An Essential Cure for Migraine Headaches in the Winters

An Essential Cure for Migraine Headaches in the Winters

 In many Indian cities, the cold is a desired outcome.

Given the year-round tropical heat, denizens look forward to pleasant wintry temperatures… and to those fancier, woolier coats that have been lying untouched in their wardrobes.

But there is a worrying complication that arises, especially in the larger metros. 


There are three main reasons migraine headaches are common during the winter season:

  • Blood Pressure Flux: In the higher atmospheric pressures of cold winter air, short durations of sunshine can lead to barometric swings. This causes blood pressure fluctuations in the body, leading to migraines. You might have noticed a similar effect when travelling up and down mountains. When you yawn, your ears pop, and your blood usually reaches a painless equilibrium, but in rare cases, the blood pressure changes in your head can cause migraines.
  • Grounded Air Pollution: Industrial and automotive emissions remain constant throughout the year, regardless of season. But there is a seasonal difference in how the vertical cross-section of air over a city acts. Normally, warm rising air near the ground takes pollutants away, but in the winter, the warm layer of air keeps cold air at the surface by acting as a lid. As a result, there is a thermal inversion, which happens when warm air from above traps cold air and pollutants near the ground. 
  • Excess Air Pollution Sources: During the winter months, there are more instances of biomass and wood burning in the industrial, slum, and outer rural zones. Thus, particles and carbon monoxide pollutants build up in the city’s atmosphere. Many car owners idle their vehicles on the road, at stops and shops, to keep the conduits and interiors warm—flooding the city with more pollutants. 

Studies of air pollution and headache incidence from several regions of the world indicates a significant association between the two events. 

Headaches have also been linked to several classical and non-classical air pollutants, including particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds. 

In a Polluted World, What Counts as Refuge? 

Short of buying an expensive air purifier, trimming down your daily commute, and avoiding your outdoor walking errands, there is little to do to avoid inhaling air pollutants. 

The cure has to be corrective. 

Paracetemol is a common option, but for wellness enthusiasts, there can be a more “natural” option to the problem: aromatherapy and effluerage through essential oils. 

To put it simply, the aroma of essential oil soothes the mind and reduces headache tension. We have compiled a list of five essential oils, which are, according to several research studies, shown to improve conditions around migraine headaches.


1.Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus essential oil)

The eucalyptus tree was originally from Australia, and then was introduced by British traders to India, the Americas, and Africa. Shipped from Down Under in the 18th century, the strong-smelling tree is found in the southern region of India, from the slopes of Nilgiris to the Andhran coast. 

The eucalyptus essential oil, when combined with peppermint essential oil, was seen to have analgesic effects on patients with migraine headaches.

Another winter-related spike occurs for rhinosinusitis, especially in children. In a survey containing 350 participants with rhinosinusitis, 310 subjects were administered a cineole (eucalyptol) preparation, and 40 subjects were given a nasal decongestant. The eucalyptol was considered a workable rhinosinusitis treatment, as it improved the quality of life (QoL) of the majority of the concerned patients.

Thus, eucalyptus essential oil works for not only migraines, but related diseases of the ear-nose-throat area.  


2. Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile essential oil)

Known as the “earth apple” through most of European history, the chamomile plant is a motif of folk-medicinal value. Its dried flower extracts are most famously used in infusions for hot beverages and tea. For the purposes of extracting chamomile essential oil, the flower head is also the major payload of chemicals and nutrients for the consumer.   

The chamomile essential oil contains chamazulene and apigenin, which are phytochemicals that prevent nitric oxide release—thus, reducing pain. Chamomile’s polyphenols have a strong anti-inflammatory effect at the spots of migraine pain. The flavonoids in the flower also stop endogenous prostaglandin, which contributes to overall discomfort.

Chamomile essential oil has a fresh-headed effect on people with migraine headaches. And, in the winter, this will come in handy for the busiest people, who cannot afford to spend too much time looking for doctor’s appointments on the weekends. 


3. Mentha piperita (Peppermint essential oil)

Peppermint is a far-reaching, globe-hopping mint hybrid. It spreads not with seeds, but with an underground rhizomatic network, through runners. Its most useful ingredients are extracted from leaf and flower and blended into essential oil.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized cross-over design, 32 individuals were assessed based on the effects of peppermint essential oil, test-prepared with eucalyptus essential oil. These oil preparations were observed to have analgesic effects on patients with migraine headaches. 

Another double-blind and placebo-controlled trial was taken to test peppermint essential oil’s topical effects. 211 study participants with episodic headaches were tested, which resulted in it being considered as a useful treatment.

In short, peppermint essential oil is a safe bet for people with migraines and other types of headaches! 


4. Ocimum basilicum (Basil essential oil)

Basil is a globally relevant herb, used in the flavouring of several cuisines. But it is also used to extract essential oils, due to the presence of strong phytochemicals like methyl chavicol, eugenol, linalool, and cineole—the latter being found in eucalyptus! 

Thus, basil essential oil has several migraine-killing attributes, too. 

Studies and surveys have shown as much. In one such instance, 144 migraine patients underwent a triple-blind clinical trial study, and higher doses of basil essential oil were shown to diminish both the intensity and frequency of migraine attacks.


5. Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender essential oil)

The Lavender genus is one of the most useful genuses in the world. A herb with purplish flowers, itt can be used for culinary, ornamental, and medicinal purposes.  

For the bad moments during cold waves, it once again comes to the rescue. 

In a placebo-controlled clinical trial, the efficacy of the inhalation of lavender essential oil was tested. From 129 headache attacks in cases, 92 responded entirely or partially to lavender. The result suggested lavender essential oil as a safe treatment for migraine headaches.

How to Use Essential Oils for Migraines

Essential oils are concentrated, powerful substances.

They should be used in moderation in order to conserve and prolong your stock.

There are broadly four ways you can use these five essential oils:

  • Dilute in hot water and/or a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Then, add to steam inhalation device and inhale.
  • Add to a carrier oil. Apply mixture on your forehead, your nape, both temples, and carry out effleurage i.e. gently massage in circular motions. 
  • Apply a drop on both wrists, just above the pulse points. Inhale. Avoid the eyes.  
  • Roll onto your forehead, nape, and temples using an essential oil roll-on device like the kind you find on Oilori’s online shop

The latter method is a more agreeable option, given it does not require an extensive preparation. Laymen do not have to clutter their minds with details and steps. 

Oilori also makes the process easier and richer by blending its “migraine roll-on” with the above five ingredients, as well as rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus officinalis). This combines the six best migraine-killing essential oil ingredients according to scientific research! 

Migraines in the cold season, then, will only look like a short-lived discomfort! 


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