Headaches Can Stop You In Your Tracks - But Essential Oils Can Help Relieve Them

What Are Headaches?

Headaches can be any pain in the head or neck - they can be from mild discomfort to outright agony. People describe them as thumping, pounding, blinding or "like my head is going to explode". I used to suffer from migraines so I know how bad they can be.  

However, it is going to depend on what type you suffer from as to what essential oils are best to use.  

It is also important to note that headaches can be a symptom of more serious health issues.  

So if simple remedies don't relieve the pain, if it constantly returns, or gets worse, it is best to have it checked by a doctor, just to be sure.

Primary Headaches

The Primary are the most common at 90%. These are not life threatening or caused by underlying disease or structural disfunction. Because the Primary occur on their own it can be difficult to understand why we get them - even medical professionals are in doubt.

There are a surprising number - with migraine and tension the most usual ones people complain of. 

Other rarer types include:

  • Cluster
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Hemicrania Continua
  • Stabbing 
  • Cough
  • Exertional

Secondary Headaches

The Secondary are caused by and can be a symptom of other problems in the neck or head. Sometimes they can be harmless but they can also be a cause for concern.

Examples are:

  • Muscle tension
  • Sinus
  • Medication overuse
  • Drugs
  • Meningitis
  • Hemorrhage
  • Aneuryism
  • Tumour
  • Glaucoma

Recipes For The More Common Headaches

General or Unknown Origin 

It is quite normal to get a headache out of the blue where there is no apparent reason for it but it still thumps away causing pain.  Some of these type can be caused by something as simple as a badly contoured pillow, lack of sleep, bright sunlight or cold food.

Usually they are of a short duration or are relieved when the cause is removed.

Recipe One

Ingredients:

  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop Peppermint essential oil
  • Carrier oil

Directions:

Combine the essential oils and rub just one drop of the combined mix to the back of your neck or around the temples.  Put a little bit of carrier oil on your fingers and massage over the same area to blend the essential oils and aid absorption.

Recipe Two

Ingredients:

1 drop Lavender essential oil

Directions:

Apply neat to the back of the neck.

Migraine

Migraines are thought to be caused by neural changes in the brain. For many people they are a recurring nightmare lasting up to 3 days and cause blinding pain and vision distortions. The pain can be felt one one side of the head or both as pulsating or throbbing.

For most people they are accompanied by one or all of:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Auras

Recipe One

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop Rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop Roman Chamomile essential oil
  • Cold compress

Directions:

When the head pain hits add the essential oils to the compress and hold it at the base of the skull, across the forehead and/or against the temples. Refresh the compress frequently to keep it cool.

On a daily basis use relaxing essential oils like Roman Chamomile, Marjoram or even Sandalwood in diffusers, baths or in a massage.

Recipe Two

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop Marjoram essential oil
  • Cold compress

Directions:

As above.

Tension

Tension headaches are the most common Primary and can last for several hours.  They are more frequent in women than men. The pain tends to radiate from the lower back of the head up into the forehead, eyes, back of the head, neck - anywhere muscles can contract - and cause moderate dull or aching pain with tightness or a feeling of pressure across and around the head.  The cause is in the name.

Recipe One

Ingredients:

  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop Chamomile essential oil
  • 1 drop carrier oil

Directions:

Combine the essential oils and then add one drop to the carrier oil and massage around the base of the neck, temples or forehead.

Recipe Two

Ingredients:

  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 1 drop Geranium essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil

Directions:

Mix together and massage around the temples, forehead and/or back of neck.

Sinus

When the sinuses get blocked pressure builds in the skull and causes acute throbbing pain.  In this case it is beneficial to attempt to clear the sinus passages as much as possible so a headache doesn't develop.  If one does, use essential oils for both the pain in the sinuses and the head.

Recipe One

Ingredients:

  • 4 drops Rosemary essential oil
  • 4 drops Geranium essential oil
  • 3 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil

Directions:

Mix the essential oils together and use 5 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil. Massage around the sinuses, across the forehead and temples.

Use the recipes here for clearing the sinus passages which will help relieve the cause of the headache associated with blocked sinuses. 

Recipe Two

Ingredients:

  • Peppermint esential oil
  • Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Tissue or handkerchief

Directions:

Use a few drops of the combined above essential oils on the tissue and inhale regularly during the day when your sinuses are blocked to help keep the pressure low and avoid a headache.




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