Headaches – aromatherapy oils & blends to help

aroma-pothecary 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 lavenderlavender essential oil for headaches 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).

Eucalyptus Blue Gum for headachesIf 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

Essential Oil Protection Against Winter Colds and Chills

aroma-pothecaryIn this article we will be looking at using essential oil by way of inhalation – in an oil burner or diffuser, or as a steam inhalation (not using on the body).

To protect ourselves from winter chills, colds and infections, there are some essential oils that I would always reach for – Lemon, Tea tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Bergamot & Lemongrass.

You can use these oils  individually in a burner of diffuser – or blend two or more together for a stronger synergy.  A pleasant blend, I think, to the nose, is 1 drop lemongrass, 2 drops lemon and 2 drops bergamot.  This blend is not only air cleaning, but hugely uplifting too.

A few drops are all you need to clear a room, don’t be tempted to use more, or else it will become overpowering.  A more medicinal blend would be 2 drops tea tree, 1 drop eucalyptus and 2 drops lemon.

For a completely different essential oil blend that is helpful in clearing the air, our earlier blog focused on our Spicy Heaven blend.  This  has a very festive, Christmassy smell, but the cinnamon, clove & frankincense (sweet orange is the other ingredient) can be a powerful help to banish unwanted airborne infections.

It may not be possible to use an oil burner or diffuser when at work, but you can still have an essential oil or blend on a tissue so that you can inhale when possible during the day.

Tea tree, eucalyptus & bergamot are also believed to be immunostimulants.  They are again helpful to lift your immune system when the stress of the Christmas preparations depletes it, or everyone has the cold or flu around you.

If you have a complex medical history/medications always check with your GP before using essential oils, or ask a qualified aromatherapist

(for Aromapothecary followers – part 2 of treatments for bug bites will follow in the 2016)