Generally speaking, headaches are idiopathic: Their cause may be specific to the sufferer. They can be brought on by stress, tension, injury, allergies, noise or other environmental or physiological factors. Tension-type headache is very common, with a lifetime prevalence in the general population ranging in different studies between 30% and 78%. It is estimated that 2.7 million Canadians suffer from migraine headaches, which can be debilitatingly severe.
The common response to the onset of a headache is to reach for analgesics like Aspirin or Tylenol. But a lot of people dislike taking this kind of medication, and look for more natural ways to soothe a throbbing headache.
Like massage therapy, essential oils have been praised for their healing properties for centuries. Together, massage and essential oils can deliver powerful natural relief for pain and inflammation.
Which Essential Oils are Best for Headache Relief?
There are over 90 different kinds of essential oils, but only a select few are thought to be effective for headache and migraine relief. The top five are lavender, rosemary, peppermint, chamomile, and eucalyptus oils.
Learn more about the best essential oils for headaches and how to use them for ultimate natural relief.
Just how powerful are these oils for headache relief?
Studies reveal that participants experience a significant decrease in pain after inhaling lavender essential oil. Multiple studies also show that rosemary essential oil can be effective in managing pain and insomnia, which helps reduce the likelihood of future headaches.
These studies discovered that lavender and rosemary essential oils have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation fuels physical pain from stress, resulting in severe tension and headaches. Studies also show that chamomile, peppermint, and eucalyptus oil possess similar anti-inflammatory properties that relieve headaches.
Let’s take a closer look at these soothing oils and their potential for relieving pain.
How to Use Lavender Essential Oils for Headaches
Essential oils can be used in various ways. For massage therapy, it’s always good to have a bottle of Headache Blend on hand with your favourite massage lotion. This is a simple roll-on oil made from soothing lavender, peppermint, vitamin E, grape seed, almond, and rosemary oil.
Essential oil roll-ons are quick and convenient. Just roll on some oil between the temples and gently massage. These are perfect for relaxing after-work facial massages.
Another way to experience relief with lavender is with aromatherapy. Lavender is known for its distinct relaxing aroma. Have a diffuser on hand to relieve headaches after a long day.
Steam is another way to enjoy the soothing effects of lavender. Submerge a face towel in hot water and ring it out thoroughly. Add a few drops of lavender oil or headache blend to the towel, place the towel over the face, and breathe in for relief.
Using Rosemary Oil for Headache Relief
Like lavender essential oil, Rosemary also has a distinctive scent. When released, rosemary smells like a vibrant blend of citrus, pine, and herbs. It belongs to the mint family, which also includes relaxing lavender and peppermint.
Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to a massage lotion to enhance its healing effects. You’ll also find rosemary-infused body butter, salt and sugar scrubs, and body lotion. There’s even rosemary hand soap for the bathroom.
Natural Pain Relief with Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is the third primary essential oil for headache relief. Studies show that peppermint essential oil can be useful in relieving tension headaches, especially when applied via roll-on on the forehead.
This type of oil is ideal for massage, topicals, baths, tea, and steam blends. For aromatherapy, peppermint works best when blended with juniper berry, lemon, lavender, tea tree oil, rosemary, and eucalyptus.
Tea may be one of the most popular ways to experience the natural relief of peppermint oil. Peppermint tea is often used to soothe an upset stomach and aid in healthy digestion. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help with natural pain management.
Natural Benefits of Eucalyptus
People who suffer from sinus issues are all too familiar with the pain of headaches. Headaches occur when sinus drainage is blocked. Headaches may also be a symptom of a sinus infection.
Sinus headaches are painful, but eucalyptus essential oil can help. Studies show that eucalyptus oil can reduce nasal obstruction, facilitating normal nasal drainage. This can provide significant relief to sinus-induced headaches.
Headache blend roll-ons are infused with eucalyptus oil, which makes for a relieving facial massage. Gently breathe in the aroma to release painful blocked sinus passages. Eucalyptus steam blends are another way to break up obstructed nasal passages that cause headaches.
Relax Headaches Away with Chamomile Essential Oil
The final essential oil for headache relief is calming chamomile oil.
What comes to mind when you think of chamomile? You probably think of relaxing chamomile tea. That’s because chamomile has an ultra-relaxing antioxidant called apigenin. Studies show that the apigenin in chamomile may reduce the likelihood of anxiety.
Those same studies also found that chamomile antioxidants may help improve sleep, as well. More sleep and less anxiety can help decrease the risk of chronic headaches and migraines. Chamomile’s natural antidepressant effect can also help with headache relief.
Chamomile is often consumed in tea form. However, there are plenty of other ways to experience the effects of chamomile. There are chamomile-infused candles for aromatherapy, diffuser oils, herbal bath soap, body lotion, and body butters.
Using Headache Relief Oils with Other Techniques
Headache relief essential oils are versatile and can be used in combination with a variety of spa therapies.
Essential oils enhance the massage experience in a number of ways. There’s the natural relief of aromatherapy, which helps with relaxation and breathing. Infused massage lotions release powerful aromas and nourish the skin.
Essential oils for headaches are often used in acupuncture therapy to stimulate relief. Oils are applied to specific points on the body. For example, an acupuncture therapist might apply lavender oil to the chest because it relaxes the “shen” or “spirit,” according to teachings of Eastern medicine.
These essential oil methods for acupuncture can be applied to “fusion” massage techniques, like acupressure massage.
Discover the Benefits of Essential Oils for Headache Relief
Mother nature is packed with natural remedies for pain and relaxation. Discover the benefits of lavender, rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, chamomile and more essential oils for headaches.
Need more ideas for natural pain relief? Enhance your massage experiences with the uplifting power of essential oils. Learn more on our website or browse our wide selection of essential oils and infused products.