Headache Roller Recipe: How to Feel Better Now with Essential Oils

When a headache hits, you want fast relief. This essential oil headache roller recipe eases tension and helps you feel better quickly.

Before I even fully awoke, I could feel it. A heavy pressure right behind my eyes and gripping tension across my forehead let me know I was in for a rough morning.

I knew I needed fast relief if I was going to take care of my family, make it until bedtime, and not try to convince everyone that playing the silent game in the dark all day can actually be a lot of fun.

I’ve tried a lot of natural headache remedies over the years. Some have worked better than others. But my headache roller with essential oils always helps dull the pain and pressure that would otherwise make it impossible to function.

This remedy has another thing going for it, too. Headache and migraine rollerball recipes are a cinch to make at home!

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Before Making, Do Some Digging

Making a headache and migraine roll-on gives you somewhere to turn when a headache strikes. But if you can do some digging to figure out why you got a headache in the first place, you’ll know exactly what your body needs to feel better. You’ll also set yourself up for fewer headaches in the future.

You can get headaches for all sorts of reasons, including things like

  • Dehydration
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Food intolerances
  • Nasal congestion
  • Lack of sleep
  • Low magnesium
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Stress
  • Neck or back injuries
  • Muscle tension
  • Chemical exposures
  • and more.

As an example, let’s say you have a headache today but only drank 3 small glasses of water yesterday. Using a headache roller might help you feel better for a short time, but rehydrating will probably help you find lasting relief.

Or if you think you’re low on magnesium, an Epsom salt bath might be just what you need.

When you get a headache, you can write down what you ate, how much you drank, and any other important information from the past 24 hours. This helps you start to see patterns and connections you might otherwise miss.

I help my Thriving Health clients unravel their unique root causes, so if you’re not sure how to figure out what’s at the root of your headaches, I can help.

The Best Essential Oils for Headaches

Anytime someone asks me what the best herb or essential oil for a certain health concern is, I answer with “It depends.”

That’s because every individual is different. You might love lavender essential oil when your head throbs, but it could nauseate your best friend.

So while I’m sharing my favorite headache roller recipe below (along with some variations), a number of essential oils help ease migraine and headache pain.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Peppermint’s high menthol content gives it a cool, minty scent. When you apply it topically, you experience an icy-hot sensation that helps interfere with pain receptors in your body. That’s why peppermint is a mainstay in most headache relief formulas. In fact, clinical research demonstrates peppermint’s effectiveness in reducing migraine pain!

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) essential oil smells softer and sweeter thanks to its lower menthol content. If you find peppermint too powerful, you can try spearmint instead.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus, E. radiata)

Eucalyptus gives you a cooling sensation similar to peppermint even though it doesn’t contain menthol. It can help bring blood flow into stiff, tired muscles, so rubbing it into your neck and shoulders during a headache or migraine can help relieve tension and reduce your pain.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary, the herb of remembrance, isn’t one most people think of when they have a headache. But it offers many helpful properties that can ease a headache or migraine, like improving blood flow, reducing pain, and easing muscle soreness. If you prefer herbal scents over floral ones, rosemary could be a great headache-helping choice for you.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is an aromatherapy first aid kit all by itself. It promotes relaxation, relieves stress, and reduces pain, making it an excellent addition to a headache essential oil blend.

Scientific researchers continually confirm what tradition says about lavender: it offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, among many other benefits.

lavender growing in the garden

Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

If you’re not crazy about lavender, you might love sweet marjoram. It offers many of the same benefits as lavender but has a milder, sweeter scent that I adore. Some references suggest you should avoid sweet marjoram during pregnancy, but occasional use, especially in small doses, is likely fine.

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)

Since frankincense is anti-inflammatory and sedative, it can help ease headache tension. Its spicy, earthy scent can be a nice addition to your typical headache blends. If you struggle to find headache relief with lavender or peppermint, frankincense might be a new option for you to try.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

Clary sage lends a bright, uplifting note to migraine and headache blends. Like sweet marjoram, it has similar benefits to lavender but is sometimes contraindicated in pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, you can likely enjoy clary sage occasionally and in small doses.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita, Chamaemelum nobile)

Both German (Matricaria recutita) and Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) chamomile lend relaxing, gentle floral notes to headache and migraine essential oil blends. Like lavender, chamomile promotes relaxation, reduces tension, and gently relieves pain. It’s an excellent choice for children.

bowl of fresh chamomile flowers

Roll-On Safety Matters

Before you make your headache roller recipe, you need to remember a few important safety tips when working with essential oils.

  • Always dilute.
    A friend once told me his wife put neat, or undiluted, peppermint essential oil across his forehead when he had a headache. His fiery red, burning skin might have distracted him from the headache, but he vowed to never go near essential oils again.
    Dilute your roll-on blends at safe rates so you don’t experience the same kind of reaction.
  • Blend in an open area.
    Too much exposure to essential oils in a closed room can actually trigger a headache. So if you’re mixing up a bunch of roller blends, crack a window and get fresh air from time to time.
  • Take care of your skin.
    If any essential oil drops land on your skin while you’re blending your roller, apply a carrier oil to the area, then carefully wash it off with soapy water.

If you need more help with essential oils, I have two resources that show you how to safely and effectively use them at home.

Don’t be fooled.

Essential Oils: Separating Truth from Myth

Cut through 25 common essential oil myths so you get better, safer results.

Get at-a-glance help with

The Essential Oils Quick Reference Guide

It’s never been easier to use essential oils!

Headache Roller Recipe with Variations

A headache roll-on blend gives you a convenient way to apply essential oils since they’re already mixed and diluted. When a headache or migraine hits, you don’t have any work to do other than taking off the cap and applying the blend. Essential oil rollers are great for traveling, too.

Peppermint essential oil stars in this headache relief roll-on with sweet marjoram and lavender playing supportive roles. Peppermint can pack a strong bite on its own, even when diluted. Sweet marjoram and lavender balance out the formula and provide their own beneficial actions.

All three of these essential oils are analgesic, which means that they help relieve pain by topical application. The blend smells nicely balanced, too. Not too minty, herbal, or floral, but a wonderful combination of the three.

What You’ll Need

You can find all of these items at Mountain Rose Herbs for convenient, one-stop shopping.

Headache Relief Essential Oil Blend

To make this headache relief roll-on recipe at a safe 5% dilution, you’ll need the following essential oils:

  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita)
  • 3 drops sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana)
  • 2 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

I’ve included 3 different variations below, but if you know for sure that you hate one of these essential oils, don’t be afraid to tweak the recipe. You can substitute one of these oils for another one mentioned above in The Best Essential Oils for Headaches section.

Remember, the best headache relief oil or blend for you is the one you like best! And if you make your own blend, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

adding essential oils to a headache roller bottle

How to Make Your Roller Bottle

  1. Carefully drop the essential oils into the empty glass roll-on bottle. You can wear kitchen or medical gloves to protect your hands if you have sensitive skin.
  2. Fill the bottle with your carrier oil, up to the bottle’s shoulders.
  3. Firmly and carefully push on the roll-on top, then cap and swirl the bottle to mix the oils. Label with the blend’s name, ingredients, and date made.
  4. When a headache strikes, roll the oil mixture across your forehead, over your temples, and on your neck and shoulders. For bonus headache relief, give yourself a little neck and shoulder massage after applying the roller blend.

Variation #1: Gentle Headache Relief Roller

Try this version during pregnancy, with kids, or if you have sensitive skin. You use fewer essential oil drops, making a gentler 3% dilution, and replace peppermint with spearmint.

  • 3 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 2 drops spearmint (Mentha spicata)
  • 1 drop Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Blend, bottle, and label as directed above.

finished headache roller recipe with essential oils

Variation #2: Mint-Free Headache Roller

If you don’t like the scent of mint or have hyper-sensitive skin, you can create a mint-free blend that still helps reduce headache pain. Try this combination for a 5% dilution.

  • 5 drops eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus, E. radiata)
  • 3 drops clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • 2 drops frankincense (Boswellia cateri)

Blend, bottle, and label as directed above.

Variation #3: Lavender-Free Headache Roller

People sometimes tell me they hate lavender. As popular as it is, it can be an acquired scent! If you’d like to skip lavender in your headache relief roller, this is an option for you.

  • 5 drops peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
  • 3 drops clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • 2 drops rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Blend, bottle, and label as directed above.

Printable Recipe Card: Headache Roller Recipe

Essential Oils Migraine & Headache Roller Recipe

Essential Oils Migraine & Headache Roller Recipe

Yield: 1 Headache Roller
Active Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

When a headache hits, you want fast relief. This essential oil headache roller recipe eases tension and helps you feel better quickly.


  1. Carefully drop the essential oils into the empty bottle.
  2. Fill the bottle with carrier oil up to its shoulders, leaving room for the roller top.
  3. Firmly and carefully push the roller top into place so it's all the way down. Cap the bottle and swirl to mix the essential oils and carrier oil.
  4. Label your roller bottle with the name, ingredients, and date made.
  5. Apply as needed to your forehead, temples, and neck during a headache.


This blend is at a 5% dilution and suitable for adults and kids 12 and up.

For younger kids, pregnant women, or anyone with sensitive skin, try this blend instead:

  • 3 drops spearmint (Mentha spicata)
  • 2 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 1 drop Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Recommended Products

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Use Layers for More Relief

While you can use this headache roller by itself when you have a headache, you’ll probably get better relief by layering on other remedies and approaches.

Along with addressing your root causes, consider one of these options:

  • Take an Epsom salt bath with relaxing essential oils. You’ll get a boost of magnesium while you relax stiff muscles in a warm, quiet room.
  • Try an “icy-hot” style muscle rub on your neck and shoulders. I love the BeeCool stick from MadeOn. Use the code THRIVE5 for $5 off your BeeCool stick!
  • Sip a strong sage and peppermint tea (but skip the sage if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding).
  • Use a pain-relieving herbal tincture, like the Pain Potion from Earthley.
  • If muscle tension seems to be your trigger, J. Kloss’s Anti-Spas tincture from Natural Hope may provide relief.

The next time a headache strikes, you don’t have to play the silent game in the dark all day.

After thinking about your root causes, you can reach for your homemade migraine and headache blend, roll it over your throbbing head, and take some deep breaths while the essential oils go to work.

What essential oils do you turn to for headaches?
Headache roller recipe: How to feel better now with essential oils

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    1. With the roller blends how long do they last before you should make a fresh one? If I were to carry this blend in my handbag to use when needed is there a timeframe when I should throw it out & make a new one?

      1. Your roller blend should be good for around 6-12 months, perhaps even longer depending on the carrier oil you use and the age of your essential oils. Both carrier oils and essential oils have shelf lives that vary, but most of them will get you to a year. I hope that helps!

    2. Is there anything that can be used in place of the lavender? It actually gives me migraines, so that’s one I always leave out, but have been wondering if there was a good alternative or am I stuck with just the 2 other oils?

      1. Hi there, Amy. Lavender definitely sounds like an oil to avoid for you! You could try using Roman or German chamomile in place of the lavender for a similar substitute. Other people also find headache relief with eucalyptus or frankincense added to blends. Those two oils will give a very different overall scent and profile to the blend. You could even try making half batches using each of the substitutes to see what provides the most relief for you. I hope that helps!