Essential oils are one of the most amazing man made creations from regular plants and herbs, especially for headaches.
Thousands of migraine headache, cluster headache, tension headache and sinus headache sufferers swear by essential oils ability to give them relief from a number of different symptoms like:
- Sinus congestion
In this article we are going to be covering the all-star pain reliever for headaches, peppermint. As well some essential oil recipes that it works well in.
Studies / What essential oil works for migraines?
There are too many benefits to essential oils to list here so we will focus on the main ones used for headaches.
Peppermint is the most common and is well studied because of it.
The active ingredient in peppermint that works so well on pain is menthol.
In these two studies peppermints active ingredient menthol was used during attacks:
-- This study found that 28% of the migraine sufferers had no more pain and another 28% had only mild pain.
-- In this study they actually compared it to placebo and found that, “the menthol solution was statistically superior to the placebo.”
This study on tension type headache found peppermint oil to be just as effective as 1000mg of acetaminophen.
Peppermint and menthol are all-stars in the pain relief game and especially for headaches and migraines.
Look at our Migraine Professional communities post on essential oils here.
How it works
Peppermint has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties and we know that all headaches are connected by oxidative stress.
It also relaxes muscles which can lead to relief of neck and shoulder tension created headaches.
It was also found that menthol relieves pain by activated the TRPM8 receptor which has been linked to migraine patients and relief of over sensitive pain receptors. TRPM8 is also connected to CGRP which is the basis for the new migraine drug erenumab.
But of course just like anything, personal tolerance to peppermint and menthol can still change and there are small risks of allergy or aggravation from it.
What else is mint good for?
Menthol from mint has also been found to be popular for:
The #1 Peppermint essential oil recipe for headaches
Always use a carrier oil as just the pure essential oil may be too powerful for you to put on your skin.
Keep away from eyes or other orifices because these are strong oils. Always consult your doctor.
One of the easiest and simplest ways to get your dose of menthol in tight and painful areas is to have a backup essential oil roller.
They are easy to carry around and apply with little mess.
This is a base recipe that you can add to depending on other oils you find helpful.
First off you will want to get a roller bottle for oils such as the ones here.
Peppermint essential oil -- 30 drops
This is the main oil and you want to use a reputable brand like Doterra or Young living essential oils for mgiraines.
Carrier oil-- Enough to fill up the roller
This is a healthy oil that dilutes down the essential oil and makes it last on the skin longer. I like sweet almond oil.
Simple add the 30 drops into the roller bottle, add enough carrier oil to dilute it down and pop the rollers top back on.
For an instructional on how to do this see the video below.
Other essential oils good for migraines
Lavender was found to be an effective acute relief therapy for migraines in this 2012 study.
Based on the Migraine Professional community chiming in to tell use what essential oils they use for relief these are often used:
-- Mgrain blend
-- Past tense blend from Doterra
-- Tiger balm
#1 Essential oil blend recipe:
Again the roller is one of my favourite ways to use essential oils and you can also carry it around with you in your car or purse when you are out instead of having a bunch of bottles.
Open the empty roller
Add 10 drops of each:
Top up with a carrier oil like sweet almond, close and shake.
How to use
Using an essential oil roller is super easy and just requires rolling it around on pain areas and then massaging in with your fingers.
The most commonly used areas are:
-- Back of head
Oils can also be inhaled or used in other ways like:
I love my diffuser and use it every few days to add scents to my room for sleep, relaxation or focus.
-- Spray/Room mist
This is a great way to get scents into your environment and some like Fighting five are actually great for killing molds, parasites and bacteria in your environment, bathroom, kitchen etc.
-- Essential oils migraine bomb
This is an amazing way to boost the ability of an epsom salt bath to kill pain and bring loads of relaxation. The magnesium in epsom salt is amazing for migraine sufferers as they are fairly deficient and the sulfur in epsom salt is great for detoxification.
Below is a video on how to make your own bath bomb with essential oils.
Some even take them internally but this is not recommended unless you speak with someone knowledgeable on brands and types of oils as some should not be taken internally. Peppermint oil is different from peppermint essential oil.
Common headaches these oils are used for:
-- Cluster headaches
Cluster headaches are a huge problem and peppermint is great for dealing with some of the accessory symptoms such as; nausea, stress, congestion, runny nose and muscle pain.
-- Kids headaches
Because children are more susceptible to the damage caused by medication essential oils can be an easy way of engaging with them and giving them safe relief.
-- Hormonal Headaches
According to Dr. Axe some essential oils such as lavender and rosemary “are used to treat PMS symptoms and hormonal imbalances, including headaches and migraine attacks.”
These can be very tricky if our trigger levels are high and we are just getting started on our healing journey so using essential oils can give us the relief to keep moving forward and figure out what’s going on while we start taking steps back to health.
There are many amazing natural ways we can get relief that are safe for our bodies and provide long term relief from the causes of migraines and headaches.
In the Migraine Professional community we are dedicated to finding and uncovering the root causes that lead to pain, inflammation, oxidation and diseases like migraines.
Join the community here because you want to learn what’s going on and what you can do about it.
Leave a comment below and let me know if you’ve ever used essential oils before and what your favourites are.
Remember to share for others to benefit.
Holistic Health PractitionerMark Canadic is a writer, speaker, holistic health practitioner and migraine community leader. Read Mark’s inspiring comeback story, “My Burnout and Brain Fires that Lead me to the Root.” Feel free to send Mark a message here.