Read on to learn how to find headache relief using peppermint oil. Some types of headaches, such as sinus and tension headaches, may respond better to peppermint oil than others, but the methods of use are the same.
4 ways to use peppermint oil for headaches and migraines
1. Spread it in the air
Use a diffuser to diffuse the oil into the air. You can also inhale peppermint oil straight from the bottle. If the scent is too strong, add a few drops to a cloth, cotton ball, or handkerchief and inhale it. Avoid incense sticks, as the smell of smoke may make your symptoms worse.
2. Add it to your massage oil
Essential oils must be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied directly to the skin. Usually, the recommended ratio is 3 to 5 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of sweet almond oil, heated coconut oil, or mineral oil. People with nut allergies should always avoid nut-based oils.
Before applying any essential oil, do an allergy test. Mix 3 to 5 drops of essential oil with 1 ounce of your favorite carrier oil. Apply the mixture to the skin of the forearm. If no reaction occurs within 24 to 48 hours, the essential oil should be safe to use.
Dab a couple of drops of your oil mixture on your fingers and massage the temples, back of the neck, shoulders, and chest area. Tension headaches are often caused by muscle twitching in this part of the body.
Read more related essential oils, best essential oils for tension headaches
3. Put a few drops in your bathtub
Bathing can help reduce the intensity of the headache. Add a few drops of diluted peppermint oil to your bath to really increase the relaxation benefits. Turn off the bathroom lights and use a candle if the headache gets worse with bright lights. Try taking a bath to prevent the headache from occurring or getting worse.
4. Breathe in the peppermint oil with the steam
Pour the hot water into a bowl and add 3 to 7 drops of essential oil. Cover your head with a towel, close your eyes and breathe through your nose. Do this for no more than 2 minutes. Steam inhalation can help with sinus headaches, especially if you also have symptoms of congestion.
Related article, natural remedies for headache
What else can you do for relief?
Headaches caused by a trigger can often be prevented. Try these tips:
To prevent headaches
- Try regular hot baths, which help relax and prevent headaches.
- Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid foods that can trigger migraines, such as red wine and aged cheeses.
- Avoid skipping meals.
- Practice good sleep hygiene and get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Practice good posture to avoid headaches caused by tense neck or shoulder muscles.
- Manage stress with self-care exercises such as yoga or medications.