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Protocols

Managing Migraine Naturally with Essential Oils

Overview

Managing Migraine Naturally with Essential Oils Protocol

Author: Joshua Yorgason, MD

 

Migraine headaches are increasingly common, affecting as many as 36 million Americans, including children. Across the United States, someone visits the Emergency Department every ten seconds due to a migraine or headache according to the Migraine Research Foundation. This debilitating neurological condition can occur frequently and unpredictably. Because migraines are difficult to treat, and often cause chronic illness, and because patients are often unsatisfied with standard medical treatment, there is a strong need for complementary and alternative medicine approaches for this condition.

 

Overview: In this protocol, peppermint and lavender are used topically, and inhaled to help reduce headache intensity and frequency. Soothing Essential Oil Blend is also used topically, especially to reduce head and neck tension associated with headaches, and tension that may lead to a severe migraine. Additionally, the protocol recommends daily diffusing wild Orange essential oil, and frequent massage with Massage Essential Oil Blend to help avoid and ameliorate migraine symptoms. Chronic migraine suffers may want to take additional steps, using a Monthly Migraine Focus and use other suggested products monthly to help decrease migraine frequency and severity. This includes taking the Longevity Supplements daily, as well as massaging painful areas with soothing essential oil lotion, combined with other oils such as frankincense and helichrysm.

Author's Preliminary Clinical Observations - Dr. Joshua Yorgason, ENT, Otolaryngologist

 

Patients have reported a decrease or elimination of migraine symptoms with use of topical and/or aromatic peppermint, lavender and frankincense oils, as well as with topical use of Tension Blend (basil, cilantro, frankincense, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, roman chamomile, rosemary and wintergreen), Soothing Blend (blue tansy, camphor, helichrism, osmanthus, peppermint, roman chamomile, wintergreen) and Grounding Blend (blue tansy, frankincense, rosewood and spruce) essential oil blends.  Basil has been helpful as well as peppermint for otalgia, or ear pain.  Patients have said that using a combination of oils has a synergistic, or additive, effect, and that oils often have to be applied frequently for a prolonged effect but can have an immediate effect to abort the migraine symptoms.  Patients describe having increase energy with using Cellular Vitality, Essential Oil Omega and Micronutrient Complex supplements, and also when drinking essential oils with water.

Background Research and Discussion

  

Essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, frankincense and helichrysum are widely used in alternative medicine for migraine headaches due to their chemical compounds that help decrease inflammation and pain as well as improve blood flow to the head. Various in vitro and in vivo.

 

Studies have found that these plant compounds such as terpenes, acetophenones, phloroglucinols, 1,8 cineole, linalyl acetate, and limonene which help to inhibit inflammatory pathways, produce analgesic effects and relax the nervous and muscular systems. Studies have found that the use of essential oils during migraine episodes can also help to reduce associated symptoms including nausea, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity. Essential oils have also been found to help decrease both the frequency and severity of migraine headaches, making them a viable treatment option for many migraine sufferers who have otherwise found no relief or do not wish to medicate.

 

Article Summaries

Peppermint, Frankincense and Lavender oils are commonly recommended to treat headaches.

1. A 10% Menthol solution applied topically compared to placebo showed significant headache pain relief at 2 hours and over a sustained period in migraine patients, and also helped improve symptoms of nausea and light and sound sensitivity (Peppermint has <44% Menthol in Doterra EO1)

 

2. More than 80% of patients experienced a minimum 50% reduction on headache pain intensity and frequency with ingestion of Lipia alba extract, and they identified geranial and carvenone as its major chemical compounds. Geranial is also in lemongrass (<44 % in Doterra EO1), and carvenone is found in small quantities in peppermint oil.

 

3. Stimulation of specific pain receptors on sensory nerves is blocked by anti-migraine medication, and the same receptors are blocked by 1,8 cineoloe,* an anti-inflammatory molecule found in many essential oils.

 

4. Peppermint oil has led to a decrease in pain sensitivity in patients with migraine headache. Adding Eucalyptus led to a brain relaxation and muscle relaxation effect, but decreased the efficacy of Peppermint in treating Migraine.

 

5. Monoterpines and related molecules found in Peppermint, Lavender, Frankincense and other essential oils have analgesic(pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory effects. (Peppermint has < 44% Menthol, <15% Monoterpines, <6% alpha and Beta-pinenes, <6% l-limonene, <5% 1,8 cineol in Doterra EO1; Lavender has up to 24% Monoterpines, <16% Beta-ocimene, <5% d-limonene, some 1,8 – cineol in Doterra EO1; Frankincense has up to 90% Monoterpenes, 43% alpha and Beta-pinenes, <22 % alpha-thujene, <7% sabinene, <5% p-cymene in Doterra EO1).

 

6. Lavender and other essential oils showed strong inhibition of the lipoxygenase inflammatory pathway, due to linalyl acetate (up to 45% in Doterra EO1) and limonene (<5% in Doterra EO1).  Peppermint has anti-inflammatory effects in the lipoxygenase pathway via limonene(<6% in Doterra EO1) and in the cyclooxygenase pathway via alpha-pinene (<6% in Doterra EO1) and limonene, as well as affecting the leukotriene and prostaglandins directly via 1,8 – cineole(<5% in Doterra EO1). Frankincense has anti-inflammatory effects in the lipoxygenase pathway via limonene(<16% in Doterra EO1), p-cymene(<5% in Doterra EO1) and in the cyclooxygenase pathway via alpha-pinene (43% in Doterra EO1).

 

7. 71% of patients inhaling Lavender had a reduction in headache severity, compared to only 47% in patients receiving placebo. This was recorded by a visual analog scale. Inhalation was repeated every 15 minutes as needed, recorded every 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.

 

8. Essential oils containing 1,8-cineole exhibit analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects most likely due to its inhibition of TRPA1.

 

9. In a study to determine the effects of camphor** on blood flow, it was determined that camphor applied topically increased blood flow in both muscle and the skin in addition to inducing a cooling sensation followed by a warming sensation in a dose-dependent manner to improve circulation.

 

10. 100 subjects participated in a randomized double-blind, double-dummy, controlled trial which determined that peppermint oil produced an antispasmodic effect with no side effects.

 

11. Boswellia serrata possesses monoterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, tetracyclic triterpenic acids and four major pentacyclic triterpenic acids which are responsible for inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes, one of which, acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid, is the most potent inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme responsible for inflammation.

 

12. Helichrysum exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties including inflammatory enzyme inhibition, free-radical scavenging activity and corticoid-like effects in both in-vivo and in-vitro experimental models, inhibiting enzymatic and non-enzymatic lipid peroxidation in mice.

 

13. In vitro and in vivo studies have determined Helichrysum italicum has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties due to its chemical constituents, inluding flavonoids, terpenes, acetophenones, phloroglucinols and terpenoids. These have been demonstrated in both animal and human studies.

 

References

1.    Modern Essentials. 4th ed. 2012, Spanish Fork, Utah: Abundant Health.

 

2.    Borhani Haghighi, A., et al., Cutaneous application of menthol 10% solution as an abortive treatment of migraine without aura: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossed-over study. Int J Clin Pract, 2010. 64(4): p. 451-6. ABSTRACT

 

3.    Conde, R., et al., Chemical composition and therapeutic effects of Lippia alba (Mill.) N. E. Brown leaves hydro-alcoholic extract in patients with migraine.Phytomedicine, 2011. 18(14): p. 1197-201.  ABSTRACT

 

4.    Edelmayer, R.M., et al., Activation of TRPA1 on dural afferents: a potential mechanism of headache pain. Pain, 2012. 153(9): p. 1949-58. ABSTRACT

 

5.    Göbel, H., G. Schmidt, and D. Soyka, Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters. Cephalalgia, 1994. 14(3): p. 228-34; discussion 182. ABSTRACT

 

6.    Guimarães, A.G., J.S. Quintans, and L.J. Quintans, Monoterpenes with analgesic activity–a systematic review. Phytother Res, 2013. 27(1): p. 1-15.ABSTRACT  *  PDF

 

7.    Miguel, M.G., Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of essential oils: a short review. Molecules, 2010. 15(12): p. 9252-87. ABSTRACT * PDF

 

8.    Sasannejad, P., et al., Lavender essential oil in the treatment of migraine headache: a placebo-controlled clinical trial. Eur Neurol, 2012. 67(5): p. 288-91.  ABSTRACT

 

9.    Takaishi, M., et al., 1,8-cineole, a TRPM8 agonist, is a novel natural antagonist of human TRPA1. Mol Pain, 2012. 8: p. 86. ABSTRACT

 

10.    Kotaka T., et al. Camphor induces cold and warm sensations with increases in skin and muscle blood flow in human. Biol Pharm Bull. 2014;37(12):1913-8. ABSTRACT

 

11.    Hiki, N., et al. Peppermint oil reduces gastric spasm during upper endoscopy: a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy controlled trial. Gastrointest Endosc. 2003 Apr;57(4):475-82. ABSTRACT

 

12.    Siddiqui, M.Z. Boswellia serrata, a potential anti-inflammatory agent: an overview. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 May;73(3):255-61. doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.93507. ABSTRACT

 

13.    Sala, A., et al. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Helichrysum italicum.  J Pharm Pharmacol. 2002 Mar;54(3):365-71. ABSTRACT

 

14.    Antunes, Viegas D., et al. Helichrysum italicum: from traditional use to scientific data. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;151(1):54-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.005. Epub 2013 Nov 14. ABSTRACT

 

*Found in Basil oil and Peppermint oil, both of which are included in AromaTouch Massage Essential Oil Blend and Peppermint is found in both Deep Blue Soothing Essential Oil Blend and Deep Blue Soothing Rub

 

**Found in Deep Blue Soothing Essential Oil Blend and Deep Blue Soothing Blend Rub

When to seek a medical professional for treatment:

 

If after 2 weeks of the Self Treatment Protocol you are still having migraine symptoms daily, or very frequently, then contact your physician for instructions on additional treatment or interventions.  If you are already seeing a physician for migraines, take a migraine prophylactic daily medication (i.e. Topamax, Amitriptyline, Verapamil, etc.)., along with migraine abortive medication (Imitrex, Fiorinal, etc.) as directed by your physician.  Continue to follow the above protocol while being treated by your physician.

 

Share this protocol with your physician:  Share the protocolled website with your physician, or download a professional handout to give to your doctor.  If your provider would like to be listed on this website as a provider open to discussion natural alternatives with their patients, please have them contact professionals@protocolled.com.

 

 

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  1. REGISTER as a Member Sponsor at HelpHealOthers.com.
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