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Reduce Cravings with Essential Oils

By Jodi Cohen

A woman pondering over a choice between a bowl of salad and donuts, depicting the classic dilemma between healthy and indulgent eating options.

Essential oils, both topically applied and inhaled, can help you minimize cravings, reduce appetite and decrease food intake, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.

The part of your brain that controls hunger impulses is your hypothalamus.  Your sense of smell can directly access your hypothalamus by way of your olfactory system and your amygdala.  It is this direct channel between smell and your hypothalamus by which essential oils stimulate your hypothalamus to release hormones that support healthy metabolism and body weight, along with your endocrine, stress and digestive systems.

In fact, inhaling essential oils can directly affect your brain’s satiety center, helping you feel full and support weight loss.

Research by neurologist Dr. Alan Hirsch found that inhaling Peppermint calmed hunger impulses and helped people lose weight.  Hirsch conducted a 6 month study with 3,193 overweight participants who lost an average of five pounds each month without dieting.  Inhaling Peppermint essential oil three times into each nostril when they felt hungry helped some participants lose 18 pounds per month.

Hirsch believes you can fool your brain into thinking you’ve eaten more than you have, so you feel satisfied while eating less. A similar study conducted at Wheeling Jesuit University, found that individuals who inhaled peppermint every two hours were less hungry than those who did not, to the point where they consumed an average of 2,800 fewer calories per week.  “More than 90 percent of taste is smell,” according to Hirsch. “When you smell food, odor molecules enter the nostrils and reach the olfactory center at the top of the nose. The molecules affect the brain’s satiety center, located in the hypothalamus, and they send a signal that you’ve had enough to eat. The molecules trigger the release of hormones that create the sense of fullness even before you get the “stop eating” signal from your stomach.”

Like other systems in your body, your hypothalamus can get overwhelmed which compromises  its ability to regulate your metabolism.  Fortunately, it is possible to reverse damage and heal the hypothalamus by returning it to balance.  Read More HERE.


Best Essential Oils to Reduce Cravings

Essential oil blends, when used appropriately, have demonstrated great success in their ability to lower circulating blood glucose levels and enhance insulin sensitivity.  Blood sugar imbalances are both associated with weight gain. Low blood sugar triggers food cravings and high blood sugar makes it hard to shed weight.

The following essential oils can help you minimize cravings, reduce appetite and decrease food intake, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.

Peppermint can help you curb your appetite by triggering a sense of fullness, stopping cravings, and giving more energy. Peppermint can also help you improve your digestion, soothing an upset stomach, stimulating the mind, and helping with candida (which often influences weight).  Peppermint also boosts energy level by relaxing bronchial smooth muscles, expanding lung capacity so you can breathe in more oxygen, increasing fat burning potential.

White Grapefruit (Citrus paradise) can help decrease your appetite. In fact, research found that the scent of grapefruit essential oil stimulated the breakdown of fat tissue and led to a reduction in food intake.  Olfactory stimulation with scent of grapefruit oil affects autonomic nerves and appetite in rats.  More specifically, inhaling grapefruit oil three times a week for 15 minutes reduced food intake and body weight. Another recent study showed that the scent of grapefruit essential oil increased activity in the vagus nerve, resulting in lower appetite. As you may recall, your vagus nerve plays an important role in stimulating the production of stomach juices needed for digestion.  D-limonene, a component found in the rind grapefruit and of all citrus fruits, has anti- inflammatory properties connected to the ability of citrus fruits to promote weight loss.  D-limonene affects your nervous system which helps reduces appetite, suppress food intake and naturally shed body weight.    D-limonene has also been shown to help purify and cleanse the body and stimulate fat breakdown

Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is said to enhance the work of all the other essential oils for weight loss. It is known to alleviate intestinal discomfort, soothe inflammation and stimulate the circulatory system. Cinnamon oil is also great for balancing blood sugar, helping to lower fasting blood sugar levels and impacting healthy insulin levels, which can generally assist in weight loss. Emotionally and spiritually, cinnamon is said to increase our self-love, improve our body image and acceptance, and allows us to feel free to be ourselves.

Celery Seed (Apium graveolens) helps to reduce cellulite deposits and purify the body of toxins. Celery seed oil contains natural diuretic constituents that help eliminate excess fats along with potent antibacterial and antimicrobial attributes that help support healthy liver function.   A 1995 research study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. study demonstrated the protective effects of celery seed oil on the liver.  Celery seed essential oil also promotes healthy nutrient digestion and assimilation by supporting healthy secretion of digestive juices and enzymes.

Ginger Root (Zingiber Officinale) contains gingerol, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and increases thermogenesis, which boosts metabolism. Ginger also promotes optimal digestion, and stimulates the body to increase energy levels and burn fat. Emotionally and spiritually, ginger creates empowerment. Its warming and stimulating properties stimulates our inner strength, our willingness to change, and our refusal to being powerless or defeated in our life.

Lemon (Citrus limonum) can be used to increase energy, suppress appetite and improve digestive health. Lemon oil also supports the liver which helps clean toxins from the body which are otherwise stored in fat cells. Lemon™ can also support a multitude of digestive ailments and emotionally support self-judgments and self-approval.

Blood Sugar Balance™ blend:  This combination of White Grapefruit, Lemon, Ginger, Peppermint, Cinnamon and Celery Seed create an ideal synergy to help reduce cravings and stimulate weight loss. Several research studies on essential oils for achieved more powerful results with blends of different essential oils, than with single oils in isolation.  Read more about why I primarily sell blends here.



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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

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.