Essential Oils for Picky Eaters

by Jodi Cohen

asian child girl with expression of disgust against vegetables isolated on white background

Are you or someone you love a picky eater?

If you, your loved ones or your children avoid many foods due to taste, smell, texture, or appearance, you might consider it a personality trait.  Interestingly, many causes of picky eating have nutritional roots that can be supported with essential oils.   Essential oils can be used to naturally address the following 8 underlying causes of picky eating.

Essential Oils for Picky Eaters

1. Avoiding Meat = Low Stomach Acid  

When your stomach is not producing enough stomach acid, also called gastric acid or hydrochloric acid (HCl), protein cannot be digested, which leads to a disinterest in eating protein, especially meat.

When your digestive juices fail to reach a certain level of acidity, you are not able break down protein, like meat and chicken.  When food isn’t properly broken down, it sits in the stomach longer than it should causing physical discomfort that you might experience as bloating, discomfort, or acid reflux.  It is the Parasympathetic response that triggers the release of HCl and applying the Parasympathetic blend behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone before meals can help ensure that sufficient HCl is released and the symptoms of discomfort associated with eating meat are diminished. Read more about essential oils for HCL HERE.

2. Craving Sugar = Yeast Viral and Microbial Overgrowth

Candida or yeast overgrowth in the gut may increase cravings for sugar or foods high in carbohydrates that easily convert to sugar as sugar is the preferred source of fuel for yeast. Research shows that gut microbes can influence the cravings and food choices of their host, you!

Candida is a type of yeast that assists the body with the absorption of nutrients.   It normally lives in small amounts in the mouth, gut and skin without causing any problems.  Candida can multiply and grow out of control resulting in a condition known as candida overgrowth. If you suffer from Candida or yeast overgrowth, you may also suffer from extreme cravings for sugar and simple carbohydrates. As the Candida continue to colonize, they need more and more sugar and sugar cravings will increase.

Essential oils can be used to effectively inhibit the growth of candida and treat and reverse different forms of candida infections.  Several studies reveal that the anti fungal and antibacterial properties of essential oils work to control yeast overgrowth without harming the beneficial gut microbiome. For example,  research shows that lemongrass and clove essential oils can bust through biofilms that shield pathogens like candida, making them challenging to treat.   Clove essential oil, the primary ingredient in the Parasympathetic™ blend, contains those antifungal properties proven to obstruct Candida formation and reduce candida strains to near zero levels.  Another study found that the antimicrobial activity of clove oil was enhanced in combination with other essential oils, which has been consistent with our experience of the Parasympathetic™ blend.  Parasympathetic™ blend can be applied behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone, on the bottom of the foot or on any digestive reflexology points (my favorites are on the ankle (three finger widths above the inner ankle bone) and the webbing between the big and the second toes. Parasympathetic™ can also be added to 1-2 teaspoons organic coconut oil and swished around in the mouth as part of an oil pulling routine to alleviate oral thrush.  Try to swish the oil for 15 – 20 minutes to help break the candida biofilms and detox the mouth (including the tongue).

Other oils that support candida overgrowth include Small Intestine Support™ which Lemongrass, a powerful antiseptic, antidiarrheal, antifungal, and antibacterial essential oil can break up Candida biofilm and alter its cellular structures.  Gut Repair Kit™ helps support good bacteria in the gut to keep candida from overgrowing. Read More about essential oils for candida overgrowth HERE.

3. Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies (such as zinc) can make all foods taste bad or bland. When zinc is deficient, sense of smell is reduced and food tastes boring or unappetizing. Texture can then become an even bigger factor. If you couldn’t taste flavor, mashed potatoes would taste like bland mush.  Research associates a candida overgrowth with nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin B6, magnesium and essential fatty acids.  Parasympathetic can help support candida overgrowth. Read more about essential oils for Candida overgrowth HERE.

Similarly, healthy gut flora and mucosal lining are critical for absorbing nutrients from food neutralizing toxic substances. To repair both, rub Anti Inflammatory™ and Intestinal Mucosa™ clockwise around the belly button 2 – 3 x daily to help restore the balance of healthy intestinal flora and heal the lining of the digestive tract.  You can find Parasympathetic™Anti Inflammatory™ and Intestinal Mucosa™ in the Gut Repair Kit™.

4. Dairy and Wheat Sensitivity

Picky eating is often due to being addicted to wheat and dairy.  For example, picky eaters crave almost only wheat and dairy containing foods like: pizza, milk, bread, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, as well as maybe a few snack foods like French fries.  Food allergies are an immune response to proteins in particular foods that your body perceives as harmful.  Your immune system then responds by releasing excess histamine, which can present as allergy symptoms. Your body then “remembers” this immunologic reaction — and when the allergen food enters your body again, the histamine response is more easily triggered.

These opiate-like compounds created from the improperly digested wheat and dairy proteins can cause addictive cravings for wheat and dairy foods.  To help support sensitivities to wheat and dairy, consider Histamine Balance.  A leaky gut can make you more susceptible to food allergies, so the Gut Repair Kit™ which contains three powerful oils – Parasympathetic™Intestinal Mucosa™ and Anti-Inflammatory™ – can help you’re your body’s reaction to food allergies. You can read more about essential oils for Allergies HERE.

5. Chemical Additions

“Addictions” to chemicals (e.g., MSG, artificial additives) can affect restriction to one brand or a strong preference for processed foods. MSG is known to create “excitement” in the brain by stimulating the glutamate (excitatory) receptor, making food seem to taste much better. It also has an addictive quality, prompting you to crave the foods that give you that hit and reject foods do not trigger the same stimulatory response.  Artificial ingredients such as artificial colors and flavors can also affect similar cravings.  Essential oils can support withdrawal symptoms from addictions.  For example Digest™ blend contains Ginger oil, which can help to suppress strong cravings.  The blend also contains Peppermint™ oil which helps relieve withdrawal symptoms.

6. Sensitivity to Smell

Sensory sensitivities can restrict the consumption of certain textures. For example, you’re your sense of smell is amplified or reduced, you experience food differently – making textures like mashed potatoes bland and accentuating aversion to certain strongly smelling foods, like fish.  Fragrance sensitivity can be related to liver overwhelm, which can be supported by the Detox Support Kit™ along with Lymph™.  These oils help open drainage pathways to make sure your body can eliminate the released toxins as quickly as possible so they are not reabsorbed back into the body where they can overwhelm your liver.

7. Nausea

Nausea is the sensation of an urge to vomit. If eating or the thought of eating, produces nausea, gagging, and/or vomiting, you are likely to avoid foot or become a more selective/picky eater. Essential oils can help calm the stomach to prevent and relieve nausea, vomiting or other digestive issues, including Digest™ which contains oils like Ginger that works as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, laxative, tonic and stimulant to help curb nausea and vomiting.  Parasympathetic™ and Gall Bladder™ may also help alleviate nausea and vomiting.  Peppermint™ has antiemetic and antispasmodic properties that help support digestion. Lavender™ essential oil is also powerful for nausea, vomiting and digestive issues.

8. Anxiety

Research has found a link between anxiety and picky eating. Picky eating can be a tool to manage anxiety.  And, the more anxiety you experiences, the more committed you might become to your anxiety-management system.  This is especially true if eating (or the thought of eating) produces nausea, gagging, and/or vomiting.  Addressing the underlying anxiety may help address the root cause of picky eating. Adrenal™ and Calm™ oil can help reduce anxiety related to picky eating.  Calm™ in particular contains several citrus oils, including Tangerine which sends a hunger signal to your brain, helping to overcome picking eating.

Read More about Essential Oils for Anxiety HERE.

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About The Author

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.

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