Essential oils can be used to resolve a number of physical issues that involve pain, including migraines and headaches. Read on to learn about headaches and the oils I use to address them!

Updated for accuracy and relevance on November 2, 2022.

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Headaches are the WORST, am I right?

There are some physical discomforts we can disregard for a little while, like a sore knee or a dull ache in the lower back. We feel discomfort but push through it and get through our day. But head pain is different. Head pain is simply too “front and center” to ignore. When you have a headache you need relief and you need it now.

It’s a well-known fact that OTC (over-the-counter) headache medications can have negative side effects like liver toxicity, nausea, and ringing in the ears.  Essential oils can be a safe and effective alternative to OTC drugs, without the side effects of pharmaceutical products. Please follow these essential oil safety guidelines.

Spike Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula latifolia) and Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha x piperita) are my go-to aromatics for addressing headache pain, especially if the sinuses are involved.

Learn more about the different species of Lavender in Aromatic Wisdom Podcast episode 22
5 Species of Lavender and their Botanical Names Explained

About Spike Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula latifolia)

This lovely essential oil is my first choice for headaches because it is gentle – as all lavenders are – but contains a small amount of the ketone chemical component, camphor. Camphor is well-known for addressing pain. You can read my in-depth post about Lavender here: Fragrant Friday: Lavender.LizinLavender

Using Lavender for Headaches

The quickest way to use Spike Lavender for a headache is to sniff it directly from the bottle. Or add a drop to a tissue or cotton ball and take a few deep whiffs. You can also saturate a cotton ball and place it under your pillow if you’ve got a headache at night. Because using essential oils undiluted can be irritating or even create a reaction called sensitization, I don’t recommend using them directly on the skin. A better option is to use lavender in a carrier and then rub it on the temples, neck, and sinuses. Essential Oil roll-ons are a terrific method of application for headaches!  This tutorial shows you how to make your own roll-on at home. 

About Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil works well to reduce headaches and pain caused by sinus issues and congestion due to the high amount of menthol in this plant.  This is a great option for Peppermintdaytime relief because it can give you a nice energy boost and help you feel revitalized. You can read my in-depth post about Peppermint here:  Fragrant Friday:  Peppermint.

Using Peppermint Essential Oil for Headaches

Because of the high menthol content of Peppermint, I don’t suggest you use this oil near the eyes. This oil is amazing when inhaled deeply from a nasal inhaler.  I like to use green because it seems to make it more cooling 🙂  Just add 15 drops to the cotton wick of an inhaler and carry it in your pocket, whip it out and take a deep whiff when your head hurts.  If you want to massage Peppermint directly onto the temples or the neck, please use a carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil or Jojoba Wax.

If you’re ever in any doubt, please check with your doctor prior to incorporating essential oils into your health care regime.

Two Headache Recipes Using Lavender and Peppermint

PompeiiGlassRoller#1 Lavender Mint Headache Relief Roller

  • 2 drops of Spike Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1 drop of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • 1 10 mL Glass roll-on Tube

#2 Headache Relief Nasal Inhaler


Which method appeals to you more, the roll-on or the inhaler?

Learn more about Sinus Headaches in this episode of the Aromatic Wisdom Podcast
Essential Oils for Sinus Headaches

Where to Buy Essential Oils

Suggested Essential Oil Suppliers – with GC/MS reports

Suggested Essential Oil Suppliers – without GC/MS reports

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