Peppermint Oil for Headaches: Does It Work?

Peppermint Oil for Headaches
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What Is Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint is a common essential oil with a cool, refreshing sharp scent. Some people use it to flavor foods, while others dilute it and use it topically. It contains several chemical components, including menthone and menthol.

People extract peppermint oil from the peppermint plant’s leaves through a process known as steam distillation. Soxhlet extraction and solvent extraction may also be used to extract this oil.

You can decide to apply it to your skin whenever you have a headache since it can offer relief from different types of headaches.

Peppermint Oil for Headaches

Headaches are among the common types of aches that people experience. Actually, according to research, around 213 million Indians complained of headaches in 2019. 60% of these people were women aged between 30 and 59 years. That is a clear indication that headaches are a common ailment among Indian women.

There are different types of headaches that affect these people. They include tension headaches, migraines and sinus headaches. All of them can be treated using peppermint oil. However, tension headaches, sinus headaches and migraine attacks respond better to this essential oil.

How to Peppermint Oil Helps Treat Headaches

Headaches are painful. Sometimes, they are accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms such as nausea. They occur when the scalp and neck muscles contract or become tense. Stress, injury, anxiety and depression cause such muscle contractions.

Activities that make your head stay in one position for a long time can also cause headaches. These activities include using a microscope, typing and doing computer work. Abnormal positioning of your head when sleeping can also cause headaches.

Other things that trigger headaches include:

  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue
  • Alcohol use
  • Too much caffeine
  • Withdrawal from caffeine
  • Dental problems such as teeth grinding
  • Sinus infection

Peppermint oil can help treat these headaches. This essential oil contains menthol, a chemical that can help your neck muscles to relax. When these muscles relax, the headache will go away. This oil can also help your sinuses open up, allowing more oxygen to flow into them. That, in turn, can help reduce any inflammation in your sinuses, helping to relieve sinus headaches.

Peppermint oil also offers a cooling effect similar to the one provided by cold compresses. Therefore, instead of using cold compresses to treat a headache, you can massage peppermint oil onto your head.

How to Use Peppermint Oil for Headaches

People have been using peppermint oil as a pain relief medicine for many years. That is why it has become one of the most common oils for headache treatment. How should you use it?

Apply Peppermint Oil on Your Forehead and Temples

Temples are the most common area where people put essential oils. Temples are where your skull bones meat. They are usually the areas on the sides of your head, between your ear and forehead. They are key pressure points, and that is why you need to apply peppermint oil on them if you intend to treat a headache. You should also apply this oil to your forehead, neck, chest, and shoulders.

Before massaging peppermint oil onto your forehead and temples, dilute it with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil. You should mix two ounces of the carrier oil with six drops of peppermint oil. If you apply this essential oil to your skin without diluting it, your skin will get irritated.

You should also test whether the oil will trigger an allergic reaction before using it. To do this allergy test, apply a few drops of this oil to your forearm and leave it for a day. If you do not see any signs of an allergic reaction after this period, you can use the oil to treat your headaches.

Put Peppermint Essential Oil for Headache in Your Bath

To decrease the intensity of your headache, put several drops of peppermint oil into your bathing water. Your muscles will relax as you bathe, decreasing the intensity of your headache. To further experience the benefits of this oil, turn your bathroom lights off and use a candle instead.

Inhale Peppermint Oil

The next time you experience a sinus headache, inhale peppermint oil directly from its bottle. If you feel that the oil’s scent is quite strong, pour a few drops of it onto a cotton ball, tissue or cloth. Put the cloth, cotton ball or tissue near your nose and inhale the peppermint oil.

You can also add this oil to hot water and inhale the steam that will come from the water. However, you should cover your face with a towel when inhaling the steam. You should also not inhale the steam for more than two minutes.

Diffuse Peppermint Oil Into Your Indoor Air

You can also add peppermint oil to your diffuser. The diffuser will help diffuse this oil into your indoor air. You can also try drinking peppermint tea.

How to Make Peppermint Oil

You do not have to buy peppermint oil to enjoy its benefits. You can still make this oil all by yourself. Follow these steps if you intend to make peppermint oil.

  • Crush several peppermint leaves.
  • Add grapeseed or olive oil to the crushed peppermint leaves.
  • Cover the jar containing this mixture with a tight lid and store it for around three days.
  • Strain peppermint oil from the jar using a cheesecloth or strainer and discard the peppermint leaves.
  • Store the oil in a dry and cool place.

FAQs

Where do I apply essential oils for headaches?

If you intend to use essential oils to treat a headache, apply them to your forehead and temples.

Can I put peppermint oil on my head for a headache?

You can put peppermint oil on your head when experiencing a headache. This oil will help your neck muscles to relax, reducing the intensity of the headache.

Can I apply peppermint oil directly to the skin?

You should never apply peppermint oil directly to your skin since this oil is very potent. It can irritate and numb your skin. It can also give your skin the sensation of freezing. Therefore, instead of applying it directly to the skin, mix it with a carrier oil and apply this mixture to your skin. Some of the carrier oils you can use are coconut and jojoba oil.

If you love essential oils, you have probably encountered details on peppermint oil and headaches. This oil can help treat different types of headaches, including sinus, migraine and tension headaches. To treat these headaches, apply the oil to your temples and forehead. You can also add it to your bathing water.