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Instant pain relief for headaches | Aromatic gel with Japanese essential oils

March 17th, 2017

The primary purpose of headache care is to remove the unpleasant pain, as it can ‘feed’ on itself and make the problem worse. Using aromatherapy, it is possible to relieve tension headaches by adding essential oils that relax the muscles in addition to their analgesic action.

For essential oils recommended for tension headaches and pain associated with neck stiffness please see here.

Today let’s look at how to create an “astringent” analgesic aroma gel, with some unusual Japanese essential oils!

To work quickly on headache pain, we can use aloe vera gel for the base material. Aloe vera gel is recognized as an effective medium for enhancing the percutaneous absorption of active ingredients. It is good to use when you want to quickly cool the areas affected by pain or hot flushes.


Relieve tension headaches with an analgesic aroma gel made from Japanese essential oils!


  • Aloe Vera gel (15ml)
  • Essential oils (dilution rate 2%):
    • Hakka (Japanese peppermint oil) (3 drops)
    • Mizume-zakura (2 drops) (substitute for wintergreen)
    • Okamura-saki (4 drops) (substitute for lavender)

Put the Aloe vera gel into a glass container. Add essential oils, mix well and leave to set. Apply the aroma gel to shoulders, neck, hairline and temples.


About the essential oils we used


Hakka is a variant on the more common types of peppermint. It is a Japanese mint native to Japan. The menthol content is greater than in peppermint, and it has a quick analgesic action against headaches.

Mizume-zakura is also known as Mizume or Azusa (from the Japanese word for birch tree). It is named Mizume-zakura because it looks like cherry blossom, but in fact it has no association with cherry. The essential oil is extracted from the branches and leaves, the main component (99%) of which is methyl salicylate. It has a natural aspirin-like action, like the essential oil wintergreen, improving the blood circulation while expanding the blood vessels to work on pain. However, methyl salicylate is a contraindicated compound, so if you have an aspirin allergy avoid using it.

Okamura-saki is a Japanese lavender from Furano, Hokkaido. Extremely fragrant, its aroma will percolate well. Lavender has a sympathetic nerve-activating function as well as being a muscle relaxant, both of which will help relieve tension headaches.

With Japanese essential oils, it would seem there is a subtle, mysterious power behind the aromas, with the effect of relaxing you from the heart outwards! For me, working with them is my favourite discipline. While they are a valuable resource, if you have difficulty in sourcing them they can be substituted for other essential oils.


Most effective when applied via thermal shoulder pads


After application, a thermal pad applied to the shoulders is effective for warming. Doing so helps to quicken the analgesic action of essential oils, improving the blood flow, relaxing the muscles and working to resolve tension headaches. After that, rest slowly until the pain subsides.