Essential Oils For Headaches

essential oils for headachesHeadaches are painful and difficult. They may be mildly annoying or, in the case of chronic or migraine headaches, they can be debilitating. Headaches may originate from tension, allergies, stress, eyesight problems, a virus, lack of sleep, or various other medical conditions.

Chronic headache may just be a little negative response your body is having to a difficult situation—something as simple as being dehydrated. Or it may be something more serious. Of course, if you experience headaches often for an undetermined reason, it is wise to see a doctor to be sure it is nothing serious.

Although you can sometimes choose to pop a couple of over the counter capsules or pills and it may take your headache away, there are some people who prefer to go the more natural route. Using Essential Oils for Headaches is one of the most natural ways to quickly and effectively address a headache without having to put a bunch of chemicals or pharmaceuticals into your system.

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using essential oils for headaches

Using Essential Oils to Alleviate Headaches

Essential Oils may be used in a few different ways to alleviate the pain and other symptoms that go along with headaches. Whether applying topically neat (directly), adding to a carrier oil for topical application, inhaling, or diffusing into the air, essential oils have the power to promote your body’s ability to heal itself naturally.

The Best Essential Oil Diffusers

List of Essential Oils to Alleviate Headaches

Although this list is not exhaustive, it does provide you with a large number of options of essential oils for headaches. They can be used alone, but are often even more effective when combined to draw out the benefits and properties of several oils put together. After the list of essential oils for headaches, you will find suggested recipes for blends, or you can create your own and customize what works best for your own family.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Containing a high concentration of menthol, Peppermint Essential Oil is super strong and incredibly powerful. It does wonders on headaches, almost in an instant and works well in blends by creating balance. In addition to headaches, Peppermint is effective for other symptoms that may go along with headaches, such as stomach issues and concentration issues.

Lavender Essential Oil

An all-around effective oil for a variety of reasons, Lavender offers help for tension headaches in particular because it offers relaxation and relief from stress. Because it improves the blood circulation, Lavender helps to open up restricted blood vessels that may be part of the headache culprit, lowering blood pressure and adding to the oxygenation of the blood to promote general health. In addition, it acts as a general pain reliever for headaches as well as other aches and pains you might be suffering from. Great for skin care, effective for promoting sleep, and even useful for household cleaning, Lavender Essential Oil is a must-have for your family.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Useful particularly for sinus headaches, Eucalyptus opens up the nasal passages and decreases congestion. This makes it quite helpful for headaches that come from allergies, colds, and flu. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, which can aid in opening up blood vessels and breathing passages, making it useful for headache and asthma. Another great effect of Eucalyptus is that the cooling and refreshing properties work to reduce mental exhaustion, which is often a side effect that goes along with headache. Other uses include an effective cleaning agent for dental care, help with intestinal germs, and works for skin care and wound care. Eucalyptus is a strong oil that may be more suited for children when blended with something milder, such as lavender.

Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

A high number of esters gives this essential oil sedative and anti-inflammatory properties. It eases pain and helps provide calm to the body and the mind. Roman Chamomile is suggested for tension and stress headaches because it helps to soothe irritability and works as an antidepressant. In addition, Roman Chamomile is healthy for the skin, diminishing scars and soothing wounds while reducing pain. It also provides assistance to the stomach by aiding with digestion, and it works well with the intestines to eliminate gas. Chamomile makes a lovely blend with Lavender, Citrus fruits, and Ylang Ylang.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

Found to be on the pricier side of essential oils, this powerful oil made from the flower of the Helichrysum plant is extremely effective and only requires a small amount. It works well in blends together with other essential oils. Helichrysum works as an antispasmodic, eliminating unwanted spasms in the respiratory system, nerves, muscles, etc. It helps with allergies, reduces swelling, soothes cough, minimizes fever, and aids with liver function among other properties.

Basil Essential Oil

A less common but extremely effective essential oil for headaches, Basil provides pain relief while increasing blood flow and reducing stress. Because of its calming nature, Basil Essential Oil provides relief from migraines and stress headaches, in addition to helping to brighten skin, reducing itching from insect bites, and helping with motion sickness. Use of basil essential oil may not be healthy for pregnant or nursing women, so it is important to check with a doctor before use.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Useful for reducing pain, rosemary is a popular essential oil for headaches. It provides stress relief and gives a boost to mental alertness and energy—parts of a headache which can be sorely disruptive. In addition, this oil contains antioxidants which fight off infection and disease, and it works as a disinfectant for the skin and mouth. Other benefits include use for the scalp and hair care as well as for indigestion troubles.

Wintergreen Essential Oil

This one offers similar properties to peppermint, but it’s important not to get them confused because they have different active ingredients. Wintergreen contains Methyl Salicylate, which reduces pain and creates a numbness in the nervous system while increasing circulation and bringing warmth. It works as a relaxant and antispasmodic. In addition, this essential oil works as a stimulant for digestion, hormones, and urine while stimulating circulation. It’s also extremely effective at covering up unpleasant odors.

Those who are allergic to aspirin should not use Wintergreen Essential Oil.

Birch Essential Oil

With a high concentration of the same ingredients found in aspirin, Methyl Salicylate, Birch Essential Oil is an extremely effective oil for fighting off headaches. By using this effective headache fighter topically with essential oils, rather than taking it orally in aspirin form, your body is able to soak it up very quickly into the bloodstream without having to go through the digestive system. This allows those with stomach sensitivities to avoid these problems, which is especially helpful if the headache comes along with an upset stomach.

Do be aware that those who have an allergy to aspirin may also be allergic to Birch Essential and should avoid using it and check with their doctor.

Essential Oils for Headache Recipes and Blends

Here are a few pre-tested essential oil blend recipes that can be used to work against the effects of headaches:

Soothing Headache Massage/Sleepytime Oil

4 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 2 drops Roman chamomile Essential Oil, ½ ounce carrier oil such as Sweet Almond Oil or Grapeseed Oil. Blend together and massage before bed to alleviate headache. Use Lavender and Roman Chamomile (without carrier oil) in a cool mist humidifier in the bedroom at bedtime.

Lavender/Peppermint Oil Blend

3 drops Lavender Essential Oil and 1 drop Peppermint Essential Oil. Blend together and inhale neat, or add to a carrier oil and use with massage for the temples and back of the neck or bottoms of the feet.

Pricey-But-Worth-It Headache Blend

2 drops Helichrysum Essential Oil, 4 drops Roman Chamomile Essential Oil, ½ ounce carrier oil. Blend together and use sparingly on back of neck, temples, and chest for a tension headache or migraine.

Hard Core Headache Essential Oil Blend Recipe

20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

20 drops Lavender Essential Oil

5 drops Frankincense Essential Oil

5 drops Wintergreen Essential Oil

5 drops Birch Essential Oil

¼ ounce Carrier Oil such as Sweet Almond or Fractionated Coconut Oil.

Mix oils together in 10 ml roll-on bottle made of dark glass. Massage gently onto forehead, temples, back of neck, and behind ears.

Headache Inhaler Essential Oil Blend Recipe

2 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil

2 drops Basil Essential Oil

3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

3 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

Mix together and use directly on cotton pad of an inhaler, or use with a cool mist humidifier. Works particularly well for sinus headaches due to congestion of the nasal passages. Also, add two drops of this blend to a teaspoon of carrier oil, such as Sweet Almond or Grapeseed Oil, and massage gently into temples, chest, back of neck, and/or bottoms of feet.


Using Essential Oils for headaches is an excellent way to fight against the pain, stress, and other symptoms that a headache can bring into your life. Next time you have a headache, instead of taking an aspirin or other medication, try out these natural recipe blends of essential oils that can send your headache packing.

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