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Outside of a cancer diagnosis, there are probably few things worse than suffering through the pain of a migraine headache. Migraine headaches are estimated to be the third most prevalent “disease” on earth. This article will share an excellent recipe for quick migraine headache relief using just three essential oils and some other common household items.
Migraine Headache Statistics
Migraine headaches are incredibly debilitating. It is estimated that millions of man-hours are lost every year by workers suffering from migraine headaches. In the USA alone, 37 million people suffer from migraine headaches. More women than men are afflicted with migraines, and they are generally aged between 35-55. Migraines can and do appear in much younger people, some in their teens. Research shows that 91% of migraine sufferers have to miss work and are unable to function normally during an attack. That’s a lot of suffering!
Migraine Headache Symptoms
For some people, preceding the intense pain of a migraine, visual disturbances can be experienced. One might notice the appearance of an aura or little cross-hatches or jagged lines in the visual field which alert that a migraine is on the way. Once the migraine takes hold, in addition to the pain there might be acute sensitivity to bright lights or loud sounds. There may also be throbbing pain in the head, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, and a whole host of other unpleasant symptoms.
Most would do almost anything to avert or stop a migraine in its tracks, if only they knew what to do! Essential oils can offer surprisingly quick relief to the migraine sufferer. Here is the recipe…
Recipe for Essential Oil Migraine Headache Relief
- 1 medium sized bowl partly filled with cold (i.e. refrigerated) water
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 2 drops marjoram essential oil
- 2 drops ginger essential oil
- 1 drop peppermint essential oil
- 1 small washcloth
The cloth can also be applied to the sides of the neck where the carotid arteries lie. When the cloth warms up, dip it into the icy, oily mixture again and keep reapplying until the headache abates. It’s actually quite stunning how quickly it works − usually inside of 10 minutes!
How this Recipe Stops Headaches
Marjoram (Origanum majorana) essential oil is a well-known natural analgesic − it helps to relieve the pain of a headache. It is also an anti-spasmodic so it helps to relieve the tight, sore muscles that generally accompany a migraine headache.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil helps to relieve the nausea associated with a migraine. Ginger has been studied extensively for its effect on the gastrointestinal tract. It has been proven to be extremely effective for relieving nausea and vomiting. Ginger also has pain relieving properties.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil helps with pain relief. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. Peppermint quickly helps to ease the pain and nausea associated with migraine headaches.
The application of ice seems to work in three different ways. Firstly, ice helps to constrict (tighten) the blood vessels of the neck and head, a process called vasoconstriction. The resulting decreased blood flow helps to ease the pain of a migraine.
Secondly, ice inhibits a person’s ability to feel pain, which is known as analgesia. It is thought that ice slows the message of pain along the nerves.
Thirdly, it is believed that ice has an effect on the endocrine (hormonal) system, that it could be decreasing the activity of enzymes and slowing metabolic activity.
Please be aware that there are usually many factors coming into play that are causing migraine headaches in the first place. It is recommended that you seek the advice of your medical practitioner, or naturopath, to discover why you are having migraine headaches.
You might also try the services of a trained massage therapist because often trigger points can develop in the neck muscles that create neck and head pain. A massage therapist can help get rid of trigger points and ease tension in neck and shoulder muscles, thus helping to alleviate frequent headaches.
Another helpful natural remedy for migraines is to consult a chiropractor or osteopath. Spinal misalignments can also lead to migraine headaches. Chiropractors or osteopaths are able to correct these misalignments. A combination of regular chiropractic and massage visits plus using the above essential oil recipe can be very powerful help for migraine sufferers.
Essential Oil Quality Matters
Be sure to purchase only high quality, medicinal grade essential oils from suppliers who use organic growing procedures and proper distillation methods. Quality varies widely in essential oils, so it’s important that your supplier knows what they are doing when growing and distilling. Ask lots of questions and only buy from a trusted source.
Author’s note: My husband had been a migraine sufferer for years. It was heart-wrenching to watch him suffer the agony of these headaches − some so intense that he was in tears. Once I began using this recipe with him, however, we were quickly able to stop a migraine. It usually only takes seven to ten minutes. The word “gratitude” does not adequately convey the depth of my respect (and relief!) for the incredible healing ability of essential oils.