Find Relief With These Essential Oils for Headaches
Headaches are very, very common. You can always tell the onset of one when you feel a throbbing in one part of the head, tense neck and facial muscles, pressure on the neck and head and sensitivity to light. It’s an all too familiar experience that we’ve all had at one time or another.
Global stats estimate that one in every twenty people has a headache every day.
The fact that it is common doesn’t make a headache a normal thing. As a matter of fact, it could be a symptom of an underlying problem.
Headache Triggers and Causes
For instance, some headaches are usually caused by:
- certain drugs
- withdrawal from certain substances
- dental problems
- injury to the head
- high blood pressure
If your headache is caused by an underlying problem then it is known as a secondary headache. It means that other than treating the headache, it is also essential to address that underlying issue.
If it is not caused by another illness or condition then it is known as a primary headache. It is a stand-alone illness that occurs when there is an over-activity or any other problem with one or more head structures that are sensitive to pain (e.g. muscles, blood vessels or nerves).
Both primary and secondary headaches can be very painful to the point of disrupting your daily activities. Of course nobody wants to be held down by such pain, which is why it is always recommended that you seek treatment as soon as possible to relive sinus pressure, or whatever else may be causing your pain.
Better yet you can put in place preventive measures. A good example is the use of essential oils to prevent headaches without any negative side effects. More on that will come later.
Headache Disorder- Not to be Ignored
Besides the disruptive pain, another reason why you shouldn’t ignore a headache is the fact that it can lead to an even bigger and more serious health problem. Perhaps the most common is a headache disorder, which occurs when you suffer from chronic headaches (i.e. headaches that occur frequently – at least 15 days a month).
- It is estimated that at least 50% of the world’s adult population suffers from a headache disorder.
- In America alone there are about 45 million people who suffer from daily headaches.
- While up to 30% of those are cases of migraines (which is what most people complain of), it is not even the most common.
- The top spot is taken by tension-type headache which affects over 33% of men and 50% of women. The other headache disorders are rebound headache, cluster headache and thunderclap headache.
Although it is most prevalent in developed countries and among women (who get about twice as many headaches as men), a headache disorder can affect pretty much anyone regardless of their age, nationality, race and gender. Sadly, it does come with some very negative impacts. The overwhelming pain causes so much physical, emotional, economic and social burden that can be literally disabling to the sufferer.
Headache Diagnosis and Treatment Options
In most cases a doctor will diagnose a headache based on the description you give. If it is a complex condition further tests like X-ray, blood tests and brain scans may be needed. The doctor may administer or prescribe pain relief medicines.
While getting a diagnosis and treatment is a good way to deal with a headache, a better method would be trying to avoid getting one in the first place. In that regard there are so many alternatives that you could go for, but the one that stands out most is the use of essential oils.
Apart from being very effective at preventing and treating headaches, essential oils are very affordable and easy to get.
Essential Oils for Headache Relief
Essential oils usually relieve headaches very effectively. If you have the right stock of these magical oils you might not feel the need to take pain medications. The best part is that they come with many more additional benefits. Most of them will improve your immune system, reduce pain in other parts of the body, treat swellings and inflammations, boost your energy, and improve your moods.
There are oils that also bring a calming effect to the mind and body. Those are the best for treating headaches; particularly if you are dealing with secondary headaches because they also treat most other causes of such headaches (like stress, fatigue and high blood pressure. So essentially you will be solving so many problems purely with essential oils.
The trick to getting the best out of essential oils lies in choosing the best ones for the job. With regards to treating headaches, we have compiled the following list to help you know which oils are the most important. You can buy them as individual oils or in a blend.
Essential Oils for Headaches
1. Lavender essential oil
This lavender oil contains compounds known as esters. They are very effective at treating headaches. The oil is also a great sedative and anti-inflammatory agent.
2. Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil contains 1,8-ceneole, an oxide that relieves pain and inflammations. This oil is exceptionally effective at treating sinus headaches.
3. Roman chamomile oil
As is the case with lavender, roman chamomile contains esters that offer relief from headaches. The oil also has sedative and anti-inflammatory properties. NOTE: if you are pregnant you should not use this oil. It increases the risk of a miscarriage.
4. Helichrysum oil
Helichrysm oil helps the body relax while at the same time improving blood circulation. So apart from easing tension in your head muscles, it also ensures that your brain gets sufficient supply of oxygen. Those two benefits help eliminate headaches.
5. Spearmint oil
Like peppermint, spearmint oil contains menthol that relaxes muscles and blood vessels, and by extension easing tension headaches. When making a blend you can substitute this oil for peppermint (which has a lower amount of menthol).
6. Peppermint essential oil
The naturally-occurring menthol that is found in peppermint oil is known to treat tension headaches by relaxing head muscles and blood vessels.
7. Rosemary oil
The analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary oil justify its use in treating headaches and withdrawal symptoms. It also improves blood circulation throughout the body.
How to Use the Oils
In case you are completely new to essential oils you might be wondering how to use them to treat headaches. There are four very simple ways that you can use to get the compounds of essential oils into your body. Collectively they are known as aromatherapy. Before you start please make sure that you dilute your oils with a carrier, like coconut oil, to avoid damaging your skin.
1) Apply your essential oil topically: this involves massaging your head and neck areas using the oils. You can use a cloth for compressions as well when applying to the skin.
2) By inhaling: you can put a few drops of the oil or blend on a clean tissue or piece of cotton and inhale the scent slowly in deep breaths.
3) Using a diffuser: if you have a diffuser you can use it to disperse the molecules of the oils or blends. That way you will still inhale them in the air you breathe.
4) Bath: add a few drops of the oils to your bathing water and enjoy a nice relaxing bath. The skin will absorb them.
The Top 2 Essential Oil Brands For Headaches
There are so many brands of essential oils available in the market today. While that increases your options, it also makes shopping for the best essential oils for headache a bit of a challenge. Luckily we can help with that.
First off, for the best results you need to choose brands that are 100% pure and natural. That means they shouldn’t have any chemicals or additives. Obviously a set that has more than one oil is better. You can use each oil individually or make a blend. It also matters if the oils are acquired from sustainable farms and using sustainable methods.
Here are two brands that fit the bill perfectly:
This gift set contains three essential oils, namely lavender, tea tree and peppermint. Lavender contains compounds known as esters which are known for their pain relieving property. In case you have a tension headache the peppermint oil in this set may be able to help. The oil contains menthol – a substance that has been used for so many years to kill tension-type headaches. Having tea tree oil in the set is an added advantage. It might not heal a headache but it is a powerful antifungal agent that also helps in deworming.
At its price, this kit is one of the most affordable despite being bottled and distributed in the USA. The oils are extracted using steam distillation. That accounts for their 100% pure and natural state. They have zero chemicals or additives.
This is the perfect set for you if you prefer having as many essential oils as possible in a single set. It has a whopping 9 oils, all of which are 100% pure and natural therapeutic-grade essential oils.
Specifically, in the kit you will get:
- tea tree
- sweet orange
The first four on the list are simply awesome at relieving headaches. Even without the other five you can be sure that you will be well-armed to fight all types of headaches, including tension and migraine headaches.
That said, the other 5 offer some welcome benefits. Tea tree fights several types of infections, including eczema and fungi. Frankincense reduces stress and anxiety, two emotions that usually cause headaches. Apart from killing bacteria, lemongrass helps ease muscle tensions. If your headache is caused by fatigue you may want to consider using it to calm and relax your body. Lemon and sweet orange are antibacterial and antifungal oils.
In short, this set contains everything that you possibly need to treat every type of headache effectively. The manufacturer even throws in a free eBook to help you learn more about the various essential oil diffuser recipes for creating blends.