Sinus, tension, & migraine are three types of headaches that may be amenable to natural headache relief methods via aromatherapy. Since the causes vary, the aromatherapy remedies also vary.

Battling a sinus headache? A combination of several different essential oils works best to alleviate the pain of a sinus headache, and to ease congestion. Listed in order of importance, these include: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender or Lavandin, and Sweet Basil. Eucalyptus Radiata is the most useful type for sinus ailments, however in a pinch, other Eucalyptus oils such as globulous or smithii will also work. Peppermint aids with clearing & decongesting the sinuses, while Lavender provides relaxation, pain relief, & antibacterial properties. Sweet Basil is also a known decongestant which can help with mental clarity or “brain fog,” that often comes with sinus headaches. This is particularly useful if one is at work or school and must focus.

For use, either inhale directly from a tissue, cotton ball, or, better yet, nasal inhaler, or dilute in carrier oil of your choice and massage onto sinus areas (i.e., the ridge of bone beneath your eyes, and the ridges at your eyebrows.) Be very careful NOT to get any in your eyes!

Many also find relief by use of a Neti Pot, using warmed salt water. Please do not ever add essential oils to the Neti Pot. They will irritate the already irritated mucous membranes and cause a totally different kind of pain!

Stressed at work or feeling tension? The premier oil for tension headaches is our old standby Lavender Essential Oil. Massage a drop into each temple, and one on the back of your neck. Doing other things, like a restful warm bath, lying down with a cold pack on your forehead will help, but often life doesn't allow the opportunity to tackle the stress directly. At least the Lavender will relieve this symptom of stress. Other choices would be Roman Chamomile or Sweet Marjoram Essential Oils. A more recent choice is Cape Chamomile Essential oil, new, and relatively unknown. this South African oil is an amazing stress reliever.

Suffering from a migraine headache? In "Living Well with Migraine Disease" author Teri Robert recommends a blend of diluted Peppermint and Lavender oils massaged lightly into the temples. Other essential oils she recommends for migraine headache are Chamomile (Roman Chamomile rather than German), Clary Sage, Jasmine, Rosemary, and Melissa. The first three on this list are all relaxants, while most Rosemary oils are stimulants. Melissa Essential Oil is best known as an anti-viral, but many sources say it is helpful for migraine relief. If you know the signs of the onset of a migraine, sniffing Peppermint essential oil straight from the bottle, or on a tissue or from an inhaler at the first sign of the “aura” seems to stop a lot of migraines in their tracks. Additionally, Peppermint seems to provide relief from headache related nausea.

For women, hormonally induced migraines can be staved off with a blend of Clary Sage, Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Sweet Marjoram, diluted in carrier oil and massaged either into the neck and temples or into the lower back and abdomen.

You may find more information about these and other aromatherapy remedies online at

Author's Bio: 

Over 15 years experience sourcing, selecting and making available highest quality therapeutic essential oils and aromatherapy products, founder of Nature's Gift, Inc., author of Essential Oils and Aromatics.