Millions of people suffer from headaches and migraines every single day. There are numerous different causes of head tension – allergies, stress, tired, hormones, dehydrated, low blood sugar level, nutrition deficiencies are some of the main causes of headaches. Almost everyone experiences a headache at least occasionally. With more than 4 million adults experiencing chromic migraines (>15+ per month).
Often when a headache comes on people will go to a pill. But with side effects, such as liver and kidney damage it’s no wonder why people don’t want to take them ever – or at least often. Medications also only deals with the symptom and never the cause. Medications also take 30-45 minutes to kick in. So you’re left dealing with the headache for quite a while.
One of the most common and natural go-to’s for headaches and migraines are essential oils. Essential oils can do a lot more than just make a room smell great. Each one has its own benefits, and some are particularly ideal for helping to relieve things like headaches and migraines. Essential oils are extremely popular for headaches and migraines because they treat the headache trigger, rather than just minimizing the pain temporarily. Essential oils also don’t have the side effects that cause damage to the liver or kidneys. And if medication isn’t an option, it’s nice to have a few natural tricks up your sleeve.
How do Essential Oils Treat Headaches?
Essential oils are a much safer and effective alternative to treating migraines and headaches. Essential oils support increased circulation, decreased stress, improved blood flow – all which are root causes of headaches. Essential oils also have numerous other health benefits to help boost your immune system and overall health.
One of the most common triggers of headaches is hormonal changes in women. Fluctuations in estrogen can trigger headaches, especially immediately before or during their periods when estrogen levels drop. Hormone medication can actually make headaches even worse, so using essential oils are a safe and more effective alternative. Lavender or rosemary oils, for example, are soothing oils that relieve tension.
Stress is also another major headache cause. Lavender essential oil and peppermint oil can be used aromatically (such as in a diffuser). Alternations to sleep can also lead to headaches. Lavender essential oil helps calm the mind and reduce cortisol levels, helping promote more restful sleep.
Our Top 7 Essential Oils for Headaches and Migraines
- Peppermint essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Chamomile essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Spearmint essential oil
- Clary Sage essential oil
Peppermint – Peppermint is one of the most popular essential oil for headache relief – and it works! Peppermint oil contains menthol, which helps muscles relax while easing tension. Peppermint is also cooling which helps inhibit muscle contraction, while stimulating blood flow.
To Use: apply a bit of diluted peppermint oil to your forehead and temples.
Lavender – Lavender essential oil is another popular oil for headaches. Lavender is calming and it can help ease stress that could cause a rise in tension in the back and neck muscles – which ends up causing a headache.
There’s even a study showing that lavender essential oil can be powerful enough to manage the pain of a migraine. One clinical trial found that inhaling lavender oil for 15 minutes could reduce the severity of symptoms.
Rosemary – Rosemary essential oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory that also boosts tension-relieving properties. Rosemary is often used to improv circulation and treat headaches. One study on Rosemary found that it could be beneficial for opioid withdrawal symptoms because it can reduce pain and relieve insomnia – things which contribute to head tension.
Another study on Rosemary found that it can ease anxiety and depression, two more causes of headaches.
Chamomile – Chamomile tea is a wonderful way to relax after a long day, so naturally chamomile essential oil is also incredibly soothing. Research has shown that chamomile essential oil can help to relieve anxious feelings and depression, which can lead to headaches.
Eucalyptus – Headaches can often be caused by sinus issues or congestion. With these types of headaches eucalyptus essential oil is a great go to. Eucalyptus essential oil has been shown to open up nasal passages and clear the sinuses.
Eucalyptus can also help with tension headaches. This study found that eucalyptus is boh relaxing and soothing, easing the tension that can cause a headache.
To Use: mix with a bit of peppermint essential oil. Dilute both oils and apply to the temples and forehead as needed.
Spearmint – Spearmint is similar to peppermint essential oil as it has the same properties. It’s incredibly cooling and soothing when your head feels hot. But spearmint oil has less menthol in it, making it a bit soften and more subtle.
Spearmint essential oil has not been studied as much as peppermint oil, but spearmint’s use dates back thousand of years to ancient Greece.
Clary Sage – Clary sage has numerous health benefits and is commonly known for easing menstrual discomfort and cramps. Hormonal changes are one of the common causes of headaches in women. Estrogen rises during menstrual cycles and childbirth.
For hormonal related types of headaches clary sage would be a good option. A study from Phytotherapy Research also showed that inhaling clary sage oils could reduce cortisol levels, thereby relieving depression.
Our Favorite Headache Roller
- 10 drops peppermint oil
- 10 drops eucalyptus oil
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 20 drops rosemary oil
Put essential oils in a 10ml roller ball, then fill to the top with a carrier oil. Roll on forehead and temples as needed.
Hormonal Headache Relief Roller
- 20 drops clary sage oil
- 15 drops peppermint oil
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 5 drops chamomile oil
Put essential oils in a 10ml roller ball, then fill to the top with a carrier oil. Roll on forehead and temples. Can also roll on lower abdomen for hormone support.
- The best essential oils for migraines and headaches are: Peppermint, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, spearmint and clary sage.
- One of the best ways to use essential oils for headaches is by diffusing them with a high quality diffuser, such as the ones available HERE
- You can also mix essential oils in a roller bottle (available HERE) and top with a carrier oil. Roll on forehead and temples as needed
The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.