How to Treat Headaches with Aromatherapy

Many people might think of aromatherapy as something that helps improve the smell of the bathroom. But, aromatherapy isn’t just a cosmetic scent enhancer. Instead, it can provide legitimate medicinal benefits for many users. If you have used aromatherapy before, then you likely understand that it is not just something that improves a room’s overall smell. It can provide relaxation and a stress-free environment that can reduce anxiety and other ailments. One of the most common conditions that aromatherapy is used to treat is the headache.

All of us have had headaches, and there are certain situations when having a headache is unbearable. But, what’s the first thing you do when you want to alleviate that pain? Reach for the medicine cabinet. While over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs have their place, they often only provide limited relief. If you have chronic headaches, standard medications will wear off over time. Then, where does that leave you? In most cases, you end up taking multiple pills each day to combat your headache problem. The real cure, however, might be in aromatherapy.


Scientific Background of Aromatherapy

200 years ago, many essential oils used in aromatherapy were recognized as solid treatments for a wide variety of illnesses, including anxiety, muscle spasms, and, of course, headaches. In Great Britain, aromatherapy treatments were prescribed by doctors well into the 1940’s. At that point, however, the medical community made a big shift toward using chemicals to treat ailments rather than natural remedies.

Treating Headaches with Aromatherapy

There are numerous ways to use the power of aromatherapy to treat headaches. Essential oils that are commonly used in the treatment of headaches include:

  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Sandalwood
  • Rosemary

Aromatherapy works in a number of different ways. You can use a traditional form of aromatherapy in which you put a drop of the desired essential oil (or combination of essential oils) into a pot of boiling water. When the essential oils hit the water, the aroma will emanate. You can then inhale the healing powers of the essential oils to improve your headache symptoms.

But, you can also use other methods. A “compress” is a technique in which you simply add essential oils to a cup of water and run a cloth through the water. Then, just wring the cloth out, lie down, and place the cloth on your forehead. The aromas of the essential oils will emanate from the cloth itself while also being absorbed into the skin. 5 drops of eucalyptus or lavender oil will work wonders for your headache.

You can also perform a “hand soak” that improves the quality of your aromatherapy experience. Heat water to about 110 degrees Fahrenheit and place 5 drops each of lavender oil and ginger oil. Then, simply soak your hands in the water, taking in the smells of the lavender and ginger essential oils.