Essential Oils for Headache Relief

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Having a headache is the worst! With sharp pain shooting through your skull or resting behind your eyes, it's tough to get anything done once a headache settles in.

A huge percentage of headaches are related to tension, but headaches can also be the result of underlying infections, sinus issues, dehydration, eye strain, and even food allergies.

It can be difficult to find a solution to persistent headaches, and if you have them, you feel like you have already tried everything! This post is simply meant to offer up one more remedy to try. If you suffer from persist ongoing headaches, it's important to check with your health care provider for possible causes.

Essential oils are a great place to start when dealing with headaches because they are generally easy to prepare and administer, plus they are natural (which is always nice!).

My favorite method of dealing with headaches is to use an essential oil roller bottle. These make it easy to apply to the temples without any mess. Plus, essential oil roller bottles are portable. Keep on in your purse for when a headache strikes.

Another option is to diffuse essential oils. This fills the room with fragrance and makes inhalation easy.

What are the best essential oils for headache relief?

Below are some of the most effective essential oils for headache relief. They can be diluted and applied to the temples, scalp, or neck added to baths (the correct way) or diffused.

Melissa (Lemon Balm) Essential Oil

Melissa, also known as Lemon Balm, is one of the best essential oils for use with headaches.

It is rather expensive, which can make it out of reach for many, however, it is endorsed by the Commission E (a well-respected scientific advisory board in Germany) for use with headaches.

Melissa essential oil has a lemony herbaceous scent and besides relieving headaches often helps to uplift mood.

Lavender Essential Oil

Not as powerful as Melissa essential oil, lavender essential oil is still calming and may help reduce headaches in some people.

I think it's more effective when mixed with other oils, such as peppermint.

Lavender essential oil is great to keep on hand for many other homemade natural body care products, remedies, and green cleaners.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is probably the most reliable and cost-effective essential oil for headache relief.

I like to add it to a roller bottle and apply to the temples. One caveat: I do find that the strong scent sometimes causes a tingly sensation in my eyes. This can be irritating, but is often preferable to dealing with a headache! Proceed with caution and at your own risk.  find that this sometimes causing

This sensation can be reduced by applying the essential oil to the back of the neck. (But please do proceed with caution and at your own risk. Be sure essential oil is properly diluted and keep put of eyes.)

Where to buy peppermint essential oil. 

Marjoram Essential Oil

Herbaceous and spicy, sweet marjoram essential oil is thought to promote relaxation and sleep. It's also helpful in relieving headaches. Marjoram can be combined with other essential oils, such as lavender and peppermint in a roller bottle or diffuser.

It does have some sedative effects, so be cautious when using.

(The lavender bottle is one of the bonuses in the Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle)

DIY Peppermint-Lavender Headache Roller Bottle

Here's how to make a quick and inexpensive essential oil roller bottle for relieving headaches:

You will need:

Here's a quick video showing how easy this is:



Place lavender essential oil and peppermint essential oil to a glass roller bottle.

Pour oil into the bottle up to the shoulder (don't overfill as you need to leave room for the ball holder). Insert ball holder

Insert ball holder, then ball, and close with lid. Shake to blend.


how to use essential oils for headache relief

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  1. How do you add the Melissa and Marjoram oils to a roller for headache? I have something already with peppermint and lavender in it. Unfortunately, my migraines are so severe that the pain relief doesn’t last very long. (My migraines are also hemiplegic, which means they mimic strokes and they are also chronic.) I’d much rather use something natural for the pain! 🙂

    1. That sounds painful, Kelly!

      Thanks for the question. I should have included that information! I will update the post.

      Melissa essential oil needs to be diluted to about 0.9% – Technically, that means you would need to use less than 2 drops in 10mL of carrier oil (2 drops in 10mL would be a 1% dilution). So maybe start with one drop to a 10 mL roller bottle.

      You could add 2-3 drops of sweet marjoram. If you want to add in the peppermint and lavender as well, I would add about 1-2 drops peppermint and 3 drops lavender.

      Hope that helps.