Aromatherapy and Migraines

December 17, 2015

Over 10% of the population, including children, suffers from migraine; that estimates to about 3.19 MILLION people in the United States! As a migraine sufferer, and with friends who are also migraine sufferers, we are always searching for more information about migraines.

Migraines are far more than “just headaches.” People with migraines often suffer from photo-sensitivity (sensitivity to light), aural-sensitivity (sensitivity to sound), nausea, dizziness, as well as the inability to work or engage in activities. It’s fair to say that when a migraine strikes, it takes its toll.

Since beginning work in the candle-making business, many people come to me asking questions about aromatherapy and essential oils, especially pertaining to health-related issues. I am not a certified aromatherapist, so I do not feel comfortable offering information; however, I am very fortunate to know aromatherapists who were willing to share information on this topic, as well as me compiling information from various sources. (For source information, please click directly on the links of citations. As an English teacher, I take scholarly research seriously, so I can assure you the materials I am citing are quality.)

*Please note that this is just a compilation of information and sources. This is NOT medical advice! The information provided here should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, or evaluation of any medical condition. *

Christine Given Laureano Founder and CEO of Ba6 Botanicals, is a certified aromatherapist.
“I start by looking at the underlying symptoms and causes. Inflammation is a biggie. I’m not a migraine sufferer, but I understand there are different types/severity of migraine. Chamomile & Lavender are great because they are anti-inflammatory, and nervines (ease nerves). Peppermint is another good one – cooling effect, it’s an analgesic and a nervine. I also understand that taking magnesium (well, calcium & magnesium together) helps.”

According to a study by the Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran; and the Department of Physiology, Münster University, Münster, Germany,  it is suggested that “the inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.”

Peppermint Essential Oil has also been published as aiding in the relief from migraine symptoms, particularly with nausea, as stated in an article published by the Research Institute of Agroecology, Michalovce, Slovak Republic and the Department of Ecology, Prešov University, Prešov, Slovak Republic. This was also shown in a study by Facultad de Ingeneria, Universidad Nacional de Jujuy, Gorriti 237 (4600). San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina.

An article published by C. U. Shah College of Pharmacy, S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Juhu Campus, Santacruz (West), Mumbai demonstrates that micro-inhalation of Eucalyptus Oil may also effectively relieve some symptoms associated with migraine.

The Journal of Medical Hypotheses discusses how Chamomile (specifically German chamomile) Essential Oil may have therapeutic effects on migraine because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

The fact is that there have not been many studies for the use of essential oils to treat migraines, with the exception of Feverfew. Feverfew was a fad treatment in the 1970s for migraines, but since then, quite a number of studies have disproved the effectiveness of Feverfew. Source 1, Source 2 Because of the fairly recent resurgence of aromatherapy, there still needs to be more work done to make sincere, conclusive statements about efficacy.  With that said, I recommend you speaking to your doctor about the aforementioned essential oils of Lavender, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint in part of your journey to a healthier, happier well-being.




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