Migraines and headaches are terrible to live with and often we look for natural treatments that can be used in place of medication. There are so many uses for peppermint oil including peppermint oil for migraines!
Peppermint Oil for Migraines
Peppermint oil, an essential oil extracted from the stem, leaves and flowers of Mentha piperita plant is one of the most commonly used essential oils to manage and treat migraine attacks and severe headaches as part of the many aromatherapy uses that are associated with this essential oil.
It helps to use peppermint oil for migraines because it contains menthol, a phytochemical compound which can help relieve muscles and ease pain. It can be found in a variety of forms which include as an essential oil which is the concentrated form, as an extract which is mostly used in flavors or as capsules as seen in some dietary supplements. It has a characteristic sharp odor that it’s not only cool but very refreshing with a similar taste.
How to Use Peppermint Oil for Migraines
There are a number of different ways that you can apply or use peppermint oil to relieve migraine and headaches. These include:
- Applying oil to the temples or forehead: Essential oils need to be diluted with carrier oil, such as coconut oil, before they can be applied to the skin. Once diluted, the oil can be massaged into the temples and across the forehead.
- Inhaling oil: Essential oils can be inhaled by adding a few drops to a tissue, holding the tissue under the nose and breathing deeply. Steam inhalation can help with sinus headaches, especially if you also have some symptoms of congestion. One can also use a diffuser to help diffuse into air and inhale.
- Using a compress: Create a compress by soaking a towel in cold water with a few drops of essential oil. The compress can be applied to the forehead or neck.
- Adding oil to the bath: Adding a few drops of essential oil to a hot bath can increase relaxation benefits decreasing headache intensity
Can I Apply Peppermint Oil Directly to Skin?
It’s also important to understand that peppermint essential oil is very concentrated and should always be diluted properly before any topical use. Concentrated peppermint oil when applied to the skin may cause irritation or a rash to occur while diluted oil can have significant benefits with little risk. It is also important to note essential oils are not meant to be taken orally. Only a few drops of the concentrated oil are needed for diluting in an ounce of carrier oil.
How Can I Dilute Peppermint Oil?
Due to the toxic nature of concentrated peppermint essential oil that may cause some serious adverse effects to the skin including causing severe irritation, it is necessary for it to be diluted properly before topical application.
Besides that, intense concentration makes it unstable and easy to evaporate. To combat this, one need to combine it with carrier oil in the right proportions. Carrier oils include oils made from nuts, kernels or seeds and can be used as a safe vehicle for this intense peppermint oil. Almond, coconut and jojoba are ideal. By diluting with carrier oil, the resulting blend will spread easier on pressure points and other target areas of the skin where you want to get the benefits. You can also cover a larger surface area more efficiently.
Many studies have shown peppermint essential oils to have numerous medicinal benefits when used correctly, and can help to relieve headaches and migraine attacks. A few drops go a long way.