A couple of days ago my husband had a splitting headache combined with a 24-hour flu. He was pretty miserable and tylenol just wasn't doing the trick. I was desperately searching for some kind of way to give him some relief, and came across a suggestion to use peppermint essential oil. Relieved, I remembered that I had a small bottle of Japanese peppermint in my medicine cabinet, and ran to get it. Within 30 minutes, his headache had eased quite a bit and he was able to sleep. There's something inside me that is always somewhat skeptical of essential oils. Yes, I know they've been proven to be beneficial and useful - but you never hear doctors prescribing essential oils to cure anything, so it always feel a little odd to use them as such. Yet every time I have used them, they've really worked. I think it's natural in a Westernized world full of over-the-counter or prescription medication for everything to rely on that. Yet mother nature has given us many natural, safer ways to treat some of our ailments. I'm not saying all prescription drugs are bad, or that doctors don't know what they're doing. They're a highly intelligent, caring group of people - but it's good to keep some natural remedies in mind when a problem hits you so you can avoid some of the side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
How does Peppermint Essential Oil Heal a Headache?
Each drop of peppermint essential oil contains nearly 40 million trillion tiny healing molecules. When you apply the oil to your skin, your skin absorbs these molecules just as it would the chemicals in pharmaceutical applications or drugs. Some of these molecules, including mentha piperita, help to relax the local blood vessels, causing a sensation of tingling followed by pain relief.
Does it Really Work?
Aside from my own personal experience, during a case study over 95% of users who applied peppermint essential oil to their head said they felt an effect in only two minutes, and that they experienced full pain relief in 30 minutes. Nine out of 10 said it was much more convenient than taking pills.
How Do I Use Peppermint Essential Oil for My Headache?
It's best not to apply essential oils neat (without anything to dilute them). For this reason, I mixed a drop or two of peppermint essential oil into a massage oil I had nearby. You could dilute it with body lotion, any carrier oil, or even just water! After mixing the essential oil with the carrier oil I rubbed it across the top of my husband's forehead right next to the hairline. I also massaged some around the temples, the back of the neck and back of the head (his hair was greasy afterwards!). You don't have to go as extreme as I did, you can just apply some to the top of the forehead and the temples, but he was experiencing pretty bad pain and I was desperate! The refreshing smell of the peppermint essential oil helped him to feel more relaxed and refreshed, and within minutes he was saying he was feeling better. I hope you can experience the same relief with peppermint essential oil!
A word of caution: Peppermint essential oil is highly concentrated and not recommended for infants or small children.