Essential Oils for Six Types of Headaches & Migraines

July 13, 2018 Leave your thoughts

Essential Oils for Six Types of Headaches & Migraines

Everyone has experienced a headache at some point in their life.  No one like to feel pain, especially in their brain. There are six different types of headaches that require six different approaches to bring you some much needed relief. The six types of headaches are tension, hormone, sinus, vasodilative, vasoconstrictive and migraines. When you match up the right remedies to a specific headache type, you will get effective results in a timely manner.  Knowing what kind of headache you have is the first question. Let’s look at each type of headache in more detail.

 

Tension Headache

Tension headaches usually occur in the neck, upper back, into the occiput area and sometimes behind the eyes. It can feel like pressure in the head or a stiff neck. Tension headaches typically stem from daily stress, sitting at a computer or in a car for an extended period of time, using smartphone devices (looking down), over-extending yourself during exercises that strain muscles, and poor posture.  Suggested essential oil remedies that can offer relief have properties including antispasmodic, relaxants, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic.

  • Bergamot – Citrus bergamia
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamomum zylancium
  • Helichrysum – Helichrysum italicum
  • Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia
  • Marjoram – Origanum marjorana
  • Neroli – Citrus aurantium var. amara

 

Hormone Headache

Hormones headaches affect not only women, but men also. An imbalance in hormone levels, whether a form of estrogen, progesterone and/or testosterone can cause severe and sometimes debilitating pain over one eye (usually the right eye).  It stings, may throb, pulsate or feel like a stabbing pain. You will want to look at essential oils and carriers that offer relaxing yet stimulating, hormone balancing, emmenagogue, analgesic and nervine properties.  These can offer support to the nerves that are responsible for cellular messaging and communication, which control proper hormone identification, delivery and processing.

  • Clary Sage – Salvia sclarea
  • Frankincense – Boswellia carterii
  • Geranium – Pelargonium graveolens
  • Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia
  • Lemon – Citrus limonum
  • Spearmint – Mentha spicata

 

Sinus Headache

When the sinuses become inflamed and/or infected, it can cause sever pressure in the sinus cavity, nasal area, behind the eyes and sometimes extends to the ear canal. Beneficial essential oils would be expectorants, decongestants, anti-inflammatory and lymphatic movers that enhance circulation.  Culprits can be over-exposure to irritating chemicals, poor bowel movements (constipation), low immunity and allergies. When I formulate a blend or aromatherapy concoction, I try to find a couple essential oils that possess all of the properties, then round out the essential oil team with others that possess strong properties in one or two of these properties.  In my blending methodology, I like to have some well-rounded oils coupled with niche, specializing oils. This allows you to attack an issue from multiple directions with a variety of sources. For sinus headaches, this includes the following oils.

  • Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globulus
  • Frankincense – Boswellia carterii
  • Ravintsara – Cinnamomum camphora; Ravensara aromatica
  • Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Niaouli – Melaleuca viridiflora; quinquinervia
  • Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia

 

Vasodilative Headache

With a vasodilative headache, your head feels like it is exploding. The blood vessels are over-expanded which present excess heat and  feels like your head is erupting with a strong, throbbing pain. Thus cooling, constrictive, febrifuge and anti-inflammatory essential oils would provide the best benefit.  You need thing calm and constrict the blood vessels with relaxants. Some issues that can lead to a vasodilative headache are high stress with poor circulation and oxygen flow, high exposure to a toxic environment putting the liver into overdrive, and nerve impingements in the spine and other parts of the nervous system. 

  • Peppermint and/or Spearmint – Mentha x piperita and/or Mentha spicata
  • Chamomile – Anthemis nobilis; Chamaemelum nobile; Matricaria recutita
  • Lemon – Citrus limonum
  • Lemongrass – Cymbopogon citratus; flexuosus
  • Parsley – Petroselinum sativum
  • Ylang Ylang – Canaga odorata
  • Vetiver – Vetivera zizanioides

 

Vasoconstrictive Headache

With a vasoconstrictive headache, your head feels like it is imploding or being squeezed really hard in a vice. There is decrease blood and oxygen flow with restricted circulation. Thus heating, dilating and expectorant essential oils would provide the best benefit. Poor circulation, like varicose veins, lymphatic congestion and holding your breath often during stress can be a few culprits.

  • Black Pepper – Piper nigrum
  • Oregano – Origanum vulgare; compactum
  • Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Sage – Salvia officinalis
  • Thyme – Thymus vulgaris

 

Migraines

Migraines are in a class all on their own.  They are usually severe and debilitating. In my experience, they typically have two common denominators that they are related to – enhanced stress level that infuriates the nervous system and poor elimination of toxins (i.e. constipation), which affect the liver, colon, kidneys, lungs, lymph and blood.  Liver gets overheated, kidneys are not hydrated which contribute to electrolyte imbalance, the colon gets overwhelmed, the lymph and blood seizes up which affect respiration. So ultimately, for me, I incorporate essential oils that reduce and manage the stress level such as relaxants, analgesics, cephalic and nervines, while supporting elimination channels with stimulants, depurative, hepatoprotective and cholagogues.

  • Chamomile – Anthemis nobilis; Chamaemelum nobile; Matricaria recutita
  • Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globulus
  • Grapefruit, cold pressed – Citrus paradisi
  • Helichrysum – Helichrysum italicum
  • Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia
  • Lemon – Citrus limonum
  • Peppermint – Mentha x piperita

 

Bottom line, here are some headache management lifestyle tips for supporting your head, heart and gut.

  • Manage your stress by finding ways to release tension and have fun (i.e. hobbies, laughter)
  • Move your body with some form of exercise
  • Nourish your mind and body with proteins, essential fatty acids, enzymes, minerals and fiber
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Mind your bowels.  If you get constipated, get those bowels moving.

 

 

The information shared was created solely by Certified Clinical Phyto-Aromatherapist & Aromapreneur™, Jennifer H. Pressimone. Copyright2018. No portion of this content may be reproduced, shared, or copied without written permission from the author. Any such reproduction in any form would constitute plagiarism.

References: This blog contains excerpts and recipes from JennScents Aromaversity Certification Courses and the JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide.

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