Proven Essential Oils for Migraines and Headaches (Including Detailed Instructions and Recipes)

Essential Oils For Migraines and Headaches

Essential oils can help to relieve headaches and migraines due to their pain-relieving properties. Some essential oils help ease headache pain because their aromas alleviate stress and anxiety. Other essential oils are good for migraines because they cool the skin and help soothe your nerves. Essential oils that have decongestant properties also help to relieve sinus headaches.

Some of the best essential oils for treating migraines include lavender oil, peppermint oil, and rosemary oil. You can use essential oils as a blend with carrier oils to massage into your temples, behind your ears, and at the top of your neck. Some of the best oils to use as carrier oils are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or sweet almond oil.

The effect of aromatherapy essential oils for headaches can also be used in conjunction with other remedies to help boost the effectiveness of headache and migraine medication.

In this article, you will find out about the best essential oils for headaches. You will also learn how to create an essential oil blend for migraines. At the end of the article, you can find out how to use essential oils to get rid of a headache or a migraine faster.

Why Essential Oils Work for Migraines and Headaches

There are a number of reasons why it is good to use essential oil aromatherapy for headaches.

According to the journal Pain Research and Treatment, aromatherapy essential oils that are good for headaches work in two ways. First, the pain-relieving oils are absorbed through the skin and help to release muscle pain and tension. Second, the aromas of certain essential oils can result in immediate pain reduction when inhaled. (1)

Researchers have identified that the best essential oils for headaches are lavender, rosemary, chamomile, peppermint, and eucalyptus. (1)

There are also some essential oils that are especially good for migraines. This is because the therapeutic activity of some oils treats the thumping headache and helps reduce migraine complications. For example, some essential oils help alleviate nausea, anxiety, muscle tension, and improve sleep quality. (1)

Researchers have also found that some essential oils are good for headaches because they help cool the skin and increase blood flow to the affected area. This has an analgesic effect when essential oil blends are applied to the temples. (2)

Migraine vs. Headache

Doctors describe headaches as pain or discomfort in the temples, head, or at the top or your neck. Headaches can feel like a dull throb or they could create a pounding sensation in your head. The general causes of headaches are tension, anxiety, stress, tense muscles, or inflammation. (3)

Migraines are severe headaches that can sometimes be debilitating. A migraine can cause pulsating, throbbing pain on one side of your head. However, migraines differ from a “usual” headache because they are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or seeing flashing lights. (4)

If you suffer from headaches, find out some of the reasons why you get these headaches.

The Best Essential Oils for Migraines and Headaches

Let’s look in more detail at some of the best aromatherapy essential oils to get headache and migraine relief. In each section, you will also learn how to use and mix essential oils for migraines and headaches.

Lavender Essential Oil to Relieve Migraines and Headaches

Using lavender oil for headaches is a common natural remedy for relieving pain associated with tension headaches and migraines.

Lavender is a good all-around essential oil for headaches because it works on a number of levels. Scientists have found that lavender helps to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and help relieve pain. (5)

One study found that inhaling lavender essential oil for 15 minutes helped to reduce the severity of a headache in humans. The results of the study were that lavender is a natural remedy for treating acute migraine headaches. (5)

You can also use lavender oil for PMS headache relief and general menstrual pain. Massaging a blend of essential oils that included lavender, clary sage, and marjoram provided women with pain relief during menstruation. (6)

How to use lavender oil for headache and migraine relief

To help get rid of a headache quickly, put a few drops of lavender oil on a tissue and inhale deeply for 15 minutes. The calming and pain-relieving effect of lavender essential oil will help relieve your headache.

You could also diffuse lavender oil in your workplace or at home to treat headaches naturally or to help prevent migraine attacks.

Using lavender essential oil for a migraine also has benefits because its sedative effect may help you sleep better. Getting plenty of rest is one of the many home remedies for migraines. (7)

Learn more about the many uses of lavender oil and how you can use it to benefit your skin and hair.

Peppermint Oil Helps Soothe Migraines and Headaches

You can use peppermint oil for headaches because the cooling effect of the essential oil helps to relax the mind and alleviate pain.

Scientific research has revealed that using peppermint oil for migraines could be as effective as paracetamol. One study showed that a 10% peppermint essential oil blend helped to ease the intensity of headaches in 15 minutes. The peppermint oil was massaged onto the forehead and temples for headache relief. (8)

Research in 2016 found that applying a blend of peppermint oil directly to the skin for headaches was an effective natural remedy for tension headaches. (9)

How to use peppermint oil to relieve migraines

To use peppermint oil to relieve a throbbing headache, you should dilute 2-3 drops of peppermint oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil such as sweet almond oil. Put some oil on your fingertips and massage the peppermint oil directly on your temples for relief from a headache or a migraine.

You could also make a peppermint oil blend by using 2 drops of peppermint oil and 2 drops of lavender oil and combine in a carrier oil.

Get more home recipes using peppermint essential oil if you want to get quick pain relief and help prevent nausea and vomiting.

Eucalyptus Oil for Migraine and Headache Relief

Another great essential oil for getting rid of a migraine or headache is eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil helps to get rid of pounding headache pain in a similar way that peppermint oil is used for headaches.

Is there any scientific evidence that eucalyptus essential oil works well for a headache? One clinical trial involving 32 adults found that a combination of peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil could help relieve headaches as it relaxes the muscles and mind. (10)

Other studies have shown that eucalyptus essential oil has pain-relieving properties in general. Inhaling eucalyptus scents helped to lower blood pressure and alleviate pain after surgery. (11)

Another advantage of using eucalyptus oil in a diffuser for headaches is that it helps clear sinuses. Researchers have found that eucalyptus aromas have decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties. (12) This means that eucalyptus essential oil may be one of the best oils to add to a blend for sinus headaches.

How to use eucalyptus oil to get rid of migraines and headaches

The best way to use eucalyptus oil if you have throbbing headaches is to mix some essential oils for migraine relief.

Make an essential oil blend using 2 drops of eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of peppermint oil and a tablespoon of olive oil or other carrier oil. Massage onto your forehead and temples for headache relief.

Alternatively, eucalyptus and lavender are good essential oils to diffuse for sinus headaches.

You could also inhale eucalyptus oil directly from the bottle to help clear your sinuses and get relief from sinus-related headaches.

Find out more essential oil blends for sinus infection.

Rosemary Oil for Headaches

You can use essential oil extracted from rosemary leaves to help get rid of a headache in your temples or on one side of your head.

The pleasant aromas of rosemary are good for aromatherapy to soothe headaches and migraines. Research has shown that rosemary has mild analgesic effects and is traditionally used to treat headaches and alleviate mental fatigue. (13)

The uplifting scent of rosemary essential oil is also good to soothe headaches that are the result of tiredness, stress, or muscular pain. (14)

One study into the pain-relieving effects of rosemary oil found that an essential oil mix with peppermint essential oil is useful in treating musculoskeletal pain. Both of these essential oils have proven pain-relieving properties. (15)

How to use rosemary oil aromatherapy if you have a headache or migraine

Make your own essential oil mix for migraines and headaches by combining 2 drops of rosemary oil, 2 drops of peppermint oil, and a tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut oil. Gently massage the aromatherapy blend onto your temples for head pain relief.

If you suffer from migraines, you could use rosemary oil in a warm bath to help relax and ease away your migraine. Add 5-6 drops each of rosemary and lavender essential oils per 1 oz. (30 ml) of carrier oil, and add to a warm bath. Lie back, relax, and breathe in the soothing aromas.

Further reading: Rosemary (Essential) Oil: Benefits and Uses for Hair, Skin and More (Science Based).

Chamomile Essential oil for Migraines

Chamomile is a well-researched herb for its many medicinal and soothing properties. Chamomile essential oil is also one of the top oils for headaches and migraines.

Scientific studies have found that chamomile essential oil is good for migraine relief. Chamomile extracts work as COX-2 inhibitors in a similar way that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work. Researchers found that chamomile oil can be used for the relief of migraine pain. (16)

Another reason why chamomile oil is good to get relief from a thumping migraine is because its sweet aromas also help reduce stress and promote sleep. (17)

How to use chamomile oil to soothe migraines and headaches

To help alleviate the pain and discomfort from a monster headache, put a few drops of chamomile in your diffuser and breathe in deeply. Using your diffuser with chamomile oil in your bedroom may also help you sleep better to get rid of your migraine quicker.

Find out more reasons why chamomile essential oil is one of the best oils for good sleep and stress relief.

Rose Essential Oil May Help Provide Relief from Migraines

The fragrant aromas of rose oil can help to soothe dull, gnawing migraine pain and help improve your quality of life.

Research published in 2017 found that applying a blend of rose oil as a topical migraine relief remedy helped to reduce pain intensity in certain types of migraine. Applying rose oil topically helped as a short-term migraine remedy. (18)

Rose essential oil may be a good oil to add to a headache essential oil blend if you need relief from PMS headaches or tension headaches. Many studies have shown that rose oil is effective for those types of pain. (19)

How to use rose oil to get rid of a migraine

Add a few drops of rose oil and a few drops of lavender oil to your diffuser at work or home to help relieve a tension headache.

You could also try inhaling rose essential oil directly from the bottle to help ease a migraine headache.

Other Essential Oils That May Help Alleviate Stress and Tension Headaches

Essential oils such as lavender oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and chamomile oil all have proven scientific backing for their use in treating headaches and migraines.

There are also some other essential oils that you can add to a headache essential oil blend. These oils can help to alleviate tension, relax muscles, and help provide topical pain relief.

Clove essential oil. There are no scientific studies directly linking clove oil and headache relief. However, scientists have found that clove essential oil has compounds that help relieve pain and promote healing. (20)

Bergamot essential oil. If stress is causing your headaches, then adding a drop or two of bergamot oil to your headache blend can help soothe your headache. Researchers say that bergamot essential oil helps alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety and can improve mood. (21)

Basil essential oil. One study found that using basil oil in an essential oil blend for headaches, that also included rosemary, lavender and rose essential oils, was an effective aromatherapy remedy for relieving headache pain. (22)

Migraine and Headache Essential Oil Blend

Based on scientific studies, you can mix certain essential oils for migraine and headache relief. Scientists found a blend of lavender, rose, basil, and rosemary to be effective in relieving headaches and anxiety. (22)

This is how to make your headache essential oil blend:

  1. Mix 3 drops each of lavender oil, rosemary oil, basil oil, and rose oil with 1 oz. of sweet almond oil.
  2. Put in a dark brown bottle and shake well.
  3. Massage some of the essential oil blend into your temples every time you need relief from a gnawing or throbbing headache.

How to Use Essential Oils to Ease Migraines and Headaches

There are many ways to use essential oils for helping to ease the pain, discomfort, and inconvenience of a pounding headache.

Here are some tips on the best ways to use essential oils for headaches:

Topical forehead or temple massage. Create your own essential oil mix using a combination of the best essential oils for headaches. As a general rule, use up to 3 or 4 drops of essential oils for every tablespoon of carrier oil. Gently massage the aromatherapy headache oil blend onto your forehead, temples, or back of your neck for quick headache relief.

Diffuse essential oils for headache relief. Put some aromatherapy oils for migraines in your diffuser to soothe headache pain or help prevent migraine attacks. There are many more scientifically proven recipes for your diffuser that can boost your health.

Inhalation aromatherapy. If you have an especially severe pressing headache, put a few drops of lavender essential oil in a bowl of hot water, cover your head, and breathe in deeply for 10-15 minutes.

Inhale directly from the bottle. To get the instant effect of essential oils such as lavender or peppermint oils, inhale the soothing aromas directly from the bottle.

Cold compress for migraine relief. Put a few drops of your favorite essential oils for headaches and carrier oil in some icy cold water. Mix well, dip a face cloth in the water, squeeze out the excess, and place on your forehead to help get migraine relief.

Ease your headache by relaxing in a warm bath. Add a few drops of lavender, rose, and rosemary essential oils to warm bath water (10-12 drops of essential oils per 1 oz. (30 ml) of carrier oil). Soak for up to 20 minutes and breathe deeply to inhale the soothing essential oils.

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.

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