Why Rosemary is My Go-To For Headaches

As I write this, I am sitting outside, looking at my garden — admiring the bees that are dancing around our newly blossomed tree. In my family, growing our own vegetables and herbs has always been the norm — passed down from one generation to the next.

Although I can barely wait to see the first tomato or hot pepper appear, nothing beats my herb garden. From lemon balm to basil, chives to parsley, my deck is full of herbs, including my favorite — rosemary. With its rich and interesting history, rosemary is much more than a culinary seasoning.

Rosemary: An all-natural pain reliever

There are very few ailments that lead me to take medication; when I have a sinus infection, I whip up a variety of home remedies, including raw garlic and raw apple cider — not exactly my husband’s favorite. Of course, there are some instances when you need to see a physician, so if you are unsure of any current symptoms, seek a professional opinion.

Exclusive: 21 Home Remedies that Actually Work

What I’m talking about today is something which many of us experience far too often — a headache. Some experience tension or sinus headaches, while others suffer from migraines.

All too familiar?

Well then say hello to rosemary, an herb that is known to improve memory, stimulate hair growth, support circulation — and, of course, relieve pain.

Native to the Mediterranean, rosemary can be applied topically, inhaled through aromatherapy methods or made into a liquid extract, tincture or tea. Within one Korean study, published in the Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing (Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi), various essential oils were studied.

When combined with a mixture of carrier oils, rosemary, lavender, marjoram, peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils were all shown to significantly reduce pain and depression among hospital patients. These benefits can also be utilized for individuals who suffer from sore muscles and joints — including arthritis.

When applied directly to the temple, rosemary can relieve both tension headaches and migraines. Since headaches are commonly caused by muscle tension or joint pain, rosemary is an effective treatment, especially when combined with lavender and peppermint essential oils.

If you believe that you’re having headaches due to stress, the combination of rosemary and lavender essential oil will also help reduce cortisol levels. Within another key study, published in Psychiatry Research, it was found that inhaling these two essential oils for five minutes reduced cortisol in saliva, protecting the body against oxidative stress.

Soothe a headache with this home remedy
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total time:
Recipe by:The Alternative Daily
  • 2sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1part organic coconut oil
  • 1part organic Shea butter
  • 1part local, organic beeswax
  • 5drops organic rosemary essential oil
  • 5drops organic lavender essential oil
Servings: Lip chap container
What to do:
  1. To begin, you’ll want to infuse your coconut oil with fresh rosemary. Set up a double boiler, combining coconut oil and rosemary leaves.
  2. Simmer on low for 2 hours, then strain into a jar. This mixture is also great for dandruff.
  3. Once you have made rosemary-infused oil, add this mixture to a double boiler, along with the Shea butter and beeswax.
  4. Once melted, remove from heat and add essential oils.
  5. Pour into the jar of your choice. Lip chap containers work well for a quick application on the go, allowing you to rub your temples or any other affected area with ease.
Recipe Notes

There are a number of ways in which you can use rosemary at home for headaches, including:

  • Aromatherapy: Combine rosemary, lavender, and peppermint to create the perfect blend.
  • Apply directly to the skin: Using a carrier oil, add rosemary essential oil and massage into affected area (please see recipe below).
  • Soak: Add 8-10 drops of rosemary essential oil to a bath and soak for 15-30 minutes.
  • Inhale: With a towel over your head, and your head over a bowl of hot water, add 5 drops of rosemary essential oil and breathe in the steam for 5-6 minutes.

—Krista Hillis

Recommended Articles