Using Essential Oils for Headaches and Migraines

Mar 24, 2021

I don’t know about you, but headaches and migraines have been a big part of my life. I’ve run the gambit on over-the-counter medications for them – Tylenol, Excedrin, Ibuprofen, and a generic muscle rub similar to Bengay just to get some relief! I even have a prescription strength medication. You name it, I’ve tried it.

Up until last year, I thought could take just about anything without a reaction. But then I became allergic to all kinds of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, anything that would normally help pain). I had to look elsewhere to help on those days when the world felt shimmery and too much.

Essential Oils for headaches and migraines

Turning to essential oils for relief is something I wish I’d done many years ago. A simple roller recipe made of a few pure scents? That’s all? Yes! A specific oil blend made for migraine ease? Yes! And I love that it’s natural, and good for my body.

In this post, I’m going to specifically talk about Young Living essential oils – because these have given me relief. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite oils for headaches and migraines!

  • Lavender – I love this oil. The “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils is a necessary for me for my headache and migraine relief. Not only is it useful for relaxation, it can be used to relieve pain, to reduce inflammation, and to open up blood vessels that are often a cause of headaches or migraines. I use this both aromatically in my diffuser and topically in my roller blend.
  • Lemon – I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with nausea and brain fog during my headaches and migraines. Lemon essential oil helps me combat both. Using lemon aromatically can help provide clarity and encourage energy (because who’s super energetic while their head’s pounding?). I also use lemon in my water to ease the nausea. The sour tang is a must for me.
  • M-GrainThis oil is a game changer for my migraines. M-Grain is a blend of oils containing Basil, Marjoram, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, and Helichrysum (If you just said that out loud, bless you). It’s useful for pain relief, reducing inflammation, and discouraging spasms. Myself and others have also noticed that M-Grain can also ease nausea caused from headaches and migraines. I use this undiluted topically. I put two drops on my palm before rubbing my hands together, cup over my nose and mouth while taking a few deep breaths. I then rub my palms over my temples, on the base of my skull, and along my upper spine. It can also be used on your foot Vita Flex points, shoulders, forehead, or other areas of pain caused by headaches or migraines. Basil, being a hot oil, causes a warm sensation that tingles with the other oils where it is applied. I would highly recommend trying this oil topically first by diluting it so you’ll know if your skin is sensitive to it.
  • PanAway – Let me sing you the praises of PanAway! This oil has come to my rescue often, and in more ways than my headaches and migraines. It is a blend of oils containing Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove, and Peppermint. It is useful to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, discourage spasms, ease discomfort from arthritis, sprains, cramps, and bruising. I use this topically in my roller blend for headaches. The mint oils in this blend create a nice tingling sensation while it works. Like M-Grain, I would recommend diluting this with a carrier oil to avoid skin sensitivity.
  • Peppermint – Peppermint is another big favorite of mine. I use it many ways, but it really shines during my headaches and migraines. It is useful to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, ease nausea, increase focus, and relieve sinus pressure. I use this topically in my roller blend for headaches, and aromatically in my diffuser. As mentioned with other oils, watch out for sensitivity with this oil! It can tingle or burn very uncomfortably if not used with a carrier oil to dilute it.
  • Spearmint – Ah, spearmint. I open this bottle just to sniff it sometimes. This specific smell is very grounding and calming. It is a gentler, more mild mint compared to Peppermint essential oil, but can be used for similar issues. It is useful to reduce inflammation and to ease nausea. I like to use this aromatically by itself or with lemon in my diffuser. It can also be used topically diluted with a carrier oil on location of discomfort, and/or Vita Flex points.


To wrap this up, I’ll leave you with my go to headache relief roller blend recipe!

In a 10mL glass roller bottle, combine the following oils:

  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops PanAway
  • 10 drops Peppermint

Fill the rest of the bottle with carrier oil of choice (i.e. coconut, olive, jojoba, almond, or grapeseed oil). I use it topically anywhere my head is bothering me! This recipe is one of the biggest selling points for how well pure essential oils work.

Other essential oil resources


What is your go-to essential oil for headache or migraine? If you’re curious about Young Living’s oils in particular, leave a comment below – I’m happy to help!




Jennifer S.

Hi, everyone! My name is Jenn. I live in Southwestern Minnesota with my sweet husband, special former preemie son, and a ball of fluff we call our cat. I'm a former nurse, now at-home-Mama trying my best to serve God in this life. My days are usually filled with giggles, pattering ankle braces, and therapy fun. When I'm not doing that, I'm getting my hands dirty with plants, making endless food for my boys, reading books, and making oily things for my home! I hope what I share here helps you to better know about Young Living Essential Oils and how to use them well!

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