Essential Oils For Headaches

by Jennifer H.
(Albany, NY)

Essential oils have been known for years to help relieve minor headaches. They can also improve your mood and behavior when taken on a regular basis. They can also reduce the need for pain medication such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.

I wanted to write this article and let people know that there are remedies for their headaches and migraines. Of course, if they persist, you should go to your doctor and find the underlying cause. I'm writing this articles for information purposes only and it shouldn't be taken as medical advice.

Some of the normal causes for headaches can be:

  • Hunger
  • Stress
  • Tension
  • Allergies
  • Loud sounds
  • Tooth or dental problems
  • Head injury
  • Alcohol (hangovers)
  • Bowel disruption
  • Drugs
  • Hormones
  • Lack of sleep
  • Neurological disorders

I've found the four most useful essential oils for headaches and migraines are:

Eucalyptus Essential Oil - It can act as both an anti-inflammatory as well as an expectorant and is best when you have a sinus headaches due to a cold or the flu, bronchitis, and cold sores. Its color is clear and has a thin consistency but a pretty strong aroma. Eucalyptus oil should not put on the face or neck of children under the age of 10. Do not take it internally. Its properties are meant for topical application. Eucalyptus oil is very toxic when taken orally.

Lavender Essential Oil - This is normally on people's top list to have when they get headaches, and for good reason. It's beautiful and has a light, versatile aroma. Its calming properties and anti-bacterial agents is a must for First-Aid Kits. It helps calm stress and anxiety and promotes better sleep. Rub 2 - 3 drops on your chest or forehead. If the oil seems a bit strong, you can cut it down a bit using a quality carrier oil such as olive oil or a neutral coconut oil.

Peppermint Essential Oil - Peppermint is unmistakable and familiar to most people. Some peppermint essential oil can contain menthol which offers you a nice cooling sensation. Better than Vick's Vapor Rub. Menthol is wonderful for tension headaches and normal aches and pains. Its color is clear with a tinge of yellow, thin consistency, and has a fairly strong aroma. Keep clear of your nose and eyes because it's known as a mucous membrane irritant.

Basil Essential Oil - Basil oil is extracted from the herb Ocimum basilicum, of the Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family. It's often used in aromatherapy and is pale greenish-yellow in color. The aroma is clear and has a slight peppery/sweet smell. Basil oil can easily irritate a sensitive skin so care must be taken. Keep away from your eyes as it can burn. Basil oil should be avoided during pregnancy. Take a couple of drops of basil oil with a couple drops of carrier oils and rub on your forehead and temples.

It's always recommended to use caution when using oils with children. Only give them low doses to start with and only use gentle oils.

If you're ever in doubt, always contact a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils on yourself and/or your children. Some oils can be toxic at low levels when taken orally. Some oils work best on the forehead, while others can be placed on the chest, or even the bottom of your feet.

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