Over 80% of adults will experience headaches of varying degrees in their lifetime so it’s no wonder when that familiar tension starts to build that we look for remedies to stop the pain.
The problem is sifting through the staggering number of natural remedies for headaches out there. It can certainly feel a bit overwhelming but I want to encourage you to try one more thing, just one more remedy that can help stop a headache in its tracks – and that is essential oils for headaches!
The Best Essential Oils for Headaches That Relieve Pain Fast!
Essential oils serve as a natural way to stave off and even completely eliminate the pain of tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines.
Common Types of Headaches
Cluster Headaches – This type of headache exhibits localized pain accompanied by congested or runny sinuses and watery eyes. They can last between 15 minutes to 3 hours and often occur at the same time of day that can last for weeks or months. Some people suffer up to eight “attacks” a day.
Exertional Headaches – Brought on by strenuous physical exercise that are characterized by a throbbing pain felt throughout the head.
Hypnic Headaches – also known as “alarm clock headaches” because they wake people during the night. These headaches are characterized by a mild-to-moderate throbbing pain on both sides of the head accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine – Characterized by intense throbbing pain on one side of the head with a heightened sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. Some experience and “aura” before the onset of a migraine that can cause partial loss of vision, flickering spots, numbness, muscle weakness, and even difficulty speaking. Nausea and vomiting are also common.
Sinus Headaches – Caused by swelling of the sinuses as a result of infection or allergies. These headaches are characterized by a dull throbbing aches around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead and can even be felt in the teeth and jaw. If there is no nasal discharge present, uou may be experiencing a migraine instead.
Tension Headaches – Often caused by dehydration, poor sleeping habits, bad posture, eye strain, and lack of exercise. These headaches are characterized by a dull constant pain felt on both sides of the head (often behind the eyes) including feelings of tenderness around the face, head, neck, and shoulders. You can check out this post for more natural remedie for tension headaches.
Whichever type of headache you have, you can be sure that there is an essential oil that can help alleviate its symptoms.
The Best Essential Oils for Headaches
I’ll never forget the time back when I worked in the vitamin department at my local health food store. A coworker of mine from a different department came asking for a headache remedy and you could just tell she was feeling desperate.
A fellow associate told her “I’ve got just the thing. Come with me!” and proceeded to pull the peppermint essential oil sample from the shelf. Intrigued, I watched as she mixed a few drops of peppermint oil in a pump of lotion and apply it to the back of the girl’s neck and temples.
She left to go back to her department only to return moments later raving about how her headache was gone! The peppermint oil had worked!
While the peppermint essential oil had offered undeniable relief, it isn’t the only essential oil that works well for treating headaches.
Other essential oils that help with headaches include:
• Basil linalool – a natural muscle relaxer and pain reliever
• Eucalyptus globulus – a natural analgesic that reduces inflammation and muscular tension (one of the best essential oils for sinus headache due to its decongestant properties)
• Ginger CO2 – known to relieve pain associated with tense muscles, headaches, lower back pain, and menstrual cramps by improving circulation (good for nausea associated with migraines)
• Lavender – induces relaxation, calming, and pain relieving both when applied or inhaled (spike lavender has even more pain relieving properties)
• Ravensara – has antispasmodic and analgesic properties
• Roman chamomile – eases the pain of headaches, strains, sprains, aches, and muscular tension
• Rosemary – improves circulation and inhibits pain and inflammation associated with headaches
Peppermint essential oil is definitely one of the most effective essential oils for headaches since it activates k-opioid receptors that help block the transmission of pain signals.
For this reason, if you can only choose one oil, peppermint is the one to get!
My Favorite Essential Oil Recipe for Headache
This is a quick and simple recipe that you can take with you and use at the first sign of an oncoming headache.
To make it, you will need:
• One 10ml roll-on bottle
• Sweet almond oil or preferred carrier oil
• 4 drops peppermint essential oil
• 1 drop eucalyptus globulus essential oil
• 1 drop roman chamomile essential oil
This will make a 3% dilution.
I love using this roll-on for quick headache relief and the small size make it easy to store in a purse or carry around in your pocket.
I like to keep one in my bedside table because waking up with a headache is never a fun way to start the day and is normally how the majority of my headaches begin.
Swipe the roll-on over temples and the back of the neck and gentle massage the oils into the skin.
The pain-relieving properties with take effect within 15 minutes.
If you would like an alternative recipe, please check out my headache relief roll-on recipe here.
What have been your favorite home remedies for headache? Please share them in the comment below!
For more remedies for headaches be sure to check out this post.
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do you think rosemary, basil and peppermint would be an effective blend? its the only oils I have from your list right now. Thanks!
Lori Moore says
Great Tash! This is a very informative post, I had no idea there were so many types of headaches! It’s awesome that essential oils can take care of them – naturally!
I think I read somewhere that nutmeg oil helps relieve headaches.. is that true?
I’ve seen that too! Perhaps gently smell it from the bottle or use it topically well diluted.