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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Essential Oils - An Alternative to Headache Medication

Years ago I began to have migraine headaches due to extreme stress. I took antidepressants to ease the stress and the headaches went away. Time and time again they would come back. I ended up taking Ibuprofen like it was candy. Many years later after dealing with severe heartburn for over a year, I was diagnosed with esophagitis. I was warned by my doctor that I had to cut several things from my diet as well as stop taking the pain meds. So I was stuck trying to find a new way to relieve my headaches.

Chinese Whiteflower Oil can be found on Amazon and even online with WalMart.

A friend of mine told me about a holistic chiropractor who she said could almost work miracles. I went to this new chiropractor and found out that acupuncture is an awesome treatment for any pain. Unfortunately, the acupuncture doesn’t last, at least it didn’t for me. This new chiropractor introduced me to Chinese White Flower Oil. I found that the Chinese White Flower Oil really helped my pain so I used to keep it at my desk at work. My boss told me that it smelled like Bengay but I told him to hush up. It has more of a wintergreen scent and it works well, relieving muscle and headache pain.


After doing some research and networking with friends, I started using essential oils. I read that peppermint essential oil helps to relieve headaches. I gave it a try and it worked so well for me that now I never go anywhere without my peppermint oil. I have an old neck injury from a car accident that flares up often. The pain in my neck tends to migrate up into the base of my skull then it radiates throughout my head. I usually put pure peppermint essential oil on my temples, forehead, and the temporal skull bones directly behind my ears. Sometimes I even put it on my neck where the pain is emanating from. It really makes the pain go away. The good thing about peppermint oil is that it smells good and you don’t have to worry about smelling like a locker room.

Peppermint Essential Oil can be used to relieve headaches. It is recommended to dilute it with a base oil.

Now, I have no problem putting undiluted peppermint essential oil on my skin but some people might not be able to do that. Some people have sensitive skin or allergies and should dilute the pure peppermint oil with a base oil like coconut. When I put the peppermint essential oil on my temples I have to be careful not to use too much. If it is too much and too close to my eyes, my eyes end up watering for the next hour. Peppermint is effective and very potent! Some spas use iced cloths with peppermint to help their guests relax.

Lavender is another essential oil that can be used for headaches. It has more of a calming effect.  I’ve used it on occasion and it helps me to relax. Lavender essential oil is a great stress reliever and can help stress headaches. To help with a stress headache, I suggest putting lavender essential oil in a diffuser nearby and lie down in a semi-dark room. My Mom used to put cold wet washcloths on her forehead.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil can be used to relieve a headache especially when complicated by a cold.

Eucalyptus essential oil stinks to high heaven but it can help a headache that is combined with a cold and stuffy nose. This works well in a diffuser. The eucalyptus essential oil works to open up the sinuses to help one breathe. It can help with the symptoms of a cold but unfortunately, cannot heal it.

Rosemary essential oil has been used for years to treat headaches. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of Rosemary essential oil are what helps relieve headaches. It can be applied with a base oil or put in a diffuser.

Over the counter medications hold many dangers that most people aren’t aware of. One of the ingredients in many popular pain relievers is acetaminophen. Taking acetaminophen over time can cause liver damage and even liver failure. Liver failure can happen when acetaminophen is taken in large amounts. People who don’t read the labels and warnings are in danger of liver damage or even death. Sometimes acetaminophen is listed as APAP under ingredients.

Prescription drugs can help with pain but there are many side effects. Addiction is a huge problem.  Image credit: Creative Commons


Ibuprofen is another popular pain reliever. It can relieve pain and inflammation however it can cause stomach issues. I found this out the hard way. Thankfully the damage done to my esophagus is reversible but I have to be careful of what I eat and drink.

Tramadol is often prescribed for severe pain by doctors and veterinarians. Tramadol is an opioid so there is a danger of addiction with Tramadol. One side effect of Tramadol is nausea. My poor Mother took this for a while and it made her sick.

Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are other drugs that are prescribed to people dealing with severe pain. Both are opioids which have a danger of addiction. Both Hydrocodone and Oxycodone can cause nausea. 

Over the counter pain medications are fine to take as long as one reads the directions and follows them. Some people disregard the dosage directions and end up sick or having long-term complications. The directions for dosage are there for a reason. Unfortunately, some people think they are invincible and nothing will hurt them.

Prescription painkillers that are opioids have to be used carefully. People who abuse these drugs can end up with an addiction problem or worse, they can end up dead. Since our country is currently experiencing an opioid addiction crises, let’s hope that physicians are thinking twice before prescribing opioids to any of their patients.

Medications can cause all kinds of problems from liver failure to death. Some have side effects that can make people sick. We’ve all been programmed to take pills for everything. It is time we de-program ourselves and look for alternative ways to heal pain and other ailments. At least it's nice to know an alternative exists in essential oils.

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