Headache? Try Essential Oils.

by Andrea Butje on January 16, 2013

essential oils for headachesHeadaches can have different triggers. Sometimes it’s muscle tension, sometimes it’s emotional stress, other times it can be food related. One thing all headaches have in common is that we want the pain to leave. Fast.

In a previous blog post, I shared a way to use essential oils for headaches by blending Peppermint and Frankincense in Trauma Oil. I also shared how to make an inhaler with Rosewood or Eucalyptus. I still see great results with this approach.

Now I have a few more ways to use essential oils for headaches, based on what’s triggering the pain.

These are all inhaler recipes, so they’re easy to make, mess free, and easy to pop in your purse or pocket and carry around. You can keep them in your drawer at work, which is really convenient if your headaches tend to come on at the office.

Muscle Tension

6 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. camphor)
6 drops Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
3 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Emotional Stress

5 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
5 drops Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
4 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)
1 drop Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)


7 drops Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
5 drops Cardamom (Ellettaria cardamomum)
3 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

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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!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Dianne January 12, 2017 at 11:19 am

I enjoy your site very much; it’s so informative. What would be comparable to Sandalwood EO, as it is so expensive?!

Thank you!


Andrea Butje January 13, 2017 at 12:03 am

Hi Dianne,
Substitutions depend on the intention of a blend. There are lots of other consideration such as the issue at hand, therapeutic use, safety, chemistry, aroma, personal preference… so it’s hard to give a general “one size fits all” substitution. That being said, I might choose Patchouli or Vetiver.


Lynda May 4, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Hi Andrea,

I would love to make the muscle tension recipe but currently don’t have black spruce. Are there a substitutes? Thank you for your time 🙂


Andrea Butje May 5, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Hi Lynda! Any pine, spruce or fir would be great 🙂


Jackie February 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm

Neroli is one of the oils that isn’t in my stash. Is there a good substitute for it in the Emotional Stress Recipe? Thank you for your help and wonderful recipes


Andrea Butje March 1, 2016 at 10:06 am

Hi Jackie – glad you’re enjoying all the recipes! Instead of neroli, I would use Lavender, Ylang Ylang or Rose. Any flower oil would work well 🙂


Jackie March 1, 2016 at 11:01 am

Thank you and thank you for always answering


Andrea Butje March 1, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Aw, you’re very welcome. Anytime!


Bec Haley November 24, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Where can I find the incense sticks and the inhalers. So I can use essential oils and give essential oil treats as gifts?
Thanks for your wonderful recipes and ideas.


Andrea Butje November 25, 2015 at 1:36 pm

You’re welcome Bec, glad you’re enjoying them! I get my inhalers from Aromatics International and incense sticks from Scents of Earth 🙂


Andrea February 5, 2015 at 6:54 pm

What do you mix the oils into? Are there special containers for making your own inhaler mixes?


Sabrina June 25, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Hi! I noticed there wasn’t a reply here- you can place the drops into an inhaler stick that has a cotton swab inside and use it like you would a Vic’s stick.


rosemary June 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm

peppermint works like magic! thank you!


Andrea Butje June 29, 2013 at 5:43 am

Rosemary- I am so glad!


Susan Druin June 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I love how all of your recipes are so simple! I suffer from frequent headaches and will definitely try these out! Thanks for all you do!


Venice Brooks May 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm

You post is informative, I have used Eucalyptus and have seen great result so I will apply some of your natural remedies personally and share with my friends.


Cher Kore March 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

These are nice recipes. I also like to use Pine Needle essential oil for headaches. I mix it with either eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil and some lime essential oil. It is very clearing for sinus headaches.


Andrea Butje March 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

That sounds great, eucalyptus and peppermint are also my go to oils for a headache.


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