Do you have a weight loss goal? While there is no substitution for proper nutrition and exercise in reaching your ideal weight, essential oils can offer a plethora of benefits along the way.
Essential oils are concentrated liquids containing the natural oils and aroma of a plant. They are used in cosmetics, soaps and cleaning products, and for the flavoring of foods and beverages. They also have a ton of medicinal benefits.
Incorporating essential oils in your weight loss routine can be as simple as a few drops in your water or food or a drop rubbed into your skin. Various essential oils can assist with weight loss by improving metabolism, managing food cravings, giving you the energy you need to keep moving and exercising, and improving your mood which should keep you motivated. This can be accomplished through single oils or blended oils depending on what type of aid you would like to incorporate.
Below are a few of the most commonly used essential oils for the purpose of weight loss. Others such as lemongrass, rosemary, bergamot, and sandalwood should also be considered because of their properties of stress relief, healing, anti-inflammatory or anti-fungal effects.
Reduces appetite, boosts metabolism, increases energy
Grapefruit oil contains the constituent nootkatone which interacts with the enzyme AMPK to increase chemical reactions in the brain, liver and skeletal muscles resulting in increased energy and metabolic rate. Studies have shown that long term diets incorporating 0.1-0.3% nootkatone can significantly reduce weight gain caused by high fat and high sugar diets and can prevent obesity.1
To Use: Add 1-2 drops in 4 fluid oz. of water
Regulates blood sugar, reduces cravings
Cinnamon works to regulate blood glucose levels and can assist pancreatic function.2 This is beneficial in maintaining mood and energy to keep you exercising and moving throughout the day. By maintaining good blood glucose levels, you will also have less food cravings which will prevent snacking and over eating.
To Use: Add 1-2 drops in hot water or tea
Reduces inflammation, reduces cravings, increases thermogenesis
Ginger contains gingerols which help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and aid in digestion. Ginger also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties essential for healing your body during weight loss.3 Ginger also assists with burning more calories by increasing diet-induced thermogenesis and promotes satiety which prevents over eating.4
To Use: Add 1 drop in 4 fluid oz. of water; add 1 drop to your favorite sweet/savory food dish
Promotes healthy digestion, metabolism, liver function and circulation
Fennel has been used for thousands of years for its health benefits. Known for its ability to enhance digestion, it also boasts benefits related to gas and reducing food cravings.5
To Use: Add 1-2 drops in water or tea
Removes toxins, relieves anxiety, reduces the appearance of cellulite
Cypress oil is a diuretic that may help to relieve the body of excess water that can increase the appearance of cellulite. It can also increase circulation which can help the liver in removing toxins and cholesterol from the body.6
To Use: Add to 1-3 drops to equal parts fractionated coconut oil or other carrier oil and apply topically to area of concern.
- Murase T, Misawa K, Haramizu S, Minegishi Y, Hase T. Nootkatone, a characteristic constituent of grapefruit, stimulates energy metabolism and prevents diet-induced obesity by activating AMPK. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism. 299(2):E266-75. 2010.
- Davis PA, Yokoyama W. Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis. Journal of medicinal food. 14(9):884-9. 2011.
- Mashhadi NS, et al. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013;4(Suppl 1):S36-S42
- Mansour MS, et al. Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: a pilot study. Metabolism: clinical and experimental. 61(10):1347-52. 2012.
- Valussi M. Functional foods with digestion-enhancing properties. International journal of food sciences and nutrition. 63 Suppl 1:82-9. 2012.
- Ibrahim NA, El-Seedi HR, Mohammed MM. Phytochemical investigation and hepatoprotective activity of Cupressus sempervirens L. leaves growing in Egypt. Natural product research. 21(10):857-66. 2007.