Home Remedies for Headaches Using Essential Oils and Herbs
Basil Health Benefits Include Pain Relief From Headaches
Home remedies for headaches can be lifesavers when you find yourself coming down with a headache and don’t have any over-the-counter painkillers or can’t take a painkiller for whatever reason. As a lifelong sufferer of headaches (I had my first migraine at age 6!), I’ve found that very often I get better relief from my headaches when I use essential oils and herbs rather than over-the-counter painkillers and without any of the nasty side effects.
Over the years, I’ve tried lots of home remedies for headaches, and I’ve come back to this list of essential oils and fresh or dried herbs that work for me. Because everybody is different, and everyone’s headaches are caused by different factors, you might have to try more than one of these home remedies for headaches before you find one that works for you. You also might need to use different home remedies for headaches depending on what type of headache you have – migraine, stress headache or cluster headache.
Home Remedies for Headaches Using Essentials Oils
The key to using essential oils as home remedies for headaches is that you do not ingest them. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause serious side effects if taken internally.
Essential oils as home remedies for headaches includes the following.
- Lavender – Lavender oil can be used for migraines and stress headaches.
- Rose Geranium – This cooling essential oil works wonders for migraines caused by excessive heat in the body.
- Nutmeg – Another wonderful warming essential oil that works well for migraine headaches, sometimes mixed with patchouli for tension headaches.
- Peppermint – For migraines, peppermint essential oil is great for relieving both pain and nausea.
- Rosemary – Rosemary essential oil is wonderful for both migraines and tension headaches caused by stress.
To use essential oils as home remedies for headaches, you have several options.
Apply the oil directly to the forehead and temples. If you choose to apply the essential oil directly to the skin, make sure it’s been diluted in a carrier oil like sweet almond, jojoba, sesame or sunflower. You can find bottles of plain carrier oils at most natural foods stores.
Make a cold or warm compress. Depending on what type of headache you have, you can use a cold or warm compress with a few drops of essential oil.
To make a warm compress, soak a soft hand towel in hot water, then wring it out and apply a few drops of essential oil to the center of the towel. Fold the towel into a long strip and apply it to the bridge of the nose, covering the eyes for a migraine. For a stress headache, you can apply the towel across the forehead or over the back of the neck.
To make a cold compress, you can soak a soft hand towel in ice water or wrap it around a pre-made frozen ice pack. Add a few drops of essential oil to the center of the towel before folding it around the ice pack or folding it into a strip and applying it to the head or neck.
Steaming with essential oils. Boil four cups of water for five minutes and remove from heat. Add a few drops of essential oil to the water. To inhale the steam, drape a towel or pillowcase over the head and place your head about 12 inches above the steam. Never place your head or your face directly in the steam – you could end up with a serious burn on your face.
Diffusing essential oils. Place a few drops of your preferred essential oils into a diffuser and place near your bed or desk. Another option for diffusing essential oils is to use a clay diffuser pendant worn throughout the day.
Home Remedies for Headaches Using Dried or Fresh Herbs
Herbal teas also make my list of favorite home remedies for headaches. For both tension headaches and migraines, sometimes a warm cup of herbal tea made with fresh herbs from my garden is exactly what I need to relieve the pain of a headache so I can get on with my life.
My favorite herbs from my garden to use as home remedies for headaches.
- Basil – Growing basil for seasoning in soups and sauces is great, but fresh basil used in tea is also an effective home remedy for headaches.
- Ginger – Most people know that ginger tea benefits include relief from stomach upset and discomfort, but it’s also effective at relieving the pain of a tension headache.
- Peppermint – Another herb known for relieving gastric discomfort, peppermint is wonderful at relieving the pain and nausea of a migraine headache.
- Licorice – Licorice is a wonderful preventative for migraine headaches.
- Chamomile – The soothing effect of chamomile tea can help relieve a bad tension headache.
You can make an easy herbal tea out of any of these fresh herbs. Boil two to three cups of water, and remove from heat before adding six tablespoons of your chosen herb if using fresh herbs. You can add a bit of sweetener to taste. For some migraine headaches, it’s recommended that you allow the tea to cool to room temperature before straining and drinking. For dried herbs, use three tablespoons.
In a pinch, if you can’t make a tea out of your favorite herb, you can also chew a few leaves of fresh herbs as home remedies for headaches. Chewing a few leaves from a fresh rosemary plant or peppermint plant is one of my favorite “in a pinch” home remedies for headaches because it relieves both the pain and nausea that’s sometimes associated with my migraine headaches.
What’s on your list of never-fail home remedies for headaches? Leave a comment here and share your home remedies for headaches with us.