Just like rush-hour traffic, delays at the airport or seasonal allergies, headaches are one of those all-too-common drains on our daily energy. A headache isn’t quite an excuse to stay home and rest in bed, but it will often dampen what could be an otherwise-great day.
Headaches descend on us for a multitude of reasons: sensitivity to food, lack of sleep, stress, hormone imbalances, digestive problems, body tension… the list goes on. Thankfully, I have a few go-to remedies that will help you feel relief immediately, regardless of the source of said headache. The key components of these go-to remedies? Essential oils.
No matter where I go or what I am doing, I always ensure I have the oils below so I’m prepared when needed. Unlike over-the-counter pain relievers, essential oils not only help with the pain, but also simultaneously offer therapeutic effects to your body. (Think boosting your immune system, or settling your nervous system.) Put differently, you may use the oil for one purpose but find it benefits your mind and body on a variety of additional levels. Just Google “use for peppermint oil” or “use for lavender oil” and the lists of benefits are expansive, listing everything from headache relief to soothing of digestive problems to boosting energy to increasing mental clarity. Here are the two essential oils I rely on first and foremost for a headache (and that have me resting extra easy knowing they are providing other benefits as well):
- For headaches related to detoxing, a cleanse or food in general, place one drop on your tongue and press to the roof of your mouth. Hold there for 10 – 20 seconds, and follow with a big glass of water. (Bonus if you can add a drop of lemon or orange oil.)
- Another option: Apply one drop to the tip of your index fingers and rub on the source of pain. As I often get headaches from tension in my shoulders and neck thanks to long days on the computer, I rub the oil right on those muscles for immediate relief.
- Lavender oil is best applied topically (along with peppermint oil) to the source of the headache.
- Another option: Put 1 – 2 drops in the palms of your hands before rubbing together to create heat and lifting to your nose and inhaling. Breathe deeply for 30 seconds with open mouth exhales. If possible (and safe), close your eyes and breathe the healing scent of the lavender deep into your lungs.
Other helpful oils are Basil, Rosemary, Frankincense, Clove, and Eucalyptus, but typically one drop of peppermint in the source of the pain (back of the neck or temples for example) is enough.
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