Here are the top oils recommended for headache and stress relief.
Looking for an elixir to treat your aching head? For some, the answer is
not in the medicine cabinet, but in the same oils that spas use to create
a relaxing and calming atmosphere.
“You probably won’t get the same instant relief as with taking
medication, but there is an increasing body of evidence that points to
the calming and healing effects of certain essential oils,” says
Dayne Grove, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at the
Mission Hospital Wellness Corner at Sendero Marketplace. “These natural oils work by soothing the senses, providing a feeling
of calm, and ultimately helping to reduce blood pressure. Everyone reacts
differently, and for some people, this is all they need when bothered
by a headache or the inkling that a headache is about to start.”
If you have an aching head, there are a few ways that you can benefit from
the therapeutic effects of essential oils. You can apply the essence topically,
but never apply an essence directly to the skin without diluting it in
a “carrier oil” such as jojoba, argon, avocado, sweet almond
or magnesium oil. Another way is to try aromatherapy with an electric
diffuser that disperses the oil into the air. Or, you can just put some
essential oil on a cotton ball, place it under your nose and take a few
Since we get headaches for different reasons, you’ll want to pick
the right oil for your needs. And you may find that this technique works
best when mixed with
other stress-reducing activities. Here are the top oils recommended for headache and stress relief:
Peppermint Oil – Who doesn’t enjoy the fresh scent of peppermint? Since the
menthol in this essence is helpful for clearing the respiratory tract
and clogged sinuses, peppermint oil is particularly helpful for treating
sinus headaches from colds and other infections. Additionally, peppermint
relieves digestive problems, which is helpful for those with headaches
caused by stomach aches. And, when applied to the skin, peppermint oil
has a cooling effect which can stimulate blood flow to the head, easing
Lavender Oil – A “go to” at your local spa, lavender essential oil
induces relaxation and relieves stress. It works as a sedative, antidepressant
and calming agent. For this reason, lavender oil is typically used to
treat headaches caused by anxiety disorders and related conditions. You
can also try it if you have trouble sleeping, either while you try to
fall asleep or as a soothing addition to a before-bedtime bath.
Eucalyptus Oil – There’s a reason koala bears love to chew on eucalyptus
leaves. Like peppermint, eucalyptus is effective in clearing the nasal
passageways and has been used as an anti-inflammatory to help with respiratory
conditions and sinus inflammation. Eucalyptus has also been found to reduce
pain and lower blood pressure, making it good for tension headaches.
Rosemary Oil – Rosemary has a calming and stress-reducing effect that can help
alleviate headaches caused by stress and lack of sleep. In fact, studies
on people with opium addictions report that rosemary oil helps with withdrawal
symptoms. Clearly, rosemary has some powerful attributes besides being
an additive to grandma’s spaghetti sauce.
Marjoram Oil – Marjoram is also popular in the kitchen, but as an essential oil
it can help relieve anxiety and stress, as well as tight muscles, muscle
cramps and muscle strain, all of which are related to many headaches.
Marjoram oil has also proved to be effective in a hot or cold compress.
Chamomile Oil – Everyone knows that chamomile tea has calming effects, so it stands
to reason that the essential oil does as well. In fact, chamomile is thought
to help with stress, irritability, depression and anger. Headaches caused
by the general tensions of the day can benefit from some chamomile, either
in the tea or oil form.
“Of course, if you have a prolonged headache, you’ll need to
see a doctor,“ says Grove (St. Joseph Health’s
physician referral service can help in this task). “However, essential oils can be a good first
line of defense. You just might find that a few drops have a powerful
About Mission Hospital Wellness Corner
Now open! The
Mission Hospital Wellness Corner complements the care you receive from traditional medical providers, helping
you achieve complete wellness and vitality –improving the way you
feel all the time. Our highly trained interdisciplinary care team delivers
a holistic approach where we personalize your care plan with safe, natural
therapies that deliver optimal health. Visit us in the Sendero Marketplace
- 30897 Gateway Place, Suite F-4 in Rancho Mission Viejo.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.