Best Essential Oils for Migraines – Top 5 List

Best Essential Oils for Migraines

Even though they’re incredibly common, the underlying cause of migraine headaches has yet to be fully determined, although new research suggests that both environmental factors and genetics may partially determine who gets migraines and how often. One of the reasons that determining the cause of migraine headaches can be so challenging is that there are numerous things that can trigger the intense symptoms associated with the condition, including extreme pain, light sensitivity, vomiting and nausea, lightheadedness and blurred vision. Changes in hormones, certain types of food, stress, changes in sleep habits, environment, food additives and medications may all be some of the things that can trigger an attack. Understanding this is important because it suggests that in addition to symptom management after an attack, natural remedies might play a role in prevention as well, including the use of essential oils for migraines, among others.

Historically, essential oils uses have included everything from snake bites to regrowing hair, and while many of these old essential oils uses are no longer considered viable, that doesn’t mean that some of the most common uses of fragrant plant oils are not valuable today. For instance, stress relief is one of the most common applications for essential oils through the use of aromatherapy. In persons who have migraines that are frequently triggered by stress, using essential oils for migraines may actually mean preventing them from coming about in the first place in some people. Another purported source of migraine triggers is hormonal fluctuations. Some plant oils are thought to be useful in balancing hormones, and therefore it’s possible that these type of natural body chemical regulators may be effective essential oils for migraines, too.

But, most of the attention surrounding natural remedies for migraine sufferers still relates to pain relief. Medications from opioids to steroids to anti-seizure drugs are all sometimes used in people with regular migraine headaches. Not only can these be associated with some side effects, many of them require regular use. Antidepressants, over the counter pain relievers, triptans and botox are all also considered useful treatments in migraine sufferers. Most people don’t mind regular medication use in order to prevent or soften the effects of these incredibly painful headaches; others may elect instead to find natural alternatives for symptom relief. Essential oils for migraines are becoming more popular for this purpose, and their contained chemical compounds purportedly boast numerous health benefits, including relief from discomfort. Five of the best can be found below, but their use should come only after advice from a healthcare provider.

1. Cilantro Oil: Because this traditionally kitchen based plant is thought to have pain relieving, inflammation reducing and circulation improving benefits, it easily tops the list of the best essential oils for migraines. An added bonus of supposedly calming the nervous system rounds out this favorite tension headache staple.

2. Wintergreen Oil: This popular food additive is regarded by naturalists as an aspirin like pain reliever; but, while its most popular for arthritis related ails, wintergreen’s effects on discomfort are far reaching. Combining a drop of the oil with a carrier oil and applying to the temples is thought to help reduce inflammation and spasms and help reduce pain.

3. Lavender Oil: Studies have shown that relaxation on its own may actually be able to help reduce the pain of migraine headaches. And, relieving stress may help eliminate a trigger that brings migraines on. These reasons alone are enough to make lavender one of the best essential oils for migraines, but its benefits go even further. In addition to being one of the most popular relaxants in aromatherapy, the oil, which is generally regarded as safe to apply “neat” (without a carrier), may contain pain relieving and anti inflammatory properties in topical application, too.

4. Marjoram Oil: The sedative qualities of this herbal oil are what make it of particular interest to migraine sufferers, but there are other reasons why marjoram is closely related to nerve pain in alternative medicine. It’s thought to boost blood flow and support healthy nerves, a combination of benefits that make it perhaps one of the best essential oils for migraines.

5. Basil Oil: Not only is the cooking herb’s oil quite popular for its uplifting scent, but it’s also thought to help improve circulation. Basil is unique among essential oils for migraines, because it’s been suggested to be particularly effective in situations where the sinuses are involved perhaps due to illness or environmental factors, such as a change in barometric pressure.