At least 45 million Americans are regularly hit with headaches, say researchers at the National Headache Foundation. Blame cortisol, the “stress hormone” than hampers your body’s production of painkilling hormones called endorphins. On top of that, cortisol makes scalp muscles more likely to become inflamed and tight.
Rx: Chamomile essential oil. Massaging this aromatic oil into your temples and neck can shut down a tension headache in as little as 10 minutes, says James F. Balch, M.D., co-author of Prescription for Natural Cures. “Chamomile is rich in salicylic acid, azulene and chlorogenic acid -- plant compounds that soothe overactive nerves, dampen pain and relax tight muscles.”
DIY: Mix 12 drops of chamomile essential oil into one ounce of olive oil and massage gently but firmly into your temples and neck until the pain eases. Or make a soothing hair rinse by mixing 10 drops of this essential oil into 16 ounces of water and massaging it into your temples, scalp and neck during your shower.