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November 06, 2023
When the days get darker and the cold weather begins to settle in, many of us begin to feel not quite our perky selves. Changes in barometric pressure and increased cloud can effect us in many ways including headaches. Essential oils, when used properly, can have effects on us such as reducing inflammation and tension, and increasing feelings of relaxation, happiness and well-being.
Blame It on the Weather
November often ushers in drastic temperature changes, fluctuating between the last remnants of autumn warmth and the brisk chill of impending winter. These temperature swings can be particularly harsh on our bodies. Our blood vessels constrict and dilate in response to these fluctuations, and for some individuals, this can lead to headaches. The drop in barometric pressure that often accompanies inclement weather can trigger migraines in those who are susceptible. The changing daylight hours can also disrupt our sleep patterns, exacerbating the situation further.
Whether it’s sitting at the computer for too long without a break, or a strain put on your eyes due to the contrast of bright lights at night and the darkness, eye strain can be the beginning of discomfort.
Stress of the Season
When holiday season is approaching, many find themselves caught in a whirlwind of preparations, family obligations, and work-related stressors. This uptick in stress can be a major headache trigger. The body's response to stress can lead to muscle tension, contributing to stress induced and tension headaches.
Our diet can also play a pivotal role in the onset of headaches. Whether it is a food intolerance or a few extra sweets, comfort foods such as pumpkin-spiced delights, and holiday meals can contribute to overall body aches including headaches. Excess caffeine and low water intake can lead to dehydration leaving us looking for headache relief. Using apps or tracking your water intake in a journal are great ways to try to get more water into your day.
Hormones can also play a factor. Hormonal fluctuations, especially for those who experience menstrual migraines, can add another layer to the headache equation.
November, with its beautiful autumnal hues and early signs of winter's approach, is a complex month. It's a time when nature herself goes through a transformative phase. Just as the leaves change colors and fall, our bodies adapt to the seasonal shifts. Understanding the common causes of headaches and migraines empowers us to take a holistic approach to wellness, making it easier to navigate the season's challenges and find relief from these unwelcome guests. Thankfully, we can tackle headaches head-on, helping to ensure a more enjoyable season.
Essential oils, when used properly, can have effects on us such as reducing inflammation and tension, and increasing feelings of relaxation, happiness and well-being. Here are some of the most effective essential oils for headaches.
1. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil essential oil is an anti-inflammatory. It can be used for nervousness and insomnia. Known as a head clearing oil, basil is great for mental fatigue and those who feel overwhelmed. Basil essential oil is a powerful scent in blends. Use this oil at a low dilution rate so that it does not overpower your blend.
2. Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Roman chamomile is an anti-inflammatory oil that would be great in a topical application for headaches as it is gentler on the skin than other oils in this list. Its ability to relax neuromuscular tension makes it a good option for headaches and migraines. It is a calming oil and a go-to for headaches derived from stress and nervous tension. This would be a good oil to add to a relaxing bath for calming.
3. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
There are many different kinds of eucalyptus. In the case of headaches we are looking at eucalyptus globulus. It is anti-inflammatory, decongestant and may help with migraines. Use eucalyptus globulus in very low dilution and do not use this oil with children under 12. Eucalyptus is a very powerful essential oil which, if not used properly, can become toxic.
4. Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
Geranium essential oil is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Use geranium for headaches that may be caused by anxiety, agitation and nervous stress. Geranium is a body balancing oil and can be beneficial if you believe your headaches are due to unbalanced hormones.
5. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender essential oil is a must for every aromatherapy toolkit. Lavender has been repeatedly shown to be calming, to reduce tension and stress, and to help with sleep. Lavender is a great option for aches and to combat inflammation. The chemical component (-)-linalool in lavender has been shown to reduce pain due to inflammation and neuropathic pain. [i]
6. Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana)
Sweet marjoram is an analgesic essential oil that may be helpful for migraines. It is a balancing and calming oil. Use it for nervousness and agitation. Another essential oil that is very calming for the mind, sweet marjoram is a great addition to a stress and tension relieving bath.
7. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
One of the most popularly used essential oils for headaches is peppermint. Peppermint is a cooling oil which helps circulation in the head. The menthol component is known to increase blood flow. Len and Shirley Price list peppermint oil as “antimigraine”. Be careful of your usage rate and time as peppermint can be stimulating to some people and may interfere with your sleep.
8. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct cineole)
Another well known oil used for headaches is rosemary. Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties. It is considered an analgesic essential oil. It may with help circulation as it is considered a venous decongestant.
Now that we know of a few essential oils that can help us alleviate headaches, how do we use them?
There a many types of diffusers including USB plug in fan diffusers, terra cotta diffusers, and water driven nebulizing diffusers to start. Choose your favourite way of diffusing oils into your space. The diffuser recipes listed below are intended to be used in a water diffuser. Make sure you read the directions from the manufacturer to ensure that you are not using too many drops of essential oil with your unit.
If you are interested in creating a personal inhaler using essential oils, try to avoid plastic. Essential oils will interact with the packaging, breaking down the molecules in the plastic. The shelf life of your personal inhaler will be very short. Use an aluminum inhaler instead. Look for an inhaler whose inner vessel is glass that a cotton wick can be placed into. These pieces then go into the outer aluminum package, creating an attractive and portable aromatherapy inhaler.
Adding essential oils to a carrier oil, and then adding your recipe into the bath is a great way to relax and help ease tension, while taking some much needed time for yourself. When combined with certain bath salts, you can create a soothing oasis for mind and body in your own home.
Create a 10ml roller bottle with your favourite carrier oil, for example jojoba oil, and add up to 10 drops of essential oil. Apply this blend to your temples and the back of the neck.
150 grams Epsom salt
150 grams Magnesium chloride bath salt flakes
½ tbsp jojoba oil
3 drops Lavender essential oil
3 drops Geranium essential oil
2 drops Chamomile essential oil
In a small glass jar or bowl, combine the jojoba oil (or another carrier oil of your choice) and essential oils. Stir to combine. In a larger glass bowl, combine your salts. Add the essential oil mixture to your salt and stir to combine. Start the bath water and add the salt when you are ready. Enjoy!
This blend will make your tub slippery. Be very careful coming out of the tub.
Tension Relieving Roller Bottle Blend
10 ml jojoba oil
3 drops Lavender essential oil
2 drops Peppermint essential oil
2 drops Rosemary oil essential oil
Add this mixture to a 10ml glass roller bottle and replace the top. You can gently shake this before using. Carefully roll the ball at your temples, being careful to avoid the eye area. You can also use this blend behind the ears and at the nape of your neck.
Aromatherapy Diffuser Blends
To use the blends below, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding adding water and essential oils to your unit.
Cool Mint4 drops Rosemary essential oil
Goods from the Garden5 drops Sweet Marjoram essential oil
Herbal Bliss4 drops Lavender essential oil
Don’t hesitate to see you doctor if you are experiencing any concern. If you experience migraines, it’s always a good idea to see your doctor. It’s also time to see your doctor if you experience repeat headaches or if your headaches are difficult to deal with or if you feel they are hormonal. If you are interested in using essential oils for headache relief, please speak to a qualified professional who can help guide you.
Price, Shirley and Price Len, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, Second Edition, Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone, 1999
The information on our website is not intended to cure, diagnose or treat medical conditions, nor is it a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a physician before beginning this or any other new health care program. The information contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be substituted for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. If you rely upon any programs or techniques, or use any of the products and services made available by or through the use of our website for decision making, without obtaining the advice of a physician or other health care professional, you do so at your own risk. The views expressed on Standing Stone Wellness have not been evaluated or endorsed by any private or public entity. The information on our website is not legal advice. Please consult with a licensed legal professional for adherence to legal guidelines.
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December 04, 2023
Peppermint essential oil can be a wonderful addition to you selfcare routine, but there are concerns with this oil that you should be aware of. We’ll dive into the benefits and cautions of peppermint essential oil and how you can enjoy this essential oil safely this season.
November 27, 2023
November 20, 2023