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marie_hd1aTop Essential Oils for Headache Relief (how & where on body to use them)  Most of us suffer from headaches fromhhq time-to-time. While some headaches may require stronger treatments (and perhaps a visit to your doctor) I wanted to ask my favorite specialists with knowledge of natural treatments, if essential oils might offer relief to some types of headaches. Here’s what I discovered in my research; which particular essential oils are recommended by the doctors; where exactly to place the essential oils and; how to best apply ‘skin-contact’ essential oil therapy and/or aromatherapy to relieve various headache types.

2According to specialist Dr. Joseph Mercola (who favors natural treatment over drug-based solutions, where possible), “Nearly half of the world’s population suffers from headaches each year, making it the most common “disorder” of the nervous system. Only about half of those affected seek medical attention, even though they may take a heavy toll on your ability to work, socialize and be productive each day.”

Specialist Dr. Josh Axe is a well-known fan of natural treatments (often seen on TV as a go-to source for medical advice). According to Dr Axe; “Unlike pain relievers that are commonly used to treat headaches and migraines today, essential oils serve as a more effective and safer alternative. Essential oils provide relief, aid circulation and reduce stress.”

Which essential oils work best for headaches?

It depends on the type of headache you’re suffering from. The following essential oils are recommended by the doctors for the treatment of particular headache types;

pepPeppermint or Eucalyptus essential oil  Peppermint oil is recommended by both Dr. Axe and Dr. Mercola for a tension headache. “Try peppermint for tension headaches (especially rubbing a drop into the area that hurts)”

[Dr Mercola].

Dr Axe recommends a combination of peppermint or eucalyptus oil on the wrists and/or forehead to relieve tension.

Essential oil specialist Dr. David Hill recommends the suboccipital triangle location (at the upper-back tension-headache2part of the neck, close to the skull) for the application of essential oils for tension headache (see image of suboccipital triangle location, on this page).

basBasil essential oil  Peppermint and basil essential oils are both recommended for migraines [Dr Mercola]

Rosemary Essential Oil  Rosemary is recommended by Dr. Mercola for general headache pain.

According to Dr Axe; Rosemary essential oil has been used in folk medicine to rosemarytreat headaches and poor circulation because of its stimulating, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It has a calming effect and improves personal orientation and alertness. Rosemary oil also reduces stress and emotional triggers that can cause headache attacks. It also aids digestion and soothes an upset stomach, which can be a symptom of a severe headache.”


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lavLavender essential oil  Lavender essential oil is not expensive and has a variety of therapeutic properties. “Lavender induces relaxation and relieves tension and stress — working as a sedative, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and calming agent.” [Dr Axe]

How Best to Use Oils for Headache Relief?

Dr. Mercola goes on to advise you can consult with a professional or use essential oils at home via the following methods;

  • Indirect inhalation of essential oils using a room diffuser or placing drops nearby5
  • Direct inhalation of essential oils using an individual inhaler with drops floated on top of hot water (this is popular for treating sinus headaches)
  • Aromatherapy massage, in which essential oils are diluted in a carrier oil and massaged into your skin
  • Applying essential oils to your skin (always consider diluting essential oils before applying directly to skin) or by combining them with lotion, bath salts, or dressings

Possible Side Effects of Essential Oils for Headaches  According to Dr. Axe; “When using these essential oils for headaches, especially in sensitive areas like the nose and forehead, it’s best to dilute the oil first. If you have never used an oil before, do a quick patch test on a small area of skin before applying to larger areas.”

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Dr. Joseph Mercola    Dr. Josh Axe

Dr. David Hill

In addition, please consult your own doctor or specialist regarding the use of essential oils or if you have continuing headaches. Please read our FDA statement.

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