Natural Headache Relief Stick

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Headache relief roller bottle blend recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » Natural Headache Relief Stick

Headaches are often a sign of a deeper problem (like magnesium deficiency). Sometimes though headaches have a practical cause, like five-kids-playing-marching-band-in-the-house-syndrome. Whatever the case, a natural headache relief stick can help.

I almost never get headaches anymore since changing my diet and boosting my magnesium levels. Every once in a while there’s unavoidable stress or noise though and I can feel a headache coming on. I keep this headache relief stick on hand for times like these.

This blend is made with a combination of cooling essential oils that help relieve stress, tension, and nerve pain. It’s also great for motion sickness or nausea (sailboat induced in my case- not morning sickness!)

Why Magnesium Oil?

It’s important to dilute essential oils so they don’t cause irritation. Instead of a carrier oil here, we’re using magnesium oil as our carrier.

There’s a large body of evidence on magnesium’s role in the body, including for headaches. Magnesium can help stop a headache before it starts, or bring soothing relief when one is coming on. I make my own magnesium oil with this recipe since it is less expensive, but you can also get pre-made magnesium oil.

Technically magnesium oil isn’t an oil at all, but a highly saturated mineral solution. The minerals help to suspend the essential oils and dilute much like salt does. If you prefer a carrier oil or that’s what you have on hand and need relief fast, then that’s also an option. Fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed, or olive oil will all work.

What Causes Headaches (For Real)?

Headaches are caused by a whole variety of issues, but there’s always a root cause. Our best bet is to nourish our bodies, practice healthy movement, and address any underlying health problems.

According to Mayo Clinic, headaches are caused by chemical activity in the brain, nerves, blood vessels or muscles in the head and neck that are acting up. Common causes of headaches include:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • PMS
  • Earaches
  • Allergies and congestion
  • Neuralgia (nerve pain)
  • Unhealthy alcohol, especially red wine (check out Dry Farm Wines for their healthy wine options)
  • Foods that contain nitrates or msg
  • Not enough sleep
  • Not enough food/water
  • Dental problems

How This Headache Relief Blend Works

I’ve chosen this blend of essential oils and magnesium because it tackles a broad spectrum of headaches. So whether you’re having nausea, are stressed, or the kids are being rowdy this blend will likely help the resulting headache.


We’re talking about Lavandula angustifolia here, not spike lavender. This essential oil helps relieve several causes of headaches, including:

  • Allergies
  • Stress and anxious feelings
  • Tight muscles
  • Migraines
  • Vertigo


Frankincense is the next oil in our blend. There are several different varieties but boswellia carterii is one of the most popular chemotypes and is good for relieving stress. Boswellia serrata was shown to reduce the intensity and frequency of cluster headaches in a 2012 study. Both types of frankincense help relieve tension, stress, and inflammation induced headaches.


Chamomile essential oil is also popular for managing stress and tension. We can use either Roman or German chamomile in this blend, but both work a little differently. Most prefer the smell of Roman chamomile and it’s also better for reducing stress. German chamomile is better at calming inflammation.

Both types of chamomile help with:

  • Allergies
  • Earache
  • Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Neuralgia (nerve pain)

Mint (and Safety)

Peppermint has cooling menthol which helps relieve tense, achy muscles and headaches. It’s also invigorating and gives a little perk-me-up (that’s not coffee) when feet are dragging. However, peppermint has a few more safety considerations than the other oils in this blend.

Peppermint essential oil shouldn’t be applied near the faces of very young children since it can cause breathing problems. Moms who are breastfeeding or baby wearing wouldn’t want to apply this while holding baby close. Thankfully, there’s a workaround here.

Spearmint has way less menthol and is also good for stress and headaches. While both peppermint and spearmint work similarly, spearmint is less intense and doesn’t have the same safety precautions around children. While I don’t recommend putting this on a baby, using spearmint means it’s safe for your baby to be next to you and smell the blend.

Spearmint is also safe for children over age two to use topically. Generally, any essential oils used on children should be diluted more than for adults. The recipe below is meant for adults but with some modifications could be used on older children.

Is This Safe During Pregnancy?

According to certified aromatherapists, this blend is safe to use during pregnancy. Because it’s diluted an appropriate amount and is used in a small area it’s safe for expecting mamas.

Where to Get Supplies

Most of these ingredients are in my first aid kit, but a premixed roller bottle makes them easier to apply and keep in my purse.
You could make this as a spray or lotion, but I prefer something that doesn’t get on my hands. Let me tell you, accidentally getting essential oils in your eye is no fun!

Headache relief roller bottle blend recipe
4.60 from 5 votes

Natural Headache Relief Stick

This natural headache relief stick has magnesium and essential oils to help knock out headache quickly and naturally.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Yield: 1 roller bottle
Author: Katie Wells


  • Remove the roller bottle stop (this includes the entire plastic part with the ball in it). I slide a butter knife between the plastic rim and the glass to pop it off.
  • Pour the essential oils into the roller bottle.
  • Add just enough magnesium oil to reach the top.
  • Put the roller stop back in and tightly cap.


How to Use: For headaches, apply to the back of the neck, shoulders, the base of the skull (where your neck meets your head) and/or temples. Be sure to avoid the eye area! Personally,  I use it on the back of my neck and shoulders.
For nausea and motion sickness apply to the wrists.

If you have chronic headaches or even migraines, I highly recommend trying herbal remedies like feverfew.

Shelf Life and Storage

Because magnesium is a mineral, magnesium oil can last for years. Essential oils have a varying shelf life, but according to the aromatherapists at Plant Therapy the oils in this blend will last about 2-3 years. The blend should be stored away from direct light, heat, or freezing temperatures for optimal shelf life.

Here’s more on how to store and organize your natural remedies.

What have you found helpful to relieve headaches? Leave us a comment and let us know!

  1. Lampl, C., Haider, B., & Schweiger, C. (2012). Long-term efficacy of Boswellia serrata in four patients with chronic cluster headache. Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache, 32(9), 719–722.
  2. Lawless, J. (2014). The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (2nd ed). Harper Thorsons.
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2020, June 3). Headache.
  4. Smith, K. (2021, March 20). Personal Interview.
  5. Yablon, L. A., & Mauskop, A. (2011). Magnesium in headache. In R. Vink (Eds.) et. al., Magnesium in the Central Nervous System. University of Adelaide Press.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


73 responses to “Natural Headache Relief Stick”

  1. Melissa Avatar

    Hi –

    I can’t wait to try this. Can you tell me what size roller bottle to use. Thanks!

  2. Courtney Avatar

    I just got to use this yesterday since making it. I was kinda sceptical but it worked wonders. I’ve been looking for a way to survive a headache while at work without taking something for it. This is easy to make and I plan on making a whole bunch and stashing them in all my bags 🙂 thank you!

  3. Cathy Avatar

    Can you substitute another oil for the chamomile?

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!

  4. Beth Avatar

    This looks wonderful. I’m really trying not to use oral pain relievers, and this could be very helpful!
    My son (only 8 years old) has been dealing with headaches/migraines for about 3 years now. So far the only thing that works is a coke (which I abhor) or coffee and an Advil.
    How long does this last in the roller bottle once it’s mixed up? And does it need to be stored in a cool place or is it the kind of thing I could throw in my bag and have handy at a moments notice?

      1. Beth Avatar

        Thank you.
        I do have my son on a low sugar/low grain diet. (Your sugar rant really resonated with me. I can’t believe that if I don’t let my kids watch TV or play video games people consider that a parenting style or an individual decision, but if I don’t let my kids have sugar I must be neglecting or depriving them in some way!)
        Regarding my son’s headaches: I had not considered a magnesium deficiency. I recently started using your homemade magnesium oil on my kids’ feet at night, but maybe he needs a little more than that. I could try giving him some of the natural calm I have started taking at bedtime. Maybe that will help.
        I have learned some of his headache/migraine triggers and try to stay ahead of them, but sometimes they still (seemingly) come out of the blue.
        Thank you for so much information on this website! Taking care of my family is my full-time job!

        1. Kari Smithson Avatar
          Kari Smithson

          My daughter had headaches for years and I was surprised with how clean we eat. But one day I thought, “I won’t know if I don’t try”…so we tried going gluten free. Obviously, you could go grain free, too, and get the same results. I was shocked -no more headaches. It’s worth a try, it might really impact your son!

          1. Beth Avatar

            Thanks, Kari, for mentioning gluten free. We have already embarked on that journey because I can’t eat gluten. (The kid’s have gluten once in a blue moon and it hasn’t correlated with headaches so far.)
            Unfortunately, my son’s headaches are pretty unpredictable. The only similarity seems to be over-stimulation and, even then, that’s not always the case. He can get a headache on a quiet day at home. It’s frustrating; I wish we could pinpoint a trigger.
            He has enjoyed the roll-on though. He likes that he is allowed to “self-medicate.” I leave it on the kitchen counter and he will stop by sometimes to roll it on his head or neck. Even if it’s only the placebo effect, it makes him happy. – I think he likes the way it feels on his skin. 🙂

  5. Ralina Avatar

    Katie, while following your link to purchase essential oils in bulk, I discovered that some of these come in powder form. Is that an option to use in this recipe (and others) instead of the essential oil? Just curious as I didn’t know you could purchase the powders and they are considerably less expensive.

  6. Casey Avatar

    I’d love to make this. I take 400mg of magnesium oxide daily for headaches. How do I know how much magnesium oil is safe to put on my body? How much is absorbed and is there a way to correlate it to milligrams? The reason I ask is because my neurologist warned me that too much Mg can be dangerous. Thanks!

  7. CJ Avatar

    A few questions:
    1. I went to the Mountain Rose Herb site and found three kinds of Lavender oils and do not understand the difference. Two have the same Latin name but one has (40-42) listed with the name, the third is listed as “spike essential oil” and the Latin name is different.
    2. Chamomile & Frankincense oils are very expensive do you know of a source to buy this headache relief roll on? It would be nice to try before investing into ingredients.
    I have been dealing with headaches for 15+ years that I thought were sinus related. I started “chasing” the cause with an ENT about 2 years ago (CAT, MRI scans, allergy testing, nasal sprays, antibiotics etc.) no “cause” found, thinking is perhaps migraines and I have now been referred to a Neurologist who has suggested supplements of Magnesium (Oxide) and Vit. B-2. I haven’t detected much of a difference in frequency of occurrence yet. Open to trying new things as I really do not like taking pseudoephedrine & Ibuprofen which seem to be the only combination which helps.
    ps We’ve been wheat and fairly (some rice & quinoa) grain free for about 4 years.

  8. Andrew Lambert Avatar
    Andrew Lambert

    This is going to come in handy when hangover strikes!!! This is revolutionary! LOL gotta have this on my to-do list this weekend.

    1. Gwyn Avatar

      For hangover’s try a little pickle juice as well. I know it sounds odd and maybe even a little gross to some but pickle juice has all of the things that have been depleted (other than water) while drinking and need to be replenished. At least this is what I’ve heard…;)

  9. Jennifer Avatar

    Awesome idea! I have a headache blend I have used, but didn’t use magnesium oil. That will be how I make it in the future. I add Birch oil to mine too. I’ve read though that you have to be careful with birch if you are allergic to aspirin and if you have epilepsy.

    1. Michele Avatar

      Where do you get Birch oil? I have used this for my arthritis in the past, but haven’t been able to find good quality in years!!

  10. Lauri F. Avatar
    Lauri F.

    Do you apply the magnesium oil to your forehead (for a headache). Or are there are points, perhaps the back of the neck, where it would be effective to apply? My son has headaches and he is away at college, so I’m looking for a good solution for him.

  11. Elizabeth H. Avatar
    Elizabeth H.

    Great idea, I really want to try it.
    How do you get the roller ball out of the top of the bottle? I’ve tried, and can’t figure out a way to do it. Thanks.

    1. Jen Petrus Avatar
      Jen Petrus

      That used to confound me, too! Then one day I finally figured it out – you don’t pull out just the ball; what you want to do is pull off the entire plug/ball assembly. Just get a good grip on it with pliers, right where it goes around the neck of the bottle, and pull straight out. After you fill your bottle, push it firmly back down on. Hope it works out well for you!

    2. Gwyn Avatar

      You can also use your thumb, finger nail or something with a flat end to pry the roller assembly up from the lip of the bottle (look for the spot where they meet at the place the thread for the screw top ends on the glass). If you just pry it up a little in several places it will lift to the point that you can grab it with your fingers and pull it off or just keep prying a little at at time all around until it comes off. I have also found recently that they make a tool for this now, I think I saw it on Amazon, though I haven’t tried it myself yet since it seemed pricey to me. I’m sure that price will come down though and I might try it then.

    3. Debbie Avatar

      To help get the roller top off: Set the cap on top of the roller ball and push with your thumb the cap til you hear a “pop” and that will bring it up about 1/8-1/4″ and then you can either grab it with your fingers or get a butter knife to lift it off the rest of the way with out damaging the roller ball. Now to put it back on all you do is set your roller ball cap in the bottle, take the bottle cap and set it on top, then screw the cap on as if you were going to close the bottle til you hear a “pop”. Easy-peasy!

  12. Nettie Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    Can you use the clear bottles or does it has to be the blue container? I have recently joined and I love everything I’ve read!

  13. Sterling Avatar

    I’ve used salon pas patches all my life for headaches (or any aches). They always work for me. I know they have camphor and menthol in them. I wonder if it would be alright to add camphor to this recipe, or are there any reasons I shouldn’t do that? Thanks for the advice in advance, I try not to mess with essential oils. 🙂

  14. Evan Brand Avatar
    Evan Brand

    The thing that us in the health community generally fail to mention is the fact that fluorescent lights from our office buildings along with WiFi and other forms of electronic and magnetic pollution are huge contributors to these underlying issues.

    While I do keep peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils on my desk for this same reason, we need to fix the problem and not keep using band aids!

    I’ve covered EMF extensively on my podcast.

    Keep up the good work Katie!

  15. Chanda Meyer Avatar
    Chanda Meyer

    Does this work well for tension headaches? I get tension headaches that are so bad that they turn into migraines. I am looking for something that will help prevent and help relieve tension headaches. Thank you so much for your time and have a blessed day!

  16. Eunice Avatar

    Hi Katie, I had been a fan of yours for a while now but I am not able to log-in. Anytime I try, it will tell me I am not registered but anytime I try to sign up, it tells me I am already registered. Am I doing something wrong. I am so happy to have found you. What a great favor you are doing some of us. Good job. Thanks in advance.

  17. Jody Avatar

    I really like the idea of using a roll-on bottle for applying the essential oils/mag oil directly on the spot. I started putting plantain infused oil in roll-on bottles for easy application to burns, scratches, etc., plus it’s easy to carry in a purse. Thanks for all you do!

  18. Elle Smith Avatar
    Elle Smith

    Great recipe! I will definitely be trying this out! 🙂

    I usually just use peppermint essential oil on my temples and back of neck, but this combination sounds great!

    Do you know if NOW foods brand essential oils are any good?

    Thanks, Katie!!!

    -Elle 🙂

4.60 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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