(WXYZ) – Almost everyone gets one at some point in their life as headaches are the most common form of pain.
While there are many complementary therapies that could help, 5 essential oils have gained attention as effective alternative treatments. Let’s take a look at the scientific evidence behind them.
Peppermint oil is the most commonly used essential oil for headaches. Its active ingredient is menthol and fans love its long-lasting cooling effect.
A review of published studies found peppermint oil applied to the temples and forehead provided relief for tension headaches.
Another oil marketed for head pain and widely known for reducing stress is lavender oil. A study found participants who breathed in this relaxing scent reported their headache subsiding partially or entirely.
Rosemary oil has been used in folk medicine for years and a 2013 study found it helped lower pain in people dealing with opium withdrawals.
And research on eucalyptus oil found inhaling it could also help relieve pain and lower blood pressure.
Lastly, chamomile oil has shown improvement with anxiety symptoms. This may help as headaches can be triggered by anxiety.
Essential oils are generally safe when used correctly but there are some precautions so here are my prescriptions:
- Essential oils are not all created equally so do your research and buy from a reputable company. The FDA does not regulate them for purity or safety.
- Read the directions. Many oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil – otherwise you could end up with stinging, red irritated skin.
- Do a small test patch to check for an allergic reaction or irritation. 24 to 48 hours with no reaction usually means it’s safe to use.
- If you have asthma, heart issues or preexisting health conditions, check with your doctor first before using.
Whether applied to the skin, inhaled or added to a bath, essential oils can be used to relax, unwind and ease headaches.
However if you suffer from persistent headaches or migraines, you should see your doctor as it could be a symptom of a serious condition
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