Relieve Tension Headaches With Essential Oils

by Andrea on September 4, 2009

essential oils for headachesI’ve recently had some great experiences using essential oils for headaches.

Here are a few tips on using essential oils for headaches yourself–safely and effectively.

  • First add 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita) into a teaspoon of Trauma Oil,¬†and rub it on the back of your neck. It should feel cool and tingly. I love using Trauma Oil as my carrier–it’s quite healing in and of itself! It is made from olive oil (first pressing), Calendula flower (Calendula officinalis), Arnica flower (Arnica montana) and St. John’s Wort flowering tops (Hypericum perforatum). You might feel immediate relief! You can repeat this application three to four times daily for a few days if needed.
  • Next, use 1 drop of Frankincense essential oil (Boswellia carterii) in the same amount of Trauma Oil and rub it into your feet. Yes–your feet! I know it might seem odd that massaging your feet with Frankincense would help a headache, but the reflex points are powerful and it works great. Massage your whole foot and especially your toes with the oil. If you find some sore spots, spend more time there. Massage as deeply as you find enjoyable. Feeling sore as you rub your feet is okay, but pain is not the goal! You can repeat this application three to four times daily for a few days if needed.
  • Lastly, make an inhaler with Lavender essential oil (Lavadula angustifolia). Add 15 drops to the blank inhaler¬†and inhale deeply every hour, into both nostrils. If you don’t have a blank inhaler, use a tissue. Place 1 drop of Lavender essential oil on the tissue every hour and inhale. If you don’t have Lavender essential oil you can use Eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyptus globulus) instead.

I’ve found that if you use all three approaches, the headache can fade away within half an hour! If you try this approach, let me know how it goes. And if you have other headache suggestions using essential oils, we would love to hear about them!

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Owner/Instructor at Aromahead Institute
Aromahead Institute, owned by Andrea Butje, is a premier resource for online aromatherapy classes. Andrea offers her inspired approach to online aromatherapy certification through essential oil videos and original education materials. Check out her book, Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home, on Amazon!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Margaret September 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Thanks, Andrea, will give it a try, and these are great suggestions for clients too!


Shawnee September 4, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Very informative! I just ordered Rosewood oil and some inhalers. Thank you for sharing!


Sarah Mortimer September 9, 2009 at 9:28 am

I swear by the peppermint essential oil for relieving headaches. I actually apply 1-2 drops of undiluted peppermint oil to my forehead/temples and my headache usually goes within about 15 minutes. Peppermint oil can irritate the skin so those with sensitive skin should dilute it but I personally find it more effective when it is undiluted.

I also find a cold footbath helpful at relieving headaches with essential oils of lavender, peppermint and marjoram added to it.


Carol January 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I often get tension headaches so I am anxious to try this. (I’ve used peppermint on my temples and neck but it doesn’t take care of the pain.)


Admin January 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Carol-let me know how it goes. :)


Maya September 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm

This is great, using it now and feel the headache fading already!


Emily January 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm

thanks for the guidance! The peppermint worked quickly, though head still hurt when I was putting the Frank on my feet. Drank some water, and i’m feeling better 20 minutes later.


Andrea Butje January 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm

so glad that after 20 minutes you are feeling better. use the same treatment again tomorrow morning, even if you don’t have a headache. :)


Heather Yates June 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I mix peppermint and wintergreen in a small bowl. After that I smell the oils and apply it on the back of my neck and bottoms of my feet and it does wonders! If your skin is sensitive to these oils you can add a carrier oil to dilute it like olive oil.


Debra Barnett June 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

This is a wonderful for headaches. I love the addition of a rosewood inhaler.


Dawn Ray June 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm

I get frequent headaches/migraines – can’t wait to try this. Thank you for the info!


Andrea Butje June 22, 2013 at 6:41 am

Let me know how it goes! I think it could help. :)


Theresa Clark June 22, 2013 at 9:32 pm

have done this and it works! great idea- it doesn’t work for all my headaches but definitely for a lot – the frankincense on my feet helps me to sleep well so added bonus.


stella-mairy June 23, 2013 at 9:11 am

I ll give it a try! :) Thank u!


Mikelle June 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

This post is so helpful. I love the feeling of peppermint oil on my skin and will try it next time I have a headache. I didn’t realize that EOs could be used on the feet and am really interested in learning more about this.

By the way, I just completed the beginner course and wanted to say thank you! I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to learning more.


Andrea Butje June 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Mikelle-thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the free intro class! So happy to hear that. I look forward to having you in an online class sometime! :)


Kathy Miller April 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

I use lavender essential oil for migraines, sinus headaches & allergies. Very easy to use. This oil has a great aroma.


Lynn Gilbert January 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Where may I find more information or a recipe for the Trauma Oil you mentioned above?


Andrea Butje January 27, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Hi Lynn – you can purchase Trauma Oil at Aromatics International:


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