6 Essential Oils For Headaches That Actually Work To Stop The Throbbing

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If you’ve ever endured a monster of a headache, you know all too well that easing the pain isn’t always easy. When the tension borders on a migraine, popping ibuprofen and massaging your temples usually does the bare minimum to alleviate tension, which is super frustrating when it feels like your brain might literally be pulsating through your skull. Since over-the-counter meds hardly ever cut it, I’ve started looking for holistic alternatives, like essential oils for headaches, that can take away the pain in a matter of moments.

I realize how ~zen~ I must sound preaching about the powers of essential oils, but trust me on this one, friends; these oils are actually essential. I used to be fine after popping an Aleve and guzzling a bottle of water. But lately, my headaches have been so debilitating that I can barely look at a screen without tears welling up in my eyes. Rather than mess around with more medication, a quick internet search suggested applying essential oils to my temples, forehead, and wrists for relief.

When you use essential oils instead of meds to ease a headache, the aromatherapy uniquely works to reduce tension through sensory stimulation. Moreover, Healthline reports that essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that have been derived from “leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant.” In other words, this method is 100 percent natural, meaning the odds of triggering any of the numerous side effects that can come with prescription meds are slim to none.

So, if you're undergoing the most agonizing headache and pills just aren't getting the job done, give any of the following essential oils a try to relieve your pain quickly.

1Peppermint

Saje

Peppermint Halo Cooling & Soothing Oil Blend For The Head, $27, Saje

I'm probably biased here, because peppermint-scented anything is my jam, but Saje's roller applicator is honestly bae when it comes to tension headaches that flare up out of nowhere.

Experts at Saje tell Elite Daily that headaches are commonly a "byproduct of strain to your neck and shoulders caused by sitting at your desk all day long." So whether you're a college student putting in hours of studying at the library, or you're working that 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. cubicle grind, any sort of sitting for long periods of time could be causing your brain to feel the pain.

Keep Saje's roll-on at your desk or in your clutch, and apply along your neck, around the shoulders, and across your forehead when you need some soothing stat.

2Lavender

Arbonne

Rescue & Renew Pure Essential Oil Lavender, $25, Arbonne

I love lavender. The color, the lattes, the ice cream — I adore it all, and the proof is on my Pinterest boards. However, I didn't know much about its medicinal properties until my husband had a series of tension headaches, and his mother suggested applying a few drops of lavender essential oil to his temples.

According to Dr. Axe, lavender oil helps relieve "feelings of restlessness and disturbed sleep," both of which are primary causes of headaches. In order to regulate serotonin (aka the hormone that keeps your nervous system in line) and enhance your sleep quality, add a few drops of Arbonne's oil to a diffuser or on fresh linens before bed, or apply to pulse points and the bottoms of your feet.

3Eucalyptus

EO Everyone

EO Products Eucalyptus Aromatherapy Essential Oil, $9, Target

If your headaches stem from nasal congestion, the medicinal properties of eucalyptus can help ease the tension.

EO essential oils are affordable and easily accessible. Because this brand distributes 100 percent pure and unadulterated oils, it's important that you always dilute the drops before applying directly to your skin. Use the eucalyptus oil in a bubble bath to wind down, or mix with water in a spray bottle and spritz around the room. Breathe deep when the pain becomes overwhelming, and be sure to exhale all that stress.

4Sandalwood

Jurlique

Australian Sandalwood Pure Essential Oil, $32, Jurlique

Got nerves? Many people who go through extreme bouts of stress are, unfortunately, cursed with anxiety-induced headaches. Luckily, these tension headaches can be soothed with a little TLC and a lot of aromatherapy.

Jurlique suggests pouring five to seven drops of their pure sandalwood oil into a vaporizer or warm water, and inhaling deeply to ward off a nasty headache and ease anxiety in one sitting.

5Rosemary

Edens Garden

Rosemary Spanish Essential Oil, $5, Edens Garden

Another essential oil that tackles muscle pain quickly, I personally consider rosemary to be the ultimate healer of essential oils.

Edens Garden's Spanish oil emits a floral scent that clears brain fog and encourages mental stimulation. You can apply the blend directly to the temples if you're looking for fast relief, or add a tablespoon to your shampoo and massage thoroughly into the scalp for a little extra pampering to ease the pain.

6Chamomile

Aviano

Aviano Botanicals Roman Chamomile Essential Oil, $14, Amazon

Like sandalwood, chamomile essential oil is a must-have in your medicine cabinet if anxiety headaches are a regular thing for you. If you've ever turned to chamomile tea to calm an upset stomach, its essential oil counterpart has the same, soothing effect on an overactive mind.

To reap its medicinal benefits, you can combine chamomile oil with other essentials like lavender, or add it to your favorite skin and haircare products to ward off headaches before they even have the chance to start.