3 Easy Oils for Hormonal Headaches

3 Easy Oils for Hormonal Headaches

Headaches and migraines linked to hormonal changes affect many women due to fluctuations in oestrogen levels. Unfortunately over the years I've counted myself among their number, particularly during my teenage years as my hormones began to shift dramatically and again during my early 40's when the shifting hormones associated with perimenopause began to hit.

However, these hormonal shifts can occur for some women every month due to menstruation and can also become difficult during pregnancy too. 

Oestrogen, a key hormone in the female reproductive system, plays a vital role in regulating the pain sensation. When its levels drop, as seen before the onset of menstruation or during the menopausal transition, it can trigger migraines or exacerbate headache disorders. Understanding the connection between hormonal changes and these phases of the reproductive journey is crucial for developing effective management and treatment strategies, which may include lifestyle adjustments, and can also include the use of essential oils to help manage the change.

Three oils that I have found really helpful, particularly for perimenopause are:

Peppermint (mentha piperita) 

Extracted from the leaves, this well known herb is one of the favourites among aromatherapists for it's ability to help soothe, cool, and calm headaches thanks to its primary active component, menthol. Menthol is known for its cooling properties, which can help to relax muscles and ease pain, making it a natural remedy for tension headaches and migraines. When applied topically to the nape of the neck, peppermint oil induces a soothing and cooling effect on the skin, which, in turn, can help to alleviate headache symptoms. Inhaling the fresh and exapansive smell of peppermint essential oil can also provide benefits and and contribute to headache relief. 

Clary Sage (salvia sclarea)

Extracted from the leaves and flowers of the Salvia Sclarea plant this essential oil is rich in soothing and calming properties and for women, clary sage oil is often recommended for its ability to balance hormones and provide relief from menstrual discomfort and menopausal symptoms. Its calming effect on the mind also makes it an effective natural remedy for headaches. By reducing stress and promoting relaxation, clary sage essential oil can alleviate the tension that often leads to headaches. The oil can either be diffused or applied topically with a carrier oil.  For regulation of headaches it is particularly nice when added to a cold compress and placed at the nape of the neck.  THIS OIL SHOULD BE NOT BE USED BY PREGNANT WOMEN

SPANISH MARJORAM (thymus mastichina) 

Exracted from the leaves and flowers this soft and gentle essential oil is a great nervous tonic and yields an essential oil that is not only fragrant but also packed with potential benefits. Alongside the antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties that make it a powerful ally in fighting infections and boosting the immune system, the oil also has analgesic properties that can alleviate pain, including headaches and muscle aches. It has a much softer energy than some of the more robust oils that are used for pain relief (e.g lemongrass or ginger) and it is therefore particularly suited to the type of headaches that come with an element of hormonal fragility and need a touch of tender care.  It adds a beautiful addition when blended with the other 2 oils that I have recommended.



If you have never placed a cold compress on to the nape of your neck when you have a hormonal headache  then now is the time to try.  For headaches that have been caused by muscular tension, jaw tightening or any other kind of shoulder strain I would go for a hot compress, but the sensation of heat for hormonal headaches can exacerbate the pain, whereas an ice application tends to numb the sensations of discomfort.

Make the compress as follows:  take a flannel and lay it flat.  Add 1 drop of Clary Sage oil, 2 drops of Spanish Marjoram and 2 drops of Peppermint oil onto the flannel.  Add a few ice cubes on top of the place where the oils have dropped and bunch the flannel around the ice and oils.  Apply this to the nape at the back of your neck and leave for several moment.  Do not use this oil blend if pregnant.


Add 3 drops peppermint, 3 drops Spanish Marjoram and 2 drops Clary Sage to a diffuser and place near you while you rest. Try to inhale as much of the vapour as you are able.


Take 20ml of carrier oil.  Add 40 drops in total (making a 10% blend) of the following:

20 drops Peppermint

12 drops Spanish Marjoram

8 drops Clary Sage

Dab the oil behind the ears and massage in and around the bony part behind the earlobes.  Apply a small patch test before use, as this bled is quite high in concentration.  Particularly if you have sensitive skin.  Do not use if pregnant.

 As always, if you have any serious health conditions it is worth contacting a qualified aromatherapist or your GP before you use essential oils.  They may come from nature, but some of them are quite potent and it's always best to play it safe :) 

If you have any questions on the oils I've discussed here please do get in touch with me.

Much love,

Marie x






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