The hustle and bustle of everyday life can take its toll on us ordinary folks! When the going gets really tough, our body lets us know just how overworked it is in a number of ways – one of which can an inconveniently-timed migraine. While doctors are still uncertain about the specific causes of migraines, recent studies have shown that stress can be one of the fundamental triggers.
Luckily for you, there are essential oils for migraines readily available to alleviate your discomfort and combat stress at the same time.
It’s important that we clear up a bit of terminology first. While the two are often confused, a migraine differs from a headache in a number of important ways. Migraines are usually much more debilitating and come with a number of associated symptoms. These can include:
- Nausea – you may feel queasy and sick; this may be followed by vomiting
- Hypersensitivity – this could come in the form of photophobia (sensitivity to light) or phonophobia (sensitivity to sound).
- Poor concentration
- Sweating and painfully sensitive skin
- Feeling very hot or very cold - often you’ll fluctuate between feeling too hot and too cold, making it extremely difficult to get comfortable
- Abdominal pain - this may or may not be accompanied by diarrhea
- A frequent need to urinate
If you think you’re having a headache, we cover the best essential oils for headaches in another article. However, if you think its a migraine (poor you!), here we’ll be looking at essential oils that can be used to treat the head pain, as well as the associated symptoms.
How It All Began
One of the earliest forms of migraine treatments dates all the way back to the Stone Age where prehistoric doctors would use a sharp stone drill to puncture a hole in their patient’s head. The thinking was that this procedure would release pressure from the skull, therefore, curing your migraine. This process, called trepanning, was used commonly and, believe it or not is practiced in some parts of the world today. Fortunately, there are some more natural and less invasive options you can take!
What Are The Top 5 Essential Oils For Migraines?
Great for: headaches and associated stress/tension.
One of the most recognizable scents in aromatherapy, lavender is great for relieving anxiety and stimulating relaxation. Its also great for helping you get to sleep if your headache is stopping you dropping off. It has a great scent. Research has shown lavender oil is on of the most effective oils in the treatment of migraines.
Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil is 100% pure with no fillers, additives, bases or carriers. It has a very strong, floral scent which lasts an very long time. It’s packaged in dark amber glass bottle for protection and comes fitted with dropper cap.
This oil is perfect for nighttime. Add a few drops of this to your pillow and it’ll be helping you drift off all week.
Great for: soothing abdominal pain, calming sharp head pain, cooling down, painful photo-sensitivity.
A great multi-functional oil, peppermint can help ease muscular tension and pains, which is great for abdominal pain. It’s also perfect for nausea and soothing hyper-sensitivity to light.
Try adding a couple of drops to a pint of water, and sip it to sooth your stomach. You can also add it to a small amount of a carrier oil such as almond, and apply it topically to stop headaches and muscle tension in their tracks.
Plant Therapy Peppermint Essential Oil contains fillers, additives, bases or carriers. It has a sharp, sweet scent that really clears out the cobwebs.
Great for: its mood-boosting, comforting scent.
Sandlawood is a parasitic tree that can grow up to 9 meters tall, had a grey/brown truck with leathery leaves and pink flowers. The incredibly rich and complex fragrance of sandalwood has been used as a calming incense since time immemorial.
Due to its sedative and antidepressant effects, it can help lift the mood, combat headaches and help you sleep. After diluting with a carrier oil such as jojoba, you can massage the oil into your wrists and tamples to unlock its true sleep-inducing powers.
Nature’s Kiss Products Sandalwood Therapeutic Grade 10ml Pure Essential Oil is steam distilled from Australian Santalum spicatum wood. It may be a bit on the pricey side , but you can rest assured that it hasn’t been diluted, as many sandalwood products are.
Great for: Soothing muscle relaxation, increasing body temperature, improving concentration.
As with many of the oils in this list, vetiver essential oil has a host of sedating and relaxing properties. What sets this aside from other oils is its warming properties, making it ideal if you have migraine -induced chills.
Its also great for muscle aches and restlessness, which many people get in combination with migraines.
Vetiver also works as a general tonic, maintaining the metabolic system, rejuvenating the body, and boosting the immune system.
DoTERRA oils need little introduction, but it’s safe to say that you will be getting the highest quality in essential oils. This particular oil has a deep,woody scent which complements many other essential oils (especially the strong, light scents of peppermint and lavender).
Great for: Stress relief, body pains and fatigue.
Thieves oil is actually a combination of 5 oils. These are:
- Clove oil – Contains high concentrations of eugenol, a dental analgesic and antiseptic. It’s an effective stress reliever. Its stimulating effect can combat mental exhaustion and fatigue.
- Lemon oil – A very potent antioxidant, lemon essential oil is a immune boosting, cleansing and cooling.
- Cinnamon oil – Its spicy, earthy scent is perfect for soothing headaches.
- Eucalyptus oil – A stimulant, eucalyptus can also be effective in relieving stress and anxieties thanks to its cooling and refreshing, cooling effect.
- Rosemary oil – Great or nausea and improving digestive function. When inhaled, Rosemary oil it can restore mental alertness as well as clear the respiratory tract.
This is original, proprietory blend, and while you are definitely paying for the Thieves name here, you’re getting the real deal.
Taking the Fight to Your Migraines
Pick the symptoms you want to treat and combine the essential oils you need to combat them. Below are some easy-to-follow steps you can take to alleviate your migraine, depending on your preferred method of treatment:
- If you prefer hot or cold compress, add a few drops of an essential oil to the compress, then apply to the back of your neck or forehead.
- If a hand soak is what suits you best, prepare a basin of warm water, add a few drops of the oils you want to use, and soak your hands. You can perform some light hand movements whilst they are soaking to get your blood going a little better.
- If neither of these techniques works for you, a more direct approach may be suitable. Go about this by adding a little drop of the oil mixture to your temples, and relax whilst they work their magic.
So there you have it, follow these simple steps and you’ll be back to your old self in no time. Get well soon!