Aromatherapy for Headache Relief
Aug 01, 2011 08:34AM
● By Debra Novak
Plant oils have a long history of contributing to our psychological and physical well-being. For millennia, ancient Egyptians extracted the oils from plants and used them to make ointments that were used in spiritual practices, cosmetics and medicines. Used today by aromatherapists and massage therapists, therapeutic-grade essential oils are recognized as holistic healing agents that act on the physical cellular level, as well as on emotional, mental, spiritual and energetic planes.
For more than a decade, Lorraine Frongillo-Downer, owner of Divine Chalice Botanicals, Inc., on Pine Island, has been a licensed massage therapist and professional holistic aromatherapist, preparing custom blends of therapeutic-grade essential oils, as well as a line of natural aromatherapy facial and body products. A professional member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA), she is a certified and nationally registered aromatherapist with the Aromatherapy Registration Council.
Frongillo-Downer offers Natural Awakenings readers her two favorite essential oil blends for headache relief. “Because 100 percent pure essential oils are highly concentrated, they can irritate the skin, and therefore should never be applied directly to the skin ‘neat’ (undiluted). Therapeutic-grade oils should first be blended with an ounce of carrier oil, such as jojoba, or other natural oils, such as grapeseed or canola,” she says.
Headache Remedy No. 1
1 oz jojoba oil
4 drops helichrysum
8 drops angelica
10 drops lemongrass
Helichrysum has been studied in Europe for the regeneration of nerves, improving skin conditions and reducing inflammation, while speeding healing. Angelica is a circulatory stimulant, useful for poor circulation. It has a long history of use in supporting respiratory conditions such as colds, coughs and sinus problems. Lemongrass has been used to support digestion, purification and regeneration of tissues. It has powerful antifungal effects when topically applied.
Do not use this blend if you are taking any type of anticoagulant medications, if you have diabetes or are pregnant, as these oils would be contraindicated for your use.
Headache Remedy No. 2
1 oz jojoba oil
18 drops lavender
6 drops coriander
Lavender is the number-one stress reducer in aromatherapy. In addition to its calming effects, it is a highly regarded wound healer, with antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Coriander is useful for stomach conditions and lack of appetite. However, due to the estrogen-like properties of coriander, do not include it in this blend if you have breast cancer; instead, simply omit the coriander and use only lavender.
As headache remedies, essential oils can be applied to the temples, chest, neck and shoulders for direct inhalation, or a diffuser can be used. The oils can remain in the body for up to 24 hours before being eliminated through the lungs and kidneys. As natural substances, they leave no toxic buildup.