Essential oils aren’t new, but did you know that essential oils have been used for weight loss? Their therapeutic and healing properties have been known and used by cultures from all over the world for more than 5,000 years. They are extracted from the bark, roots, leaves, stems, fruit, flowers and sap of many different plants and trees. Each carries different therapeutic properties. Many of these can help boost metabolism, reduce blood sugar levels and inflammation and break down body fat – all properties that work toward weight loss.
How Essential Oils Can Help with Weight Loss
Many of the essential oils for weight loss, if 100% pure and therapeutic-grade, can be ingested or made into topical lotions or creams with carrier oils. One of the best ways to use essential oils for weight loss, however, is aromatherapy. By diffusing essential oils, you can stimulate parts of the brain that have a positive impact on your physical and mental state. When the molecules are inhaled, these areas are stimulated and can influence our physical, mental and emotional states which, in turn, affects everything from mood, sleep and motivation to heart rate, blood pressure and stress level.
So, when you need help with fighting cravings, fatigue, poor metabolism or emotional over-eating, the use of essential oils can be an effective tool. Keep in mind, though, essential oils are in no way a replacement for a healthy diet and daily exercise. Essential oils are a complementary support system during your weight-loss journey – like a really good smelling trainer that is always on hand when you need that extra boost!
Enough about the background of essential oils, here are the 9 essential oils for weight loss.
GRAPEFRUIT ESSENTIAL OIL for weight loss and cellulite
Grapefruit has long been touted as one of the most desirable fruits for many diet plans. The reason for this has been confirmed by several studies regarding its benefits for weight loss. Grapefruit contains an organic compound called nootkatone which, when ingested, activates an enzyme called AMPK . AMPK boosts metabolism, breaks down body fat and encourages weight loss. Another study that “identified and characterized nootkatone, a constituent of grapefruit, as a naturally occurring AMPK activator,” found that grapefruit can help to prevent obesity as well as improve overall physical performance.
Grapefruit essential oil works the same way as the actual fruit. In fact, it comes from the grapefruit peel, which is where the highest amount of certain metabolism-boosting compounds are found. It is also helpful in cleansing and draining the lymphatic glands, so when applied topically to the skin in small amounts, grapefruit essential oil is an excellent diuretic. When taken orally, it activates the AMPK enzymes in saliva, which help break down body fat.
How It’s Good for Cellulite Reduction
Not only is it an effective diuretic, but grapefruit also contains high levels of anti-inflammatory and skin-cleansing agents. One of these is the enzyme bromelain – an enzyme that is known to break down cellulite. According to the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, the primary way grapefruit can be used to reduce cellulite is through inhaling the vapor of the extract because it stimulates the nervous system by 250 percent. Grapefruit oil aromatherapy, combined with a good quality topical cream, reportedly has a strong effect on cellulite reduction.
Natural Cellulite Cream: Add 15 drops of grapefruit oil to ½ cup of coconut oil, mix well and store in a sealed glass jar. Massage onto affected skin daily.
How to Use for Weight Loss
Drink: Add 1-2 drops of therapeutic-grade grapefruit essential oil in 8 ounces of water and drink it when you wake up in the morning. This will help to improve metabolism, increase fat loss and detoxify the body. Doing the same after a meal will help you digest food better and alleviate bloating.
Inhale: The fresh scent of grapefruit oil can help alleviate sudden cravings. Inhale directly from the bottle or add a few drops to a cotton ball and breathe it in. Smelling grapefruit oil relaxes the parasympathetic gastric nerve, the body’s main mechanism that activates food cravings.
Apply: Rub grapefruit oil on your wrists, chest, temples and just under your nose to instantly control cravings and curb your appetite.
Diffuse: Put 2-3 drops of grapefruit oil in your diffuser, especially when a craving strikes. Plus, the clean, citrus scent will give your home a pleasing, fresh-smelling aroma.
CINNAMON ESSENTIAL OIL for weight loss
Cinnamon essential oil is highly beneficial for diabetics as it helps lower blood glucose and serum cholesterol levels. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels which curbs over-eating and sugar cravings, increases energy and aids in weight loss.
How to Use for Weight Loss
Drink: Add 1-2 drops of 100% pure, therapeutic-grade cinnamon oil in a cup of warm water with a small amount of honey (raw honey is best). Doing this everyday will help reduce cravings. You can also add cinnamon oil to your baking, oatmeal or smoothies.
Inhale: When a sudden craving hits, take a few deep breaths of cinnamon oil straight out of the bottle. Doing this can potentially make you feel more full and help you to not over-eat.
Apply: Always combine cinnamon oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut, as it is very potent and can cause skin irritation or rash. Apply to wrists or chest.
Diffuse: Add a few drops of cinnamon oil to your diffuser. This will make your home smell warm and comforting, as well as control your hunger pangs.
GINGER ESSENTIAL OIL for weight loss
Ginger oil supports weight loss by helping to relieve sugar cravings and reducing inflammation in the body. Reducing inflammation is a key component to weight loss. Ginger contains compounds called gingerols that are scientifically proven to reduce disease-causing inflammation and improve the absorption of vitamins and minerals. When this happens, the body’s cellular energy is boosted and weight loss occurs. Ginger is also a cortisol suppressant, which makes it beneficial for fat loss. High cortisol levels, caused by stress and hormone imbalances, cause fat – especially around the belly area.
How to Use for Weight Loss
Drink: Place 1-2 drops of 100% pure, therapeutic-grade ginger oil in 8 ounces of warm water with fresh lemon juice and raw honey. Drink daily.
Inhale: Open a bottle of ginger oil and breathe in the spicy scent to help reduce cravings.
LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL for weight loss
Extracted from the rind (just like grapefruit), lemon essential oil contains the fat-dissolving compound d-limonene. So, as one study suggests, when combined with grapefruit oil, lemon oil can support lipolysis (breaking down of body fats) and create a “suppression in body weight gain.” Lemon oil also helps to eliminate toxins in the body that can get stored in the fat cells and improve overall digestion. The scent of lemon essential oil raises norepinephrine levels in the body, which help increase oxygen, heart rate and blood flow for better endurance. Norepinephrine also reduces stress which, in turn, helps to keep cortisol levels low and ability to burn fat higher.
How to Use for Weight Loss
Drink: Using 100% pure, therapeutic-grade oil, mix 1-2 drops in 8 ounces of water. Drink in the morning for digestion support and detoxification.
Inhale: Breathe directly from bottle or soak a few drops in cotton ball to curb cravings.
Massage: As it is an excellent detoxifier, mix lemon oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba and massage into areas with cellulite build-up.
PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL for weight loss
A natural appetite suppressant, peppermint essential oil can help curb cravings when inhaled before meals. When participants in a study inhaled peppermint essential oil every two hours they had decreased appetite, decreased hunger cravings, and consumed up to 23% less calories per week. Peppermint’s strong sweet fragrance penetrates the amygdala (a group of nuclei within the brain associated with emotions) in such a way that it influences appetite. Menthol, the medicinal compound in peppermint, is also effective in improving digestion and soothing an upset stomach.
How to Use for Weight Loss:
Drink: 1-2 drops of pure peppermint oil can be added to 8 ounces of water before meals and used as an appetite suppressant. Make sure that it is 100% free from toxins and additives.
Inhale: Soak a cotton ball or breathe directly from the bottle to trigger a sense of fullness. This can help prevent overeating when done right before a meal.
Diffuse: Add 1-2 drops into a diffuser and let the minty aroma lift your mood, inhibit cravings and motivate you to exercise.
OTHER NOTABLE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Cilantro Essential Oil:
Extracted from the leaves of the plant Coriandrum Sativum, cilantro supports healthy digestion and nervous system functions. It also promotes lipolysis which leads to faster weight loss.
Fennel Essential Oil:
Fennel essential oil is a source of melatonin. While usually used as a sleep aid, it’s also been found to reduce weight gain by creating more good, beige or brown fat (which is burned off as energy) instead of bad, white fat (which is stored for energy). A study on fennel oil aromatherapy performed on rats showed that when they inhaled fennel oil twice a day for 10 minutes, they ate fewer calories and had a faster rate of food digestion.
Oregano Essential Oil:
Oregano oil’s high carvacrol content may help with weight loss. A study was performed on three groups of mice who were fed either a normal diet, a high-fat diet or a high-fat diet with carvacrol. Those given carvacrol with their high-fat diet gained significantly less weight and body fat compared to those just given a high-fat diet. Carvacrol also seemed to reverse the chain of events that lead to the formation of fat cells.
Ocotea Essential Oil:
This little-known essential oil comes from the leaves and branches of the Ecuadorian Ocotea tree. Very similar to the cinnamon plant, it contains trace amounts of cinnamaldehyde, a powerful antioxidant. It can help with cravings and promote feelings of fullness. It also has high levels of alpha humulene, which aids in healing stomach irritation and discomfort.
If you enjoyed the 9 Essential Oils for Weight Loss, then you must check out The Top 7 Essential Oils Everyone Should Use.