Managing Headaches With Essential Oils

Headaches can be caused by a number of things including hormone imbalances, blood sugar imbalances, stress, spinal irregularities and inflammation. They can also be indication of a serious disease, see a doctor if you have recurring headaches. This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. If you have a medical condition, see a doctor. The FDA classifies headaches as a disease which should be treated by a doctor.headache relief with essential oils

There are many different causes of headaches and each person has a unique body chemistry Essential oils can support the body during times of stress and since everyone is unique, the oils that can relax the body during stress may vary.  These are only suggestions of essential oils that may help – Many essential oils have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties which might alleviate pressure. When applying oils to the temples be sure to keep them away from the eyes.  Single oils that might be helpful include:  Peppermint which is very cooling and found to be anti-inflammatory in research, wintergreen, lavender, copaiba, valerian, chamomile (Roman & German), clove, rosemary, Eucalyptus globulus. Frankincense has also been researched for it’s anti-inflammatory effects. Some individuals may have relief with Lemon oil on the big toe – which is a reflexology point for the brain.  You can consult an Essential Oils Desk Reference for the full Reflexology Chart.pain relieving essential oils

There are several blends of oils that might be useful for managing a headache:

  • (marjoram,lavender,peppermint,basil,Roman chamomile, helichrysum)
  • (frankincense,sandalwood,melissa,cedarwood,blue cypress,lavender,helichrysum
  • (cardamom,rosemary,peppermint,basil,bergamot,geranium,jasmine,lemon,palmarosa,Roman chamomile,rosewood,ylang ylang)
  • (peppermint,lemon,Idaho balsam fir,Copaiba,clove,wintergreen,helichrysum,vetiver,Palo Santo)
  • (spruce, black pepper, peppermint, hyssop)


U Siemoneit,1 A Koeberle,1 A Rossi,2 F Dehm,1 M Verhoff,1 S Reckel,3 TJ Maier,4 J Jauch,5 H Northoff,6 F Bernhard,3 V Doetsch,3 L Sautebin,2 and O Werz1 Inhibition of microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase-1 as a molecular basis for the anti-inflammatory actions of boswellic acids from frankincense. Br J Pharmacol. Jan 2011; 162(1): 147–162. doi:  10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01020.x.

A.H Attaa, A Alkofahi. Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of some Jordanian medicinal plant extracts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Volume 60, Issue 2, March 1998, Pages 117–124.

YA Taher. Antinociceptive activity of Mentha piperita leaf aqueous extract in mice. Libyan Journal of Medicine. Vol 7, no 1. 2012.

Gardner, P. MD. Longwood Herbal Task Force: Peppermint. May 2000. The Center for Holistic Pediatric Education and Research.

Valiollah Hajhashemia, Alireza Ghannadib, Badie Sharif. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the leaf extracts and essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Volume 89, Issue 1, November 2003, Pages 67–71.

Abstract. Extracts obtained from the leaves of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. (Lamiaceae) are used in Iranian folk medicine as remedies for the treatment of various inflammatory diseases. For evaluation of its probable analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, hydroalcoholic extract, polyphenolic fraction and essential oil of the leaves of the herb were prepared and their analgesic effects were studied in mice using formalin and acetic acid-induced writhing tests. Carrageenan test in rats was used for assessment of anti-inflammatory activity of above-mentioned fractions. Results showed that while the hydroalcoholic extract (400–1600 mg/kg, p.o.) inhibited only the second phase of formalin test, the polyphenolic fraction (800 and 1600 mg/kg, p.o.) and essential oil (100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o.) suppressed both phases. In acetic acid-induced writhing test, polyphenolic fraction (400 and 800 mg/kg, p.o.) and essential oil (100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o.) reduced the number of abdominal constrictions. Essential oil at a dose of 200 mg/kg also inhibited carrageenan-induced paw edema. Results of the present study confirm the traditional use of Lavandula angustifolia for the treatment of painful and inflammatory conditions and calls for further investigations to determine the active chemical constituent(s).

Hajhashemi, V., Ghannadi, A. and Jafarabadi, H. (2004), Black cumin seed essential oil, as a potent analgesic and antiin?ammatory drug. Phytother. Res., 18: 195–199. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1390.

Süleyman Ayd?n1, Yusuf Öztürk1,*, Rana Beis2 andK. Hüsnü Can Ba?er. Investigation of Origanum onites, Sideritis congesta and Satureja cuneifolia Essential Oils for Analgesic Activity. Phytotherapy Research. Volume 10, Issue 4, pages 342–344, June 1996.;2-W/abstract

Abstract: Essential oils, obtained by Clevenger distillation, of Sideritis congesta P. H. Davis et Hub.Mor., Satureja cuneifolia Ten. and Origanum onites L. collected from two different localities were investigated for their analgesic activity by using the tail-flick method in mice and by comparing with standard analgesic drugs, morphine and fenoprofen. Among the essential oils tested, marked analgesic activity was found to be specific only for Origanum onites. Surprisingly, the analgesic activity of Origanum oils seems to be dependent on the locality. Findings obtained in the present study strongly suggested that the analgesic activity is related to the carvacrol content of essential oils.

Suleyman Aydin,1,3* Tuba Demir,1,3 Yusuf Ozturk1,3 and K. Husnu C. Baser. Analgesic Activity of Nepeta italica L. PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH Phytother. Res. 13, 20–23 (1999).

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