A lot of people think that using aromatherapy and essential oils to treat different ailments is rather wishful thinking than the real deal. However, they’re wrong. Essential oils are becoming widely used to treat a plethora of different conditions.
They can help you improve your lifestyle starting from improving your sleep quality to treating different conditions like psoriasis and other skin conditions. Additionally, there’s a huge list of essential oils that can reduce the symptoms of headaches and migraines, and even eliminate them for good.
Over 45 million American citizens complain of having a headache every year. With that number growing every year, there’s a need to standardize other methods in headache treatment. One of these methods includes essential oils.
The use and application of essential oils vary based on what you intend to do with them. The essential oils for headache in particular can be used both topically and aromatically. That means that you can apply the essential to your body and rub and massage it with it (topically) or inhale its beautiful scent.
8 Best Essential Oils for Each Type of Headache
Many people report feeling persistent headaches that can last up to days. But, it’s important to distinguish between different types of headaches. With that in mind, let’s pinpoint types of headaches as associated with the best essential oil treatments. Let’s start.
1. Best for Tension Headache – Peppermint Oil
Civilizations used mint for the treatment of different ailments for thousands of years.
That said, it doesn’t surprise us that the peppermint oil grew in popularity to soothe various viral and bacterial infections and inflammatory issues, as backed by a study that looks into peppermint oil effectiveness in treating tension headaches. Treating headaches, and not just any headaches but tension headaches seem like a piece of cake for it.
The menthol inside of it eases pain because it can relax muscles and soothe them to relieve the pain. It’s one of the most popular essential oils, not just for headaches, but also for relaxation and better sleep quality.
Tips to Use It:
- Put it on your forehead’s temple and massage your forehead with it to relieve the headache. Being so close to your nose, it’ll also relieve your tension and relax you.
- Put only a few drops because it’s concentrated and strong.
- If you drink it, but only two drops of it.
2. Best for Stress Headache – Citrus Oil
Essential oils help treat stress headache, as per a study. Citrus oil is extremely popular as it’s used for motivation and mood improvement. However, it can also treat headaches, especially stress headaches.
Smelling citrus oil daily can help you relax and relieve the headache caused by stress. It can also relieve muscle strain and bring a lot more aromatic benefits. Citrus oil is also used to make natural deodorants.
Tips to Use It:
- Citrus oil is mostly used aromatically. Prepare it and put it under your nose. After inhaling and smelling it, if it feels pleasant start taking deeper breaths.
- The pleasant aroma helps you relax and lower blood pressure.
3. Best for Migraine – Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is so popular that it became the trademark of aromatherapy. There are several studies that show pure evidence of using lavender oil to soothe intense headaches and even migraine episodes that can last for hours.
Lavender’s scent is beautiful and mesmerizing. Its aroma can be used to treat the symptoms of anxiety and uneasiness, as well as help you relax and fall asleep. It improves sleep quality and has positive effects on migraine because of its calming scent.
Tips to Use It:
- When mixed with the carrier oil, you can add it to your hot and soothing bath that can ultimately improve the effects of migraines.
- You can massage your forehead, neck, and head sides, as well as the rest of the body, to eliminate the symptoms of migraine.
- Add it to a piece of cotton clothing or tissue and use it to either rest on your forehead or inhale its aroma.
4. Best for Menstrual Headache – Geranium Oil
Intense period cramps aren’t the only thing that can ruin a cycle for a woman. There are also the so-called menstrual or hormonal headaches which are in a way similar to migraines.
They manifest through the temporary aura and then throbbing pain on one side of the head. The pain may also appear in the neck and can intensify over time.
Not everyone experiences the aura before the headache which is why it’s important to use the necessary measurements to treat a persistent headache. When it comes to essential oils for this type of headache, geranium appears to be the best. Geranium can be used with all headaches caused by fluctuating hormonal levels, especially estrogen and progesterone in women.
Tips to Use:
- Leave a few drops in the bath and let the aromatic pleasure relax you and relieve the headache.
- Add a spoon of the carrier oil and then use the mix to massage the side of the neck where the headache is present circularly.
5. Best for Dehydration Headache: Tangerine Oil
Sweet and soothing aroma comes from the tangerine fruits, which makes it useful to treat a great number of conditions, including headaches caused by dehydration. Dehydration often results in both regular headaches and migraines, depending on how much fluids you lost.
There is no doubt that water is the best drink to replenish the lost fluids and electrolytes, but using tangerine oil could speed up and relax the process.
It’s worth noting that tangerine oil, in addition to helping soothe dehydration headaches is also a good antiseptic which means it’s added to skin cream formulas and helps hydrate your skin and body.
Tips to Use:
- You can mix it with other citrus-like essential oils for better results.
- Add a few drops to a bath to enjoy it more.
- If you’re dehydrated from heat, pour a few drops of tangerine oil in a cup or bowl and use it to wash your face.
- Lastly, you can use tangerine oil to massage your forehead, sides, and back of your neck to relieve the muscular strain and help you relax.
6. Best for Treating Illness: Sage Oil
Sage is one of the best herbs to treat illness, especially bacterial. If you ask your old nana about natural remedies for sore throat and the common cold, she’ll recommend sage tea or essential oils.
And, she’s not wrong. Sage essential oils have antibacterial properties and can be used for treating dry throat and cough, nose congestion, as well as the headache that follows with those symptoms. A study found that sage oil can be used for treating bacterial infections.
It is an antioxidant necessary for the body to fight various infections, improve menstrual health, fix problems with digestion and gut flora, and much more. There are different ways to use sage to treat flu or common cold-caused headaches.
Lastly, if you feel bloated up and congested, that may also result in headaches, which is why it’s good to use sage oil to expel the toxins that make you feel all bloated up and aching.
Tips to Use:
- Add 5 to 10 drops of sage essential oil to boiling water and inhale its steam to aid illness and headache that you’re experiencing
- If you have a diffuser, add 10 to 15 drops.
- You can massage your neck and forehead using 2 to 4 drops of carrier oil.
7. Best for Anemia Headache: Rosemary Oil
One of the common symptoms of red blood cell deficiency, also known as anemia is a persistent headache that may not even go away using strong medicines. That’s why a lot of people refer to the rosemary oil which has shown to have amazing healing properties.
The reason so many people with anemia use rosemary oil is because it can relax muscles and stimulate the blood vessels and better the circulation. That’s why anemic people, who also suffer from poor circulation and iron deficiency use it to massage their body to improve the symptoms.
But, you don’t only have to massage body parts that feel cold, you can use it to soothe your headache.
Tips to Use:
- You can massage it directly into your scalp if you don’t mind your hair getting oily or you’ll be washing it soon.
- You can also mix it into shampoo
- Mix it with the carrier oil and use it to massage your neck and forehead.
8. Best for Cluster Headache: Frankincense Oil
Cluster headache describes as a neurological disorder that results in repetitive, throbbing headaches that appear on the only side of the head.
Some people also experience throbbing sensation in their eyes, which makes working unbearable. Other symptoms include nasal congestion, swelling or eye-watering, but the symptoms can disappear between 15 minutes and 3 hours.
Frankincense has been considered the supreme essential oil for a long time, as it was used by different countries and civilizations to alleviate stress and tension, and with that also various aches such as headache.
Tips to Use:
- Mix with a carrier oil and put 1 to 2 drops of this oil under your tongue every day as a preventive measure. (First, ensure that Frankincense oil won’t result in allergic reactions)
- Massage your forehead and neck with it, and also the area near your eyes.
- Use a few drops in the bath for relieving experience.
More FAQs on Essential Oils for Headache
We described a few commonly asked questions about headaches and the use of essential oils to treat them. We hope that you find an answer to your question here.
How to know that the essential oil I purchased is good?
FDA doesn’t regulate the distribution and use of essential oils, so it’s important to know where to buy them. Anyone with a diffuser can call themselves an essential oils mystic and sell them to you, and a lot of people are naïve and fall victim to scam.
To prevent such unpleasant experience always ensure to research the company you’re buying from. If the product is located on Amazon, search for the brand that is the owner of the product listing and Google more about them.
If you’re buying an essential oil on the street, read the label and always make sure that there’s a Latin name that accompanies it.
Can Essential Oils Fight Infections?
Yes, there has been evidence of essential oil use to fight fungal and bacterial infections. There’s even a study that shows evidence of essential oil use fighting airborne bacteria and other pathogens.
How to Use Essential Oils for Headaches?
As said earlier in the article, essential oils are used topically or aromatically. However, aside from that, essential oils for headache can be used as:
- Massage for the forehead, neck, and other pressure points.
- Use in bathe for aromatic therapy.
- Put a few drops in boiling water and inhale the oil for relief.
Is Using Essential Oils Safe?
Even though the use of essential oils is not regulated by the FDA, their use is generally safe. The worst thing about essential oils is their abuse and potential allergic reaction for people who aren’t cautious enough of what they put on their skin.
Some allergic reactions may include sore, red skin as well as a rash. Some worse symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and stomachache.More: