How to Get Rid of a Sinus Headache

All About How to Get Rid of Sinus Headaches-min

A sinus headache can be debilitating, especially as pressure builds behind the nasal passages, and if you’re wondering how to get rid of one – especially as spring brings allergens out of winter hiding – you’re hardly alone.

 Dragana Gwoman with sinus headacheordic

Often caused by allergies or colds that can cause chronic congestion, sinus headaches are mostly felt behind the bridge of your nose as well as behind your cheekbones and forehead. Sinus headaches occur when sinuses become inflamed, which causes an increased production in mucus and the swelling of the lining of the sinus cavities, causing them to feel closed off.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the forehead, cheekbones or behind the bridge of your nose.
  • Sudden movement of the head causes pain.
  • Pain that is accompanied by a runny nose, facial swelling, or fever.

While there are over-the-counter remedies for any and all types of headache, they all pose potential problems including liver or kidney damage, especially if taken in high doses.  Essential oils, however, when used properly, rarely have side effects, and the blend of essential oils in MONQ’s Relieve personal diffuser work in synergy to wipe out headache pain swiftly.1

While the oils in MONQ’s blend were specifically blended to relieve pain, there are times when headaches are overwhelming, and other essential oils may be needed to enhance the effects.

essential oil being poured into bowl

How Do Essential Oils Work?

Most pain relievers on the market temporarily relieve pain by stopping the production of prostaglandin. This is the chemical that sends pain messages to the brain. But the relief is only temporary. Pain relievers do little to ease the symptoms behind sinus headaches, such as congestion and inflammation.

Cold medications that do ease those symptoms come with side effects like dizziness, sleepiness, and dry mouth.

Unlike pain relievers or cold meds, essential oils can open nasal passages, relieve pain and reduce inflammation. They do this by creating effective communication on a cellular level. They also are less likely to have side effects if used with a carrier oil when applied topically. This makes them a safer and more effective alternative.

Most essential oils also have compounds that reduce stress and give your immune system a boost. When weighing the pros and cons, essential oils win, hands down.

That’s why they have been used for homeopathic purposes for centuries.

Today’s versions, such as MONQ’s carefully curated blends, simply use the benefits of science to ensure the best possible results.

Essential Oils Help Say Sayonara to Sinus Pain

Our MONQ Relieve personal aromatherapy diffuser features a selection of essential oils. They include ginger, lavender, spikenard, helichrysum, clove, and frankincense. These oils help keep histamines in check while relieving pain and inflammation.

But there are other essential oils you can use to augment the Relieve blend. They’ll help erase that sinus headache so you can get on with living your most vibrant life.

eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Research has shown that eucalyptus essential oil acts as an expectorant, cleansing away toxins and opening clogged nasal airways.

While a 2013 study that appeared in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine did not focus specifically on headache pain, research did find that eucalyptus oil helped ease inflammation and pain, both of which accompany a sinus headache.2

An earlier study, this one featuring 2010 research from Israeli scientists that appeared in the same journal, found that the exhilarating aroma of eucalyptus oil helped relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory infections, including congestion that can be linked to sinus headaches and the accompanying discomfort.3

More Essential Oils for Pain

peppermint essential oil

Peppermint Essential Oil

While peppermint oil has been studied for tension headaches – a 1996 German study found that peppermint essential oil helped relieve headaches triggered by stress 4  – its refreshing scent is known for opening up nasal passages, making it well suited for sinus headaches, as well.

Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, which can ease symptoms of a sinus headache by opening closed nasal passages, allowing mucus to drain. With the pressure relieved, pain melts away.

Another German study, this one from 1995 in the journal Phytomedicine, found that when applied topically (use a carrier such as almond oil), peppermint essential oil cooled skin and reduced the flow of blood to the site of pain, relieving inflammation that played a role in causing the discomfort.5

holy basil essential oil

Holy Basil Essential Oil

Holy basil acts as a natural antihistamine. According to a 2007 study that appeared in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, it also acts as an analgesic. It relieves headache pain and headache-related symptoms also dissipate.6 It is also known as tulsi.

Holy basil is one of the cornerstones of Ayurvedic medicine. The beta-caryophyllene it contains helps fight inflammation, including that associated with the swelling of nasal passages. According to a 2008 study from the National Academy of Sciences, beta-caryophyllene interacts with the endocannabinoid receptor system. This system not only controls inflammation, but also pain, so beta-caryophyllene helps regulate the discomfort associated with sinus headaches.

rosemary essential oil bottle

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary is a versatile oil with many different qualities, but it can also ease inflammation and pain of a sinus headache.

According to 2013 research from Korean scientists, rosemary helps reduce inflammation and acts as an analgesic, relieving pain. That makes it a welcome essential oil for addressing sinus headaches. The bright, pine aroma can also help open clogged nasal passages, easing other sinus symptoms. The work appeared in the journal Food Chemistry.7

tea tree eseential oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree is also a versatile oil, and while we have written about tea tree oil’s ability to ease sinusitis8, we haven’t delved very deeply into some of the studies to support those claims.

A 2015 study appearing in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine found that tea tree oil acts as an antibacterial, which could help ease the symptoms of sinusitis, the trigger for sinus headaches.9

Tea tree oil also helps ease inflammation, which could help open nasal passages so you can breathe easier, based on 2006 research from Australian scientists appearing in the American Society for Microbiology journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews.10

The citrus-based neroli essential oil, along with other citrus oils including grapefruit, bergamot, tangerine, and lime, can also help ease headache pain.

Photo credits: DraganaGordic/, plprod/, AmyLv/, 5PH/, rawf8/,


By Brenda Neugent

Brenda began her journey with essential oils 20 years ago when making homemade soaps and has been researching and writing about them ever since. She feels that there’s still a lot to learn in the world of aromatherapy and wants to take readers along for the journey.

Favorite MONQ blend: Private: Healthy

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers. MONQ blends should not be inhaled into the lungs.

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