Headaches are something that millions of people experience daily. They are at best, an unwelcome annoyance and at their worst, completely debilitating.
There are many reasons for the onset of a headache and many classifications of headaches. While many types of headaches are related to other health issues, the number one cause of headaches is stress and fatigue.
A stress headache can range from a mild throbbing in one location of the skull to an outright assault on your entire cranium radiating clear down your neck and into your upper back and shoulders. While there are many effective natural remedies for headaches, there is one herb that is often overlooked and yet can play a big role in helping ease the discomfort of the headache while working to completely eliminate the headache.
We are of course talking about Basil for headache relief!
Basil has been a much revered herb throughout history. In fact, it was a Greek physician Dioscorides who prescribed basil for headaches. It is also one of the few “non-traditional” Chinese herbs that is still used in Chinese medicine, specifically for headaches.
Basil has many of the same medicinal effects as other members of the mint family. The volatile oil of this herb works as a muscle relaxant, making it particularly helpful in the treatment of headaches caused by tension and tight muscles. Sweet basil is an anti-inflammatory and will bring down swelling that is either the cause of or the response to a headache.
Basil is widely known to be an antispasmodic which helps ease any spasms that might be causing a headache. A little known benefit to using basil is it’s antiemetic properties. This means that it can ease the nausea that might accompany a headache or for some, cause a headache.
One of the most important properties found in Basil are the analgesic properties, which means it offers pain relief. Recent studies back up the pain-relieving effects of basil essential oil. More specifically, the Eugenol Synthase enzyme in basil suppresses pain, according to a study by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Also, a study in “Planta Medica” concluded that the antinociceptive effects of basil alleviated pain. This property helps your body feel less pain in reaction to certain causes of pain.
So how does one use basil for headache relief?
While there are many options, a simple basil lemon sugar scrub is a great way to bring about headache relief while offering you a bit of a skin pick-me-up. This can be made in advance and stored for a couple of months in a cool cabinet.
Lemon Basil Sugar Scrub For Headache Relief
Headaches have you feel blah? Can't seem to find relief? Try this lemon basil sugar scrub. You will be surprised at how it brings about headache relief!
- 1 oz (1/8 cup) grapeseed oil
- 1 oz (1/8 cup) olive oil
- 1 oz (1/8 cup) sweet almond oil
- Large handful of fresh basil leaves, ground finely
- 5 drops lemon essential oil or juice from one small lemon
- 1 ½ cups organic granulated sugar
- In a glass bowl, combine the oils, basil leaves, and lemon essential oil or juice.
- Stir until everything is combined.
- Add in the sugar ½ cup at a time, stirring well.
- Once everything is incorporated, pour into your glass jar and put the lid on.
- Allow to sit in a cool, dark space for at least 24 hours before using.
To Use: When you feel a headache coming on, grab your lemon basil scrub and get to a sink, shower, or bathtub. Ideally, you will be able to get into a lukewarm shower or bath, applying the scrub all over your body paying special attention to your face, neck, and upper back area.
If you cannot get into the shower, simply grab a washcloth and soak it in warm water. Place it over your face for a minute to open your pores. Then grab a small handful of the scrub and begin rubbing it all over your face. Spend a little extra time making gentle circles at your temples and on your forehead.
Rinse your face/body well and pat dry. Before your put your scrub away, take a moment to inhale its basil and lemon scent. The aroma alone can do wonders for that headache! *It is not necessary to use three different carrier oils. You are welcome to choose just one or two oils. In order to make this recipe, you simply need 3 ounces of your carrier oil or carrier oil blend of choice.
Are you looking for some additional headache support? Try this awesome herbal tincture for headaches!