headaches and migraines.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint is one of the most ubiquitous and the best essential oil for a headache. The soothing, cooling menthol sensation makes this an obvious and one of the best essential oils for treating headaches. What I love to do is to put a few drops on my temples and to gently rub it in using a circular motion with my forefingers until the pain dissipates. It leaves the skin feeling cool and tingly for a little extra pick-me-up.

Lavender Essential Oil

Some migraines in females are caused my hormonal changes when it’s that time of the month. The lavender essential oil is especially beneficial for this as it can also ease the pain of menstrual cramps. This double-purpose benefit makes it one of the best essential oils for headaches, especially for women. Rub a few drops on your forehead, or where the worst of the tension build up is, and massage thoroughly. While you’re at it, put a few drops on your palms and gently massage it onto your abdomen.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

If you’re wondering which essential oil is best for headaches caused by sinus-related issues, hands down, I would say it’s the eucalyptus essential oil. The eucalyptus is great for treating clogged sinuses and airways. Its scent alone is therapy enough, helping to reduce pain and promote relaxation. When you feel the tension building up, rub it onto the sides and below your nose to instantly relieve and clear your sinuses so it doesn’t lead to a headache. You can also try rubbing a few drops directly onto your neck and chest if you’re having difficulty in breathing. This is particularly great before bed time to give you a restful sleep.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary tea is a popular brew to relieve stress-related headaches and other bodily aches and pains. It encourages a healthy blood flow and circulation and is also a good pain reliever. Naturally, the rosemary essential oil is the best essential oils for migraines for tea enthusiasts. I prefer double-teaming it by brewing myself a cup and rubbing a few drops on key points around my head where the pain is concentrated or where it tends to feel worse. It’s best to sit in quiet relaxation as you de-stress wait for the wonderful warm tea and soothing oil combination to do its magic.

Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot is a very popular note for perfumes, but the cool, citrusy scent of this essential oil is so much more than for smelling clean and fresh. The bergamot is a natural sedative as it relaxes the body, relieves stress and anxiety, and calms frayed nerves. Put some on a diffuser or an aromatherapy oil lamp take deep meditate breaths, letting the soothing scent calm you or help you sleep. It you’re not at home or you don’t have access to a diffuser or an aromatherapy lamp, putting a couple of drops of this essential oil on a clean hand towel or hanky will work as well.

Blending Oils

What is the best essential oil for headaches, you may be asking yourself. I just gave you some of my personal favorites. You have a healthy number of options available for you and you can try them all to see what works best. The best thing about all these essential oils is that they are absolutely safe to mix together. Add a couple of drops of these to a couple of drops of that. Play around with the combinations, scents, and proportions to come up with a personalized blend. You may transfer it to a small, travel-sized bottle and keep it in your purse for emergencies.

How to Apply Essential Oils for Headaches?

But do remember that these oils are highly potent and in its concentrated form it might cause a slight burning sensation when you apply it directly on the skin. I would advise using it sparingly and rubbing thoroughly and thinly as soon as it comes in contact to your skin. Some prefer to mix it with so-called carrier oils like virgin coconut oil, baby oil, castor oil or even lotions and creams to act as a solvent. That works as well but the effects of these essential oils won’t be as potent.

A word of caution, if you find that nothing helps ease the pain of your headaches or migraines, or if it is accompanied by other conditions, it’s always best to see a doctor. You could be experiencing symptoms of a totally different condition, which can result in a slew of complications if it goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. If that’s not the case, and it’s just a garden variety headache or migraine, you’ll find that any of these essential oils will offer a measure of relief. It’s also easy on the pocket. Try it out for yourself. You’ll enjoy these awesome-smelling oils. I can guarantee, you’ll find a multitude of uses for it.

About the author

Sally Wong

Sally Wong is a manual therapist for about 15 years now and also a massage specialist. She is actively taking care of her body to stay healthy and in shape by doing Yoga and Tai Chi. She has a lot of knowledge and interest in Essential Oils because of her Oriental background. She learnt many things from her Grandmother. Originally from a small village in South China, now she lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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