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20 Best Essential Oils For Headaches & Migraines


Migraines disrupting your day? Discover the 20 best essential oils to get back on track here. We’ll also show you the common lifestyle choices that cause headaches and how aromatherapy can help you cope better.

Essential Oils For Headaches

Despite the name, headaches don’t always happen in your head! Most headaches happen when blood vessels in your temples or neck tense up, putting pressure on your nerves. The headache is then triggered when your nerves send a rush of pain straight to your brain.

Headaches happen for a number of reasons, from environmental factors like rainy weather, to dietary choices like excess caffeine. Here are some of the lifestyle choices that may cause headaches:

  • Stress & tension
  • Lack of sleep or sleep pattern changes
  • Staying dehydrated
  • Too much screen time
  • Really loud music
  • Smoking & alcohol
  • Caffeine (triggered by caffeine withdrawal)
  • Long road trips or bus rides
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Medication with side effects
  • Smelling strong odors (e.g. smoke, fumes, a new car or carpets etc)

Stress and tension are high on the list. According to the World Health Organization, over half of the world population experiences headaches,with tension headaches being the most common.

If you’re wondering how to manage your headache, aromatherapy is a great way to cope with your stress! There are an abundance of oils that soothe stress, including lavender, sage and clove oil. The scent of these natural oils calm your overworked nervous system and ease the pressure placed on your nerves.

They also quiet mental chatter, helping you to handle negative thoughts that trigger stress.

What Are The Best Essential Oils For Headaches?

If you’re looking for a holistic approach and are thinking of using essential oils for headaches, there are numerous essential oils that help with headaches, but here are 20 of the best essential oils for the job

1. Peppermint Oil For Headaches

Wonderfully fresh and crisp, Peppermint Oil is known as the “flavour of Christmas”. Gently apply this cooling remedy on temples to experience almost instant relief. It also restores mental focus for undisrupted productivity.

Scent profile: Fresh, Sweet & Minty

2. Rosemary Oils For Migraines

Beloved by the Spanish to restore health and wellness, you should definitely keep a bottle of Rosemary Oil handy for when migraines strike. This herbaceous wonder of rosemary oil soothes tension headaches and takes the edge off for carefree days.

Scent profile: Herbaceous

3. Tea Tree Essential Oil For Sinus Headaches

A native aboriginal plant, this traditional remedy actively clears congestion and relieves tension from blocked sinuses. Say goodbye to morning sniffles by diffusing this over the morning paper and a hearty breakfast.

Scent profile: Leafy & Herbaceous

4. Lavender Oils For Migraines

Hormonal imbalances can heighten stress and trigger headaches. Thankfully, there’s snoozy Lavender Oil that makes them all go away. After a hectic day, swipe this floral oil on temples before leaving the office, or inhale it directly to unwind.

Scent: Floral & Herbaceous

5. Frankincense Oil For Migraines

Grounding and earthy, Frankincense has helped monks and gurus maintain their concentration for long hours. Let this peaceful remedy ease tension headaches and mental chatter before any meditation or yoga session.

Scent: Warm & Woodsy

6. Clove Oil For Headaches

Cultivated on the spice Islands of Indonesia, Clove Oil is a fast-absorbing muscle- relaxant to tackle tense temples. When applied, this oil feels pleasantly warm, helping you feel instantly comforted.

Scent: Warm & Spicy

7. Clary Sage For Headaches

Clary sage is said to have gotten its unique, fresh scent from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. If you’re getting a minor headache before date night, simply swipe Clary Sage Oil on your temples to restore focus, clarity and easy relief.

Scent: Herbaceous & Earthy

8. Cinnamon Bark Essential Oils For Headaches

A comforting wellness remedy from Ethiopia, Cinnamon Oil bolsters your body’s natural defenses to prevent sinus blockage accompanying migraines. It’s also excellent at soothing tense temples with its pleasant warmth.

Scent: Earthy, Spicy & Woodsy

9. Ginger Essential Oils For Migraine Relief

Well-known as a cooking spice for exotic cuisines, a gentle rub of Ginger Oil will deliver great relaxation. This luxurious oil soothes muscles in massage therapy and quickly takes away tension for headache-free weekends.

Scent: Spicy & Earthy

10. Pine Needle Headache Oil Blend

Symbolically, pine trees have a special use in Native American tribes for healing pain. When Pine Needle Oil is paired with stress-soothing Lemongrass Oil, it’s perfect for combatting nausea-headaches on long roadtrips and car rides.

Scent: Woody, Earthy & Balsamic

11. Cinnamon Cassian Essential Oil For Headache

Shake off discomfort and be your best self! Sweet Cinnamon Oil eases headaches for happy days. If headaches are disrupting your sleep and self-care routines, just apply this on your temples daily to keep them at bay.

Scent: Warm & Spicy Like Cinnamon Sticks

12. Cypress Headache Relief Oil

When you’re getting headaches from being overworked, take a break with gentle Cypress Oil. The oil has an earthy, pine-like scent that helps you manage day-to-day stress too!

Scent: Balsamic, Earthy & Woodsy

13. Wintergreen Headache Relief Essential Oil

A herb used by Native Americans such as the Mohawk and Ojibwe people, this minty oil is a traditional remedy for respiratory health. You can use Wintergreen Oil to clear stuffy noses and deliver soothing headache relief right before your morning workout.

Scent: Woodsy & Sweet

14. Marjoram Oils For Tension Headaches

Originating from the Mediterranean, the Greeks have used this herb to treat all kinds of ailments. Marjoram Oil is great for fighting headaches that accompany jet lag, as it packs hormone-balancing properties to re-adjust your sleeping habits.

Scent: Minty, Earthy & Spicy

15. Turmeric Essential Oils And Headaches

Crafted from ancient spices for spiritual-healing, Turmeric Oil has warm, relieving properties for headaches that accompany feeling low. The oil also chases away brain fog and restores mental clarity for lighter moods.

Scent: Warm & Spicy

16. Chamomile Essential Oil For Migraines

This herbaceous, daisy-like oil is perfect for taming headaches and creating a quiet space to recharge. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, allow its floral scent to spread throughout your room for complete comfort.

Scent: Sweet, Herbaceous & Floral

17. Vetiver Oil For Headache

A prized ingredient used in modern colognes, Vetiver Oil is great for soothing headaches right before date night. Dab it on temples and massage a few drops on your neck to enjoy a smoky scent that exudes mystique.

Scent: Earthy, Smokey & Woodsy

18. Bergamot Essential Oil For Headache

A sweet and citrusy oil originating from Italy, Bergamot Oil restores mental clarity and beats nausea on long roadtrips. Before heading on an outdoor adventure, remember to pack a few convenient bottles to-go.

Scent: Sweet, Tangy & Slightly Citrusy

19. Cedarwood Essential Oils For Migraines

Harvested from the Himalayas, Using Cedarwood Essential Oil is a super-soothing natural remedy for tense temples. After a stressful day, let your mental burdens fall away by inhaling its warm, pine-like scent.

Scent: Warm, Woody & Pine-Like

20. Headache Essential Oil Rollers

We’ve crafted our Migraine Manager Roll-On with an infusion of some of the best essential oils listed above. It contains cooling peppermint oil and stress-relieving lavender oil to encourage proper sleep and easy headache-relief.

How To Use Essential Oils For Headaches?


Applying essential oils to your temples is a great way to combat headaches. Dilute a few drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil. Then rub the mixture in circular motions over sore spots.


Diffusing essential oils is the easiest and most common aromatherapy method. Just add a few drops of essential oils into your diffuser and breathe in the benefits.


Feeling headaches along with coughs and colds? Enjoy great relief by adding 1 cup of epsom salts and a few drops of essential oil into a warm tub of water. Sit back, soak and relax.

Diffuser Blend for Mild Headache


  • 6 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops of rosemary essential oil

Diffuser Blend for Irritating Headache


  • 4 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of Roman chamomile oil

Non-stop Headache Diffuser Blend


  • 2 drops of frankincense
  • 2 drops of wintergreen
  • 1 drop of birch

Seasonal Migraine Diffuser Blend


  • 5 drops of eucalyptus
  • 5 drops of Balsam copaiba
  • 3 drops of Helichrysum
  • 3 drops of vetiver

Roll on for Muscle Tension


  • 10mL roll on bottle
  • 3 drops lemongrass
  • 3 drops peppermint
  • 5 drops eucalyptus
  • Jojoba oil

Stress Headache Diffuser Blend


  • 6 drops of lavender
  • 5 drops of frankincense
  • 2 drops of chamomile
  • 3 drops of orange

Bedtime Headache Diffuser Blend


  • 3 drops of lavender
  • 3 drops of Clary sage
  • 2 drops of turmeric
  • 2 drops of Helichrysum

Treat Migraine And Headache With Essential Oils

Essential oils may treat headaches and help reduce the nasal and throat congestion and offer pain relief due to its many properties including antiiflammatory and analgesic. The oils used in blend also improve circulation and open nasal passage.

The Pain-Relieving Ability: the aromatic and therapeutic properties of essential oil were in use for thousands of years. Of course, at that time there were no aroma diffusers or aromatherapists. But, hopefully the headaches at those times might not be as severe as we face now. Not just regular headaches, research has found that certain essential oils can reduce withdrawal symptoms due to opioid abuse.

Tensions - that cause headache symptoms can be treated by certain essential oils that are diluted in a carrier oil and applied directly to the skin. Essential oils may be used as massage oil and home remedies to help treat existing health problems.

Anxiety and depression are mental conditions that can also be controlled by breathing in the scent of the oil. A warm bath with the oils can help reduce anxiety and effects of stress.

Furthermore aromatherapy for headaches or migraines, due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, also clears the sinuses and sinus issues. The pain-relieving properties of oils such as frankincense may help relax and relieve headaches.

If you are confused about buying the 5 essential oils for headaches you can opt for eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, peppermint and chamomile oils.

Research - Essential Oils For Headaches & Migraines

A study published in 2011 and conducted at the Neurological Clinic of the Christian Albrechts University, Germany, evaluated the neurological and psychological effects of peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil. The study found that the essential oils had significant effect on the clinical headache syndromes. (1)

Another study also focuses on lavender essential. This study published in the European Neurology in 2012 was a placebo-controlled clinical trial checking the efficacy and safety of lavender oil in treatment of migraine. It showed that the inhalation of lavender essential oil was effective in management of migraine headaches. (2)

Chamomile and migraine headache. Chamomile essential oil has been proven to be a novel solution for managing migraine headache pain. A research by Arman Zargaran and team published their report in 2014. (3)

A randomized clinical trial with placebo control group demonstrated that anise essential oil positive impact on migraine attacks, both its frequency and time period. (4)

Peppermint oil reduces pain sensitivity due to tension headaches. A double blinded randomized controlled trial done in 1994 investigated the effects of peppermint oil on headaches and published its report. (5)

How To Use Essential Oils Safely

Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and caution when using them to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe! Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  1. Read the label and instructions to make sure you’re using the oil correctly.
  2. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  3. Avoid using essential oils of sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  4. Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  5. Keep it out of reach of kids and furkids.
  6. Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  7. If you show signs of irritation, stop using and consult a health professional.
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