The Real Reason Peppermint Oil Helps Ease Headaches

There’s a reason that essential oil blends usually tout various benefits, including soothing headaches. Different scents and formulations contain compounds that can ease certain ailments and provide a steady level of comfort. But, when it comes to peppermint oil, it certainly has a specific area of the body where its benefits are most noticeable.

Healthline reports that you can get a healthy amount of this oil in various forms such as a gel, in your tea, with and chewable items. Though more research is needed to fully confirm the reasons why peppermint oil can make such a difference in treating headaches, many assume that the compounds in it help regulate blood flow within the body — thus easing tension during times of high stress. Furthermore, peppermint also opens the sinuses, unblocking areas of tightness that can cause pain above the neck. In fact, Verywell Health cites a study finding that participants who were suffering from a migraine who received a topical application of peppermint oil reported reduced headache intensity after 15 minutes, while those in the placebo group did not. The same study didn’t find a difference between the effects of Tylenol and peppermint oil, either.

Essentially, peppermint oil aids in blood flow to various parts of the body while the scent widens the sinuses.

Use peppermint oil in the bath

Beyond just applying peppermint oil to your temples, inhaling the scent can also provide a relaxing antidote to tension anywhere in the body. According to Healthline, an easy way to use this oil is by adding it to your bath, especially when you’re suffering from a headache. The relaxation benefits plus the warmth from the water can help increase circulation and decrease any tightness. You can also add it to your oil diffuser and inhale as needed.

Of course, peppermint tea also boasts digestive and stress-busting benefits that can soothe even the most intense of headaches. Don’t ingest the essential oil, but find a tea with peppermint leaves to reap these benefits, the outlet suggests.

If you’re looking for a boost for your peppermint essential oil, lavender can always do the trick and add another layer of relaxation, Verywell Health explains. The outlet cites a study that found participants reporting a lower level of migraine pain after they had interacted with lavender oil by inhaling it to relax. Use a few drops of peppermint essential oil alongside lavender with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, to create a soothing environment on the inside and the outside. 

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