How can essential oils of both basil and angelica relieve headaches? From a Chinese Medicine perspective they enter different meridians (energy channels), and have different properties. Properties include natures (warm, cool); tastes (sweet/bitter/spicy, etc.); emotional effects (calming, stimulating, nurturing, etc.); physical actions (anti-inflammatory, analgesic); and contraindications (basil oil is not safe during pregnancy).
If you are in my office, and annoying/painful headaches is something you want help with, I have many options for treatment. First, I will ask you where on your head you have or get the pain. This is how I learn which meridians are involved. I ask some more questions, feel your pulses, look at your tongue, and make a diagnosis based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. I then create an acupuncture point prescription to remedy your headache and other aspects including your overall constitution. I may needle these points and/or apply appropriate essential oils, or maybe both. I might also send you home with essential oils that you can use on yourself…..yes, I will explain to you where to apply them, when, how much and how often. Of course, a custom created herbal formula is another modality I might use, as well as gua sha, cupping or tuina.
In answer to the question at the top of this blog: basil could be great if your headache is because of sinusitis. Angelica might heal your aching head if the pain is primarily on the sides, you are stressed and have been overeating. I say ‘could’ & ‘might’ because there are other factors I consider: the properrties noted above, your overall constitution, including current physical, emotional & spiritual situations. Essential oils, like acupuncture, work on all these levels.
In a consultation, I can answer your specific questions or concerns.
Lisa Goodstein, L.Ac