Headaches come in many shapes and forms and are probably one of the most common daily health complaints. However, regardless of the type of headache that you have, a headache can slow you down and impact your day quite significantly, if left unchecked. There are several essential oils that may help with headaches. Here is a quick look at the essential oils that are found in the Tazeka Aromatherapy Headache Helper Blend.
Types of Headaches
It is probably best if you first identify the type of headache that you have. Some of the common types of headaches include:
- stress and tension headaches – caused by daily activities such as work, exams, relationship problems, family life, financial concerns, grief, shock, and other health issues
- hormonal headaches (women) – caused by symptoms of the menstrual cycle and the hormonal changes that a woman's body goes through during different life stages
- headaches caused by sinus issues, allergies, colds, flu, respiratory problems and other heath issues
- migraines – certainly more than a “just a headache,” but often bearing similar symptoms on a more intense scale.
Cornmint Essential Oil for Headaches
Several of the mint essential oils – including peppermint (Mentha x piperita), spearmint (Mentha spicata), and cornmint (Mentha arvensis) – are recommended for use with headaches, especially stress, tension,and migraine headaches. All of the mint essential oils belong to the Lamiaceae plant family and they are noted for their significant level of the chemical component, menthol, in varying amounts.
Cornmint essential contains (among other ingredients): Menthol (monoterpenoid alcohol), menthone (monoterpenoid ketone), menthyl acetate (monoterpenoid ester), and limonene (monoterpenoid alkene).
Cornmint tends to be a highly stimulating essential oil with a strong, minty aroma. However, it is a top note oil so it does not tend to linger long.
Spike Lavender Essential Oil for Headaches
Although true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil is popular for its calming properties, spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) is actually a more stimulating member of the Lamiaceae plant family, in comparison to its gentler lavender cousin.
The difference in outcome of the therapeutic properties between these two essential oils is due to the chemical make-up of each essential oil, and the quantity of each component.
Spike lavender essential oil shares the chemical components of linalyl acetate (aliphatic monoterpenoid alkene ester), linalool (aliphatic monoterpenoid alkene alcohol), and 1.8 cineole (bycylic monoterpenoid ether) with true lavender essential oil. However, 1.8 cineole is significantly higher in spike lavender essential oil than true lavender essential oil; in addition, linalyl acetate and linalool are in smaller proportions in spike lavender essential oil than true lavender essential oil.
Consequently, spike lavender essential oil, although similar in use to true lavender essential oil, has a more penetrating aroma and quality, giving headaches caused by depression, stress, sluggishness, and colds, a greater lift to dissipate.
Frankincense Essential Oil for Headaches
Frankincense (Boswellia sacra) essential oil is, in comparison to spike lavender and cornmint essential oil, a more gentle oil. A member of the Burseraceae plant family, frankincense has been used since ancient times, particularly as an incense.
Frankincense essential oil is suited to headaches caused by anxiety, stress, and nerves and it has the ability “to slow down and deepen breath...” (Lawless, 1995). It is a base note essential oil with a deep, woody-spicy, balsamic aroma.
Chemically, frankincense essential oil is a complex mix of chemical components including monoterpene carbons of pinene, limonene, thujone, diptentene, myracene, terpinene, cymene, and phellandrene (Lawless, 1995).
Ho Wood Essential Oil for Headaches
Ho wood (Cinnamomum camphora ct. linalool) essential oil contains therapeutic properties that combat colds, flu, and fever that may cause associated headaches. Ho Wood is a member of the Lauraceae plant family and it is therefore related to other immune-fighting essential oils such as laurel (Laurus nobilis).
Ho wood essential oil is principally composed of the chemical component linalool (aliphatic monoterpenoid alkene alcohol); because of the presence of this chemical component, it is a calming and sedative essential oil, helping the head to relax. Although it has a camphoraceous aroma, in combination with the other essential oils in this Tazeka Aromatherapy blend, it is not overpowering.
Tazeka Aromatherapy Headache Helper Blend
The synergistic combination of spike lavender, ho wood, frankincense, and cornmint essential oil in the Tazeka Aromatherapy Headache Helper blend gives you a fighting chance against headaches, as the individual essential oils described in this post demonstrate.
Remember to pay attention to any cautions for use of these essential oils before using, if you are unfamiliar with the use of essential oils.
Consult a certified aromatherapist for further information.
This article is for educational purposes only and it is not a substitute for medical advice.
- Caddy, Rosemary, 1997, Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Colour, UK: Amberwood Publishing Ltd.
- Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons
- Tisserand, Robert, Young, Rodney, 2014, Essential Oil Safety 2nd Edition, UK: Churchill Livingstone
- A decade of the international training and experience of a certified aromatherapist.