I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to function when I have a headache.
I’ve had migraines, sinus headaches, and tension headaches.
But I rarely pop pills for them anymore.
That’s why people ask me what essential oil should I diffuse for headaches?
Besides aromatherapy, you can also rub essential oil for headaches on your skin.
Let’s go over the basics so that you can stop suffering and start feeling better right away.
- How Do You Use Essential Oils for Headaches?
- The Top Essential Oils for Getting Rid of a Headache
- Tension Headache Soothing Blend Recipe
- Sinus Headache Relief Blend
- A Massage Blend to Alleviate a Sinus Headache
- Migraine Relief Blend
- Essential Oil Headache Roll-On
How Do You Use Essential Oils for Headaches?
Depending on the type of headache you have, you can simply breathe in the aroma or massage yourself with essential oil.
For example, put a little peppermint oil on your temples or the back of your neck – but keep it well away from your eyes!
If it’s not pre-diluted, mix it with a carrier oil first to protect your skin.
The cooling sensation will help ease the pain, and the scent may help you relax.
If you’re not a fan of peppermint, try spearmint instead.
Or diffuse lavender to calm a tension headache.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. How about if I give you the full review of the best essential oils for headaches below.
I’ll include recipes along the way.
The Top Essential Oils for Getting Rid of a Headache
Let’s begin with lavender oil. You’ve heard that it’s useful for lowering stress and anxiety.
Lavender can also help you get to sleep.
Plus, it turns out that lavender essential oil relieves headaches and as well as migraines that come from too much stress (1).
That’s because it does two useful things: it calms the nervous system and regulates serotonin to reduce pain (2).
To enjoy these positive effects, you can apply it to your skin or inhale the fragrance.
If you enjoy baths, add lavender oil to the water.
Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil
Plant Therapy sells directly to the public without any multilevel marketing schemes. They provide free test results demonstrating the purity of their oils. Each oil is tested by third-party labs.
Moreover, they have a line of essential oils that’s Kid-Safe for children. Some are 100% organic, as well.
This oil is distilled from the Lavandula angustifolia plant.
You already had a preview of how to use peppermint oil for headaches.
Within a minute or two of rubbing it on your forehead or neck, you’ll feel a refreshing sensation.
Whether your headache is due to stress or congestion, peppermint will take the edge off.
It also alleviates stress and promotes concentration.
But please, be careful with peppermint – dilute it first with a carrier oil. Add a maximum of two drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of fractionated coconut (or jojoba, sweet almond, olive oil, etc.). Then rub that blend on your skin.
Dilute, Dilute, Dilute!
Straight essential oil, uncut and pure, is very powerful stuff.
Although you might not react immediately, irritation could develop over the next day or two.
But worse than a rash is the long-term effect of abusing essential oils. You could end up sensitized, or allergic, to the oil and then you can no longer enjoy it.
Furthermore, peppermint may cause adverse reactions for people with asthma or heart problems.
Please, dilute it to be safe, and visit your doctor if you have a problem develop.
Back to the Peppermint Oil…
Not only does peppermint oil cool the skin by stimulating blood flow, but it also soothes muscles, too.
Try it the next time you get a Charley horse.
Edens Garden Peppermint Value Pack
Edens Garden is an American company based in California with almost a decade of experience providing essential oils.
One of their main selling points is that you can count on getting a fresh product. They constantly rotate their stock every two weeks. Additionally, they test the oils with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.
The manufacturer steam-distills Mentha piperita from the lamiaceae family that has a high menthol content. The anticipated shelf life is four years.
Rosemary oil boosts circulation and lessens inflammation. It’s good for headaches and insomnia because it has a calming effect.
Interestingly, rosemary helps digestion and upset stomachs. As such, it’s been used in clinical studies treating opium withdrawal.
Rosemary combines well with lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint (or spearmint) to make a headache soothing blend.
Radha Beauty Rosemary Essential Oil
Radha Beauty’s rosemary oil comes with a glass dropper so you can get the dose just right.
It’s useful for aromatherapy and skincare as well as home cleaning products.
The company bottles the steam-distilled Rosmarinus officials in cobalt blue glass to protect it from UV light.
Aura Cacia Essential Oil Spearmint
I keep mentioning spearmint because it’s milder and sweeter than peppermint.
This spearmint oil comes from a co-op company that listens to their customers. In general, their oils are certified organic and tested to be free from additives.
Tension Headache Soothing Blend Recipe
Diffuse this mix the next time you want to ease a headache.
- Two drops of rosemary
- One drop each of peppermint (or spearmint), eucalyptus, and lavender
You might also consider blending the oils with a tablespoon of carrier oil like fractionated coconut. Then you can rub it into the skin instead of diffusing it. Massage it into your neck and shoulders or place it on your forehead and temples, depending on where your headache hurts worse.
Have you ever had a cup of chamomile tea to calm you down?
Chamomile lessens anxiety and stress that contribute to stress headaches or migraines.
Majestic Pure Chamomile Oil
Majestic Pure packages their essential oils in the USA. They include a glass dropper.
Although your experience with eucalyptus might be limited to treating colds, it also lowers blood pressure and relieves pain.
It’s an expectorant that opens the nasal pathways and decreases sinus pressure that contributes to pounding headaches.
Even if you don’t have a cold or the flu, eucalyptus is handy for relieving headaches.
NOW Eucalyptus Oil
NOW Foods offers this enormous 4-ounce bottle of eucalyptus oil. It’ll save you money if you’re a heavy user. Take note that there’s no dropper included.
The company runs multiple tests in-house and contract with third-party laboratories to ensure the purity of their oils.
The oil comes from the eucalyptus globulus plant.
Sinus Headache Relief Blend
- Diffuse two drops each of eucalyptus and peppermint to unclog those sinuses. Use an ultrasonic humidifier diffuser to raise the humidity.
URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier
With no filters to clean and very quiet operation, this ultrasonic diffuser keeps things simple. You can fill it with ordinary tap water.
Enjoy the changing mood light or turn it off to relax in the darkness.
A Massage Blend to Alleviate a Sinus Headache
- Add two drops each of spearmint, lavender, and spearmint to a tablespoon of carrier oil.
- Rub it (or ask someone to rub it) into your neck, chest, and shoulders
If you don’t want to apply it to your skin, forget about the carrier oil and diffuse the essential oils instead.
I love frankincense. It’s a very healing essential oil.
Frankincense from the Boswellia serrata plant smells like Christmas. Out of the two main types, this one is one of the best essential oils for treating inflammation.
Even though it’s not often recommended as a headache cure, it blends well with the oils that are. It gives them a boost.
Plant Therapy Frankincense Serrata Essential Oil
Plant Therapy thoroughly tests their essential oils.
They have one of the best prices on frankincense. Compare it to what companies like Young Living or doTerra charge.
Some say that birch oil might also be useful for relieving a headache. Its anti-inflammatory.
Take a whiff – it smells like a relaxing walk through the forest.
If you use it on your skin, it’s a good astringent.
Birch Essential Oil by Edens Garden
Edens Garden sells birch oil in a variety of sizes.
They source it from sweet birch bark that’s soaked for ten or more hours.
Although it’s pleasant to diffuse or use diluted on the skin, never take birch internally.
Bergamot has a cheerful fragrance that brightens up the day. As such, it provides support to other headache-relieving oils.
But there’s something you should know about it. It has a chemical called bergaptene in it that makes the skin more sensitive to the sun.
To avoid problems, use a bergaptene-free oil, diffuse it instead of rubbing it on your skin, or only apply bergamot at night.
Migraine Relief Blend
The few times I’ve had a migraine were the worst.
I keep this blend on hand to relieve nausea as well as the headache.
- Two drops spearmint
- One drop bergamot
- One drop chamomile
If you combine it with a carrier oil and apply it to the back of your neck, be sure to use bergaptene-free bergamot. See the next product below to understand what I mean.
Mystic Moments | Bergamot Bergaptene-Free Essential Oil
Mystic Moments is located in the United Kingdom. They cold-press the oil from the Citrus bergamia Risso et Poit plant. Then they use a molecular process to remove the bergaptene.
Helichrysum essential oil is another unsung hero in headache blends. It lowers inflammation and enhances the performance of other oils.
Helichrysum 100% Pure, Undiluted Essential Oil Therapeutic Grade by Fabulous Frannie
Fabulous Frannie obtains helichrysum oil from the Helichrysum bractiferum plant. They package it in an amber glass bottle with a Euro dropper cap.
Enjoy this oil when you diffuse it or massage it into the skin.
Essential Oil Headache Roll-On
To make this roll-on, it’s very convenient to have a bottle with a roller top ready to fill.
You’ll need two tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil as it’s one of the lightest weight carrier oils.
- Three drops peppermint
- Three drops lavender
- One drop birch
- One drop frankincense
- Two drops helichrysum
Once you place all the oils in the bottle, shake well before you use it.
Remember you have options – if you don’t want to buy all the oils you need to make your own blends, or you’re not sure which ones you like, there are commercial blends available.
Plant Therapy Tension Relief (Headache Relief) Synergy Essential Oil Blend
You can rely on Plant Therapy’s experience with essential oils to help you find what you need. Their Tension Relief blend contains headache-taming ingredients like peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, spearmint, lavender, basil, cinnamon leaf, ginger, Ravensara, and Roman chamomile.
To enjoy this oil, diffuse it or apply it topically with a 3% dilution. You can even add it to your favorite fragrance-free lotion instead of a carrier oil.
Edens Garden Head Ease Essential Oil Synergy Blend
Stop those cluster headaches with essential oils.
Edens Garden created the Head Ease blend with lavender, peppermint, rosemary, basil, frankincense, chamomile, ginger, spearmint, and helichrysum. By now, those essential oils should sound very familiar.
They recommend that you dilute the oil before you apply it to your skin, but you can diffuse it right out of the bottle.
doTERRA PastTense Essential Oil Tension Blend Roll On
doTerra makes their Past Tense blend from wintergreen, lavender, peppermint, frankincense, cilantro, Roman chamomile, marjoram, basil, and rosemary. I’m not a fan of cilantro, and that’s unfortunately, one of the top notes.
But fans of this roll-on love that it’s ready to use without dilution. Rub it over your shoulders or neck, your wrists, or behind your ears. Within moments you’ll feel cooler and calmer.
GuruNanda Breathe Easy Essential Oil Blend – for Congestion
GuruNanda combines rosemary, tea tree, basil, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils to create their Breathe Easy blend. It boosts your immune system and relieves congestion.
Why is this in an article about headache relief? Because it’s really common ten up with a headache when you’re stuffed up.
But there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy this oil when you want to get rid of a tension headache.
ArtNaturals Premium Fractionated Coconut Oil
I keep mentioning carrier oils. One of my favorites is fractionated coconut oil. It’s clear, unscented, and very lightweight for quick absorption.
Keep a bottle of fractionated coconut oil on hand, and you’re always ready to make a new blend.
BonyTek Empty Roller Bottles, Essential Oil Bottles
Here are amber glass bottles with spray and roller tops ready to hold your homemade essential oils blends.
Essential oils are a gentle, natural way to relieve headache pain. They don’t have the same side effects as painkillers that can harm your kidneys and more.
I hope you found what you need to treat your headaches in the future. Both aromatherapy and massage with essential oils have the power to make you feel better.
Let me know which oils are your favorite headache tamers.
1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319478.php by Lana Burgess, published 21 September 2017, accessed 18 June 2019
2. https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-headaches By Ana Gotter, oublished 26 April 2017, accessed 18 June 2019