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What Are The Best Essential Oils For Headaches And Migraines?

the best essential oils for headaches and migraines

Our Guide To The Best Essential Oils For Headaches And Migraines

Headaches are some of the most common disorders among the US population, with over half of the United States suffering at least one headache in the past year. These painful, annoying and sometimes debilitating ailments are often overlooked as a fact of life, with millions of people popping over-the-counter pills in order to relieve themselves of pain.

essential oils for headachesHeadaches come in many forms, from the classic benign tension headaches to the unbearable cluster or migraine headaches. Migraines affect more than 37 million people in the United States, a whopping 13% of the population with little to no reprieve. Of the migraine sufferers, 91% will miss work due to pain and suffering, 70% are women, half say they suffer a loss of productivity in work and school and 25% claim to have a migraine more than once per week! 

This not so little problem has a major stronghold on a big chunk of the population, with countless numbers of people suffering undue pain. The primary treatment of headaches and migraines is often the use of medications, and while they may provide some relief, they’ve been shown to damage your liver and kidneys leading to possible chronic illnesses in the future.

What’s A Headache Sufferer To Do?

With this in mind, are there alternatives to the potential negative effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications? The answer is yes.

For centuries people have continuously used essential oils for headaches and migraines, with countless numbers of people getting relief. Essential oils, made up of distilled herbs, are potent and very effective methods of treating headaches and aim to treat the root of the problem rather than keep symptoms at bay.

essential oils for headaches and migrainesEssential Oils For Migraines? For Real?

You may be wondering if this is just another woo-woo alternative treatment used by those who don’t understand how medicine works. But this claim is just false. Essential oils have been vastly studied by numerous researchers around the globe for their effectiveness against various illnesses. Headaches and migraines are just a couple of the things these oils are able to treat! Essential oils are able to naturally and effectively reduce stress, a major cause, and trigger of many headaches and migraines. Their ability to calm the nervous system and reduce the proliferation of cortisol and other stress hormones from entering the blood- stream help keep your body stress and migraine free.

Another major cause of headaches and migraines are hormonal imbalances. For women, fluctuations in estrogen can be a major trigger of headaches, especially before their periods. During pregnancy, some women experience a rise in migraines due to the constant change and balance of hormones, leading many women to an uncomfortable and painful pregnancy. Also, for those who are pregnant, options for taking medications may be limited due to a fear of side-effects on the baby.

Whether it be stress, hormonal changes, or side-effects of medications, headaches come from multiple causes and triggers. And while it’s important to take into consideration factors such as diet and lifestyle, adding an essential oil regimen can only help your cause, and bring you to a pain-free future.

What Are The Best Essential Oils For Headaches?

PictureEssential OilUsesPrice
lavender essential oilLavenderAids in management of migraines, reduces stress, promotes sleep.Find On Amazon
majestic-pure-peppermintPeppermintPromotes blood flow, reduces cramping, relieves tension headaches.Find On Amazon
Rosemary essential oilRosemaryPromote circulation, anti-inflammatory, analgesic.Find On Amazon
eucalyptus essential oilEucalyptusDecrease pain, lower blood pressure,Find On Amazon
rose-essential-oilRoseRelaxes the nervous system, reduces stress, prevents future headaces.Find On Amazon


Lavender might be the next big thing when it comes to headache treatments. A 2012 study published in the Journal of European Neurology found that the use of lavender essential oil via inhalation was an effective treatment for the acute management of migraine headaches. This is good news for those seeking alternative, safe modalities for headaches! Try diffusing lavender in your bedroom while you sleep, or in the house while you are at home. It’s always best to use treat problems preventatively as well as acutely.

Lavender also has amazing benefits when it comes to relieving stress and anxiety. It’s been shown that lavender is able to lower the heart rates of nurses when taking stressful exams. And in hospital settings, aromatherapy using lavender oil has been used to help patients relax before stressful surgery.

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When applied topically to the temples and head, peppermint oil is able to promote blood flow to the area, relaxing muscle contractions that can lead to headaches. A study done in 1996 found when peppermint was applied to the temples, it effectively relieved tension headaches. The participants reported pain relief as well as no adverse side-effects.

Mix peppermint oil with coconut oil and apply it to the temples, shoulders and back of the neck for promoted circulation and relief of pain.

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Rosemary oil had been used for ages to treat headaches for its ability to promote poor circulation and its anti-inflammatory, analgesic properties. It’s also able to reduce stress and anxiety which tend to trigger headaches.

Add 2 drops of rosemary oil with 2 drops of peppermint oil and mix with one teaspoon coconut oil for a headache cream. Rub onto your temples, forehead and the back of your neck for relief.

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The most wonderful smelling tree on earth, if you haven’t had the chance to walk through a forest grove of eucalyptus trees, you are missing out. The medicinal effects of eucalyptus are wide ranging and perfect for headaches and migraines. Working as an expectorant, eucalyptus is able to cleanse your nasal passageways, relieve sinus pressure, and clean your body of dangerous toxins.

A study found in the journal of Evidence-Based Complementary And Alternative Medicine found that eucalyptus oil can decrease a person’s pain and even lower their blood pressure! Mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut) and place the cream on your temples, below your nostrils, along your neck and shoulders for relief.

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A fun throwback to your grandmother’s perfume collection rose oil is a classic and elegant aroma used for generations not only for health but for style. Rose essential oil helps relax the nervous system, reduces stress, and prevents you from triggering your next headache. It’s also been shown to alleviate depression, improve acne and increase libido!

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Essential Oil Blends:

Essential oil blends are a nice way to get the most out of a product, using a formulaic mix of herbs and plants that best suit your needs. When it comes to headaches and migraines, it’s often better to get a mix of headache-fighting herbs over using just one, single plant essential oil. It’s nice to have premade mixes made, so you won’t have to go out and make your own, which can be a confusing and expensive task. Below are a few of my favorite oil blends which fight headaches.

Plant Guru’s Head Ease Blend


essential oils for headachesPlant Guru is a reputable company with great products. This blend has a powerful mix of anti-inflammatory herbs, combined to provide full headache relief. To be rubbed into your temples, or diffused in the house, this blend has gotten some great reviews. Many people have called this bottle their new “best friend” and don’t leave the home without placing it in their bags. It smells great and works great too!

One woman who has been suffering from migraines for 30 years claimed the product is one of the methods she uses to take the pain away…not bad for a simple remedy!


DoTerra Past Tense Tension Blend

Essential oils for headaches and migrainesOne of the most well known essential oil companies around, DoTerra’s already made blends work well for those on the run. This blend of wintergreen, lavender, peppermint, frankincense, cilantro, marjoram, roman chamomile, basil, and rosemary uses the best mix of headache-fighting essential oils into a formula of epic proportions. I like DoTerra’s premade formulas and use them often, preferring them to single plant oils when I’m dealing with certain illnesses or pain.

I very much trust the product and the quality, often choosing DoTerra over other products just for the brand recognition alone. When it comes to reviews of this product, many people feel the same. They feel like they have purchased a high-quality product that actually works. It’s a great option to have when you’re on the run, and it helps that the product smells wonderful.

Prime Natural Headache Relief Blend

essential oils for headaches and migrainesAnother highly rated blend with lots of fans, the Prime Natural headache blend provides a great blend of peppermint, Spanish sage, cardamom, ginger, and fennel. Dilute with a carrier oil and place on your temples, or diffuse in your room when signs of a headache come on, this blend has been shown to work. The aroma is warm and comforting, allowing you to relax and feel at ease. For best results, use at first signs of pain!


How To Use Essential Oils

Aromatherapy Diffuser:

Oil diffusers are an easy and affordable way to obtain the health benefits of essential oils without any previous knowledge. The diffusers will spread the oils evenly throughout your airspace, allowing you to breathe in the medically beneficial scent that will eventually enter your blood stream. Place several drops into the diffuser, or even mix certain oils, for full effect.

PictureBrandWhy We Like ItPrice
Essential oil diffuserInnoGearThis sleek design will make any home look like it's in a fashion catalog! It also holds 200 mL of water, allowing it to diffuse much longer than most modelsFind On Amazon
Rhada essentail oil diffuserRhada BeautyThis bright and colorful diffuser holds even more water at 500 mL lasting 8 hours in high mode and 17 hours in light mode!Find On Amazon
Deneve essential oil diffuserDeneveA small diffuser that's easy to hide from view, this diffuser is great for anyone who already has too much clutter. Plus, it's extremely quiet and surprisingly strong!Find On Amazon
Essential Oil DiffuserURPOWERThe most classic of oil diffusers, this model is a best seller for a reason. For anyone starting out with essential oils, this is the way to go.Find On Amazon
Essential Oil DiffuserSimwayThe most unique diffuser we have found, this rock will hide the fact that you are an essential oil! For those who love rocks, or love unique products, we definitely love this one.Find On Amazon

Dabbing Oils On the Skin:

Placing essential oils directly on the skin is another popular and useful way to interact with your oils. It’s important to understand, however, how powerful and concentrated the oils are, distilling down hundreds of pounds of a plant into a 15mL bottle. This is why it’s important to have a carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, etc) in order to prevent any allergic or other harmful reactions to the oils. Placing a few drops of oil to one teaspoon of a carrier oil usually, does the trick.



Using essential oils for migraines is one of the first things you should do to lessen your pain. We shouldn’t have to live our lives accepting our head-pounding fates. These oils have helped many control the amount of headaches they get, and the intensity of pain. Imagine placing a few drops of oil on your temples and feeling relief within minutes, and at the same time smelling fresh as ever!



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After finishing her masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Michelle wanted to share her love of plants and all things medicinal. With her knowledge of Chinese herbs and household plants, she decided to create a site sharing her love of indoor plants.

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