Aromatherapy:
Healing with Essential Oils

Here's information about aromatherapy remedies for AN-related headaches, from someone who had severe headaches after translab surgery (2/97). No guarantee of results, but they've been very effective for her. You may also want to check out an overview of complementary therapies.


Basic Oil Recipe

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (sweet almond, avocado, olive‹food grade, the best you can afford)
10 drops of lavender essential oil (real essential oil; be careful what you buy)
5 drops peppermint essential oil (same caution)
200 IU's Vitamin E (prick a gel vitamin cap and squeeze the oil out)
small amber or cobalt glass bottle

In a small amber or cobalt glass bottle, add the essential oils and vegetable oil. Add the Vitamin E. Shake well to mix completely. Label with directions for use:

To use, warm a few drops of the concentrated oil in your palms and apply to the temples of the head just beyond the hairline. Typically, this area is sore to the touch if the headache is severe. Gently massage this area with a light pressure. Inhale the essences from cupped hands following the massage. Breathe slowly and concentrate on the breath.


Another excellent remedy for headaches is the cold footbath with essential oils. I know it sounds strange, but by soaking your feet in cold water you draw blood from the head, which brings immediate relief for headaches. Here is a recipe for an Aromatic Footbath for Headache Relief:

2 tablespoons Castile lotion soap (or other carrier; for a good pamper, try heavy whipping cream)
4 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops peppermint essential oil
A basin or tub
Cold water
A towel

Fill a tub or basin (large enough to hold both feet comfortably) half full with cold water. To the Castile lotion soap, or other carrier that you have chosen, add the essential oils and mix well. Add to the water and stir with your hands. Soak both feet in the cold aromatic water for 14 to 20 minutes. Sit comfortably while doing the footbath. Concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply. Relax.


Cool or warm aromatic compresses can be used for effective headache relief as well. If you have a frontal headache, a cool compress can be made with lavender essential oil. For headaches which involve the base of the neci and head area, a warm compress will aid blood flow and give relief.


These remedies are from my aromatherapy bible, 'Aromatherapy, a Lifetime Guide to Healing with Essential Oils,' by Valerie Gennari Cooksley (Prentice Hall), which I highly recommend.

Last Edited: Wednesday, October 30, 2002