There’s nothing worse than enduring throbbing pain because of a headache. Even more so when it happens in the middle of your workday and you’re overwhelmed with deadlines. If you’re one to shy away from over-the-counter medicines for pain relief, you’ve probably tried using alternatives to help with your headache. If yes, have you tried using peppermint oil as a remedy?
The Benefits Of Peppermint Oil
Essential oils like peppermint are highly concentrated substances derived from plant elements such as roots, barks, leaves, flowers, and stems. Perhaps among the most popular uses of these oils is in aromatherapy since some believe essential oils help improve circulation and reduce stress. The health benefits of these oils don’t come with alarming side effects that often concern those who prefer not to take the usual medications. (1) (2)
For this reason, people suffering from headaches and migraines turn to peppermint oil for relief. The body’s smell receptors connected to the limbic system can quickly absorb the oil, thus helping in controlling blood pressure, heart rate, stress, and breathing. (1)
Whether taken topically or orally, peppermint can help alleviate the symptoms of different types of headaches, whether migraines or those caused by anxiety, hangovers, hormones, stress, or tension. Other benefits of peppermint oil include helping with conditions such as toothaches, itchiness, allergic rash, cramps, respiratory and sinus infections, coughs, muscle pain, and menstrual problems. (2)
Using Peppermint Oil For Headaches
Pure and organic peppermint oil is the best if you want to make the most out of its benefits, especially for alleviating headaches. You can tell by checking if the oil has been steam-pressed or cold-pressed because that means the product contains pure peppermint. As much as possible, steer clear from solvent-pressed oils because those usually contain added ingredients such as propane, acetone, and alcohol. (3)
To use peppermint oil for headaches, here are some tips and suggestions:
- Add a few drops to your bath
Perhaps you already know one trick that could help ease headaches, and that’s to take a cold bath. To make it even more effective, try adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your bath to boost its relaxing and calming benefits. Make sure you dilute the oil first before adding. (3)
If you’re like most people who suffer from terrible migraines and headaches, you probably don’t like being exposed to too much light during an episode. If that’s the case, you can turn off the lights while bathing and light a candle instead.
- Use an air diffuser
Another good thing about peppermint oil is its refreshing smell, making it one of the top essential oil options among aromatherapy fans. The scent is like tasting candy cane in the air while helping calm your nerves and alleviate pain. You can use an air diffuser to achieve this, which is suitable for the office or your work-at-home setup. (3)
Aside from helping with your headache, the diffused oil can also help you stay awake and alert throughout the day. Before using the diffuser, read the instructions carefully to help you understand how the device works. Also, make sure to follow the correct oil-to-water ratio.
- Rub the oil on your temples
You can try rubbing peppermint oil directly on your temples for faster relief. Be careful, though, especially when it’s your first time to use it topically. Some people can be pretty sensitive to essential oils when applied directly to the skin. You can test a small section of your skin first before rubbing it in to check if you have any reactions. (2)
If you want, you can also dilute the oil in olive or coconut oil to make a solution. These carrier oils can help make the tincture more cooling and relaxing. Aside from the temples, you can also massage the solution to the chest area, shoulders, and the back of your neck. This can be more helpful if you’re suffering from tension headaches. These body parts often cause muscle contractions that can lead to tension headaches. (4)
- Inhale it directly
Another quick way to use peppermint oil for headaches is by inhaling it directly from its bottle or using a cotton ball. Doing so can significantly help in relieving sinus headaches caused by congestion. Some people also like inhaling the oil with steam by using hot water with a few drops of peppermint oil. (2)
Almost everyone has suffered from a terrible headache at some point in their lives. It’s not an experience anyone wants to try. Thankfully, there are alternative remedies you can try if you’re not comfortable taking drugs and medications for pain. You can tap into the benefits of peppermint oil by inhaling it directly, rubbing it to your temples, adding a few drops to your bath, or using an air diffuser.
- “Best Essential Oils and Scents to Ease Headache and Migraine Pain”, Source: https://www.everydayhealth.com/headache-migraine-pictures/soothing-scents-to-ease-headache-pain.aspx
- “5 Essential Oils for Headaches and Migraine”, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-headaches
- “8 Essential Oils to Relieve Headaches (and Yes, They Really Work!)”, Source: https://greatist.com/health/essential-oils-for-headaches
- “What are the benefits of peppermint oil?” Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/peppermint-oil-benefits