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The Best Essential Oils for Headaches

No one likes getting headaches. They are painful and annoying. Reasons for headaches vary in severity, but sometimes they can be just the result of dehydration, stress, drastic weather changes, or sleep deprivation. If you suffer from severe and constant headaches, it should always be brought to the attention of a medical professional as there could be a more serious underlying health condition.

Some people experience minor headaches or tension headaches, while others experience migraines that can be immobilizing. Either way, they are always a battle to get rid of, especially if you are someone who prefers not to take synthetic anti-inflammatory medications or pain killers. While medications like Tylenol, Aspirin, or Advil are effective if you experience chronic headaches, taking these medications too frequently can be harmful to the liver. Y

ou may also experience increased tolerance to the medications, therefore needing to take more of it when headaches occur, potentially worsening damage to the body. If you are looking for a natural remedy to help relieve your headaches, finding relief with essential oils might be the solution you've been looking for. 

Which Oils Are Best?

Essential oils (EOs) are highly concentrated extracts from plants that are then distilled to create an oil. Specific ingredients found in nature have been used for hundreds of years to treat medical concerns. When essential oils are made, they are distilled to maintain a highly concentrated amount of these helpful active ingredients.

Please note that essential oils should only be used to treat headaches if they are tested for being 100% pure, and proven to be high-quality. Check out the best essential oil brands we have reviewed here. Many EO brands on the market are not regulated for topical application, so do your research to make sure the oils you choose to use on your skin are safe. As always, it is recommended to talk to a health practitioner before beginning the use of essential oil for headache relief. 

About Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is known for its relaxing and anti-stress properties. Lavender oil is typically used around bedtime to calm the nervous system and relax the body. We have reviewed many companies that have high-quality lavender essential oils. You can find a great lavender oil that we recommend here. A study conducted in 2013 experimented with the idea that lavender's ability to relax the body and mind, may be able to relieve symptoms of acute migraines. Their conclusion was promising! They reported that exposing their test group to lavender essential oil over a span of only 15 minutes relieved the severity of pain they were experiencing. 

About Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil has been used for hundreds of years in folk medicine as it has been claimed to increase blood circulation in the body. Having good blood circulation in the body is important when considering headaches. Whenever the body needs to heal, encouraging more blood flow to the area may help. Along with stimulating circulation, rosemary oil is also known for its pain-relieving and stress-reducing properties. 

About Peppermint Oil

Peppermint essential oil is most commonly known for its soothing properties. The cooling sensation of peppermint is often helpful in relieving symptoms of tension headaches and migraines. Peppermint is a common ingredient in most headache relieving essential oil blends. If you are choosing to use peppermint oil directly on the skin, it is extremely important to dilute it first using a carrier oil. 

About Chamomile Oil

Like a nice cup of chamomile tea before bed, chamomile oil may help relax and soothe the body. The calming properties found in chamomile may be extremely beneficial when aiding headaches because it can help relieve anxiety or stress which could be a cause of headaches. Sleep deprivation is also a culprit of causing headaches, so implementing chamomile into your evening routine could help get your body back into sleep-mode, and encourage a great night's sleep. 

How to Use Essential Oils for Treating Headaches

Pressure Points

Implementing essential oil for headaches can be an easy way to find relief from the pounding pressure that consumes your attention. One of the most effective ways of finding relief using essential oils would be to topically apply them to the pressure points on your body. As always, it is extremely important to mix the EO with a carrier oil, like coconut, or jojoba, and then apply the mixture to your skin.

This will decrease the risk of irritation or damage to the layers of your skin. Essential oils can be damaging when applied directly to the skin without dilution. Gently massage the mixture of oils into your temples, and let them absorb into the skin. Another place that can be beneficial to apply the mixture would be the muscle in between your thumb, and pointed finger. This muscle typically gets quite tight due to our continuous activity typing on our phones and keyboards. Massaging this muscle gently with essential oils has been assumed to relieve a headache. 


If you are suffering from a headache, one of the most relaxing things to do would be hop in the tub. A nice soak in the tub can relax the muscles of the body, therefore helping to aid your headache. A great way to implement essential oils into your bath time ritual would be to add 2-4 drops into the hot water and let yourself reap the benefits from the oil-infused water. 


Continually running a diffuser throughout the day with your favorite headache conquering EO's can provide a subtle, yet effective way to relieve head pressure. Diffusing is a great way to conquer your headache because you will be gently inhaling the EO throughout the day. Most diffusers can run between three to five hours throughout the day. This is also a great way to add a pleasant aroma to your home. Check out more information about diffusers here.


Need a quick fix? Consider taking a couple of drops of your diluted EO mixture into the palm of your hands, gently rub them together, and smell your palms for a couple of seconds. Inhalation can be a quick and effective way to receive the benefits of EO's. 

In Summary

Essential oils may help relieve pain and pressure brought on by a headache. If you are someone who is trying to avoid taking synthetic, or prescription medication, you may be able to gain some relief by using EO's for your headache. Peppermint, lavender, rosemary, and chamomile oils may be the natural solution you've been searching for. Different oils should be used for different types of pain. Peppermint oil is a great choice when experiencing a tension headache, while lavender would be best suited to help treat a migraine. Chamomile oil would be best used to help relax and calm the body to enable more rest.

Always make sure that the EO's you purchase are tested to be 100% pure, and provide some insight about what type of testing is done on them. Since the regulation of EO's is not monitored as thoroughly as typical medicine would be, you have to ensure that the brand is reputable and providing a high-quality product. We always suggest dilution of the oil before using it directly on the skin because the oils are highly concentrated and can be damaging to the skin. To avoid any risk of skin damage, rash, or irritation, diluting the EO with a type of carrier oil will be the safest option. Be sure to research the EO brand before purchasing so that you can ensure the product you will be receiving is pure and high-quality. Overall, EO's are loaded with certain active ingredients that can help aid the pain of a headache when you're searching for a quick fix. People who are trying to avoid synthetic medications may find great relief with essential oils. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use essential oils for headaches?

EO's can be used to help ease a headache via topical application, inhalation, diffusion, and steam. Diluting the essential oil before use is critical as the EO on its own can be damaging to the skin.

How do you use peppermint oil for headaches?

Peppermint oil should be diluted into a carrier oil before use. Be sure to mix 1-2 drops of the peppermint oil with 5-8 drops of the carrier oil and then apply it to your temples. Gently massage the mixture into the skin.

What oils get rid of headaches?

Some great options of essential oils to relieve a headache would be peppermint, chamomile, lavender, or rosemary oil. These oils are typically relaxing in nature and can help ease the muscle tension causing your headache. These oils are the most often used to aid a headache. Please note that although EO's can provide relief for headaches, they should be used cautiously and carefully.

Where do you rub lavender oil for headaches?

You should always dilute lavender oil before applying it to the skin. Once the lavender oil is diluted, you should proceed to gently rub it into your temples or back of the neck. 

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