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!

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.


72 responses to “Natural Headache Relief Stick”

  1. Alyssa Avatar

    I love all of your posts! I was just wondering if you could possibly put how long items are good for when made? Some of your posts you do but some of them you don’t. Thank You So much!

  2. Kelsey Avatar

    Why didn’t I ever think of using mag oil for a carrier oil? Genius! Thanks Katie!

  3. Hali Avatar

    Can I skip the chamomile? I only have German chamomile and I’m afraid that because of its greenish color it may make wherever I rub it turn green too.

    1. Jen Avatar

      I have used the German Chamomile neat without it turning my skin a strange color, so I don’t think it’s something you’d need to worry about, especially when diluted this much.

  4. Hanna Avatar

    Some of the comments were about using this while pregnant. All of the medical staff, homeopaths and naturopaths that I have talked to during my pregnancies told me to keep away from essential oils. They would only allow the use of floral waters. So I would play it safe and not use this mixture either.

    1. Gwyn Avatar

      Anything can be safe for most and create unfavorable reactions in a select few. So, like everything else, the food you choose to eat, the medications and natural remedies you choose to use are ultimately a personal decision. While a few essential oils aren’t recommended for pregnant women because they can encourage contractions, many are considered safe, especially when diluted in a carrier or diffused and are used frequently by pregnant women for various reasons including to relieve issues brought on by their pregnancy. There are more and more sites, groups, blogs and pages focused on pregnancy, childbirth and young children advocating essential oils, some central to that. For me both the wide use, testimonials and increasing scientific testing have supported the claims that using high quality essential oils during pregnancy is not only generally safe but beneficial as well. My guess is most medical providers that recommend staying away from essential oils completely make the same recommendation about any natural medicinal’s they don’t know about. I can’t say as I blame them for not recommending things they know nothing about but there is a difference between saying “i don’t recommend it” and “I don’t know anything about it so can’t recommend or not recommend”. I don’t expect my practitioner to know about every remedy “conventional” and “non-conventional” but I prefer someone with an open mind who doesn’t reject something without really educating themselves about it and willing to either learn about something new or simply be honest about not knowing enough to make a judgment. Again, I don’t know that this is the case with the practitioners you mention, it’s just my suspicion and everyone needs to make their own decision about what’s right for them. You sharing your view and experience is helpful information for others trying to make that determination, please don’t misunderstand my lengthy response here, I just thought the other side of that argument was also important as a balance. All of that said, there are some oils most agree pregnant women should stay away from and that list is pretty readily available on line along with the reasons, as well as clearly stated in the information about each oil from reputable companies supplying high quality oils from my observations.

  5. Amanda Avatar

    Hi Katie! I have magnesium in spray form. Is this the same thing as magnesium oil? Thanks!

  6. Sandy Marx Avatar
    Sandy Marx

    I love this headache stick! It works way faster than aspirin, and usually much better. I found it also works on pulled/strained muscles! I roll it on and in 10 minutes or so the pain is significantly relieved. After using twice a day for a couple days, it’s usually all gone. Definitely one of your best products.

  7. Sandy Avatar

    Hi , I was wondering if this is safe to use for someone who can’t use aspirin. My boyfriend can’t use aspirin because it makes his blood pressure drop and he passes out. He also has Celiac Disease so , he can’t have gluten. I’m trying to find something that will help him with his headaches. Thanks !

  8. Rachel Avatar

    I just mixed this up in a 5 ml roller ball bottle but I decided to use a couple of essential oils to help with migraines and diluted accordingly. I read that the magnesium oil is a super saturated saline solution and salt is a carrier to help distribute the essential oils but it doesn’t look like the oils distribute very well. They seem to float to the top. I assume that if you just shake it before using it should be ok? I am having a neighbor of mine try this out on her son and husband because they suffer quite a bit from migraines. My other thought was, could you use a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil and add magnesium flakes to that in a roller ball? Thank you!

  9. Melody Avatar

    I get migraines about every 1 1/2 weeks (I have one right now…) and use Young Living’s M-Grain which seems to help alot (seeing as I am functioning pretty well!). I am wondering if I am magnesium-deficiant as well, as I’ve tried many things including cutting gluten from my diet. I can’t wait to make this when I get more YL oils. 🙂

    1. Wendy Avatar

      You may be having hormonal headaches. I get them during ovulation and periods. They last about 3 days. I have been taking feverfew, butternut, and evening primrose oil along with maca daily. It has made a huge difference.

  10. Sara Bolton Avatar
    Sara Bolton

    Thanks for posting this and noteing what is and isn’t safe during pregnancy! Suffering from headaches from the huge drop im caffine and so I decided to make this in hopes it would work. Instant relief and I do mean INSTANT!

    1. Krista Avatar

      I must have missed where what is safe for pregnancy is listed, could someone point me in the right direction? Thanks so much!! This recipe looks awesome! I have been using magnesium oil in my anxiety blends, but haven’t thought about using it for headaches! Thanks so much for sharing

  11. Ana Avatar

    I love this!! I suffer from migraines, can’t wait to give this a try!
    Would it be possible to make it like a lotion bar though? If I maybe added a little beeswax?

  12. Krystal Avatar

    Hi Katie, just wondering if you have a secondary site for buying essential oils. A few of the oils are out of stock and I’m wondering where would be the next best place to buy? I am new to all this and I am LOVING all your stuff!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. Angela Reiter Avatar
    Angela Reiter

    I love your site and am learning alot. I also have been researching essential oils. This recipe seems awesome but isn’t the dilution a little high? I am guessing you are using a 10ml bottle.


  14. Alice Avatar

    I’m new to all of this and was just wondering but we are mixing oils and water right? Because the magnesium oil is really a water base? Does it matter?

  15. vicki Avatar

    OK. I’ll join the chorus. I too, was skeptical. Yesterday I suffered with a bad headache whilst watching my two beautiful, if rambunctious grandchildren. I’d been intending to put this solution together but hadn’t gotten to it. Once they were gone, I drug myself around to see if I had all the ingredients. I did! This type of headache can last anywhere from 3-8 days for me. I hadn’t been getting them so frequently but we just moved to NE and this is the 2nd time in a month Oct/Nov, I was down with one. Once I made this I applied it to my forehead and temples, then my neck and shoulders as you suggested. I then just sat down and put my feet up and chatted with my husband for a while. When I got up, BAAM! No more headache! Well, the over-the-top part of it had subsided anyway, which made ALL the difference.
    Next day, I still felt the minimum under layer of the headache so today I am caring it around with me. I’m so grateful for this alternative. I’ve had liver issues so I try really hard to not take anything for my headaches.
    My two daughters, one in the army, both get headaches and both have birthdays this month so this will be tucked in their packages somewhere, I assure you!
    I cannot thank you enough for this Natural Headache Relief Stick recipe!!!

  16. Melissa Avatar

    Hi – Wonderful recipe. Can you tell me what size roller ball you use? Thanks so much!

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