Here are some guidelines for using aromatherapy for headache relief. Of course, check with your healthcare practitioner first to make sure your headaches aren't caused by a serious medical condition.
This article focuses on tension headaches. Also see Migraine Pain Relief.
For a tension headache, most people can safely gently massage 2 drops of undiluted lavender essential oil on their temples, behind the ears, and across the back of the neck. Apply twice, if needed.
An alternative to lavender is Roman chamomile, which soothes and relaxes. Dilute the essential oil using a carrier oil if you prefer or tend to be sensitive.
Although many people swear by lavender for headaches, it never much worked for me. My personal experience is that rubbing a drop of peppermint essential oil into my palms and smelling it for a few minutes usually does wonders for getting rid of a headache. Keep it away from your eyes, as peppermint will cause your eyes to burn.
For sinus congestion headaches, eucalyptus and peppermint may help relieve congestion. Add 4 drops of each to a pot of steaming water and breathe in the vapors, being careful not to burn yourself.
For headaches during your menstrual period, marjoram may help.
This next suggestion works best if you use it at the first sign of a headache: Add 2 drops each of lavender, marjoram, and peppermint to a tissue. Sniff deeply three times. Or use the oils to make an aromatherapy inhaler that you can carry with you.
Place the following oils in a 1-ounce (30 ml) bottle and then shake gently:
When you have a headache, rub some of the blend onto your neck and shoulders. You can also massage a few drops into your scalp. Be sure to avoid your eyes.
Source: Aromahead Newsletter
You can use these three aromatherapy blends to prevent headaches or to help relieve headache pain.
Make the blends using 2 teaspoons carrier oil. Use the blends to massage your temples, forehead, neck, and shoulders.
Blend 1: Aromatherapy for headache caused by muscle tension
Blend 2: Essential oils for headaches caused by negative emotions
Blend 3: Aromatherapy for headache caused by nervous tension
You can also use 15 drops of this blend in an aromatherapy bath.
Use this blend if you get headaches caused by computer eye strain:
Combine all ingredients and store in a small, dark glass jar with a lid.
Keep the jar by your computer. When you feel a headache coming on, massage a little of the mixture into your temples and the back of your neck.
Source: Massage & Aromatherapy
For a bath to help relieve a tension headaches, add one of the following essential oil blends to your bath water:
Or use this foot bath and compress:
If none of the above suggestions work for you, other essential oils for headaches that you can try are:
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