Nothing can be more annoying than long interactions with a deadly headache. Almost half of the adults globally experience a headache due to a variety of reasons such as allergies, stress, sinusitis, sun exposure hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, headaches, high blood pressure, lack of sleep, low blood sugar level, alcohol or drug abuse. The commonest type is a tension headache. Prescription drugs for headache are available over the counter, but these medicines have their part of side effects. In the long run, they may cause liver and kidney damage. Better opt for essential oils to effectively and safely treat a headache.
Essential Oils For Headache
Essential oils are concentrated liquid extract obtained from flowers, root, stem, bark and leaves of a tree or plant. They are used in aromatherapy to promotes blood circulation and reduce stress and anxiety.
As discussed above, different headaches have different causes. For example, sinus headache is caused due to inflammation and infection of nasal passage that builds a pressure underneath eyes and forehead. On the other hand, a tension headache is caused due to contraction of muscles in the neck and head region. The muscle contraction may be caused due to various stressful activities such as driving long distances or working in front of a screen for long. There is an also sugar headache that is caused due to eating high sugar food that spikes the level of blood sugar. Dieting, fasting and skipping meals may also cause a headache. Not so lucky people may suffer from a deadly migraine. The cause of a migraine is not known.
To get rid of pain you should treat the triggers of pain instead of masking the pain temporarily with painkillers. Below, we have discussed specific essential oils that encounters the root cause to alleviate headache.
Top Essential Oils For Headache
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil- Eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory, decongestant and antispasmodic. In addition to acting as a pain reliever it is also popularly used as an antiseptic and antibacterial. If you have a headache due to cold, or a sinus headache, you will find eucalyptus useful. Not only you will find relief in pain, but also eucalyptus oil moistens your nasal passage, promotes the secretion of sputum, alleviates sinus pressure and treats nasal congestion.
- Peppermint Essential Oil- You can use peppermint essential oil for a headache due to the various reasons. It has a numbing and calming effect. It contains methanol and relaxes muscles. Peppermint essential oil unclogs the sinus, relieves sinus pressure and also relieves the pressure in your head. Those who suffer from a migraine will also find peppermint oil beneficial.
- Sweet Basil Essential Oil- Sweet basil essential oil relax strained muscles, promotes blood circulation and soothes the pain. When applied to the forehead it also increases alertness and concentration. It is beneficial in treating nervous disorder and headache caused due to allergy, stress, cold and migraines. It promotes mental strength and mental clarity and helps people to relax.
- Lavender Essential Oil- Lavender oil has relaxing property and has also been found in treating several neurological disorders. It stabilizes mood and decreases anxiety and stress. Lavender oil is beneficial in treating migraine and tension headaches. Apply it to temples and nape of the neck to alleviate pain.
- Clary Sage Essential Oil– Clary sage oil relaxes vein, reduces blood pressure, widens the blood vessels and encourages the circulation of blood. Thus, it boosts the body metabolism and provides the body with nutrients and oxygen. Clary sage also has a calming effect and it reduces inflammation. All this, in turn, reduces tension, stress and anxiety. You will also find clary sage effective in treating hormonal headaches as it balances the level of hormones. Other therapeutic properties of clary sage oil are; it is antispasmodic, sedative, hypotensive, antiseptic and antidepressant.
- Rosemary Essential Oil– Rosemary oil is effective in alleviating respiratory problems. It is also used to reduce pain and stress. Research shows that when rosemary is inhaled it reduces the level of cortisol in the saliva. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and excess of this hormone leads to many health issues. Rosemary oil is anti-inflammatory, promotes blood circulation and also promotes healing. Rosemary oil when applied to the temples effectively treats tension headache and migraines.
- Chamomile Essential Oil– Chamomile is often used to relax mind and body. It acts as a mild sedative. It reduces pain in muscles, joints as it has analgesic properties. Also, it is anti-stress and anti-inflammatory. It can be used to get rid of a tension headache. It effectively reduces sinus pressure and pressure around the head.
- Ginger Essential Oil- Ginger essential oil has adaptogenic and anti-inflammatory. It can protect the body from emotional, physical and biological stressors. It supports our immune system and is useful in a headache caused due to cold and sinusitis. The presence of gingerol in ginger essential oil attributes it analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Bergamot Essential Oil– Bergamot essential oil promotes blood circulation, prevents infection, reduces pain and acts as a relaxant and mild sedative. It also aids digestion, speed healing and relieves spasm. All these properties make bergamot essential oil a potent home remedy to treat a headache caused due to a variety of reasons such as cold, tension headache, migraines and headache due to lack of sleep and constipation.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil- Lemongrass essential oil has a sedative effect. It is treats nervous disorders and depression. Lemongrass essential oil is rich in phenolic compounds and flavonoids that exhibit it anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Lemongrass essential oil is effective in treating migraines, headache due to stress and lack of sleep.
- Spearmint Essential Oil- Spearmint has carminative properties. It relax muscles and decreases tension. The calming and curative properties of spearmint essential oil is attributed to compound myrcene.
How To Use Essential Oils For Headache
There are several ways to use essential oils to treat a headache.
1. Topical application
Dilute 3-4 drops of essential oils with a tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil or olive oil and apply to your temples, forehead and nape of neck. Massage for a few minutes and then relax.
Use a diffuser to get the aroma of essential oil into the surrounding air so that you can breathe it. Add 4-5 drops of essential oil of your choice to water and allow diffuser to deliver the therapeutic aroma of the essential oil throughout your room and house.
You may also add a few drops of essential oil to your handkerchief and smell it.
Precautions You Need To Take While Using Essential Oils For a Headache
- Never apply essential oil to your skin without diluting them with carrier oils, or it may cause skin irritation, burning or allergic reaction. Always do a patch test before applying essential oil to your skin. If there is no allergic reaction for 24-48 hours after patch test you can use essential oil safely.
- Essential oils are not for pregnant females, nursing mothers and children.
- Essential oils are not for ingestion.
- If you suffer from heart problem or asthma better consult your doctor before using essential oil.
Unlike painkillers sold over the counter essential oils for a headache are safe and effective. Depending on the type of a headache select the essential oil that suits.