Herbal Remedies, Part 2
Yesterday we learned about some herbal remedies that are taken as supplements to prevent migraines and reduce migraine pain. If you or your doctor have any concerns about ingesting these herbs, there are some alternatives that can be used topically.
Essential oils are natural oils distilled from plants. They carry the fragrance of the plant as well as oil-soluble compounds from the plant itself. Essential oils are an herbal remedy in concentrated liquid form.
Essential oils should never be taken internally. Remember, these are very concentrated substances. They are meant for external use only. Pregnant women and children should not use essential oils.
Essential oils work to relieve migraine pain by reducing inflammation and stimulating blood flow. They also have calming effects that can reduce the tension associated with migraines.
A variety of essential oils are effective for soothing migraine pain:
Lavender oil reduces tension and has been used as a mood stabilizer and sedative. It is especially beneficial if you tend to get migraines when you are stressed and overworked.
Peppermint oil has a cooling effect and stimulates blood flow. It inhibits muscle contractions and causes your muscles to relax.
Eucalyptus oil is an expectorant, opening the nasal airways and clearing any chest congestion. It has anti-inflammatory effects and reduces sinus pressure along with migraine pain.
Basil oil is a muscle relaxant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has the added benefit of reducing nausea in addition to soothing migraine pain.
Rosemary oil has analgesic properties, reducing the pain associated with migraines. It has a calming effect and can soothe an upset stomach.
There are two ways to use essential oils for migraine treatment. The most common method is to simply apply a few drops of the oil to your skin, massaging it into your temples, forehead, and neck. Be extra careful not to get the oil directly in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Essential oils are very concentrated and can cause skin irritation if applied too liberally.
The best way to use essential oils is to add a few drops to 2-4 cups of boiling water and inhale the vapors. The steam activates the beneficial parts of the oil and reduces the risk of skin irritation or overdose.
All of these essential oils can provide relief from the pain and nausea associated with migraines. They help you relax and increase your blood flow.
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