Sinus & Headache Balm
This easy DIY sinus and headache balm is an all-natural remedy that helps relieve stuffy noses, allergies, and headaches.
I created this balm recipe specifically for a relative with chronic sinus problems that kept them from sleeping well for years.
She reported that it helped immensely and she even regained some lost smell after using it!
(She’d been to her doctor several times already, to rule out serious problems, but still had no relief.)
In testing it on myself first and then a few others, I found it had the bonus benefit of helping to reduce the pain from a headache too.
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Essential Oils for Sinus & Headache Relief
This sinus and headache balm is loaded with quite a few essential oils; if you don’t have all of the ones listed, some are more optional than others.
A few drops of white camphor essential oil (Cinnamomum camphora) is included because it added the extra oomph that my first test batches lacked, but there are some cautions for camphor essential oil to be aware of.
First, make sure you purchase a quality white camphor essential oil. The brown and yellow types have higher levels of a toxic compound. I buy white camphor from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Also, you should avoid camphor essential oil if you’re pregnant or nursing. (More info & contraindications.) This balm isn’t for young children and it’s intended for temporary use while symptoms are present. Check with a qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is a powerful antiseptic and sinus decongestant.
- Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) has natural pain relieving properties and promotes mental clarity.
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has many benefits including: loosens mucus, eases headaches, and is antiseptic.
- Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) soothes inflammation, promotes easier breathing, and relieves congestion.
- (optional) Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium); added for its ability to loosen mucus and its antihistamine action.
- (optional) Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha); added because it cools inflammation and is helpful for respiratory problems.
- (optional) Frankincense (Boswellia carteri); added for its tonic effect on lungs and breathing.
Notes on Oil Types & Combinations
Since this balm is meant to be lightly rubbed over your nose and sinus area (but not around your eyes or inside your nose!), I want it to be as non-greasy as possible.
Being beeswax and oil based, it will always have an oily feel to it when you first apply; however, choosing oils that soak in more quickly will help.
Olive, sunflower, and avocado are going to feel heavier on your skin, so look for lighter oils such as fractionated coconut, grapeseed, safflower, hazelnut, and rosehip. Apricot kernel and rice bran are nice options too.
Infusing the oil with lavender leaves and/or flowers first adds a little something extra to the mix, but is completely optional.
You can use just one oil, or mix and match all sorts of oil types as you’d like, as long as they total 3.5 oz (99 g). Here are some examples:
- 2 oz grapeseed oil + 1.5 oz fractionated coconut oil
- 2 oz apricot kernel oil + 1.25 oz fractionated coconut oil + 0.25 oz rosehip
- 3 oz grapeseed oil + 0.5 oz lavender leaf infused rice bran oil
Sinus & Headache Balm Recipe
Measurements are given by weight.
- 0.5 oz (14 g) beeswax
- 3.5 oz (99 g) oil (or oil combination)
- 55 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 17 drops peppermint essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drops camphor essential oil
- optional: 2 drops each of manuka, myrrh & frankincense essential oils
Melt the beeswax with the oil over medium low heat, using a double boiler or heatproof container set down into a saucepan of hot water.
Let cool for a couple of minutes, then add the essential oils.
Stir, stir, stir frequently and vigorously while the mixture cools. This causes it to turn into a balm consistency. Not stirring will create a more solid salve texture.
Spoon into a jar and lightly dab on nose and sinus area as needed. For headaches, also apply to your temples, neck, and shoulder blade area.
NOTE: This balm has just under a 4% dilution rate. (4% dilution for 4 ounces of balm = abt 96 drops essential oil, this balm has 84 drops) It’s intended for short term use while symptoms are present.
Keep away from your eyes and don’t apply directly inside your nose. For external use only.
Some migraine sufferers may be more sensitive to essential oils during a flareup, while others find them helpful. Your mileage may vary!
Consult a qualified health care provider for any questions or concerns relating to your symptoms.