Most physicians agree that aromatherapy makes an excellent complementary therapy for migraineurs. Aromatherapy has not been shown to eliminate migraine headaches, but when used to complement traditional therapy and medication it can reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
Aromatherapy is a natural healing methodology that uses plant-derived essential oils to achieve a desired therapeutic affect. It is not known precisely how aromatherapy works, whether it is the scent or a chemical action of the essential oil itself that provides relief. Because of this unknown factor some doctors worry about potential essential oil interactions with standard drugs used in treating migraines.
When trying aromatherapy to relieve migraines, keep in mind a few safety precautions.
- *Always talk to a doctor before trying anything new.
- Speak to an experienced aromatherapist, if possible.
- When combining aromatherapy with other medications, watch for adverse reactions and report them to a doctor immediately.
- Buy real plant-derived essential oils designed for aromatherapy. Good ones will be sold in dark containers and stored away from direct sunlight.
- Use a carrier oil or aromatherapy diffuser. Essential oils can be powerful irritants and should not be applied directly to the skin.
Essential oils can be used in a number of ways. They can be used in an aromatherapy diffuser and inhaled two or three times daily. Oils can added to a large bowl of hot water and the aroma inhaled with eyes closed. While essential oils can also be added to carrier bath, face, or massage oils and applied to the body or bath, this should only be done after consulting with a knowledgeable aromatherapist to make sure the oils used are safe for this purpose.
Some of the essential oils commonly recommended for migraine aromatherapy are lavender, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, sandalwood, clary sage, ginger, ylang-ylang, basil, marjoram, and chamomile.