Peppermint for Natural Headache Relief
Every now and then my oldest daughter gets a headache. It usually happens after she’s been reading for a long time, or playing on the computer. She’s far-sighted, but she doesn’t always wear her glasses. I think it probably strains her eyes when she reads for a long period of time and then puts the book down and focuses at greater distances.
I’ve tried different natural headache cures to try to relieve her discomfort, with little success. I’ve used lavender essential oil, a heating pad, pressure points, laying her down for a while, putting the glasses on to see if that would help… but nothing really did it. Tylenol was a last resort, and was always the only thing that helped.
But I hate using Tylenol. I really wanted a natural headache cure that would really work!
One night when Jada complained of her head hurting (after reading an entire chapter book in one sitting), I pulled out my herbal books and searched for another remedy.
I came across Peppermint Tea, and I knew I had to try it. I have peppermint growing like crazy, and had yet to put it to good use.
After gathering a handful of the fresh, green leaves (oh how I love the aroma of fresh peppermint leaves), I brought them into the house to wash.
As I got a pot of water boiling on the stove, I pulled out my special teapot. It’s a Tupperware Blooming Teapot. And it’s GREAT for brewing loose leaf teas!
After washing the peppermint and picking the leaves from the stem, I tore the leaves up a bit and placed them into the infuser. I used a palm-ful of leaves, probably 1/4 c. worth.
I placed the infuser back into the teapot, and poured about two cups of boiling water over the tea leaves. Then I replaced the lid and allowed it to steep for several minutes.
The smell was amazing.
Jada enjoyed her hot peppermint tea sweetened with a little honey. She contentedly sipped the steamy drink slowly, and by the time she had finished her cup she was remarkably better. Not only was her headache gone, but her belly ache from eating too many nuts was also relieved (which, indeed, is another use for peppermint tea).
Success!! A natural headache cure that actually did what it was supposed to do! No Tylenol necessary.
I’m sure the effects of peppermint tea vary by person and by the degree of pain the headache is causing, but for my daughter it did the trick. Which made this mama very happy.
I used peppermint tea to treat our headaches for a couple of years, and it almost always did the trick. I’m not going to say it works 100% of the time, but it really does have a success rate for us for about 95% of the headaches we get. Sometimes it takes 2 cups to work… but it works!
But then I did a little experiment with peppermint essential oil. It made sense to me that an even more concentrated form of peppermint would be able to relieve head and neck tension, so I began using the oil on my daughter instead of giving her tea.
The results were just as promising, with so much less effort. I found that it took only 1 drop of doTERRA peppermint oil to do the same thing 2 cups of peppermint tea had been doing for us. Sometimes I mix 1 drop of lavender in with the peppermint oil for even better results. This is now my go-to remedy:
Mix one drop peppermint essential oil (or 1 drop peppermint and 1 drop lavender) in 1/4 – 1/2 tsp fractionated coconut oil. Rub the oil behind the ears and on the back of the neck. You can also rub it on the temples if the fragrance doesn’t bother your eyes. Just be sure to keep it away from your eyes! I have my kids lay down and relax while the oil does it’s thing.
I now prefer peppermint essential oil over peppermint tea for several reasons:
- It’s fast. Instead of having to pick and wash leaves, boil water, then wait for the tea to steep, the oil is ready with the twist of a cap.
- It only takes one drop, as opposed to 2 cups of tea, with the same results.
- It’s portable. I can keep a bottle of peppermint oil in my purse and apply it anytime, no matter where we are. I couldn’t do that with tea.
- It works. I give my daughter three options when she’s struggling, because I want her to be in control of how she manages her health as much as possible: Tylenol, peppermint tea, or peppermint oil. She always asks for peppermint oil. It’s relaxing to her, and it works.
I’ll still remember peppermint tea for those times when I might be out of essential oils. I do appreciate that I can grow it myself, which is definitely a money saver. I think having the oils for convenience and peppermint plants as a backup is a great line of defense.
So that’s what works for us, and how we treat headaches naturally. Do you have a remedy you’ve found to work well for you?