People suffering from migraines could benefit a lot from lavender, a study published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine suggests. The study, a multi-university effort from Iranian researchers, looked at the effects of lavender essential oil when used in migraine prophylactics.
In the three-month study, the researchers enrolled migraine sufferers in a randomized controlled clinical trial. The participants were asked at the beginning of the trial to answer the Migraine Disability Assessment Score (MIDAS) questionnaire. The MIDAS questionnaire is a test designed to evaluate the impact of a person’s migraine in their daily life. While this does not diagnose migraines or rule out other conditions, it is a useful tool for researchers and healthcare professionals alike to objectively assess any adverse effects that migraines have on a person’s quality of life, as well as determine if a treatment is effective or not.
After the trial, those who received lavender therapy had improved MIDAS scores, which indicate a positive correlation between lavender and improvement of migraine symptoms. In addition, the MIDAS scores of those who were treated with lavender were better than those in the control group.
“The results of this present study report that the frequency and severity of migraine incidents were reduced in those participants using lavender therapy during the three-month trial,” the researchers concluded their report.
A disabling and prevalent condition
Having a migraine isn’t just debilitating, it’s also common. According to the World Health Organization, at least 12 percent of the global population suffers from migraines. It is also a leading cause of disability: Migraines rank among the 10 leading causes of lost years because of disability.
In some cases, people suffer from chronic migraine, a condition marked by a person having headaches for at least 15 days per month. The American Migraine Foundation reports that at least 2.5 percent of those suffering from episodic migraine is at risk of it developing into chronic migraine. Fortunately, many of the risk factors associated with chronic migraine are potentially treatable. These include obesity, anxiety, increased caffeine intake, acute overuse of medications, stressful life events, and even snoring.
For people looking for relief from migraine, making a visit to the hospital might not be a good idea. Natural News has covered the dangers of heading to the emergency rooms for migraine treatment, as doctors often prescribe hydromorphone, an opioid which has “no randomized, high-quality studies on its use for acute migraine,” for over a quarter of all migraine-related visits.
Other essential oils for migraine relief
While the Iranian study focused on the benefits of lavender essential oil in treating migraines, other essential oils offer similar benefits. What’s better is that these oils offer relief without any adverse effects that are usually seen in prescription drugs. Here are just some essential oils that are known to improve symptoms of migraine. (h/t to Healthline.com)
- Peppermint oil: It’s a remedy known the world over. Peppermint oil is one of the most widely used essential oils for migraine relief, mainly because it contains menthol which helps in easing pain and relaxing muscles. When used with a carrier oil and applied to the temples, it can relieve pain caused by migraines and tension headaches.
- Rosemary oil: Aside from its anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary oil also has analgesic effects, making it a well-known ingredient in folk medicine for pain relief, stress reduction, and improved circulation.
- Eucalyptus: People who are downed by both migraine and sinus problems benefit from using eucalyptus essential oil the most, as it opens up the nasal passages, clears the sinuses, and relieves headaches.
Most essential oils are safe for use, but it’s important to note that essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin. Otherwise, this can result in irritation, as well as stinging, redness, and skin rash.
EssentialOils.news has the lowdown on which oils you should use for headache and migraine relief.