Top Essential Oils For Easing Out Headaches


here are certain medical problems that are universal and almost every single person experiences it at some point or the other in their lives. While there are many such conditions, the one that is most common is a headache. In this condition, pain occurs in the head region. The frequency and severity of a headache may vary from person to person depending on the cause as well as the overall health condition of an individual. A headache is cited as one of the most common nervous system disorders that people irrespective of the age, socioeconomic status or race experience. The pain caused by headaches can either be mild or extremely debilitating. Few people tend to experience headache that, though painful, does not hamper their ability to do things. On the other hand, there are people who experience constant severe pain that can make it extremely difficult to carry on with their day-to-day tasks. Of all the headaches reports, it is said that just a small proportion of the disorders require a specialist’s input. As a majority of these disorders can be taken care by primary care physicians. Other types may require consultation with a specialist and may be an indication of underlying health problems. World Health Organization (WHO) has included headaches in the top 10 causes of disability. It was reported that in the United Kingdom, approximately 25 million working days are lost due to headaches, especially migraines. [1]

Here we are letting you know about headaches and also about certain age-old remedies that you can use to get relief from them.

What Are The Different Types Of Headaches?

Headaches can affect anyone irrespective of the age (young or old) or gender. However, it is found that headaches are more likely to affect women rather than men. Though, that heavily depends on the type of the headache. In general, headaches can be classified into two different categories namely primary and secondary.

1. Primary Headaches

As per the reports, 90% of the headaches belong to the primary category. People between the age of 20-40 years are likely to suffer from this type. Common headaches under this category are cluster headaches, migraines, primary cough headache, hypnic headache and many more.

2. Secondary Headaches

As the name suggests, secondary headaches are usually caused by of problems occurring either in the head or neck area. Few of the headaches under this category can occur due to severe medical conditions such as meningitis, bleeding in the brain, ruptured aneurysm, temporal arteritis, brain tumor gastrointestinal disorders, etc. [2]

Types Of Headaches Commonly Reported

Here Is A List Of Some Of The Types Of Headaches That Is Commonly Reported Among The General Population

1. Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches, though common, can be extremely painful. As the name suggests, these headaches occur in a pattern and their location is either one side of the head or around an eye. The headaches may last for weeks or at times for months. Though these headaches are not exactly life-threatening, they can cause a great deal of pain. The intense pain in this type of headache attacks quite suddenly and the attack may last for 15 minutes or even 3 hours. [3]

2. Migraines

A migraine is another extremely common headache that affects approximately 15% of the population in the world. In this primary headache, one part of the brain experiences pulsating pain that can last for 2 hours or in severe cases can go on for about 72 hours. A combination of different factors, environmental as well as genetic, are believed to play a role, however, the underlying cause of this distressful headache disorder is not yet known. [4]

3. Sinus Headaches

A headache caused by an infection in the sinuses, sinus headaches cause pain in facial parts as well such as the forehead, eyes and cheeks. Sinus headaches are rather easy to diagnose, as they often accompany a host of other symptoms with them. The most common symptoms are stuffy nose, pain in the facial parts (cheeks and forehead), worsening pain with movements like bending forward or lying down. [5]

4. Tension Headaches

The severity of pain in tension headaches may range from mild to moderate. A person may experience pain or pressure in the back of the head, neck area and around the forehead. Popularly referred to as stress headaches, this particular type is exceedingly common among adults in today’s time. If the frequency of these headaches is high, then they are termed as chronic, but if they occur for just 10-15 days in a month, then they are called episodic tension headaches. The pain or pressure may go on for 30 minutes or last for a few days. [6]

5. Hormone Headaches

A change in the hormone levels in women can also trigger headaches. Hormone headaches occur in women either at the time of the periods, pregnancy and even during menopause. This headache causes a throbbing pain and its severity may vary from person to person. [7]

What Causes Headaches?

A huge number of factors can lead to headaches. When certain specific nerve blood vessels and the nearby nerves send pain signals to the brain then headaches occur. While studies are still being conducted in this field, it is found that the following factors can cause headaches occur.

1. Illness

Illnesses that often involve infections either in sinusitis, infections related to both throat and ear. In few rare cases, headaches may be an indication of underlying illnesses.

2. Stress

Stress can be the result of excessive drinking, changes in the sleeping cycle, skipping meals, alterations in the sleeping pattern, and excessive consumption of medications.

3. Environmental Factors

A wide array of environmental factors such as air, noise pollution or secondhand tobacco smell can also trigger headaches. [8]

How To Get Rid Of Headaches?

There is a wide array of ways to get relief from headaches. In the recent times, painkillers are most widely used medications for getting rid of headaches. A significant number of people all over the world, take painkillers every time they suffer from a headache. While these medications undeniably give temporary relief from the pain, the long-term use of painkillers can have detrimental effect on one’s health. The pain-relieving medications, in few instances, can lead to troubling side effects.

Are There Any Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Headaches?

In different cultures across the world since centuries people have used various types of methods are used to eliminate headaches or at least minimize its severity. People have made use of natural ingredients and home remedies to fight off the pain. For instance, certain essential oils are famous for their effectiveness in reducing the pain caused by headaches. Moreover, they do not have as many side effects as other methods. Essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy for dealing with different types of headaches such as migraine. [9]

How Do Essential Oils Help With Headaches

Extensively used in aromatherapy, essential oils are often cited as traditional medicines. Because of the healing, stress-relieving and pain-relieving properties of the essential oils, they are being frequently used for tackling a variety of medical problems. They serve as natural headache relief medicines by lowering down the pain. [10]

Top 4 Essential Oils For Headaches

If you suffer from headaches then these top 4 essential oils really gone work for you.

1. Peppermint Essential Oil

Derived from the peppermint plant, peppermint essential oil is widely popular for its many health-related purposes. It is reported that this essential oil topical usage can come in handy for getting rid of headaches caused by tension and other factors. [11] The analgesic mechanisms of peppermint essential oil have been discussed for their properties. The long-lasting cooling effect of this essential oil on the skin along with its ability to induce a significant increase in the skin blood flow of the forehead and muscle relaxing effect makes it a potent remedy for dealing with headaches. [12] And, many clinical trials and studies conducted in the past few years have proved that peppermint essential oil is a well-tolerated and cost-effective alternative to other usual and more popular therapies used for headaches. [13]

2. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is renowned worldwide for its pain-relieving properties. It has been reported that this essential oil can effectively lower pain, swelling as well as inflammation. [14] Studies and experiments were conducted to check the neurophysiological, psychological and experimental algesimetric parameters of eucalyptus essential oil along with other essential oils. It was found that combining this essential oil with other oils could lead to reduction in sensitivity to headache. However, its effect would largely depend on the type of headache. For instance, trials found that in migraine patients, this essential oil did not necessarily have an effect. [15]

3. Lavender Essential Oil

Famous for its distinct and refreshing fragrance, lavender essential oil is known to possess a wide variety of therapeutic properties and in the recent years many studies have found that this essential oil can also serve as an effective remedy for several neurological disorders. Inhaling lavender essential oil is considered to be an effective way of dealing with migraine headaches. The studies conducted to check its efficacy involved a total of 47 patients and it was found that usage of lavender essential oil led to a significant decrease in the severity of pain and the other associated symptoms. This particular study suggests that this essential oil is a potent remedy for tackling migraine headaches. [16]

4. Rosemary Essential Oil

Derived from the rosemary plant, rosemary essential oil has been termed as an effective folk medicine for tackling with a myriad of health problems like headaches, epilepsy and few other ailments. [17] The main ingredient in rosemary essential oil is rosemary and this ingredient is known to act as a stimulant that effectively reduces inflammation. Also, clinical trials have found it to be a potent remedy for dealing with opioid addiction. The chemical content of the rosemary plant, that is further used for creating the essential oil is what enables it to fight off headache. [18]

What Are The Different Ways To Use Essential Oils For Headache Relief?

Often termed as ideal alternatives for dealing with headaches, essential oils can be used in a variety of ways to get rid of headaches. You can either massage the essential oil blend to the skin, inhale it or add it to cold or warm compress to help get relief from headaches. Try to massage it on the temple, neck and forehead area. In addition, it can be massaged to the shoulders, base of the neck and scalp. For using it with cold or warm compress, just add a few drops of the essential oil and hold the compress against the forehead or across the eye area for optimum results.

The Following Essential Oil Recipes To Combat Headache

Alternatively, You Can Use Any Of The Following Essential Oil Recipes To Combat Headache

1. Mix 2 drops of lavender essential oil with ½ teaspoon of sweet almond oil. Massage the resulting blend all over the temples for effective results. [19]

2. Combine 2 drops of peppermint essential oil, sweet marjoram and bay essential oil with ½ ounce of a carrier oil (almond oil, sunflower oil or grapeseed oil). Take the resulting blend and massage all over the temples to reduce the pain. [20]

3. Put two and a half cups of water into a bowl. Add 10 drops of rosemary essential oil to it and stir for a little while. Put a small, clean towel into the bowl and let it stay there for a few minutes. Squeeze out the towel and put it on your forehead. Use your fingers to gently press against the forehead. Sit back for a few minutes while the essential oil deals with the headache. [21]

4. Create a blend of 2-4 drops of eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil. Massage the blend onto the neck, temples and forehead area. This is highly effective for those who suffer from headaches caused by sinus infection. Even for migraine headache, this blend can help to reduce the pain. [22]

5. Mix 1 drop of peppermint essential oil with 1 teaspoon of honey and add it to a glass of warm water. Sip from this drink to get relief from gastric headaches. [23]

6. Combine 3 drops of lavender essential oil and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil and blend with 1 drop of vegetable oil. Take just 1 drop of the resulting blend and massage it near the temples & along the hairline to get relief from the headache. [24]


What Precautions Should be Taken While Using Essential Oils?

In order to use essential oils safely, it is best to not apply undiluted essential oil on the skin as it can cause burns. Also, it is essential to be mindful of the fact that it should be used undiluted internally as then essential oils can prove to be toxic and life-threatening. While using essential oils, make sure to use the recommended quantity of the essential oil to ward off side effects such as headaches. Make sure to use essential oil with caution to avoid harm. [25]

For getting relief from headaches, you can make use of the above-stated essential oils that are renowned for their effectiveness in reducing the pain caused by a headache. Maintain proper caution while using these oils to get great results.

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