Some medical conditions are considered rather bothersome and uncomfortable none so like migraines and headaches. The headache and pain caused by migraines can result in serious downtime for affected individuals and greatly and adversely affect the quality of life of individuals and patients. Fortunately, treatments relating to migraines need not be based solely on medications and artificial treatments. Other more natural and less harsh treatments are available to address the said medical condition, one of which is the use of essential oils. In this article, we will look at six (6) of the most effective essential oils for migraines. Read on to find out more!
Essential Oils for Medical Conditions: A Brief Overview
Home remedies often use essential oils to address different illnesses or diseases. The question though, is this: Are essential oils effective against headaches, particularly migraines? Before we answer this critical question, let us first look at what essential oil is. Essential Oils are a form of liquid that is concentrated taken from plants. A form of treatment based on the use of the said oils is called aromatherapy. For those practicing aromatherapy (also referred to as aromatherapists), they believe that different essential oils can provide varied health benefits. There is evidence that supports the fact that a number of essential oils can provide health benefits. On the other hand, there are those based on tradition only.
It is believed that more than 50% of adults around the globe are affected by headaches that are occasional such as tension headaches while others are affected by something more severe such as a migraine. While it is true that a number of medicines are available over the counter, these chemically produced and artificial products can have some side effects. As such, people who may be suffering from chronic or constant migraines may consider taking other treatment options that are natural which includes essential oils.
Six (6) Essential Oils that can help alleviate migraines
Enumerated below are six (6) of the best essential oils that can help individuals fight off the symptoms of migraines:
1. Lavender oil
This essential oil is commonly used to help people fight depression, anxiety, stress, and help improve their quality of sleep. There are also many who believe that lavender oil can alleviate migraines and headaches caused by stressful situations. One study done in 2012 showed that those who inhaled lavender oil can be an effective and safe treatment in the management of headaches caused by migraine.
2. Rosemary oil
This essential oil has been used in the improvement of circulation and in the treatment of headaches. There are also a number of researches that show the effectiveness of rosemary oil in the treatment of headaches and migraines. Another study conducted in 2008 also showed that rosemary oil has properties that are painkilling and anti-inflammatory. A separate study was done in 2013 which also identified that the said essential amino acid can help in the reduction of pain and in addressing insomnia particularly for individuals currently undergoing withdrawal caused by opium treatment. There is also data to suggest that using rosemary oil can help in pain reduction caused by migraines and headaches. However, further studies on human test subjects are needed to confirm the actual effects of rosemary oil.
3. Peppermint oil
For thousands of years, peppermint oil has been utilized in alternative medicine and is one of the most common essential oil used in the treatment of migraines and headaches. A review published in 2015 states that peppermint oil application on the forehead and temples can provide relief from headaches caused by tension. Menthol is the main active ingredient in peppermint oil and a 2015 research showed the aforementioned ingredient to be potent in terms of migraine treatment and when applied as a form of a gel on the head.
4. Chamomile Oil
To unwind and relax, people used to take chamomile tea. This could mean that chamomile oil can have a relaxing and soothing effect as well on headaches caused by tension and migraine. A 2012 research showed that chamomile oil may help alleviate some of the symptoms caused by depression and anxiety. Due to the fact that headaches are usually the result of anxiety and stress, then it follows that chamomile oil can help individuals in headache treatment. Chamomile also contains properties that are anti-inflammatory which can also contribute to the reduction of headaches. However, further research is needed to establish this particular health benefit.
5. Eucalyptus oil
Traditionally, this essential oil is commonly used to reduce inflammation and to aid in clearing up the sinus. Individuals who may be suffering from headaches as a result of sinuses that are blocked may find that their symptoms may be relieved through the inhalation of eucalyptus. The result of one research noted that the use of eucalyptus oil had positive effects in terms of lowering blood pressure and pain relief.
6. Essential Oil Custom Blend
More than just headaches caused by migraines, there are other forms of headaches that may be caused by other factors. For this kind of headache (including those caused by migraines), individuals can use an essential oil custom blend composed of lavender, peppermint, and rosemary. Blending these essential oils can give individuals with constituents that have a wider range of applications and benefits and can address more kinds of headaches from sources that are unknown. This custom blend can be added to a diffuser or it can be balled up into a rollerball with a carrier oil.
Using Essential Oils: How to Go About It
Individuals can try using these essential oils in a number of different ways. These include:
- Applied to the forehead or the temples- After having the essential oil diluted in some carrier oil (e.g. coconut oil), these carrier oils can then be applied on the skin particularly in the forehead and temples.
- Inhaling the Oil- Dropping a few drops on a tissue, essential oils may also be inhaled
- Applied through a compress- Using a wet towel with some essential oils, the compress may be applied on the neck or the forehead.