Of all the common health complaints, headaches are up there. Millions of people of all ages experience regular headaches. Headaches can be caused by numerous sources from stress to hormonal changes. Sometimes, headaches can be an indication of an underlying health issue. Other times, headaches occur from non-threatening causes like sudden changes in humidity or seasonal allergies.
Whatever the cause of your headaches may be, there’s no doubt that you, like all headache sufferers, are always on the hunt for a treatment option that actually works. While over-the-counter pain medications may temporarily relieve the problem, they don’t address the root cause and in many cases they don’t effectively eradicate the pain completely. Other treatment options like the application of botox into the facial muscles can be temporarily effective yet very expensive and sometimes risky.
Luckily, there is a method for headache relief that is affordable, completely safe and extremely effective. It’s called aromatherapy.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a form of therapy that has been practiced for thousands of years. Aromatherapy refers to the use of essential oils in order to relieve physical and emotional symptoms that a person is experiencing.
Essential oils are the concentrated oils that are extracted from plants. Different plants have unique healing benefits that have successfully treated numerous health problems since ancient times.
Aromatherapy works by triggering certain responses in the brain that provide healing throughout the body. When these essential oils are inhaled, they reach the brain through the nasal passage. The brain responds very strongly to smells, stimulating different responses. This process means that aromatherapy is a completely natural and safe form of healing.
How Can Essential Oils Be Applied?
There are various ways to use essential oils. One way is to apply the drops of oil directly to various trigger points on the body. For headache sufferers, these trigger points include the temples and behind the ears.
Another option is to purchase an oil diffuser. This tabletop device mixes essential oils with water and sends a healing mist of vapor into any room in your home.
You can also add a few drops of essential oils into a bath. The steam from the hot water will maximize inhalation.
The 6 Best Essential Oils for Treating Headaches
If you suffer from frequent headaches, we’ve got you covered. These essential oils have been proven to effectively treat headaches.
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is perhaps the most popular essential oil used for treating headaches. This is because lavender has analgesic properties, meaning that it reduces inflammation and signals pain relief from the brain. Lavender essential oil slows down the nervous system and also induces relaxation which can help headaches that are brought on by stress or anxiety.
Lavender essential oil is great for headaches that occur in the evening. This is because the scent of lavender can promote sleep.
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil can alleviate headaches fast when applied directly to the forehead and temples. That’s because it stops muscle contractions and encourages bloodflow, making it especially effective at treating tension headaches. Peppermint essential oil also has a cooling effect on the skin and muscles, helping tense muscles relax.
3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil is especially effective at treating sinus headaches. That’s because the inhalation of eucalyptus can clear out congested sinus passages. Eucalyptus also reduces inflammation that can trigger headaches.
Eucalyptus essential oil is best used in the morning because it can stimulate brain activity.
4. Rosemary Essential Oil
Like lavender, rosemary possesses analgesic properties that bring pain relief to the body. Rosemary also has the ability to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, two common sources for headaches.
Rosemary essential oil triggers alertness in the brain. For that reason, this essential oil is best used during the daytime hours.
5. Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile is a popular tea that can settle upset stomachs and reduce anxiety. That’s because chamomile flowers have a unique calming effect on the nervous system and the muscles. For this reason, using chamomile essential oil is a great way to alleviate headaches. Chamomile can also reduce feelings of anger and anxiety that can cause tension headaches.
6. Marjoram Essential Oil
Applying marjoram essential oil directly to the skin can relieve tension in the muscles. Marjoram essential oil also promotes relaxation and relief from stress. Because tension headaches often result from stress, marjoram essential oil is incredibly effective when it comes to eliminating headaches fast.
[Editors Note: Goddess Garden has a line of Aromatherapy Essential Oils including all of the ones mentioned here and some blends.]
About the Author:
Founder of ThinkOily.com, Sally Wong has been a manual therapist for 15 years. In addition to manual therapy, she practices massage therapy, yoga and tai chi. Born in China, she discovered the amazing healing benefits of aromatherapy at a young age from her grandmother. She dedicates much of her time to promoting the benefits of essential oils to those looking for relief from ailments of all kinds.