Over the years, people have doubted the effectiveness of aromatherapy for weight loss. More recently, though, scientists have studied the relationship between weight loss and the sense of smell. And they’ve reached some interesting conclusions.
So… Can you use aromatherapy for weight loss? The short answer is “Yes”.
This is not to say that aromatherapy is a “magic bullet” or instant weight loss cure – there is no such thing. But aromatherapy can be a valuable part of a healthy, sensible weight loss program.
Aromatherapy does two things: It can help manage cravings and feelings of hunger, and it can also address some contributors to weight issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.
How Aromatherapy for Weight Loss Works
Research shows that appetite and the sense of smell are closely connected. In fact, studies have found that our sense of smell actually triggers feelings of fullness before our stomach does.
When you inhale an essential oil, its microscopic molecules directly affect a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. An area inside the hypothalamus called the “satiety center” controls feelings of hunger/fullness.
The satiety center ‘reads’ certain essential oil molecules as a signal that you are full. And the good news is, this happens much faster than your brain gets the signals from your stomach telling you you’re full – so you feel full sooner!
The most well-known essential oil for weight loss is Pink Grapefruit.
Basil, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Ginger, Lemon, Marjoram, Patchouli, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Thyme, Vanilla and Ylang Ylang are some other appetite-suppressing essential oils for weight loss.
The trick to using these essential oils to curb your cravings and suppress your appetite is to inhale the appetite-suppressing essential oil for at least five minutes. Inhaling for less than five minutes can actually stimulate your appetite – not good!
Make Your Own Aromatherapy Weight Loss Inhaler
Use this handy aromatherapy inhaler any time you feel a craving come along. Carry it in your bag, keep one in your desk, your kitchen… wherever it will do the most good.
Pour a teaspoon of coarse sea salt in a very small dark glass or PET plastic bottle and add one of the following blends:
Aromatherapy for Weight Loss Citrus Blend
30 drops Grapefruit essential oil
4 drops Lemon essential oil
1 drop Ylang Ylang essential oil
Aromatherapy for Weight Loss Mint Blend
20 drops Peppermint essential oil
10 drops Bergamot essential oil
4 drops Spearmint essential oil
1 drop Ylang Ylang essential oil
Aromatherapy for Weight Loss Herb Blend
15 drops Basil essential oil
15 drops Marjoram essential oil
1 drop Oregano essential oil
1 drop Thyme essential oil
To use your aromatherapy weight loss inhaler, take three long, slow, deep breaths of the aroma. Take a short break, then take three more deep breaths. Do this three times. Sniff long and hard through each nostril. Really flood your nose with scent – in this case, more is better!
Use the aromatherapy weight loss inhaler before eating and whenever your appetite is triggered. Scientific studies show that the more often you inhale essential oils for weight loss throughout the day, the more effective it will be.
Some studies suggest that aromatherapy is more effective for weight loss if you change up the scents every day. You might try making an aromatherapy inhaler with each of the essential oil weight loss blends above, and then use Citrus on Monday, Mint on Tuesday, Herb on Wednesday and so on.
In these stressful, hectic times it makes sense to use every tool available to support our health – both mental and physical. Using aromatherapy for weight loss will not only help you meet your weight loss goals, but it will also help you feel happier, calmer and more able to cope every day. After all, that’s the nature of essential oils!
Further reading about aromatherapy and weight loss:
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose, or cure any condition.