The essential oil that just may be the best thing ever for when a headache hits
If you are prone to getting headaches, you might want to bookmark this.
But the next time a headache hits, why not wait a minute before you pop those painkillers, and instead try sniffing some essential oils instead? According to experts, it can really nix that pain fast – and in a completely natural manner too.
All you need to do is just place a few drops of the oil into a tissue and breathe into it.
“Essential oils can help alleviate headaches a few different ways,' chemist and pharmacist Lindsey Elmore, PhD, explained to Well + Good. And apparently, some of these benefits are physical. “They may relax certain muscles around the neck, face, and head to help relieve tension that can trigger headaches. They also may induce a significant increase of blood flow to the forehead after local application,” Elmore explains.
And the effects doesn't end there, because according to the chemist, there is a mental component to using oils too.
“The aromas of essential oils help to release emotional blockages and can be calming to the mind," Elmore explains.
But what essential oils do you go for? Here is what the expert had to say:
1. Peppermint oil: is said to helps you conquer PMS, overcome the 3pm slump, and – yes—even ward off a headache. The secret? Its menthol content. “Menthol can generate a cooling effect on the skin, which can relieve some headaches,” says Dr. Elmore. "One small study showed that applying topical menthol six percent gel showed a significant improvement in headache intensity, which suggests that it could be an effective acute treatment,
2. Lavender oil is perfect if you are prone to stress-related headaches or often get them when you know you haven't slept enough.“One small study shows that inhaling lavender is effective for relieving stress, promoting sleep, and alleviating symptoms of migraine headaches,” says Dr. Elmore.
3. Rosemary oil: could also be effective for headaches. An animal study showed a reduction of pain and inflammation in test subjects after they were treated with rosemary essential oil.
4. Oregano, thyme, and mountain savory: These three oils all have one thing in common, says Dr. Elmore: a compound called carvacrol. (Peppermint oil has it too, FYI.) “This chemical constituent has been shown to be effective at alleviating some types of headaches,” she says—most likely because it may block pain signals, according to several animal studies.