Introduction to article
You’ve likely found this tasty morsel of information because you’re looking for a more natural alternative to get rid of migraine headaches. That’s awesome. These plant-based extracts are not only effective against migraines but do have fewer side effects than synthetic products. This presentation on the best essential oils for migraine headaches isn’t a complete list but does provide some of the best extracts according to research.
According to Medline, A migraine is a type of headache. It may occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. In many people, a throbbing pain is felt only on one side of the head.
Various factors may contribute to the manifestation of migraines. These include:
- Hormonal changes, especially during a woman’s cycle
- Excessive use or withdrawal from stimulants like alcohol or caffeine
- Lack of sleep or even exercise
- Stress or anxiety
- Some foods containing MSG, tyramine, or even chocolate
Many solutions are available to treat migraines (depending on the cause) but essential oils have proven effective in easing migraines and can be grouped in two – those that work on the body and those that just ease and calm the mind.
While most people resort to painkillers for relief, constant use may lead to reduced effect (potency) and in the long run, may cause liver damage. Using essential oils correctly make for fewer side effects, while you do your part to protect the environment.
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Best Essential Oils for Migraine Headaches
This isn’t an exhaustive list. It, however, contains the best essential oils for migraine headaches, especially those with which clinical trials have been conducted. If you’ve used any plant-based extracts that aren’t on our list, please feel free to suggest them to the comment section.
With that said, let’s talk about the best essential oils for migraine headaches.
1. Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender is a beautifully scented oil. It has mild sedative effects that help to induce relaxation and put the nervous system at ease. This may also relieve tension and stress, as it can be very calming.
For whatever reason you’re stricken with migraine headaches, lavender can be used to soothe the situation and ensure your body functions at its best so that you can perform daily activities.
DIRECTIONS: Based on research, lavender may be used as an effective agent against migraine headaches when inhaled. To administer, raise your bottle of lavender oil at the nostrils and inhale. You may also pour 2 drops of the oil into your palm, rub your hands together, raise at the nostrils and take big inhales. If those options don’t appeal to you, take a topical approach; dilute 5 drops lavender in 5ml of sweet almond base oil (any of choice) and apply at the forehead.
2. Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint has menthol like properties, so it exhibits cooling effects when it evaporates from your skin. It helps inhibit muscle contractions and plays a role in stimulating blood flow, which helps to ease migraines.
According to research, “peppermint oil targets headache pathophysiology in multiple ways.” This is a clear indication that you may be able to get some relief from those nasty tension headaches when you use peppermint oil the right way.
DIRECTIONS: This can be used in a similar manner as the lavender essential oil. Apply to neck, temples, and wrists.
Fun fact: Peppermint oil + ethanol helps reduce sensitivity during a headache.
3. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (Matricaria recutita)
Chamomile is that gentle, soothing oil waiting to put your migraines at ease. Based on research, chamomile is a suitable and worthwhile agent to use against migraine headaches.
In fact, when combined with sesame oil, the impact doubles.
While most people are aware that Roman chamomile may be used to sedate, or ‘tranquilize’ the nervous system, little is known about its use against headaches.
DIRECTIONS: Inhaling the oil works but applying topically has a more profound impact on headaches. To use, add 5 drops of chamomile in a teaspoon of sesame base oil. Massage at the forehead. A wise course of action to lay down for a moment. Better yet, take a nap!
4. Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena)
Rose absolute is a celebrated extract, partly for its calming attributes. In addition to hosting a plethora of benefits for women and the skin, rose absolute may be used to soothe numbing headaches.
Research, on a small scale, shows that rose may be used topically to provide relief, but more studies are evidently needed.
DIRECTIONS: To administer rose, add 2 drops of rose absolute in a teaspoon of base sesame oil and apply to the forehead and back of the neck.
5. Thyme Essential Oil (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme oil may be used to relieve migraine headaches. Although there aren’t any direct studies with thymus against headaches, the research did conclude that it’s great for pain relief. Consider this trial: When compared with ibuprofen in women with painful periods (dysmenorrhea), thyme had a more positive impact and because of their nature, even fewer side effects and complications.
To add, another research details that carvacrol in thyme essential oil may be responsible for the oils anti-inflammatory effect. Based on findings, anti-inflammatory medicine has been used to treat some forms of headaches.
DIRECTIONS: To use, diffuse 3 drops of thyme oil at home.
6. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
The cheerful nature of lemon balm makes your headaches “feel good”. The oil is especially useful when a migraine headache is associated with stress and tension.
While these may be the best essential oils for migraine headaches, there are a few worthy mentions which can be used as a blend or just to help with symptoms.
DIRECTIONS: Add 3 drops of lemon balm to your diffuser and allow the oil to scent your room.
- Bergamot Essential Oil (Citrus aurantium bergamia)
- Helichrysum Essential Oil (Helichrysum italicum)
- Ginger Essential Oil (Zingiber officinale)
- Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon citratus)
- Clary Sage Essential Oil (Salvia sclarea)
- Marjoram Essential Oil (Origanum majorana)
- Violet Absolute (Viola odorata)
NOTE: Do not use essential oils internally without guidance from a certified aromatherapist.
In your opinion, what are the best essential oils for migraines and what methods/routines do you use for them? Shout out in the comments.
Best Essential Oils for Migraine Headaches, Conclusion
In some cases, migraine headaches may be signs of an underlined problem. If they’re frequent and seemingly intensify with every occurrence, consult a medical professional or a doctor.
Editor’s note: The “Best Essential Oils for Migraine Headaches” article was initially written Jun 18, 2017, and edited April 25, 2019.
If you, the reader, discerns that adjustments or corrections need to be made, please contact us or leave a comment.