No one likes to have a headache. But everyone has to deal with them at some point.
Most people are lucky enough to experience headaches or migraines infrequently – like after a night of drinking or poor eating choices. And for these more rare migraines or headaches a simple solution like ibuprofen or Excedrin Migraine is often enough to do the trick.
But for others who deal with chronic headaches and/or migraines a more in depth investigation and solution to the problem is called for.
Table of Contents
- 7 Essential Oils & Blends for Headaches & Migraines
- 9 Essential Oil Based Recipes and Application Methods for Headaches & Migraines
- Additional (Non-Essential Oil Based) Natural Remedies
- Lifestyle Recommendations for treating Headaches & Migraines
7 Essential Oils & Blends for Headaches & Migraines
Finding natural treatments for headaches can prove a to be headache in itself.
Luckily for us we can reach into our essential oil collection to find relief.
Let’s look at some of the best essential oils to help you stop your headaches in their tracks.
Rose oil helps to comfort and soothe the nervous system, and thus supports a healthy stress response and limiting nervous tension. In addition it has excellent therapeutic qualities which can soothe emotional upset, insomnia, depression and restore confidence.
The analgesic action of lavender oil, together with its relaxing effects on the nervous system, make it an effective treatment for headaches and migraines. Lavender is a fantastic stress reliever It calms the body and mind, creating harmony and tranquillity.
Melissa lifts the spirits and instills optimism – just what we all need when we’re stuck with a nasty headache! Melissa oil calms the nerves in our brain, helping to ease the pain caused by headaches and migraines. It also effectively reduces the symptoms of colds and flus by relieving congestion and calming a cough.
Chamomile encourages relaxation throughout the body. It calms the mind, muscles and nerves. It is diuretic, so it encourages urination and the detoxification of the body. It relaxes irritability, depression, nervous tension and anger. These calming qualities make it an effective remedy for tension headaches.
Peppermint is a refreshing and uplifting oil that helps reduce mental fatigue and improve concentration. It is a great tonic for the digestive system, which makes it particularly helpful for gastric based headaches. The menthol in peppermint also helps clear the respiratory tract, easing symptoms of sinus blockage and other cold symptoms.
Eucalyptus oil refreshes and stimulates the brain, clearing mental exhaustion and fatigue. It is particularly effective for colds for its ability to heal the upper respiratory tract. It eases pain and reduces inflammation.
Marjoram is known to be beneficial for brain health by strengthening and fortifying brain tissue. It helps relieve anxiety and stress with its warming action on the body and mind. It relieves tight muscles, muscle cramps and muscle strain.
This Blend Includes:
- Sweet Marjoram
This Blend Includes:
- Helichrysum italicum
- Roman Chamomile
9 Essential Oil Based Recipes and Application Methods for Headaches & Migraines
Okay, now onto the applications!
1.) Simple inhalation method
For tension headaches / migraines simply inhale a few drops of any of the following oils:
2.) Steam inhalation with decongestant oils
If you are a particularly congested and stuffed up you could use some decongestant oils to clear it out. This is can help ease headaches that are accompanied by cold symptoms.
For steam inhalation simply add 2-3 drops of the essential oils of peppermint and/or eucalyptus into a bowl of steaming hot water. Cover your head with a towel over the top of the bowl and inhale deeply for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to keep your eyes closed. You can find more info about inhaling essential oils here.
3.) Simple temple application
Another exceedingly simple approach for treating headaches is to apply a drop or two of your preferred essential oil to the temples.
4.) Give yourself or receive a neck or shoulder massage
Getting a firm neck and shoulder massage is particularly effective for relaxing tension headaches.
5.) Apply a hydrosol enhanced cold compress
For strenuous headaches that tire and strain the eyes you can apply a cold compress to the forehead or back of the neck.
6.) Enjoy a relaxing and aromatic bath
Baths can effectively melt away tension. Adding certain essential oils can certainly enhance them and prove particularly effective in melting away headaches and migraines.
For your bath add some of the following oils (no more than 10 drops total)
For added decongestant support
Additional (Non-Essential Oil Based) Natural Remedies
Here are some more natural products you can use in addition to your essential oil treatment regimen.
- Provides calming french lavender flowers for aromatherapy stress relief
- Soft, silky fabric
- Organix Flax seed filling
- Large enough to block out light completely with no straps
- Can be used both hot (microwaive) and cold (freezer)
- Also relieves sinus pain, soothes tired, puffy eyes
- 100% natural ingredients
- Clinically shown to reduce migraine frequency and intensity
- Can be safely used with most prescription medications
- Features butterbur root, magnesium citrate, riboflavin, feverfew
- Vegetarian Capsule – Wheat Free – Gluten Free – Dairy Free – Nut Free – No Artificial Colors – No Artificial Flavors
Lifestyle Recommendations for treating Headaches & Migraines
While they are effective, essential oils and other natural remedies can only do so much when treating headaches.
Often the source of our headaches are deep rooted. Food allergies, internal imbalances, sleep disorders, nutritional deficiencies…
We need to address the root cause of our condition.
The following recommendations include some more quick relief type methods for treating migraines & headaches.
But more importantly, I’ve included some therapeutic, long term approaches and methods to the section as well.
Listen closely if you want to cure your headaches and prevent them from recurring for good.
Remember though, chronic headaches can be hard to fix. Headaches are difficult to diagnose, even for neurologists. You will have to do some serious investigation and put forth a good deal of effort if you want to heal your condition.
The following are potential factors that can contribute to frequent headaches & migraines:
Not drinking enough water
Dehydration is often is a large contributor to headaches and migraines for most sufferers.
Luckily this is a really easy fix.
Just drink more water!
I’ve found that essential oils can help motivate me to drink more water.
I always add just a drop or two of lemon, mandarin or peppermint in my water to add a bit more flavor and therapeutic effect.
It’s tasty and it makes me drink more water than I would otherwise.
Magnesium is thought to affect changes in the blood vessels in the brain.
Studies have shown that people with chronic headaches and migraines often have low levels of magnesium.
Magnesium is an important element to the human system. It is essential for proper muscle and nerve function and it helps maintain strong bones and a steady heart rhythm. It’s also important for regulating both blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
To get more magnesium you can add more magnesium rich foods to your diet, like:
- Organ meats (liver,kidney…)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
- Black beans
You can also supplement with highly absorbable forms of supplemental magnesium such as magnesium biglycinate chelate.
Another great way to get more magnesium into your system is to take a soothing bath with added magnesium flakes. It’s both a relaxing and effective way to combat magnesium deficiency.
Having a poor Sleep Schedule
Sleep quantity and quality can also play a significant role in developing headaches and migraines. Getting too little rest – or even too much in some cases – can bring on headaches.
Plus if you’re already suffering with a headache or migraine you’re at a disadvantage when trying to fall asleep. Sleep quality can dip dramatically if your head is pounding during rest, which can set you up for more aches for days to come…
If you have think you might have difficulties with your sleep patterns consider some of the following recommendations:
- Set a regular sleep schedule. Set aside eight hours for sleep at night. Even if you don’t sleep those whole eight hours make sure that you use this time for relaxation. Avoid using bright screens and keep your lights dimmed. If you have to do some activity simply read, follow your breathing or reflect positively on your day.
- Eat and drink earlier at night. By limiting fluid intake before bed you minimize interrupting trips to the bathroom. Same for foods, as they can often add some liquids too and promote bathroom trips.
- Make sure your sleeping environment is comfortable. Keeping the temperature comfortable, the room pitch black and a diffuser going can make all the difference in lulling you to sleep.
Suffering from food allergies
Headaches can be symptomatic of a variety of issues in the body.
The common issue here is inflammation.
Food allergies, which are more common than many people realize, create a lot of inflammation in the body when an offending food is ingested that triggers an immune response.
When the food(s) are removed, the headaches / migraines can disappear.
What potentially allergenic foods could be contributing to your headaches / migraines?
Ultimately the body can be allergic to any food.
But there are some more common foods that people are allergic to
- Cereal grains (gluten)
- Milk (casein, lactose)
- tree nuts
To know for sure if you have food allergies I recommend everyone gets a food allergy blood test.
High stress and tension levels
Stress levels are big factor for headaches and migraines.
Whether it is mental, physical or dietary stress – you can be sure that the stresses of your life have some involvement with your headaches.
If you are suffering from headaches it would be a good idea to take a close look at the stressor in your life and see how many you could reduce or free yourself from.
If you find that you are in fact dealing with significant stress I recommend taking frequent baths and getting massages. I have a pretty nifty personal massager from Ivation that I use every night. Not the same as a real massage, but it’s damn good for the price.
Excess consumption of MSG
Despite some of its broad claims of relative safety, MSG (monosodium glutamate) has been associated with triggering a variety of health ailments including migraine headaches. Because of this many headache specialists recommend an MSG free diet.
Glutamate is a common neurotransmitter in the body that. MSG has a direct effect on your glutamate pathways.
One of the primary purposes of adding monosodium glutamate to food products is to affect hunger. MSG and glutamate affect the hypothalamus which dictates our sense of being full. More MSG can mean more hunger and suppressed satiety response.
MSG was discovered and isolated in the early 20th century. Because it’s considered a natural substance – and a component of food, not an ingredient – MSG doesn’t have to be labeled on food products.
While some companies do list MSG in their ingredients others do not, opting to use a pseudonym for the substance or leave it out of the nutrition facts entirely.
It’s not just foods that you’ll find MSG in. You’re also likely to come across them in energy drinks, soda, sunscreen, cosmedics, bug sprays, medications, shampoos, conditioners, vaccinations… etc.
The reasons MSG is linked with migraines and headaches is due to it’s propensity to increase glutamate levels in the brain, often considerably. Too much glutamate brings on toxicity and inflammation in the brain which leads to headaches. This inflammatory response can impair or destroy brain receptors as well.
Hopefully you’ve found some helpful information in this post.
If you have any questions, comments or recommendations of your own please let us know in the comment section below!