Essential Oils for Headache Relief

Essential Oils for Headache Relief

Hope Johnson
9 minute read

Listen to Article
Audio is generated by DropInBlog's AI and may have slight pronunciation nuances. Learn more

Some specific essential oils for headache relief are discussed below, and I’ve got some easy headache-relief recipes that utilize essential oils to share. But first, let’s look at why we seem to be susceptible to headaches and how essential oils can help.

Headaches are one of the more common effects of believing in stressful thoughts. Stress causes tension and stagnation in the mind which in turn projects symptoms onto the body. As such, headaches can be taken as a symbol that our beliefs and thinking habits are hurting our minds.

Essential oils carry a high energetic frequency that supports a healthy relationship with our thinking. Essential oils remind us through their vibrational frequency that lower vibrational thoughts are not worthy of our affection.

All of the thoughts that cause stress, such as worry, fear, and sadness melt away when they are seen in love. Essential oils maintain a vibration that resonates with our wisdom and our ability to see through everything that seems to deny love.

There is no cause for pain when everything is seen in love, and essential oils help clear up painful perceptions. 

Essential oils have been well researched, studied, and experienced for their beneficial effects, and they have proven to be a boon to conventional medicine since they seem to work for so many people.

The varieties of essential oils that seem to be most effective for headache relief are comprised of aromatic chemicals that are recognized for their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. 

Here’s some information about specific essential oils that may be used to guide you to a particular plant ally on your healing adventure:

Top 5 Recommended Essential Oils for Headache Relief:

Here are 5 of my favorite essential oils for headache relief.
Any of the following oils can be dabbed on the temples (see the precaution on peppermint), back of the neck, behind the ears, or wrists.
If any of the aromas are too strong for the individual or if they are being administered to a child, they can be diluted in carrier oil.
They can also be inhaled directly from the bottle, added to a cloth, and placed under a pillowcase, or added to your favorite essential oil diffuser. (I recommend these waterless diffusers.)
Peppermint essential has long been recognized as an effective natural remedy for headaches. The menthol in peppermint oil acts as a muscle relaxant, which can help alleviate headaches.
It also has properties that can provide relief for migraine cluster headaches. When applied topically, it helps to promote blood flow, which can further alleviate headache symptoms.
Additionally. We have heard reports and we've experienced for ourselves that applying diluted peppermint to the forehead has relieved headaches that come with nausea. 
Peppermint oil's refreshing scent can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which are often triggers for headaches.
If you apply this essential oil directly to your temples, you will get a cooling effect in your eyes that may be perceived as overwhelming. I happen to love that sensation, and I find it invigorating.
If you haven't tried this essential oil on your temples before, just dab a very small amount to start. It's also great applied to the back of the neck.

Lavender essential is a versatile oil that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including headaches.

Lavender is known for its calming, relaxing properties, which help alleviate stress and tension - common triggers of headaches.

Research has shown that inhaling lavender oil can reduce the severity and duration of headache symptoms. It also has anti-analgesic properties, which can bring soothing relief and reduce inflammation caused by headaches.
This is a well-known go-to oil for headaches. The smell of lavender is sweet and heavenly.
The lavender oil I have linked here is our high-altitude French lavender, which is known in aromatherapy to have the most potent therapeutic properties of all lavenders. The aroma is also enjoyed by most people. 

Musk seeds have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine for headache relief.
Musk seed essential oil is gaining popularity as a natural remedy for headaches due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
This oil is believed to ease tension and migraines, making it a promising alternative to traditional painkillers. While there are limited studies on its effectiveness, many people swear by its therapeutic benefits.
I can attest that it's not only great for headaches but I enjoy the aroma very much. It's animalistic and soft at the same time.
(side note: Animal musk used to be an important ingredient in perfumery until it was outlawed. Now most perfume and colognes are made out of synthetic aromas that actually induce headaches.)

Copaiba essential is a lesser-known natural remedy for headaches. It is distilled from the resin of Copaifera trees, which are native to South America.
Copaiba oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, mainly due to its high concentration of b-caryophyllene, a chemical constituent of cannabis, which can reduce pain and inflammation associated with headaches. 
Additionally, it has been found to have a calming and soothing effect on the body, which can help to alleviate stress and anxiety - common triggers of headaches.
Of all of the headache essential oils I have listed here, this is the one with the mildest aroma. It's mild, sweet, slightly balsamic and woody. 

Cape chamomile is a rare and highly sought-after essential oil. Its main chemical constituents are commonly isolated and used in the fragrance industry for their apple-like, fruity aromas. 

The delicious apple/berry aroma of this oil soothes right away. When used in its natural form with all of the other chemical components intact, this essential oil is one of the most calming, soothing, and gentle essential oil.
It's extra gentle and it contains a higher concentration of Esters than any other essential oil. Esters are thought to be one of the most potent essential oil chemicals for relieving stress and tension.

The essential oil has been researched extensively and its efficacy confirmed for a wide range of complaints including headaches, depression, and anxiety. Cape chamomile essential oil is also known to have a sedative effect, which can help induce sleep and reduce insomnia - another common cause of headaches. 
I read about this essential oil way back in 2010. I searched high and low until I found a reputable producer in South Africa. This is not an essential oil that's easy to find, but it was well worth the search.

More Essential Oils That Are Useful for Headache Relief

Spearmint Essential Oil:

Mint of all varieties has long been used to help relieve headaches and migraines. For those who are more sensitive, Spearmint Essential Oil may be the perfect variety, as it is milder than comparatives like Peppermint Essential Oil.

Spearmint Essential Oil is the modern aromatherapist’s go-to for resolving such discomfort. For a minty temple massage, use a few drops on the tips of your fingers and massage the temples during a quiet, relaxing moment.

Melissa Essential Oil:

Known by aromatherapists as one of the most sedative essential oils, Melissa essential oil is a go-to for shock or other intense emotional reactions. Headache is the effect of reacting emotionally.

The oil has a herbaceous/lemony aroma that can help ease emotional suffering by reminding us to let go of our beliefs, judgments, and perceived limitations.

Damiana Essential Oil:

As it energizes and balances the sacral chakra, Damiana Essential Oil can also ease feelings of hopelessness and depression, enhance one’s creativity, and increase sensuality and libido, thus eliminating any need for headaches.

Rosemary Essential Oil:

Cultivated in Medieval monastery gardens, this herb has been used for centuries to help alleviate tension, insomnia, and pain. One of the most common ways to alleviate headaches using aromatherapy is to combine rosemary and lavender in a diffuser.

Mountain Juniper Berry:

The freshness of this essential oil is invigorating to the entire system. It has a way of helping to clear out mental clutter that manifests as pain. Juniper has been used by various cultures for dispelling evil spirits, which was once commonly considered to be the cause of all pain and dis-ease.

Palo Santo Essential Oil:

This oil has been used for many centuries to relieve common colds, flu, asthma, and headaches. Its nickname is “Holy Wood”. It’s been burned in places like Ecuador since ancient times. We also have Palo Santo Smudge Sticks that you can use to smudge your space as part of a relaxing, calming, serene, and spiritual experience.

Vision Essential Oil Blend:

Vetiver is known as the “Oil of Tranquility”. It’s been used since ancient times as a remedy for headaches, and we can see why. One whiff of Vetiver’s deep earthy aroma can encourage you to release built-up tension from thoughts of the day and enjoy your natural state of freedom.

Some Tried and True Recipes for Headache Relief:

General Headache Fix:

What you will need: lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and a carrier oil.

Combine 8 drops of peppermint oil and 4 drops of lavender oil in an ounce of carrier oil. Massage this into your temples, your forehead, and the back of your neck.

Migraine Relief:

What you will need: rosemary essential oil and/or mountain juniper essential oil, a diffuser.

Simply diffusing rosemary or mountain juniper throughout the day can help prevent headaches. Rosemary and mountain juniper tend to be stimulating, so for evening headaches, you can add a few drops of neroli essential oil and/or melissa essential oil to help with sleep and prevent headaches the next day.

Lavender and/or Chamomile Cold Compress:

What you will need: lavender essential oil and/or Cape chamomile essential oil and/or German chamomile essential oil.

Put 5 drops of your choice of oils into a cup of cold water. Soak a clean cloth in the water, wring it out, then put the cloth over your forehead and your eyes. Re-soak the cloth every few minutes, and keep putting it on your face until your headache eases.

« Back to Blog