Do you suffer with headaches/migraines, hormonal period pains or general aches and pains? What we should be doing is finding the cause but in the meantime there is often the need to manage the symptom.

So what do you do if you don’t particularly want to rely of drugs and medication?

In a meta analysis of 12 studies examining the use of aromatherapy for pain management; the results indicated that aromatherapy should be considered a safe addition to current pain management procedures as no adverse effects were reported in any of the included studies. Additionally, the cost associated with aromatherapy is far less than the cost associated with standard pain management treatment. (PMID: 28070420)

Aromatherapy refers to the medicinal or therapeutic use of essential oils absorbed through the skin or olfactory (smell) system.

A study found that the local topical treatment with peppermint oil (oleum menthae piperitae) has proven to be significantly more effective than placebo in controlled studies. Peppermint oil targets headache pathophysiology in multiple ways comparable to paracetamol.

The topical (applied direct to the skin) application of peppermint oil is generally safe, although it is necessary to dilute with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba oil.

A different study looked at inhalation of lavender essential oil. The study suggests this may be an effective and safe treatment in management of migraine headaches. (PMID: 22517298)

The thing to remember here is that not all brands of essential oils are the same. You must look for pure oils, preferably organic (this is not always possible) and ethically produced so the plant is not being depleted from its environment, the method of extraction is monitored as too is the use of cheap labour!

My go to for essential oils is Neal’s Yard. Why? Because I believe in their products!