aromatherapy for headaches
essential oil
essential oils
eucalyptus essential oil
headache treatment
helichrysum essential oil
lavender essential oil
peppermint essential oil
roman chamomile essential oil
tension headaches
ylang ylang

5 Essential Oils for Tension Headaches

Headaches are a pain in the… head. There are a few different types of headaches, but among the most frustrating (and most common) are tension headaches. These little bundles of discomfort strike as dull pain on both sides of the head. They’re caused by stress, sleep deprivation and sometimes dehydration. To stop them completely, you’ll need to figure out why you’re getting them. But until then, you can find relief with essential oils. Now, without further ado, here are the top 5 essential oils for helping with tension headaches!


Cool, mint and fresh, peppermint stimulates blood flow, reduces stress and relaxes muscles. Apply it to the forehead and temples for the quickest relief. Peppermint will wake you up, so it’s best used in the morning or mid-afternoon when you feel your energy is waning.


Floral, fragrant and soft, lavender is a mild sedative that helps stop restlessness and disturbed sleep - so you can stop tossing and turning all night long. It’s also an antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and calming agent. Use it at night to get the best sleep of your life.


Minty, pine-fresh and a touch sweet, eucalyptus cleanses the body of toxins, reduces sinus pressure, reduces pain and relaxes muscles. Eucalyptus is your answer if your neck and shoulders are suffering from working at the desk all day long.

Roman Chamomile

This sweet, apple-like fragrance contains a lot of esters that have anti-inflammatory and sedative qualities. Like Lavender, this is a great essential oil to put on before you turn in for the night - or if you need a quiet Sunday afternoon nap.


A relatively unknown essential oil in the United States, it’s a strongly straw-like, fruity smell that has notes of honey and tea. In fact, it’s considered to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. Helichrysum has been used for years in European countries to treat migraine or headaches.

Honorable Mentions:

If our top five don’t really tickle your fancy, these essential oils have been known to help with headaches as well:
  • Basil
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Spearmint
  • Rosewood
  • Rosemary

How to Use

There are a few ways you can use essential oils to help with your tension headache: #1 Apply This is the most effective form of aromatherapy for headaches Massage Oil
  • Combine the essential oil with a carrier oil (For some suggestions, check out the “Applying” section of Beginner’s Guide to Aromatherapy: Part 1 - it’s at the bottom)
  • Massage it into the surface of the skin
Essential Oil Drops
  • Apply a single drop of peppermint to the temples or area of your head that aches
#2 Diffuse #3 Inhale
  • Place 1-3 drops of your chosen essential oil(s) on a cotton ball or tissue
  • Place the cotton ball or tissue near your nose and inhale
  • Test the essential oil by using only one drop before you commit to the 3 drops, just in case you’re sensitive
Create an aromatherapy program that encompasses both headache and stress relief for the best results - because without the stress, you won’t have a tension headache. Then share your program with us on Facebook!

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