When headaches hit you want something that will work fast, but that you won’t have to worry about putting in your body. Over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers come with potential side effects, including liver problems and bleeding. And prescription drugs can carry even more dangers, including addiction.
Essential oils fit the bill. They’re completely natural and they’re effective. It’s a win-win.
Give one of these five pain-relieving oils to try, and you could soon find your headache pain is nothing but a bad memory.
This boldly-scented oil is an expectorant as well as an anti-inflammatory, which means it’s a natural choice for fighting sinus headaches. Eucalyptus oil can help break up congestion, relieving sinus pressure and pain. In one study, eucalyptus oil was even shown to help reduce blood pressure, which it turn can help relieve headache pain.
Sweet smelling lavender oil is a long-time favorite for use in bubble baths and diffusers. The relaxing oil can reportedly wash away stress, and help you sleep. Those same soothing properties could also help ease away your headache. In one study, every single person using lavender for their headache reported finding relief, compared to less than half in the control group.
Menthol-rich peppermint oil targets headache pain by helping with blood flow and muscle contractions. The bright-smelling oil helps relax muscles, soothing away the pain. Peppermint is especially good for tension headaches. But keep in mind this oil is stimulating, so you’ll want to avoid it at night, or whenever you need to get some shuteye.
Rosemary is one of our favorite herbs around here, and it turns out the oil that’s extracted from this delicious spice could also be the key to getting rid of your headache. Rosemary is a natural anti-inflammatory, as well as an analgesic pain killer. Plus, this stimulating herb reportedly helps ease the anxiety that often comes with a severe headache.
Like peppermint, spearmint draws much of its headache-fighting powers from menthol. And also like peppermint, spearmint helps improve blood flow and eases muscle tension to drive away headache pain. Spearmint has a milder scent, so if you find the smell of peppermint oil a bit too strong for your tastes, spearmint is a great replacement.
Now let’s take a look at how to use the oil you’ve chosen to send that headache packing.
How to use essential oils to ease headache pain
When choosing an oil always look for a 100 percent pure essential oil. You should avoid anything with the words fragrance or perfume on the label.
Mix your chosen essential oil with a carrier oil before applying it directly to your skin. Good ones to try are sesame oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and coconut oil. Add around 7-10 drops of your essential oil for every ounce of carrier oil you’re using. When you feel a headache beginning to build rub your temples, and the back of your neck, with the diluted essential oil.
You can also use essential oils in a diffuser to help you relax, and ease away headache pain. In this case you will use the undiluted oil directly out of the bottle. Place around 15 to 20 drops of the oil into the diffuser’s well, and let it fill the room with scent.
Many folks find bathing with essential oil quickly relieves their headache pain. The warm water combined with the soothing oil go to work fast, easing tension and pain. Add 7-10 drops of your favorite essential oil to a warm bath. You can mix it with your favorite bath oil first, or use it right out of the bottle since the water in the tub dilutes it. Slide in and say goodbye to your headache.
If you don’t have a carrier oil on hand, a great way to take advantage of the headache-relieving power in your essential is the “sniff method.” Simply apply 3-4 drops of undiluted essential oil to a tissue or cotton ball, hold it close to your nose and breathe deeply.
But keep in mind, some folks find they’re more sensitive to aromas and smells when experiencing a headache. So for your first time using the sniff method you might want to start with a single drop of oil to see how you react.