How Bad Is It?
According to Canadian statistics, fifty-nine percent of the adult population in Canada suffering from some form of headache. Thirty percent suffer from tension-type headaches, and seventeen percent suffer from some form of migraine. Up to three quarters of migraine headaches are sufficiently severe to limit regular activities. Most migraineurs have attacks that last 12 to 24 hours. We often attempt to control these agonizing times with a visit to the doctor for some fast, easy, inexpensive pharmaceuticals. You may be prescribed any of the following:
- an anticonvulsant, such as divaloproex sodium (sodium valproate), topiramate or gabapentin
- an antidepressant such as amitriptyline
- an antihistimine, such as cyproheptadine
- a beta-blocker, such as propranolol, metoprolol, timolol, nadolol
- an anti-inflammatory drug, such as pizotefen
Although these solutions are quite effective, the regulations of chemicals that are allowed into the common pharmaceuticals prescribed to us are not nearly as safe as we assume them to be. The result of any drug in your body is uncertain. Drugs can act on many places in the body, not necessarily only the parts we would like them to. This is why every pharmaceutical you are prescribed or purchase “over-the-counter” has a long list of side effects in addition to the planned benefits.
Here is a few common pharmaceutical pain-killer side effects:
Tylenol (acetaminophen): Can cause liver damage and liver failure with large or chronic dosages. Estimated 80,000 acetaminophen overdose ER visits annually.
Ibuprofen: Can cause rash, ringing in the ears, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, abdominal pain, nausea. May cause ulceration of the stomach or intestine and bleeding ulcers.
Imitrex: Can cause anxiety, chest pain or tightness, trouble breathing, abdominal or stomach pain, sometimes vomiting blood and blindness.
Lavender essential oil are generally regarded as safe by the FDA. Just make sure they are essential oils and not merely fragrances as the fragrances will not be of any help to you, in fact they will likely make your problem worse.
Lavender Essential Oil Study
In 2012, the Department of Neurology at Mashad University in Iran performed a placebo-controlled clinical trial confirmed that the use of lavender essential oil is effective in relieving migraines and headaches.
In the trial, 47 individuals diagnosed with migraines were assigned to one of two groups. One group was instructed to apply lavender essential oil to their upper lip and inhale the vapor for a 15 minute period and record the severity of their migraines. The control group was instructed to do the same, however unknowingly rubbed drops of liquid wax onto their upper lip.
After two hours, the lavender group not only reported a 74% improvement but they also reported significantly fewer migraines than the placebo group. In simpler terms, lavender essential oil was effective in relieving migraine headaches 3/4 times.
The best general-purpose essential oils to have on hand for headaches are Peppermint and Rosemary, followed by Lavender, Clove, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Marjoram, and Patchouli. Our Headache & Sinus Relief Balm contains THREE of these relaxing essential oils!
Migraine’s are most often produced by stress, lack of sleep, and/or dehydration, and can be combined with nausea and sensitivity to light. To treat migraine headaches, use any combination of Peppermint and Lavender, followed by Ylang Ylang if desired (exercise caution, excess use of Ylang Ylang can make your headache even worse!)
The most common type, tension headaches are caused by stress and feel like a dull pain on both sides of the head. Peppermint works best.