How To Use Essential Oils For Headaches
Headaches are painful and often debilitating, but over the counter treatments can come with side effects that many would rather forgo.
Consequently, people are left to suffer in silence, but luckily there are alternatives to common drugs.
Natural remedies are becoming increasingly popular for treating headaches, thanks to their lack of side effects. And none of these natural methods are proving more popular than using essential oils to treat a headache.
In fact, essential oils have been used to combat headaches for hundreds of years and there are several readily available oils that are known to soothe the pain and restore clarity of mind.
Different oils have different healing properties, so be sure to that the one you choose is right for the job. And if you don’t like the smell of one particular essential oil for headaches, there are always others that will help with an aroma that you find suits your personal taste.
Here are some essential oils that you can use to combat your headache.
Peppermint essential oil
Under most circumstances, peppermint essential oil is the most effective choice for relieving a headache. It’s one of the most refreshing and energizing essential oils, and since it is a powerful decongestant it is particularly helpful for sinus-type headaches. Peppermint oil helps to relieve the congestion and pressure that builds up causing the pain and headaches.
For instant relief add two drops of peppermint oil to a tissue and inhale gently for a few minutes. Despite what you may have read in books and articles, don’t apply peppermint neat to the temples since it is a skin irritant.
Another way to use this essential oil is via a steam inhalation. Fill a large bowl with almost boiling water and add three to four drops of peppermint. Close your eyes, lean over the bowl and breathe gently, but deeply. Take it easy at first since peppermint is a powerful oil and can literally take your breath away. To help direct the vapors, place a large towel over your head.
If your headache is preventing you from sleeping you should avoid using peppermint because of its powerful stimulating action which will prevent you from getting back to sleep. There other oils better suited for headaches under these circumstances.
Lavender essential oil
One of the most commonly recognised and easily available oils, lavender is a very useful headache remedy. It is a relaxing oil, so it can help when tackling tension headaches. It can also help you drop off to sleep, so try to use this essential oil if you have a headache in the late evening or during the night.
Because of its gentle properties, lavender essential oil can even be used with children, and one way to ease a child’s headache is by using a cold compress. Simply put three or four drops of lavender essential oil into icy cold water and place a folded, absorbent material into the liquid. Do not fully immerse it into the water. Squeeze out any excess water and apply the compress to the forehead. Wrap in polythene or cover the area with a towel, whichever feels the most comfortable.
Roman chamomile essential oil
Roman chamomile is a wonderfully soothing essential oil that can also help to relieve headaches, especially if associated with hay fever or other allergy type conditions. This oil can be used in the same way as previously mentioned, or mix 3 drops with 5ml of a carrier oil of your choice and massage onto the temples, forehead and neck.
Depending on the severity of the headache, this blend can also be massaged into the shoulders, base of the neck, and even the scalp. This direct application will often get to the root of the problem and ease tension headaches.
Marjoram sweet essential oil
Marjoram sweet essential oil is the perfect choice if headaches are related to the menstrual cycle, as this oil is recommended for easing symptoms during this time. With a warm herbaceous fragrance, it also helps to tackle aches and pains.
Add a few drops of marjoram sweet essential oil to a vaporiser or burner and allow the room to fill with this wonderful herby aroma. Blend it with roman chamomile oil for a soothing and calming action which helps to ease those irritating background tension headaches.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2014. Written by Sue Charles