If you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines, the good news is that essential oils can help…a lot! There are different types of headaches, and different essential oils should be used to treat each one. These essential oils can be applied topically to the forehead or head, inhaled directly from their bottle, or used aromatically in a diffuser.
First, let’s learn more about the different types of headaches and what oils should be used to treat them:
- General Headaches – For general headaches, the best types of essential oils to have on hand are rosemary and peppermint. In most instances, a single drop of peppermint oil topically applied to the aching head will be sufficient to treat a general headache. If these are not readily available, clove, basil, and eucalyptus oils are also effective at treating general headaches.
- Gastric Headaches – Gastric headaches often arise after a person has eaten bad or spoiled food. The most effective essential oils for treating gastric headaches are rosemary, peppermint, and lavender.
- Tension Headaches – Tension headaches are brought on my stress. They are readily identifiable because of the dull pain or ache that appears on either side of the head. For this type of headache, peppermint oil is the best essential oil to use for treatment.
- Migraines – Of all types of headaches, migraines are often considered the worst. Migraines can occur for a wide variety of reasons, but some of the most common reasons include dehydration, lack of sleep, and stress. The headache itself is often accompanied by symptoms of light sensitivity and nausea. The four most effective essential oils for treating migraines and their symptoms are basil and peppermint, followed by ylang ylang and wintergreen.
Applying Your Essential Oil Blends
When it comes to using essential oils to treat headaches, the most effective method of treatment is topical application. Ideally, the essential oil you use should be mixed with a carrier oil and massaged onto the surface of your forehead. If you prefer to use undiluted oil to treat a headache, then you should use no more than a single drop applied directly to the source of the pain. Undiluted essential oils are quite powerful, so only a minute amount is needed to get the job done.
An excellent general rule of thumb for daily or frequent massaging is the 1% solution. For muscle aches that occur only on occasion, 3% solution is recommended.
An example of a 1% solution would be adding a single drop of the chosen essential oil to the carrier oil, a 3% solution would be adding three drops of essential oil to the carrier oil, and so forth. If you are making a one-ounce blend, use 6 drops for a 1% solution and 15-18 drops of essential oil for a 3% solution.
Headache relief through essential oils can also be obtained by using an air diffuser or keeping the drops near you by placing them on a cotton ball.