Headaches are often a sign of a deeper problem (like magnesium deficiency). Sometimes headaches have a practical cause, such as Five Child Syndrome playing in a marching band in the house. Either way, a natural headache relief stick can help.
I hardly ever have a headache since changing my diet and increasing my magnesium levels. Every now and then there is inevitable stress or noise and I can feel a headache coming on. I keep this headache relief stick handy for times like these.
This blend is made with a combination of refreshing essential oils that help relieve stress, tension and nerve pain. It’s also great for motion sickness or nausea (sailboat-induced in my case – not morning sickness!)
Why magnesium oil?
It is important to dilute essential oils so that they do not cause irritation. Instead of a carrier oil here, we use magnesium oil as a carrier.
There is a large body of evidence for the role of magnesium in the body, including headaches. Magnesium can help stop a headache before it starts, or provide soothing relief when it does. I do mine magnesium oil with this recipe because it is cheaper, but you can also get prefabricated magnesium oil.
Technically, magnesium oil is not an oil at all, but a highly saturated mineral solution. Minerals help suspend essential oils and dilute much like salt. If you prefer a carrier oil or that’s what you have on hand and need some quick relief, then this is also an option. Fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed, or olive oil will all work.
What are the causes of headaches (for real)?
Headaches are caused by a wide variety of problems, but there is always a root cause. Our best bet is to nourish our bodies, practice healthy movements, and resolve any underlying health issues.
According to the Mayo Clinic, headaches are caused by chemical activity in the brain, nerves, blood vessels, or muscles in the head and neck that work. Common causes of headaches include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Allergies and congestion
- Neuralgia (nerve pain)
- Unhealthy alcohol, especially red wine (see Dry farm wines for their healthy wine choices)
- Foods containing nitrates or msg
- Not enough sleep
- Not enough food / water
- Dental problems
How this headache relief blend works
I chose this blend of essential oils and magnesium because it tackles a broad spectrum of headaches. So whether you’re nauseous, stressed out, or the kids are rowdy, this mixture will likely help with the resulting headache.
We are talking about Lavandula angustifolia here, no peak lavender. This essential oil helps relieve several causes of headaches, including:
- The allergies
- Stress and anxious feelings
- Tight muscles
- fear of heights
Frankincense is the next oil in our blend. There are several different varieties but boswellia carterii is one of the most popular chemotypes and is good for relieving stress. Boswellia serrata was shown to reduce the intensity and frequency of cluster headaches in a 2012 study. Both types of incense help relieve headaches induced by tension, stress, and inflammation.
Chamomile essential oil is also popular for managing stress and tension. We can use Roman or German chamomile in this mixture, but the two work a little differently. Most prefer the smell of Roman chamomile and it’s also best for reducing stress. German chamomile is better at calming inflammation.
Both types of chamomile help:
- The allergies
- Neuralgia (nerve pain)
Mint (and safety)
Peppermint contains refreshing menthol which helps relieve tense, sore muscles and headaches. It’s also invigorating and gives a little edge (it’s not coffee) when the feet drag. However, peppermint has some more safety considerations than the other oils in this blend.
Peppermint essential oil should not be applied near the face of very young children as it can cause breathing problems. Moms who are breastfeeding or carrying a baby would not want to apply this while holding baby close. Fortunately, there is a workaround here.
Spearmint contains much less menthol and is also good for stress and headaches. While peppermint and spearmint work the same, spearmint is less intense and doesn’t have the same child-safe precautions. While I don’t recommend putting this on a baby, using spearmint means it’s safe for your baby to be next to you and smell the mixture.
Spearmint is also safe for children over two years old to use topically. As a general rule, all essential oils used on children should be diluted more than for adults. The recipe below is intended for adults, but with a few modifications it can be used on older children.
Is it safe during pregnancy?
According to certified aromatherapists, this mixture is safe to use during pregnancy. Because it is diluted in the proper amount and used in a small area, it is safe for expectant moms.
Where to get supplies
Most of these ingredients are in my first aid kit, but a pre-mixed roller bottle makes them easier to apply and keep in my purse.
You can make it into a spray or a lotion, but I prefer something that hasn’t fallen on my hands. Let me tell you, accidentally having essential oils in your eyes is no fun!
Natural Headache Relief Stick
This natural headache relief stick contains magnesium and essential oils to help get rid of headaches quickly and naturally.
Remove the stopper from the roller bottle (this includes all the plastic part with the ball). I slide a butter knife between the plastic rim and the glass to sauté it.
Pour the essential oils into the roller bottle.
Add just enough magnesium oil to reach the top.
Replace the roller stopper and close the cap.
For nausea and motion sickness, apply to wrists.
If you have chronic headaches or even migraines, I highly recommend that you try herbal remedies. like feverfew.
Shelf life and storage
Because magnesium is a mineral, magnesium oil can last for years. Essential oils have a variable shelf life, but according to aromatherapists from Plant therapy the oils in this mixture will last about 2-3 years. The mixture should be stored away from direct light, heat or freezing temperatures for optimum shelf life.
What have you found helpful in relieving headaches? Leave us a comment and let us know!
- Lampl, C., Haider, B. and Schweiger, C. (2012). Long term effectiveness of Boswellia serrata in four patients with chronic cluster headache. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headaches, 32 (9), 719–722.
- Lawless, J. (2014). The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (2nd ed). Harper Thorsons.
- Mayo Clinic. (2020, June 3). Headache.
- Smith, K. (2021, March 20). Personal interview.
- Yablon, LA and Mauskop, A. (2011). Magnesium in headaches. In R. Vink (Eds.) Et. Al., Magnesium in the central nervous system. University of Adelaide Press.