Make it STOP With These Essential Oils for Migraines
Have you ever just been going about your day and felt the signs of a migraine coming along?
You start to panic. You check to see if you have any medicine near you. You feel the slight tingle of nausea in your stomach, and the building pressure in your temples. If you have ever had migraines before, you know it’s coming, and shudder in the realization.
You don’t have time for this, there are things to do today, you can’t afford to be out of commission for who knows how long. Migraine headaches are most often triggered by bright lights, loud sounds and strong smells, but you’re convinced you’ve done nothing abnormal.
The headache usually manifests itself on one side of the head, but in some cases, there may be throbbing pain on both sides. This throbbing and pounding pain also gets worse with physical exertion.
Not all headaches are migraine related. For example cluster headaches are worse than migraine pain, while tension headaches are more common and triggered by scalp, neck, and facial muscle contractions.
The good news? If you act quickly, you can find relief and even prevent the onset of the migraine all together.
Who’s at a higher risk?
Sensitive people are at a higher risk of getting migraines from things like bright lights, loud sounds, and strong smells acts as triggers. Age is another risk factor where most people get their first attack in adolescence, and the condition improves after 30.
People with a family history of migraine are also more susceptible to them, especially if one, or both of the parents has a history of it.
Gender too is a risk factor. Boys experience a greater number of migraine headaches than girls, but women are three times more likely to have them compared to men after puberty.
Besides pain, there are some other symptoms like:
- vision changes
- sensitivity to sounds, smells, and lights
People suffering from sporadic migraines have headache symptoms for only a day or two while those suffering from chronic migraine symptoms may suffer for a fortnight or more than a month.
Causes and triggers
Researchers still haven’t been able to identify the specific cause and triggers for migraine. Possible causes are a hidden central nervous disorder, abnormalities in the brain’s blood vessel or vascular system, brain chemicals or nerve pathways, and hereditary reasons.
Common triggers include:
- salty highly processed and aged foods
- alcohol and caffeine
- artificial sweeteners
- sensory stimulation ( bright lights, strong smells and loud noises)
Hormonal changes are a common trigger in women which is why women get headaches during or before periods, during pregnancy or menopause and while on birth control and hormone replacement therapies. Stress, skipping meals, changes in sleep cycles, weather changes and physical stress including sexual activity are also potential triggers.
Though there are many triggers, they are unique to each person. Some people may have not one, but few triggers. It’s left to each person to identify their trigger so that they can avoid it, and thus reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.
There are many drugs like acetaminophen, NSAIDS, antidepressants and even narcotics that are prescribed for migraine headaches. People respond differently to medications which is why doctors have to try various drugs to find out which drug works best.
Instead of turning to drugs, it is always worth trying less harsh treatment options like ice therapy, getting sufficient sleep, avoiding specific foods, drinks and environmental triggers.
Try using natural remedies like herbs and aromatherapy with essential oils before taking prescriptions.
Essential oils for migraines
Various essential oils provide relief from migraine headaches by reducing inflammation, swelling, pain and muscle spasms, without any side effects. They treat migraine headaches by safely and effectively treating the trigger and temporarily minimizing pain.
Most oils calm the mind and improve the brain’s blood circulation while others help reduce stress and tension. Your chosen essential oil can be topically applied or massaged after diluting with carrier oil, used in diffusers, inhaled, used in a cold or hot compress, or as an aroma therapeutic bath.
Some migraine sufferers are sensitive to scents, so it is worth testing out the oils gradually, and individually to see if you are sensitive to a particular aroma. Try testing out your reaction by adding a drop into a cotton ball and holding it a little bit away from your nose. Start using the oil for migraine relief only if it’s soothing, and doesn’t seem to stress or upset you.
Oils for migraines:
1. Peppermint oil
It is the menthol in peppermint oil that eases tension-induced headaches with its cooling, soothing, and mind clearing properties. It reduces tension and stress, helps relieve muscle tension, improves circulation, and has numbing effects.
Application- Rubbing peppermint oil diluted with carrier oil on your forehead, temples, and back of neck at the first signs of a migraine onset will help prevent one.
Though is it a great oil that also helps improve your mood, remember not to use it before bedtime. Peppermint oil is known to stimulate your mind, and is perfect for the mornings or mid day slumps.
2. Lavender oil
Lavender oil is a better option for treating allergy-triggered headaches due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps regulate serotonin levels, dilates blood vessels, and reduces stress and anxiety. It’s safe to use in the evening or before bed, as its calming and sedative effects help you sleep.
Another essential oil that helps soothes evening or nighttime headaches with its sedative and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Helichysum oil
The oil has power anti-inflammatory properties, keep your blood flow smooth, so that pressure doesn’t build up. This helps treat migraine and headache related problems.
Essential oils for migraines doTerra
The above oils are a great choice, but if you’re looking for a one stop shop, consider our number one pick.
It’s no secret here that we are big fans of doTerra and their diffuers. The reason is because their oils work, and work for a number of situations, including migraines.
If you need something that works fast, is easy to apply, and small enough to carry around wherever you go, doTerr’as PastTense roll on is what you’re looking for.
There are some blends you can add to your bath water or apply directly for relief. Just remember to dilute it with carrier oil if you have sensitive skin.
- The first blend comprises of 4 drops wintergreen EO, 3 drops each of chamomile and lavender essential oils, and 2 drops clove.
- The second blend is made mixing 6 drops peppermint EO, with 4 drops eucalyptus oil, and 2 drops myrrh.
Knowing and avoiding your triggers, and using the best essential oils for migraine can help prevent and reduce the intensity of your headaches. While it is true that essential oils help soothe headaches and provide migraine relief; suffering from frequent headaches may signify something more serious.
This is why it is important that you discuss your condition with your doctor to ensure you are not suffering from something more serious than a migraine headache.