9 Best Essential Oils For Migraines

Updated on February 10th, 2020
essential oils for migraines

How many times has a migraine prevented you from enjoying a day? Or perhaps it interfered with an outstanding work or school presentation? The modern lifestyle comes along with stress, overexertion and high intake of caffeine, which are often the triggers for a migraine. An alternative method to reduce and hopefully end a migraine is to utilize essential oils for migraines.

These oils are an excellent natural remedy that offers relief without any drastic side effects.

Types, Symptoms, and Causes of Migraines

A migraine is essentially a pulsing sensation on one side of the head and in some cases both sides. A migraine attack leads to immense pain as well as sensitivity to light and sound. By consuming the appropriate medication at the right time, migraine headaches can be significantly reduced, however, in certain conditions it can last up to a fortnight too.


As per the International Headache Society’s ICHD-3 classification system, there are seven types of migraines. These types are as follows:

  1. Without Aura: Also known as a typical migraine, it is characterized by throbbing in usually one side of the head, confusion, blurred vision, nausea, sensitivity to light, smell and sounds along with fatigue.
  2. With Aura: Frequently referred to as complicated migraine, this migraine is inclusive of visual and neurological disturbances that occur before an actual headache.
  3. Without a Headache: This type includes aura or visual problems such as constipation, vomiting, nausea but without any head pain.
  4. With Brainstem Aura: This migraine type majorly affects children and adolescents.
  5. Hemiplegic: Though rare, in this, one experiences severe headaches that can cause temporary paralysis before or during the head pain.
  6. Retinal: Another rare type, this migraine is characterized by attacks of disturbances or visual loss in one eye.
  7. Chronic: This migraine lasts up to 15 days per month for over three months. It can be with or without aura and requires preventive medications to curb the long-lasting pain.

In addition to these conventional seven types, there are also several typical variants of migraines also:-

  • Hormonal 
  • Abdominal 
  • Cluster 


The primary symptoms associated with migraine(1) include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Changes in vision
  • Sensitivity to lights, sounds, and smells


The specific cause of a migraine is still speculative, but researchers perceive a hidden central nervous disorder, hereditary reason, and abnormalities in the brain’s blood vessels or vascular system to be the possible causes of a migraine. Severe types of migraine result from highly processed or aged foods, artificial sweeteners, alcohol or caffeine, hormonal or weather changes, and physical stress.

What Essential Oils are Good For a Migraine?

There are many home remedies to relieve that throbbing head pain. By merely avoiding specific food products, adopting a healthy sleep pattern and using essential oils, one can potentially get rid of migraines permanently.

Essential Oils are natural products that come from the various parts of plants and herbs. They contain excellent medicinal properties that offer long-lasting and practical solutions for many problems. Essential Oils work at the cause of the ailment rather than just suppressing the symptoms. By including essential oils into your lifestyle, you can successfully manage your migraine.

Many essential oils for migraines treat the pain safely by temporarily minimizing the pain. They work directly on the trigger of a headache by reducing inflammation, pain, swelling and muscle spasms. Additionally, essential oils also calm the mind thereby improving the brain’s blood circulation which leads to lower levels of tension and stress. Therefore, if you’re wondering how to relieve migraine pain, then do try out essential oils for migraines!

[Read: Natural Treatments for Migraine]

Essential Oils For Migraines

We have put together the best essential oils for migraines. They are proven and tested to provide relief in headaches and other ailments associated with migraines.

1. Peppermint oil

Food Mint Oil Essential Oils Leaf Herb Healthy

Peppermint oil is the best home remedy to treat migraines. Its naturally numbing tendency makes it an ideal treatment for headaches as well as severe migraines.

Why to use?

This oil is known to relieve sinus pressure. It can offer a calming sensation to the pain area. It contains menthol up to 44% which is extremely helpful to ease pain and allows muscles to relax. Applying warm peppermint oil also cures a runny nose.

How to use?

The best way to use peppermint oil is to apply it directly to the affected area. One must take care not to consume it orally as that can lead to heartburns directly. Other methods to use it include adding the oil in your bathwater, inhaling it with steam and applying it through a diffuser. You can also use peppermint leaves to prepare tea to benefit from its calming effects.

[Read: Peppermint Oil for Migraines]

2. CBD Oil

CBD oil

Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the compounds found in cannabis(2). The CBD oil is beneficial to regulate various body functions as well as to relieve severe pains.

Why to use?

Research suggests that CBD oil is beneficial to provide ease of pain. It can limit inflammation within the body along with preventing the body to metabolize anandamide. If the levels of anandamide are high in one’s body, then pain can significantly be lowered.

How to use?

CBD oil is either taken orally or by inhaling it through steam. One can put 3-4 drops of CBD oil under one’s tongue, take CBD capsules or include it in your meals. We recommend vaping CBD oil if one experiences cluster migraines or severe migraines, however, it should only be used between 2.5-2.0 mg a day.

[Read: CBD Oil Benefits for Migraine]

3. Lavender Oil

lavender oil for migraine

Lavender oil has brilliant curative and therapeutic properties. Various kinds of neurological disorders, as well as skin ailments, are readily used by using lavender oil in home remedies.

Why to use?

The oil extracted from lavender induces relaxation, decreases anxiety and stabilizes one’s moods. For this reason, it is an effective treatment for migraine headaches and relieving tension. Numerous studies suggest that inhaling lavender oil for 15 minutes can significantly reduce the intensity of headaches.

How to use?

Lavender oil works best with 2-3 drops used with boiling water. Inhaling these vapors is an excellent means to get rid of migraine pains. Massaging the affected area with lavender oil helps as well. One can even mix it with other oils such as peppermint to quickly lessen a migraine.

4. Rosemary oil for migraines

Rosemary is one herb that can stimulate hair growth, improve memory, boost blood circulation along with reducing pain.

Why to use?

This oil is a stress reliever as inhaling it can significantly lower cortisol levels in saliva. Cortisol is released during stress and is a stress hormone. It has anti-inflammatory properties as well and readily helps to increase blood circulation which can reduce aids in reducing severe headaches.

How to use?

Rosemary oil can be applied directly to the temple or the exact area of pain. The best way is to inhale its vapors for five minutes or to take a vapor bath with the oil. To improve its effects, you can mix 6-8 drops of the oil with other essential oils as well.

5. Clary Sage Oil

clary cage oil

Clary sage oil has many therapeutic properties such as being a sedative, an antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiseptic and anticonvulsive.

Why to use?

This oil can reduce blood pressure by relaxing arteries and veins and helps to lower stress, tension. It also aids in blood circulation by widening the blood vessels that increases metabolic performance. It can balance hormone s which makes it ideal to treat hormonal migraines. Additionally, its calming effect can decrease inflammation and anxiety too.

How to use?

Clary sage oil has to be diluted with olive or coconut oil. Applying it on the temples, shoulders and exact area of pain is permissible. You can also add a little clary sage oil in your bathwater. However, people with low blood pressure should avoid this oil due to its hypotensive effects.

[Read: Massage for Migraines]

6. Eucalyptus Oil

This essential oil for migraines is beneficial to strengthen immunity, aids in respiratory problems along with joint pains, skin ailments, and headaches.

Why to use?

Eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and decongestant which allows it to relieve pain. Its antibacterial properties prevent migraines triggered by a weather change. It can help to treat sinus headaches by keeping the nasal passage moist and promoting secretion of sputum. Both of these factors contribute to getting rid of sinus pressure.

How to use?

The best way to use this oil is in a vaporizer. Inhaling it for 15-20 minutes can readily make one feel at ease during migraine attacks. It can also be taken with other essential oils such as peppermint, coconut or rosemary.

7. Roman Chamomile Oil

Roman Chamomile oil

Chamomile has used the world over for treating many health issues due to its anti-inflammatory and sedative properties.

Why to use?

Roman Chamomile oil is used to cure headaches as it has an analgesic. It can significantly lower muscle pain, the severity of migraine attacks and even toothaches. Moreover, it can constrict the blood vessels around the cranial nerves that help to relieve pressure in one’s head.

How to use?

Diluting the roman chamomile oil is better before directly applying it to the affected area. Using roman chamomile in aromatherapy helps to improve sleep as well as anxiety. Another way is to inhale its vapors for 10-15 minutes; doing so will give immediate satisfactory results.

[Read: Chamomile Oil Benefits]

8. Sweet Basil Oil

sweet-basil-oil for migraines

Sweet basil oil is a natural home remedy for treating headaches occurring due to cold, migraine attacks and muscle pains.

Why to use?

This oil can alleviate muscle pain or headaches along with increasing alertness. Applying it on temples helps to stimulate blood flow which in turn soothes the pain. In addition to this, various allergies and nervous disorders can be treated using sweet basil essential oil.

How to use?

Sweet basil oil has a mild essence and is directly applicable to the area of pain. Putting a few drops on a cotton ball and then inhaling its scent also helps to clear the mind. Its therapeutic properties are more beneficial when used in a diffuser or through aromatherapy.

[Read : Holy Basil Benefits]

9. Ginger oil for migraines

ginger oil for migraines

Ginger is known to treat symptoms of cold and flu. It is also an excellent cure for headaches due to various pain-reducing properties(3).

Why to use?

Ginger oil has anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and anti-nausea effects. Its intake or application can readily reduce migraine headaches and uneasy feeling associated with this condition.

How to use?

You can apply ginger oil on the affected area, inhale its vapors via steam or add little amounts in a diffuser to get rid of migraine pain quickly.

Risks and Precautions

Using essential oils is an excellent natural remedy for various kinds of ailments. However, when utilizing it for migraines, do ensure that the purchased oil is free from chemicals and it 100% natural. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and young children should avoid strong essential oils for migraines unless recommended by a healthcare professional.

Other Home Remedies for Migraines

Migraines are treatable through many home remedies. The most effective and popular ones include the following:

Cool the affected area

During any migraine attack, putting an ice pack on the neck, scalp, and forehead readily aid to relieve pain. According to experts, a reduction in blood flow helps to ease the throbbing pain. If ice packs aren’t available, then you can even try frozen gel packs or washcloths after rinsing them in cold water.

Regular exercise

People suffering from migraines are advised to work out regularly, as it helps to lessen the frequency of migraine episodes as well as their intensity. Exercise and even yoga help to change neuro-inflammatory pathways which aid in reducing the incidence of migraines.

Go to a quiet-dark room

Migraines lead to an increased sensitivity to loud sounds and bright lights. Therefore, merely lying in a quiet place can help make the pain relatively bearable.

[Read: Best Remedies for Migraine]

Essential oils for migraines are a suitable method to treat symptoms of this condition. They have almost no side effects and are usable for more extended periods of time. Therefore, if you’re suffering from migraines, do try out these oils! Although, do exercise precautions while using essential oils for migraines.


1. Can Migraines Cause Weakness, Numbness or Tingling Sensation?

It is important to note that migraines are not limited to headaches only. Different body parts are affected during a migraine attack. Therefore, it is natural and universal to feel tingling, fatigue or numbness during your migraine. Some key areas where this occurs include fingers, face, lips, tongue, and limbs; this feeling is temporary in most cases.

2. Will I Ever Outgrow My Migraine?

Some individuals outgrow their migraine while others do not. According to researches, both the sexes may outgrow a migraine as they age. This decrease is because of the reduction in hormone fluctuation. Post-Menopause, 1/3  rd of women undergo a drastic reduction in migraines.

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