Mother Earth Living Blogs > Natural Health

Natural Health

Better living through nature

Natural Headache and Migraine Relief

by Susan Melgren, Web Editor

Tags: natural health, headaches, migraines, home remedies, natural remedies, headache relief, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender, feverfew, willow bark,

I’ve had an unusual amount of headaches lately. Instead of reaching each time for a couple of ibuprofen, which can cause ulcers and increase bleeding in the stomach if taken on a regular basis, I’ve been looking into some natural remedies for headache relief.

Aromatherapy for Headaches

Peppermint oil: Rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil on your temples has been shown to relieve tension headaches. Peppermint oil creates a cooling sensation when it comes in contact with skin, and it helps to relax the muscles in your head and neck. The scent of peppermint oil also has the power to calm nerves and clear your nasal passages, which may help if your headache is caused by stress or sinus pressure.

peppermint oil
Rubbing peppermint oil onto your temples can help relieve the pain of a headache. Photo By Helena Liu/Courtesy Flickr. 

Eucalyptus oil: Applying eucalyptus oil to your forehead can also help relieve headaches in the same manner as peppermint oil. Like peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil can soothe, relax muscles and clear nasal passages. Place a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a bowl of steaming water and inhale deeply.

Lavender: The scent of lavender has a powerful effect on the nervous system, relieving problems such as insomnia, anxiety and stress, which can all contribute to headaches. Anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender can help relieve the pain of even the worst headaches, including migraines. Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow, create a lavender sachet or brew a cup of lavender tea to utilize this natural headache reliever.

Lavender can relieve the pain of headaches and migraines. Use lavender essential oil or sachets of dried lavender to treat your pain. Photo By Erin Bolwidt/Courtesy Flickr. 

All of these essential oils can be used in either a hot or cold compress for headaches. Simply add a few drops of whichever oils you desire to the cloth and place the compress on your forehead when a headache starts to form. (For a headache-relieving product that combines the power of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and lavender, check out Badger Headache Soother Mind Balm.)

Herbal Relief for Headaches

Feverfew: Migraines are the most serious form of headaches. The incapacitating pain of a migraine headache is often accompanied by sensitivity to light, vision problems, nausea and vomiting. Feverfew is a well-known herb in the world of migraine treatment. While this herb may be useful for those in the throes of a migraine, its real value lies in preventing migraines (when taken on a daily basis). Studies show that feverfew stops the clumping of platelets in the blood and reduces blood vessel constriction and dilation, which can cause migraines.

Feverfew can prevent migraines if taken daily. Photo By Isfugl/Courtesy Flickr. 

White willow bark: Willow bark contains salicin, the key ingredient in aspirin, which makes it a natural pain reliever. Willow bark doesn’t work as fast as ibuprofen or Advil, but it’s also less likely to cause the gastrointestinal bleeding that these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are famous for.

What natural remedies do you use to relief headaches?

1/28/2014 4:13:38 PM

Petadolex, made from butterbur herb is my go-to remedy and saving grace when a headache is starting. Even helps deter migraines. When I feel the start of a headache, I take two capsules. I take two more if needed, after half an hour. I've woken up at night with an impending migraine, taken two butterbur capsules, go back to sleep and have no headache in the morning. Works for me!

jo ann
10/23/2012 9:05:13 PM

Jo Ann Kreider When I feel a migraine coming on, I take 6 feverfew capsules with a lot of water. That usually stops it. However, if a half hour later the migraine is still developing, I take 6 more and most of the time it stops it. I have not tried taking it on a daily basis to prevent them.

joyce holden wheeler
10/23/2012 3:50:45 PM

We use the peppermint oil for headaches, and it works in less than 10 minutes. However, some may experience a slight burning sensation in the eyes.

joyce holden wheeler
10/23/2012 3:49:39 PM

Lisa you can learn more about feverfew at the link below along with making a purchase as well. I use this company for all my organic natural products great company.

lisa bunnygal
10/23/2012 2:44:36 PM

As a severe migraine sufferer for the past two decades, I am always looking for ways to help relieve migraine pain or even better - prevent them in the first place. I appreciate this info on natural rememdies, but the info is missing a vital piece of information - dosage information, perhaps even a general range. I've never heard of feverfew, let alone taken it. I dont know what form it comes in or where to buy it. Once I locate it, I wouldn't have a clue how much to take to use it as a migraine preventative. Would you please provide a dose, or at least a range (take between xxx to xxx daily). I dont want to take too little or too much. Thank you. Lisa