Best Essential Oils For Headaches And Migraine 


Headaches can be debilitating, but relief might be closer than you think. There are many medications available in the market that one can use for the treatment of headaches or migraines. However, there are many people who crave natural remedies to treat headaches. Essential oils, derived from aromatic plants, have been used for centuries to alleviate various types of headaches. 

Essential oils are potent, concentrated liquids extracted from various parts of plants, including leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, and more. Aromatherapy frequently incorporates these essential oils for their therapeutic properties, which encompass stress reduction and the enhancement of circulation through sensory stimulation, primarily their delightful scents.

Moreover, essential oils exhibit promising potential in the treatment of specific ailments, such as headaches and migraines. Different essential oils offer diverse advantages, and what makes them particularly appealing is their ability to provide these benefits without the extensive catalog of side effects commonly associated with prescription medications used to manage headaches and migraines.

For instance, certain essential oils possess stress-reducing properties, making them effective in relieving tension headaches and soothing discomfort. Many essential oils possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This makes them a natural choice for combating headaches, especially tension headaches.

The 15 Best Essential Oils for Headaches 

Let’s explore the wide array of essential oils that can help you find relief from headaches.

1. Lavender Essential Oil 

Lavender oil is renowned for its calming and soothing effects. It can alleviate stress and anxiety, which are common triggers for headaches. Studies have found that inhaling lavender essential oil for 15 minutes helps get rid of a headache. Lavender essential oils may be used to support sleep.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil 

Peppermint oil has a cooling sensation when applied topically. It’s excellent for relieving tension headaches and soothing sore muscles in the neck and shoulders.

3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus oil is known for its ability to open up the sinuses, making it a top choice for sinus headaches. Inhaling its vapor can clear congestion and relieve head pressure. Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that help in reducing pain. A combination of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, etc., provides relaxing effects to both the muscles and the mind. 

4. Rosemary Essential Oil 

Rosemary oil contains analgesic properties and can improve blood circulation. This makes it effective for tension headaches and migraines. According to a study that examined the effects of rosemary essential oil stated that one could use this essential oil on migraines. 

5. Chamomile Essential Oil 

Chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory and calming effects. It can reduce the intensity of headaches and help you relax. According to a study, this essential oil has been used to reduce headache severity and associated symptoms. This is one of the best oils for stress or tension headaches, as it contains natural soothing and calming properties that help release stress, tension, and anxiety. 

6. Frankincense Essential Oil 

Frankincense oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it beneficial for tension headaches. It’s also known to promote a sense of tranquility. You can use this oil for headache treatment. 

7. Ginger Essential Oil 

This is one of the best essential oils for treating headaches. Ginger oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It can help reduce the inflammation that often accompanies headaches.

8. Lemon Essential Oil 

If you are experiencing headaches due to a tiring and exhausting day, then this is the best essential oil for you. Lemon oil has a refreshing scent that can uplift your mood. It’s effective in alleviating headaches caused by fatigue or stress. Use lemon essential oil to help treat headaches and migraines. 

9. Bergamot Essential Oil 

Bergamot oil is known for its mood-enhancing properties. It can help relieve headaches triggered by anxiety or tension. This is one of the best essential oils for headache relief. 

10. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil 

Ylang ylang oil has a calming and euphoric aroma. It can reduce stress and anxiety, making it useful for tension headaches.

11. Cypress Essential Oil 

Cypress oil has vasoconstrictor properties, which can help reduce blood vessel dilation associated with migraines. This is one of the best essential oils for migraine. 

12. Lavandin Essential Oil 

Lavandin oil, a hybrid of true lavender and spike lavender, has similar calming properties to lavender oil and can be used interchangeably. It is a great oil that can be used for the management of migraine headaches. 

13. Vetiver Essential Oil 

Vetiver oil has a grounding and earthy scent. It’s helpful for tension headaches and promoting relaxation.

14. Basil Essential Oil 

Basil oil has analgesic properties and can help ease headache discomfort when applied topically. This is one of the best essential oils to treat headaches. 

15. Marjoram Essential Oil 

Marjoram oil is known for its muscle-relaxing properties, making it useful for tension headaches. You can use this essential oil in the treatment of migraine headaches. 

Benefits of Essential Oils for Headaches

1. Natural Relief 

Essential oils offer a natural and holistic approach to headache relief, minimizing the need for over-the-counter medications.

2. Stress Reduction 

Many essential oils, like lavender and chamomile, have calming effects, which can help reduce stress-related headaches.

3. Improved Blood Flow 

Oils like peppermint and cypress can enhance blood circulation, alleviating tension headaches.

4. Sinus Decongestion 

Eucalyptus and ginger oils can clear nasal passages, providing relief for sinus headaches.

5. Muscle Relaxation 

Oils such as basil and marjoram have muscle-relaxant properties, making them effective for tension headaches.

How to Use Essential Oils for Headaches 

Now that we’ve explored these essential oils let’s discuss how to use an essential oil to relieve headaches effectively.

1. Aromatherapy

This is one of the most effective ways to use essential oils. You can add a few drops of essential oils to an electric diffuser and enjoy the therapeutic properties of essential oils. It helps in calming your mind and thus help alleviate headache. Diffusing essential oils may help reduce migraine headaches.  

2. Inhalation 

Inhaling essential oils through a diffuser or by adding a few drops to a bowl of hot water can provide quick relief. You can also inhale directly from the bottle for immediate relief. Oil inhalation can be a good practice for relief during headaches and migraine attacks. 

3. Topical Application 

Dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, and apply them to the temples, forehead, or neck. Be sure to perform a patch test first to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce headache pain. However, always remember to dilute the oil before using essential oils topically. 

4. Bath Soak 

This is also one of the best ways to use essential oils. Adding a few drops of your chosen essential oil to a warm bath can promote relaxation and alleviate headaches. The warm water enhances absorption through the skin. Essential oils have properties that might help relieve pain from different parts of the body as well. 

DIY Essential Oil Blends and Recipes

Recipe #1 – Tension Relief Blend


  • 3 drops Lavender Oil
  • 2 drops Peppermint Oil
  • 2 drops Frankincense Oil
  • Dilute with a carrier oil and apply to temples and neck.

Recipe #2 – Migraine Soothing Roller


  • 5 drops Peppermint Oil
  • 3 drops Lavender Oil
  • 2 drops Basil Oil
  • Combine in a roller bottle with carrier oil and apply to temples and wrists.

Recipe #3 – Sinus Headache Steam


  • 3 drops Eucalyptus Oil
  • 2 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • Add to a bowl of hot water, cover your head, and inhale the steam.

Recipe #4 – Stress Buster Diffuser Blend


  • 4 drops Chamomile Oil
  • 3 drops Lemon Oil
  • 2 drops of Lavender Oil
  • Use in an essential oil diffuser to create a calming atmosphere.

Recipe #5 – Muscle Relaxation Bath


  • 5 drops of Marjoram Oil
  • 3 drops Cypress Oil
  • Add to a warm bath and soak to ease tension headaches.

Using these essential oils can help soothe headaches. Remember to store your essential oils in a cool, dark place and keep them out of reach of children. While essential oils can provide headache relief, consult with a healthcare professional if your headaches are severe, frequent, or persist over time to rule out underlying medical conditions. Enjoy the soothing and natural benefits of essential oils as you bid those headaches farewell.

Risks and Precautions

Essential oils are highly concentrated, and applying them in undiluted form can irritate your skin or have certain side effects. So, before starting to use essential oils, it is important there are certain precautionary measures that should be adopted:

  • As essential oils are concentrated, it is important to dilute the essential oils with any carrier oil before topical application. 
  • Before trying a new essential oil, always take a patch test to see whether you are allergic to the oil or face any side effects or not. If you do not see any signs after 24 hours of the patch test, you are good to go. 
  • Avoid using essential oils if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Keep essential oils out of reach of children.
  • Avoid using essential oils around your pets, as it can irritate them. 
  • Always buy pure essential oils from an authentic source to ensure the quality of the oil. 


In summary, essential oils are generally natural and versatile remedies that can be used to alleviate various ailments. There are numerous types of essential oils available, each with its unique benefits and properties. You can apply essential oils topically, such as on your temples and neck, to use them effectively for relieving conditions like headaches.

Essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus are particularly effective for relieving migraines and tension headaches. By incorporating these natural solutions into your routine, you can find relief from headaches and enjoy the soothing benefits of essential oils.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best essential oil for headaches?

Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, chamomile, frankincense, ginger, lemon, bergamot, ylang ylang, cypress, lavandin, vetiver, basil, marjoram, etc. are some of the best oils for headaches. 

Where do I put peppermint oil for a headache?

You can apply a few drops of diluted peppermint oil on your temples, back of the neck, shoulders, as well as the chest area to release headache. 

Is peppermint or lavender better for headaches?

Ues, both the peppermint oil and lavender oil are better for headaches related to stress, tension, as well as for migraines.

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