In the United States, an estimated 47% of adults suffer from headaches, spending billions of dollars in treatment costs every year. There are no specific statistics, but the number of sufferers is increasing more and more in many countries all over the world. Climate changes and pressures in life and work are favorable conditions for recurrent headaches.
However, abuse of drugs for headache relief is only considered as an immediate measure because it can cause many unwanted side effects. So, how should you treat headaches to make sure that it is safe and efficient? Alternative herbal medicines, especially essential oils will be the promising and persuasive answer for you.
In this article, let’s learn about 6 wonderful essential oils for headaches as well as how to use them to reduce headaches effectively.
Top 6 wonderful essential oils for headaches
#1. Basil essential oil
Basil essential oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides, it is effective to reduce the narrowing of blood vessels and protect the body against the harmful attacks of the environment. Thus, using basil essential oil will help to keep your mind fresh, active and your body healthy.
Therefore, it is beneficial to the treatment of headaches, stress, insecurity related to psychological pressure, and headaches due to a common cold, allergic rhinitis or chronic sinusitis.
#2. Peppermint essential oil
The main ingredients of peppermint essential are menthol, methyl acetal, L-pinene, and flavonoid, which have the antiseptic effect, stimulate digestion, relieve headaches due to a common cold, stress, pressures and help the spirit more cheerful and excited.
To increase the effectiveness of peppermint essential oil, you can also mix it with some others such almond oil, clove oil for a massage or steam. Nevertheless, for pregnant women, they should limit the use of peppermint essential oil in this mixture to avoid the ill effects on pregnancy.[irp]
#3. Lavender essential oil
Of all essential oils for headaches, lavender essential oil has many features for disease prevention and treatment. It is considered as a natural tranquilizer, antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-convulsion, so it helps to relax, relieve stress and pressures. Furthermore, it also contributes to treating neurological disorders.
According to researchers, the aroma of lavender and its main ingredients such linalool and linalyl acetate are quickly absorbed through the skin and affect the nervous system. For this reason, it can be used to treat headaches for many causes.
You can apply diluted lavender essential oil to the skin and use the oil diffuser or add some drops of this oil to a hot tube for the desired benefit.[irp]
#4. Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary essential oil has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years for relieving stress, pressure and improving blood circulation to support the treatment of headaches. Therefore, it is considered as one of effective essential oils for energy boost.
Mix some drops of rosemary essential oil with a base oil like coconut oil. Apply this mixture to the affected area and massage gently. Besides, add a drop of rosemary essential oil into tea or soup when experiencing headaches or migraines. Otherwise, you can also mix two drops of rosemary essential oil with two drops of peppermint essential oil and a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub the mixture on the temples, the forehead and the nape of the neck.[irp]
#5. Eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus essential oil helps to cleanse the body by promoting the excretion of toxins and killing harmful bacteria. It also ventilates the respiratory system, reduces sinusitis, thereby relieving headaches.
Moreover, eucalyptus essential oil promotes emotional balance and eases the mood. A clinical trial published by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that inhaling the eucalyptus essential oil can reduce headaches and regulates blood pressure.
Another use of eucalyptus essential oil is promoting emotional stability, reducing edema and has the anti-inflammatory effect. All of these can be beneficial for people with tension headaches.
Eucalyptus essential oil can irritate the skin when applied directly to the skin. Thus, you should choose the way of steaming with it to achieve the desired effect. Another way is that you can dilute it with base oil and apply it to the chest or add some drops of this oil to hot water to inhale it.[irp]
#6. Chrysanthemum essential oil
Chrysanthemum essential oil helps to relax the body and soothe the muscles. Therefore, it becomes a great support in treating tension headaches. In addition, it can help relieve anxiety and insomnia, which are common causes of headaches.
Chrysanthemum essential oil should not be used in pregnant women because of the risk of miscarriage.
To treat headaches, you can mix chrysanthemum essential oil with base oil and then add this mixture to the bath tub or hot water to inhale it.[irp]
How to use essential oils for headaches
In headache treatment with essential oil, there are two primary methods as the following.
1. Massage with the essential oils
Apply the essential oil directly to the scalp, and then gently massage, press the acupuncture points. It will quickly penetrate into the skin to dilate the blood vessels narrowed, help you relieve stress and discomfort caused by headaches. When using this massage method, you should be careful if you have sensitive skin.
2. Steam with the essential oils
This method is considered to be extremely helpful in treating headaches with other uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, especially headache due to upper respiratory tract infection.
You can easily implement this method by adding a few drops of essential oil to a bowl of 30-40 degrees Celsius hot water. Use a large cloth to cover your head and place the bowl near your face so that you can easily breathe in the steam for 15-30 minutes.
Each person will be suitable for different types of essential oils for headaches as well as healing method of headaches. Therefore, you need to experience to see which method is appropriate for you. At the same time, you should also combine with the appropriate lifestyle and living conditions to control headaches most effectively.[irp]
The author of this article is Jasmine He, she is interested in health and beauty as well as having a strong desire for the well-being, she has a broad knowledge of this area after having the patience to learn and experience it for a couple of years. Along with her current education job, she has now been working as a freelance writer on health and beauty.