Essential Oils for Migraines or Headaches

How to Relieve Migraines or Headaches with Aromatherapy

essential oils for migraines

Can Essential Oils Alleviate Migraines or Headaches?

A migraine is more than a severe headache because it may be accompanied with nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, or flu symptoms. Migraines can be very painful. Besides migraines, tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Tension headaches are characterized by constant pressure or pain in the head. Some essential oils are helpful in reducing the pain, but they do not cure migraines or headaches and underlying medical issues.

Essential Oils for Alleviating Migraines or Headaches

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint contains menthol, which is found in many OTC pain relievers, and has been used to relieve headache for centuries. A combination of peppermint oil and ethanol was found to have a significant effect with a reduction in sensitivity to headache (Gobel et al., 1994).

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary has the analgesic property. An ethanol extract of rosemary was found to demonstrate pain blocking and anti-inflammatory activity in mice and rats (Gonzalez-Trujano et al., 2007)

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus contains 1,8 cineol(62-72%). 1,8 cineol was found to have pain reducing properties similar to morphine (Lipi et al., 2007) possibly by depressing the central nervous system (Santos et al., 2000)

Basil Essential Oil

Basil also contains some 1,8 cineol and one of its French Medicinal Uses is migraines.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum also contains 1,8 cineol and has been used for headaches historically.

Wintergreen Essential Oil

Wintergreen contains significant amount of methyl salicylate. In the body, it metabolized into salicylates, including salicylic acid, a known NASID.

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram has the antispasmodic and sedative properties. Migraines and muscle pains are listed in French Medicinal Uses. In patients suffering from arthritis, it was found that a blend of lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint blended with carrier oils reduced perceived pain and depression compared to control (Kim et al., 2005).

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender contains 1,8 cineol. Lavender oil was found to work as an anesthetic (reducing pain) in rabbit reflex test (Ghelardini et al., 1999).

Clove Essential Oil

Clove contains methyl salicylate and has the analgesic property. It may help tension headaches.

Roman Chamomile

Roman chamomile contains a high amount of esters (up to 75%) and has the sedative property that can help with muscle tension and nerves.

doTERRA PastTense

The oils in this blend are known to help relieve the pain and tension associated with headaches. It contains wintergreen, lavender, peppermint, frankincense, cilantro, roman chamomile, marjoram, basil and rosemary.

doTERRA Deep Blue

This blend contains oils that are well known and studied for their abilities to soothe inflammation, alleviate pain and reduce soreness. It contains wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, blue chamomile, helichrysum and osmanthus.


How to Use Essential Oils to Alleviate Migraines or Headaches

Dilute your selected oils as recommended by manufactures, and apply 1-4 drops to temples, back of neck, and forehead. You can also add several drops into the diffuser and inhale directly. 


Identifying the Triggers of Migraines or Headaches

Perhaps the best way to control migraines is to find out what causes them. Except those environmental and stress related triggers, food probably is the most likely suspect. Keep a diary of what you eat, drink, and try to figure out the pattern of your headaches. In my scenario, bread is the guilty one. Most people would think it must be gluten related, but I cannot blame gluten because there are many foods contain gluten including noodles, but only the bread bought from markets or serviced through restaurants triggers my migraines. 


Methods to Reduce the Frequency of Migraines or Headaches

Proper massages, including foot massage, may reduce the frequency of migraines / headaches. Massages around the neck and shoulder area can ease the muscle and nerve tension that contribute to headaches. Therapies from Chiropractic doctors may also be an effective treatment options. My friend’s headaches are nearly gone through the care of a Chiropractic doctor. Curcumin BCM-95 is a natural pain reliever for headaches and migraines; it sometimes is used to prevent rebound headaches. 





Posted by on Dec 1, 2013 in Aromatherapy Uses | 0 comments

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