Do you suffer from headaches? It is a problem that I hear from many clients. They take various forms of course, from a low level stressy headache to migraine. Here I am going to focus on the milder headaches, as migraine requires a more in depth holistic approach to identify a root cause if possible. If your headaches go on for a long time or are getting more severe in nature always consult with your GP.
The most popular first aid treatment for headaches is lavender essential oil – but remember there are many different varieties of lavender and the one I am looking at here is lavandula angustifolia (true lavender). Use one drop of lavender on a finger tip on one hand and touch with a finger tip of the other hand. Place the two fingers at either side of your temples – level with your eyes (but do not touch your eyes with the essential oil on your fingers) at the side of your head and gentle rub each finger in a circular motion, this can be extremely calming and soothing, and many report can alleviate a headache. Especially helpful for a headache that is stress related.
Another method of treating headaches is with a cool/cold compress on the forehead. Place some cold water in a bowl and add one drop of lavender and one drop of peppermint. ‘Swish’ the water to mix the oils and then place a cloth in the bowl, squeeze the cloth out until not dripping water. Place gently on the forehead – probably best done when lying flat or relaxed back in a recliner and rest for a while with this in place. You can of course use either one or the other oil on their own too. Another possible oil to use is eucalyptus if it is a cold or sinus issues are causing your headache(the variety of eucalyptus I mention here is eucalyptus blue gum).
If the cause is restricted blood flow to the brain through the neck, often an issue with migraines, it would be more appropriate to use a warm cloth to the back of the neck with a couple of drops of sweet marjoram, as sweet marjoram can act as a vasodilator and help normalise the blood flow. Use the method above, but put warm water in the bowl instead of cool/cold. This can be helpful too with tight muscles, or a stiff neck, adding some lavender.
If the headache is due to mental stress, rosemary can be effective, it is a stimulant to the brain, and is also helpful when sinus and respiratory issues are present. Not to be used for those with high blood pressure.
If you have a complex medical history/medications or are pregnant always check with your GP before using essential oils, or ask a qualified aromatherapist