Best Essential Oils for Headaches

Best Essential Oils for HeadachesIt’s back-to-school season! Whether you’re enrolling in classes, prepping your kids for a new  school year, or just staring longingly down aisles of notebooks and new crayons, you may be prone to a little change-of-season stress and the pounding headaches that accompany it.

Not interested in popping an Advil? Try a little DIY aromatherapy instead! Try these essential oils, praised for their ability to calm aching heads.

The Oils

You can find the following essential oils at Whole Foods or your local health food store. You can also find essential oils cheaply online, but make sure you’re not being duped into buying something that’s been diluted (here’s a great article on buying essential oils through online vendors).

Lavender: this gentle, sweet-scented essential oil will help you relax, alleviating tension that brings on headaches. It’s also a favorite oil for use at night – sprinkle a few drops on your pillowcase for sweet dreams.

Peppermint: rich in menthol, this minty oil helps with tension and sinus headaches. It’s stimulating and energizing, so use it during the daytime.

Roman Chamomile: relaxing, anti-inflammatory, and sedative, Roman Chamomile essential oil is another great choice for before-bedtime headaches. Pair with a cup of chamomile tea, perhaps?

Eucalyptus: relieve a pounding sinus headache with eucalyptus essential oil, which is said to act as an anti-inflammatory agent.

The Techniques

Massage
When you’re suffering from a headache, it can feel great to massage a few drops of these essential oils into your temples, your forehead, and the back of your neck. Just make sure to dilute the essential oils with a “carrier oil” (a mild, fairly unscented oil such as grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond, or olive oil), as essential oils are very powerful. Mix 10-12 drops of your chosen oil (6-8 drops if using eucalyptus or peppermint) into one ounce of carrier oil. Gently massage away the headache.

Inhalation
Put 1-3 drops of your chosen oil onto a cotton ball. If this is your first time using the oil, use one drop to make sure it doesn’t aggravate the headache. Hold the cotton ball beneath or near your nose and inhale steadily. Try to release all the tension in your neck and temples.

photo attribute: tedslist.com

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  • Heather Yates

    My first experience with essential oils was getting rid of a head ache. I mix peppermint and wintergreen in a small bowl. After that I smell the oils and apply it on the back of my neck and bottoms of my feet and it does wonders! If your skin is sensitive to these oils you can add a carrier oil to dilute it like olive oil.