Aromas for Healing Headaches
The following list identifies the essential oils commonly used to treat headaches, their special qualities, and their yin or yang predisposition.
- Cardamom—A yang scent with a sweet and spicy aroma, cardamom helps relieve headaches and strengthen the entire body.
- Chamomile—The flowers of the English (also called Roman) chamomile plant have a gentle sedative action that relaxes the body and is useful for relieving tension headaches, irritability, depression, and anxiety. Chamomile also relaxes the smooth muscles of the intestine, making it a good remedy for migraine-related nausea. A cup of chamomile tea before bedtime can help lull you to sleep, but the aroma is also very effective in a warm bath. Chamomile is a yin aroma.
- Lavender—Well-known for its ability to encourage relaxation, ease muscle spasms, relieve pain, lift depression, and tone the nervous system, lavender (a yang aroma) is a popular remedy for headaches and migraines, as well as the anxiety and insomnia that often accompany them.
- Marjoram—As popular with chefs as it is with aromatherapists, this savory yang scent is used to relieve tension headaches, migraine headaches, and the resultant insomnia.
- Peppermint—A yang aroma, peppermint is able to relieve pain, prevent muscle spasms that can contribute to tension headaches, and strengthen the nervous system.
- Rose—An antidepressant with sedative and general tonic properties, rose is a yin aroma used for PMS headaches and insomnia.
- Rosemary—An early favorite of European herbalists, this yang aroma is useful for treating hangover headaches, improving circulation, and strengthening blood vessels.