The Best Essential Oils For Migraines and Headaches

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The Best Essential Oils For Migraines and Headaches

Many of us are tormented by chronic headaches or migraine attacks. These hit us when we least expect them and they can make the simplest day task a huge and painful challenge. I’ve already written in the past about top 10 natural tips and treatments to relieve migraine, but in this article I will talk about essential oils for migraines.

Essential oils can successfully be used to soothe headaches and migraine to get you through the day. But keep in mind these frequent headaches can be a symptom of something more serious and you should discuss them with your doctor to find the underlying cause.

There are many essential oils available that can help you to alleviate headaches or migraine attacks. Their magic works wonders to reduce inflammation, muscle spasm, swelling and pain. Many of them also have a calming effect on your mind and improve blood circulation to your brain. Many of our headaches are caused by stress or other tension-related issues.

Essential Oils for Migraines and Headaches

1. Peppermint – Peppermint essential oil contains menthol which is known for its cooling, soothing and mind clearing properties. It works great to ease tension-related headaches. Its scent works uplifting so best not use during the evening hours as it can interfere with your sleep. Peppermint is your first go-to essential oil when you feel a migraine attack creeping up. Rub a few drops of peppermint EO diluted in a carrier oil on your forehead, temples, and back of your neck at the first signs. Also read my article about top 10 uses for peppermint EO.

2. Lavender – Lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties and has a sedative or calming effect, making it the ideal choice to soothe headaches during the evening or night. The best essential oil to cure headaches which are allergy-triggered. Can be used instead of peppermint EO at first signs. Also refer to my previous article about top 10 uses for lavender essential oil.

3. Roman Chamomile – Another great essential oil to soothe evening or nighttime headaches. It has sedative and anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Helichrysum – Although it is relatively unknown in the United States, helichrysum essential oil has been used for many years to treat a variety of medical conditions in countries such as Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Helichrysum has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for ages to treat migraine or headache related issues

5. Eucalyptus essential oil – Eucalyptus essential oil works wonders to treat headaches or migraine attacks caused by chronic sinusitis (It is one of the best essential oils to relieve sinus infection and sore throat).

6. Other Essential Oils known to benefit migraine or headache sufferers:

  • Sandalwood
  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • Clove
  • Frankincense
  • Idaho Balsam Fir
  • Ginger
  • Neroli
  • Rosemary
  • Jasmine
  • Myrrh
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Valerian
  • Wintergreen

How To Use Essential Oils To Alleviate Headaches and Migraines

Although there are many essential oils available to soothe headaches or migraine attacks, many sufferers are quite sensitive to scents during an attack. Scents are very personal. So add a drop to a cotton ball for a quick smell. If it works soothing and the fragrance doesn’t upset or stress you, try one of the following migraine relief methods.

Topical Application Or Gentle Massage – Dilute 10 to 12 drops of EO(s) from the list above or us a blend (scroll down for some ideas) into 1 oz. carrier oil of your choice (coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond, etc.). Gently massage a few drops onto your forehead, temples, and the back of your neck. Avoid the area around your eyes.

Diffuse – Diffuse EO(s) according to the direction of your diffuser throughout the day or night to ease or prevent migraine attacks. You can find a variety of blends in my post about the best essential oil recipes for your diffuser.


Inhalation – Rub 1 to 2 drops of lavender essential oil into the palms of your hands. Cup them over your nose and take 4-6 deep and slow breaths. Another thing you can do is add 2 to 4 drops on a cotton ball and secure in a zip lock bag to take with you. Or add a few drops of EO to a bowl of boiling water. Drape a towel over your head and breathe in the steam (works best if your migraine is sinus related).

Cold Compress – Add 5 drops of your favorite essential oil (or blend) to 1 quart cool or icy water. Soak a clean cloth in the bowl and apply on your forehead or the back of your neck. Most people find that cold compresses work best, but you can try a warm compress as well or alternate both to improve circulation.

Aroma-therapeutic Bath – Another great way to alleviate your headache or migraine attack is to take a relaxing bath. Add 5 to 10 drops of EO(s) to your bath tub. If you have a sensitive skin, dilute in 1 tablespoon carrier oil of your liking before adding it to your bath tub. This will add an extra moisturizing effect and prevent the EOs from being too powerful. Do not add the oils to running water as they will evaporate at a higher rate. Add them after you have run the bath and gently mix them in by hand. For an even better effect add 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salts. Epsom salt replenishes magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiencies often trigger migraine attacks. Read more about Epsom salts and their fantastic uses here.

Headache Oil Blend Reliever

This is a very effective formula to treat headaches. It contains refreshing and cooling peppermint essential oil that contains a significant amount of menthol. Among its many uses, menthol is known to help relax and ease tension headaches and muscular aches and pains. If your headache is associated with sinus infection, replace the peppermint essential oil with eucalyptus essential oil that is especially good for sinus headaches. Lavender and chamomile essential oils have anti-inflammatory and sedative properties.


4 drops peppermint essential oil (or eucalyptus essential oil for sinus headache)
5 drops chamomile essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
1 oz (30 ml) sweet almond oil or other carrier oil

Add all the oils into a little bottle. Screw the top and shake well to blend. Place in a cool dark place and allow 24 hours to synergyze.

How to apply? Massage 1 drop of the blend into each temple, 2 drops into the base of the neck, and 2 drops into the forehead area. Next place 3 drops in your palm, and rub your palms together to warm the oil, then close your eyes and inhale the oil blend from your cupped hands. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes. Use within 1 year.

Foot Soak To Relieve Headache (for 1 treatment)

If you want a simple and quick remedy to relieve headache, soak your feet in cold water for a short time. It draws blood from your head, easing the heat and muscular tension that cause you headache. With the addition of the essential oils, you will receive, you will get cooling and energetically balancing benefits throughout your body, and at the same time softening and deodorizing rough and tired feet.

2 teaspoons carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or jojoba
5 drops lavender or geranium essential oil
3 drops peppermint essential oil

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, and stir thoroughly to mix. Pour the oil blend into a foot tub with enough very cold water, and even with a few ice cubes, to cover your feet and ankles. Blend with your feet. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes with your eyes closed, while breathing deeply and regularly. Dry your feet with a towel and apply your favorite moisturizer.

Migraine Blends

These blends can be used in a diffuser or cold compresses. Add them to your bath water or apply topically to find relief. If you have a sensitive skin, dilute in an appropriate carrier oil of your choice (coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond, etc.).

Migraine Blend 1

  • 4 drops wintergreen EO
  • 3 drops lavender EO
  • 3 drops chamomile EO
  • 2 drop clove EO

Migraine Blend 2

  • 4 drops eucalyptus EO
  • 6 drops peppermint EO
  • 2 drops myrrh EO

Migraine Blend 3

  • 8 drops lavender EO
  • 4 drops roman chamomile EO

Migraine Blend 4

  • 4 drops helichrysum EO
  • 8 drops roman chamomile EO

Migraine Blend 5

  • 4 drops peppermint EO
  • 8 drops lavender EO

If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This e-book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

Read these related articles:
1. This Common Vitamin Deficiency Causes Migraines and Headaches
2. Top 15 Causes of Headaches and How to Get Rid of Them Naturally
3. Pain in the Back of Head – Causes and Treatments
4. Tingling in Head: Causes and Possible Treatments

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7 Responses to The Best Essential Oils For Migraines and Headaches

  1. Sarah says:

    You need to alter what this says about EOs in baths, I just did this and have burns on my skin now.

    After googling further, you are still supposed to dilute the oils because the oils just floating on the waters can cause said burns.

    • Jenny says:

      It’s specifically says that if you have a sensitive skin, dilute in 1 tablespoon carrier oil of your liking before adding it to your bath tub. I personally add EO to bath without adding carrier oils and didn’t have a problem, but some people have and need to be cautious and add carrier oil.

  2. Daniel says:

    thanks for the blend recipes. This really helped with me headaches. I tried the second blend with the Myrrh and Peppermint and the relief has been pretty quick.

  3. Phyllis Zavala says:

    Thank u so much for the recipes. My two daughters have RA they suffer very much with these headaches,inflammatory aches,they cry so when the pain comes to them. There is just no relief. I am going to try these oils. Again thank u so much.

  4. Lori Stevens says:

    Thank you for this natural remedy. I will try it. I have done boots, acupuncture, many medications and am still having problems. Thank you again for another choice.

  5. Sherry says:

    Remember to add a little baking soda so you don’t take on any toxins in the water. The baking soda neutralizes the water.

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