Essential oils for migraine headaches

  • Post category:Health
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  • Post last modified:November 20, 2019
  • Reading time:5 mins read

Day to day life routines is stressful, may cause a usual stress and anxiety. During periods, fluctuating hormones would affect a decline in estrogen level which lets headaches and sometimes even worse migraine attack.

Symptoms manifest in various form for different age groups and specific infirmities.

If you’re having a bad habit of not maintain body water content level you may encounter with migraines due to dehydration. We eventually overcome from these by keeping the body well hydrated, harmoniously taking adequate rest and proper food intake at regular timing without skipping meals. 

There are common medication tips and prescriptions are available, among them is Aromatherapy. (1)(2)

Aromatherapy mostly constitutes different types of essential oils, where each oil offers certain health benefits likewise strategically enriches sensory stimuli, releases tension or stress and pain, headache or migraine.

Difference between Headache and Migraine


The common tension Headaches can cause pressure and distress on both sides of your head and pain could range from mild to severe. Forehead, temples and back neck affected. Pain last from 30 minutes to a week. The pain suddenly feels without prior warnings. (4)


The migraines, one side of the head may induce intensely pulsating pain. Dizziness, nausea, and severe light and sound sensitivity are correlated. Pain remains hours to days and can be so intense that it interferes with your everyday activities. Migraines show pre aura symptoms might be in the form of psychological or physiological, visual, and auditory disturbances. (5)(6)

Essential for Tension Headache

5 Essential oils for headaches and migraines

Peppermint oil

Comprised of menthol gives a compelling cooling effect, for headaches and migraines is regarded for alleviating tension sinus pain, relaxing stiff muscles and enhancing mind concentration (7). Study shows that Peppermint oil posses antiinflammatory, analgesic and nervine stimulant(8) properties. 

Essential oils for Cluster headache 

A blend of peppermint oil and ethanols showed a drastic analgesic with a reduced propensity to headache(9)(10) and neck pain.

Dilute peppermint oil with coconut/Amond/jojoba to use. Topically spread 2 or 3 drops of diluted peppermint oil to the temples, back of the neck and feet during a cluster headache.

Lavender essential oil 

Acts as a mood stabilizer, analgesic and a sedative. Exhibits as an anxiolytic and antihypertensive drug. The potency of the essential oil inhalation of lavender for migraine therapy was first shown in research study 2012(11). 


Maybe an effective instrument for headaches caused by sinus pressure and breathing ailments. As an expectorant clears nasal airways and expels fluids and unhealthy microorganisms that can worsen sinus pressures.

Research has also shown that eucalyptus oils have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects so that they can be seemed to relieve respiratory disorder causing headache and stress (12).

Rosemary oil

Effective to treat headache and musculoskeletal pains due to its Analgesic effects. Relaxes muscles, increase circulation, better alertness. Boosts sleep successfully and overcome insomnia.

A clinical study showed that rosemary has helped alleviate withdrawal symptoms, including migraine, vomiting and mood swings. (13)

Chamomile oil

A good herbal remedy for its antianxiety properties to overcome depression. Soothes and relaxes the mind to get proper sleep. (14) Helps to reduce tension and treat menstrual fatigue, and headache. (15)

How do you use essential oils for migraines?

4 easy ways to use essential oils to relieve headache.

Before applying any essential oils to the skin dilute and blend with suitable carrier oils likewise almond, coconut or jojoba (16). Now let us know how to put essential oils for migraines both in a topical and aromatic way.

  • Massaging: Massage the diluted oil into the temples and over the forehead.
  • Inhaling oil: Add a few drops of essential oil to the tissue/napkin that can be inhaled by taking closer to the nose and breathing intensely.
  • Use squeezed and flattened wet towel: Soak a towel in cold water and then squeeze and press with a few drops of essential oils. This can be applied to the forehead or neck.
  • Putting oil to the bath: To a hot bath add a few drops of essential oil. This brings out a soothing and very therapeutic way of treating the headache.

Essential oils cause headache

Not For All

Using essential oil is a temporary quick fix for light migraine and headache. Most apparently you feel sooth and relaxed within a noticeable less time. However, for long term use and level of severity is not recommended. Always consult a physician for the cause and prescription to migraine headache.

Caution: Do not go for the wrong combination of blending one or more (lavender with peppermint) essential oils which may worsen medical conditions especially with diffusers(17). Make sure to perceive patch test and moreover avoid concentrated direct application of oils.

May essential oils aggravate migraine headaches?

Certain essential oil smell can exacerbate the headache or migraine and may contradict with the medications you carry(18).

The fragrance of essential oils does affect individuals. Very few of a hundred migraine people can induce scent sensitivity and bother the therapeutic fragrance of some. Similarly for others scent can greatly impact providing relaxing effect.

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