While there is a wide variety of pharmaceutical-based headache treatments, most of us would prefer to use natural, homeopathic remedies to relieve our pain.
Using pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the occasional headache, or stronger over-the-counter remedies for infrequent migraines is one thing.
But for people that suffer headaches as a regular occurrence, even daily, long-term use of these analgesics can have side effects, so more natural methods are preferable. In many cases, they’re also less expensive.
Aromatherapy is a 1,000 Year Old Practice
Aromatherapy is one of the more popular, and successful, natural treatments for headache relief.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils which have been distilled from plant materials. These essential oils create scents that have a positive benefit to our bodies.
You can usually purchase essential oils at your local pharmacy, or health product store.
When you are buying essential oils for homeopathic treatments, make sure that you are purchasing the purest oils you can find.
Lavender, peppermint, sandalwood and eucalyptus are the more effective scents to relieve headaches. I always have a small bottle of peppermint — when I feel a migraine coming on, I put some in an oil warmer. The fragrance fills the room quickly, and sometimes the migraine never arrives.
If you find that your migraine headache is joined by nausea, the scent of ginger may help to soothe your stomach.
You can also blend oils to create combinations that are effective for you. Your local library, or your favorite search engine, are great resources for “recipes” for aromatherapy blends.
How to Use Aromatherapy Scented Oils
One way to use essential oils to treat your headache, is to dot your temples with the oil, and lie down in a quiet room.
In about the same amount of time it would take for a pain reliever to take effect, you’ll find your headache is gone.
You can also take a small amount of water (choose a temperature that gives you the most relief) and blend it with about 5 drops of lavender. Moisten a facecloth with the scented liquid, and place it on either your forehead, or your neck, while resting.
My personal favorite is to use a diffuser to fill the air with my chosen scent. Or, relax in a bath filled with bubbles made from unscented bath oil and about eight drops of aromatherapy oils.
If none of those methods appeal to you, try using the inhalation method. Fill a bowl with hot water, and a few drops of essential oil. Lean over the bowl, cover your head with a towel, and inhale the scent, for about five minutes. (Note that if you have respiratory conditions, like asthma, you should avoid this method.)
Remember that even though aromatherapy is a natural treatment for your headache, you should still be cautious about the length of time you expose yourself to a scent. Used in moderation, aromatherapy can be an effective natural treatment for your headache pain.