What are Headaches?
A headache is a pain anywhere in the region ranging from your head to neck(1). They may occur because of numerous conditions both physical and emotional. Most of the headaches occur in your nerves, muscles and blood vessels that occupy your head or neck. You may continuously feel discomfort beneath your scalp, forehead reaching towards the upper neck and so one. About 80 percent of the people in the United States suffer from headaches on an everyday basis. There are innumerable cures for headaches but the best and the most soothing way to get rid of a headache is through the use of essential oils for headaches.
Causes of Headaches
- Any illness
- Overactivity of a body part
- Change in the chemical activity
- Brain tumor
- Blood clots
- Alcohol-induced hangover
- Brain freeze
- Internal/external bleeding
- Teeth grinding
- Panic attacks
- Lack of sleep
Type of Headaches
- Sinus headaches
- Tension headaches
- Migraine headaches
- Hormonal headaches
- Prolonged headaches
- Cluster headaches
- Pregnancy headaches
Symptoms of Headaches
- Pain around the head and forehead
- A sensation and pressure in and around the forehead
- Stiffness or tenderness around the shoulders, neck, and scalp
- Heaviness over the eyes
Essential Oils and Headaches
Essential oils are a natural product extracted from a single plant species. They have a unique aroma present in the stems, roots, flowers, fruits or leaves of the considerate plant species.
Not only for one, but the essential oils have been known to provide relief to a lot of problems that we face. For several ailments, essential oils act as an adequate remedy. Studies have shown that the mere scent of a few essential oils can cause the headaches to calm down.
Instead of the prescription medications, essential oils for headaches are a natural remedy to start. You will be surprised from the effect on your body from the daily use of essential oils to making the most severe headaches go away in a blink naturally, without involving any medication, sometimes just with their scent.
Which are the essential oils that are good for headaches?
- Peppermint oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Coconut oil
- Thieves oil
- Tea tree oil
- Chamomile essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Jasmine essential oil
- Ginger essential oil
Ways to Use Essential Oils for Headaches:
1. How to cure headaches with peppermint oil?
Peppermint oil is one of the best essential oils to get rid of headaches(2). The fresh smell of this oil reduces tension and sinus headaches. Its cooling effect stimulates blood flow in the body and reduces contractions in the muscle.
How to use?
- You can apply the peppermint oil on your forehead and your temples
- Massage in a circular motion to release the tension caught in the muscles
2. How to get rid of headaches with eucalyptus essential oil?
Eucalyptus oil has expectorant qualities. Due to this, it helps to calm down a sinus headache. The oil helps relieve pain as it contains morphine, which is proven to reduce pain and swelling. It is a very beneficial remedy for cluster headaches.
How to use?
- Apply the eucalyptus oil on your chest, temples, and the top of your nose to reach up to the nasal passages
Also Read: Eucalyptus Oil Benefits
3. How to use coconut oil for headaches?
Coconut oil has a cooling effect on your body, and it also contains ketones which create instant energy in the body. It is famous for treating migraine and tension headaches making it very beneficial amongst other essential oils for headaches(3).
How to use?
- Rub the coconut oil on your head and forehead and massage firmly for a few minutes
- You can also ditch your regular cooking oil and use coconut oil for cooking to cure headaches
- Coconut oil creates an instant source of ketones in your body, adding up to the energy level of your body
- You can add a tablespoon of the oil in your smoothie or coffee in the morning to get that extra dose of energy to last all daytea
- Coconut milk also has elements of coconut oil and can be consumed
4. Thieves essential oil for headaches
Thieves essential oil is a combination of lemon, clove, cinnamon, rosemary, and eucalyptus. The oil has a blend of unique aromas of the various essential oils to give a rich scent which tends to calm down the tension caught between the muscles and open up the nasal passage giving a combined treatment to a stress and migraine headache.
How to use?
- The oil works best if you inhale its aroma
- For instant relief, the essential oil should be diffused in an oil diffuser so that you can inhale its scent easily and get rid of headaches
5. Tea tree oil for headaches
Melaleuca oil is another name for tea tree oil(4). A study shows that if the smell of tea tree oil if inhaled directly or under aromatherapy; it can calm down severe headaches including prolonged headaches. It is another very effective essential oils for headaches remedy.
How to use?
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil in hot water and inhale it the same way in steam
- You can also use this oil during your aromatherapy sessions or solely in an oil diffuser
6. Rosemary essential oil for headaches
Rosemary oil treats problems related to the head, poor blood circulation and engages the body in calming, self-orientation, and alertness.
It is also known to cure fever, insomnia, nausea, muscle aches, sleeping pattern, alleviated paint, muscle jerks, and the tension which might be a cause for recurring hormonal headaches.
How to use?
- You can use a drop of rosemary oil in your morning cup of tea, water or soup
- A few drops of the oil when mixed with coconut or peppermint oil is also useful
- Rub this blend of oils on your forehead and temples to calm down a headache
7. Chamomile oil for treating headaches
Chamomile oil is one of the oldest and the best essential oils for headaches(5). It enacts as a relaxation tool because it consists of a mild sedative. The oil has anti-stress and pain-relieving properties to reduce the constriction between blood vessels, muscles, and joints. It improves sleep quality and helps to fight pregnancy headaches as well.
Also Read: Chamomile Tea Benefits
How to use?
- Add a few drops of chamomile oil in a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil
- Massage it on your head thoroughly
- Massage the oil on your forehead, little above your eyes and temples for a great nap and stress relief
8. Lavender oil as an effective cure
Lavender oil has many curative and therapeutic properties. The oil induces relaxation and relieves stress and tension while working as a sedative and antidepressant, anticonvulsant, calming, anti-anxiety, and anxiolytic agent.
It works well for the treatment of neurological disorders and conditions. Its curative properties when absorbed by the skin relax the nervous system and blow away the feeling of restlessness and disturbed sleep.
How to use?
- You can use the lavender oil in an oil diffuser at your home or office
- It can also be applied in the back of your neck, temples, wrists, and forehead to relieve a stress and tension headache
Also Read: Lavender essential oil benefits
9. Jasmine oil treatment
Jasmine oil helps stimulate mood and reduces tension and depression(6). The oil is proven to make the user vigorous and alert. It usually makes you feel worn down and lethargic. Jasmine oil has elements which boost up your energy by providing an extra dose of the same. However, jasmine oil does not work if anxiety causes a headache.
How to use?
- Jasmine oil works best when used in an oil diffuser at your home or your workplace
- You can also include jasmine oil in your aromatherapy sessions
10. Ginger oil for headaches
Ginger oil is best known amongst other essential oils for headaches; it treats headaches caused by a migraine. Its stem has a fragrant substance which makes it of optimum use while addressing these problems.
Ginger oil helps in reducing nausea and vomiting caused due to a migraine. An upset stomach may also be a symptom of a migraine. Ginger oil also cures an upset stomach which consecutively reduces the chance of migraine headaches.
How to use?
- Add a few drops of oil in water and consume it directly
- You can also add it to your cup of tea
- Ginger oil capsules and candies are also available in the market for consumption
Side Effects of Essential Oils for Headaches
A few essential oils contain antidepressant and sedative elements. It is advisable to avoid taking it in high doses. Some of the oils may also react to your skin when applied directly. Pregnant women and children might respond to the oils differently from a typical adult. Thus, take proper care of the same.
Risks of Using Essential Oils
Essential oils, when consumed in large dosages, may cause vomiting and deep sleep. The exposure of skin after the application of essential oils on it with the sunlight may cause burns. Use of essential oils on the skin directly without blending it with a carrier oil might cause severe itching and irritation.
Precautions While Using Essential Oils for Headaches
Before using any essential oil on your skin and body, consult your doctor as he might be able to guide you better. Children should be given a low dosage of the oil only after proper consultation. Pregnant women may react to oils differently from other people; thus, meeting your doctor is necessary.
Before applying an essential oil to your skin, take a patch test on the back of your hand as the oil might cause allergy and irritation to your body. If you place essential oils in the exposure to sunlight or extreme temperatures,the lid of the bottles of the oil must remain close.
Other Home Remedies for Headaches
- A caffeinated drink like tea or coffee helps relieve these problems You can also add a few drops of ginger oil or juice to it, to double the effect.
- A few changes in your diet might be able to reduce headaches for a long time. Sleeping adequately and in a comfortable bed with your backbone and neck straight and relaxed will be of great help.
- Drinking lots of water help always.
- Add a lot of magnesium rich food in your diet like bananas, spinach, tuna, beans, sprouts, kale, avocado, salmon, etc.
- If you are an alcoholic or consume alcohol daily, confine your limits.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Other than coconut oil, one can use which essential oil as cooking oil for headaches?
Response: You can add a few drops of ginger oil in your tea, coffee or soup. However, a total replacement might not help.
2. Can essential oils treat a migraine entirely?
Response: A migraine cannot be made to disappear entirely even through medications. It can only be avoided or reduced. Essential oils help in ultimately decreasing the pain and vomiting caused due to a migraine.
The use of essential oils houses numerous benefits. You can treat severe and frequent headaches with essential oils for instant relief and long-lasting effects. When it comes to essential oils, the trick is to use it less as a little goes a long way.