You may already know essential oil aromatherapy can be an effective treatment for anxiety and hormone imbalance, but did you know you can also use essential oils for weight loss? While there’s no substitute for diet and exercise, many of the hurdles to losing weight (and keeping it off) have a psychophysiological basis.
Whether you struggle with emotional eating, dieting fatigue, lack of consistent motivation, slow metabolism, cravings for sweet foods, low energy, poor digestion, or depressed moods, using essential oils as part of your fitness program could be the missing piece.
To achieve true weight loss success (and keep the weight off) you have to fight a constant never-ending daily battle between your mind and your body, with many components that come into play, like your genes, hormones, brain psychology, metabolism, emotions, and also the surrounding environment.
Essential oils are arguably the oldest healing and therapeutic compounds, dating as far back as 6,000 years. The early Egyptian, Indians, Chinese, Greek, Africans, and Romans all revered the healing power of the aromatic essential oils derived from fruit, flowers, herbs, and roots.
Essential Oils for Weight Loss FAQ
We found and answered a few important frequently asked questions regarding what essential oils are, what they do, how essential oils for weight loss work, and where you can buy the best essential oils for weight loss.
1. What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils, which are hydrophobic liquids composed of highly concentrated volatile aromatic compounds, are derived from the roots, seeds, flowers, fruits, and leaves of plants. Aromatherapy is thought to stimulate parts of the brain which has a positive impact on physical, emotional, and mental states.
2. What Do Essential Oils Do?
When the nose inhales the aroma from essential oils, the olfactory glands interact with the hippocampus and amygdala, the parts of the brain responsible for emotions. It also sends neuropathic messages to the parts of the brain concerned with physiological processes such as regulation of stress and blood pressure, heart rate, motivation, learning and focus.
3. How Do Essential Oils Work?
One reason why losing weight and keeping it off can be so difficult is the psychological and physical barriers that the body and mind have to battle with. Using essential oils alongside your regular exercise and nutritional plan can aid in easing the effects of slow metabolism, poor digestion, low energy, unhealthy cravings, low motivation and diet fatigue.
Eliminating these symptoms or barriers could be just what you need to reach your weight loss goals. there are some unique essential oils that have fat-burning compounds or others that can help alleviate cravings and uplift mood. inhaling a culinary smell like rosemary, peppermint, grapefruit, orange etc. "regularly throughout the day, especially when hungry can suppress the desire to taste and therefore eat," and that by inhaling an aroma deeply 3-6 times in each nostril, "the desire to eat is inhibited."
4. Where Can You Buy Essential Oils?
You can find essential oils on Amazon, they have a wide variety of essential oils with reviews to help you make your purchasing easy. If you want to buy locally essential oils are gaining popularity and you may find some in the vitamin section of your local pharmacy or in your local health food, food co-op or organic section of your grocery store.
How We Reviewed
Our team spent much time and effort researching different essential oils for weight loss. To bring you this top ten list featuring only the best essential oils for weight loss, we reviewed:
Commonly used as an antiseptic and disinfectant, this is one of the best essential oils for weight loss. It has a sweet, crisp, and uplifting aroma. Grapefruit contains nootkatone, a natural chemical compound. Nootkatone stimulates a specific enzyme (AMPK to be precise) that controls the body’s energy levels and metabolic rate. When nootkatone is introduced into the system, AMPK speeds up chemical reactions in the tissues of the brain, liver, and skeletal muscle.
Research on the interactions between nootkatone and AMPK have resulted in increased endurance, reduced weight gain and a decrease in body fat, as well as improved physical performance. In another study, lab rats were exposed to grapefruit oil three times per week for 15-minute intervals. The outcome: reduced appetite and weight loss. Limonene, the primary component in grapefruit, is thought to induce lipolysis, the process whereby body fat and protein breaks down and dissolve.
- USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC: Our organic Cinnamon Leaf essential oil is certified by Oregon Tilth to ensure the absence of...
- 100% PURE THERAPEUTIC GRADE: Our Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil is 100% pure premium quality oil. As one of the most...
- GC/MS TESTED AND CERTIFIED: In addition to only working with the world's most reputable farms, distillers and producers,...
Derived from the inner bark or leaves of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon essential oil has a warm and sweet fragrance. Insulin is the hormone responsible for metabolizing carbohydrates and fat by facilitating the absorption of blood glucose by either converting it to energy or storing it as fat. When cells in the body stop responding to insulin, a condition called insulin resistance, the body erroneously stores fat instead of burning it, resulting in not only weight gain but also in difficulty losing weight. Leading to high blood sugar and elevated blood insulin levels, it is a precursor for Type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon extract, however, has been shown to help heighten insulin sensitivity in the brain and increase the rate of blood glucose uptake. Up to 25% of Americans are affected by metabolic syndrome, a confluence of disorders that include impaired glucose tolerance, abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high blood cholesterol. Certain inflammatory cells have been identified in the body fat of genetically obese people, and cinnamon extract has the ability to inhibit the production of these molecules, which could be an important factor for preventing weight gain.
- Citrus Bergamia - Citrus and spicy-floral scent with hint of orange. Natural antiseptic and muscle pain reliever.
- Sedative and uplifting-valuable for depression and states of anxiety.
- Rich in herbal and therapeutic properties - detoxifies, promotes hair growth, diminishes skin blemishes and scars.
The aroma profile of the bergamot orange is a complex blend with a sweet, tangy, and spicy notes. Anxiety and depression can sometimes lead to emotional eating, and while this may bring about a temporary sense of comfort and relief, eventually it piles on even more negative emotions like guilt and self-criticism.
Bergamot oil offers a pleasant way to break this vicious cycle. A recent study examined the effects of just 15 minutes of bergamot oil aromatherapy. Not only did the study’s participants self-report improved positive emotions and increased energy, but researchers discovered that bergamot oil had an instant physiological benefit. To measure stress more objectively, they took saliva samples and tested them for cortisol, a hormone that is released as a stress response, and found that those who inhaled bergamot oil had much lower cortisol levels than those who did not.
- Zingiber Officinale - Warm, spicy and woody scent. Best known for its antiseptic properties and remedies for digestive...
- Uplifts mood while sharpen the senses and memory.
- Natural remedy for digestive problems, poor circulation and respiratory problems.
Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory. This is important for weight loss because reduced inflammation leads to better absorption and digestion of nutrients. Ginger contains a compound called gingerols. Research shows that gingerols decrease inflammation in the intestines, improving overall absorption of vital nutrients and potentially preventing diseases. If you're trying to lose weight, ginger oil will help you absorb the vitamins and minerals you need to boost cellular function and energy and support your weight loss goals.
A 2013 study suggested that ginger oil "possesses antioxidant activity as well as significant anti-inflammatory" properties and in just a month increased enzyme levels in the blood of lab mice and significantly decreased chronic inflammation.
Another 2014 study concluded that supplementing with ginger helped to suppress obesity caused due to a high-fat diet and that ginger is a "promising adjuvant therapy for the treatment of obesity."
Struggling with belly fat? Ginger oil can help. A 2004 article published in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin showed that ginger is an excellent cortisol suppressant. High cortisol levels due to a stressful lifestyle and hormonal imbalances can spike blood cortisol levels, throwing the body's natural metabolism out of whack - reasons that cause fat, including belly fat to pile on.
- Botanical Name: Citrus limonum
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Cold pressed from the peel, lemon oil has a clean pick-me-up scent with slightly sour overtones. Lemon also contains the fat-dissolving powers of limonene. Supporting the findings of the aforementioned grapefruit oil study, researchers found that lemon oil used with grapefruit oil increased lipolysis.
As a mood booster, lemon oil is a powerful treatment for alleviating negative feelings. It also raises norepinephrine levels, a stress hormone and neurotransmitter responsible for the fight-or-flight mechanism.
Norepinephrine increases oxygen in the brain for better cognitive function and ramps up heart rate and blood flow which allows muscles to work faster and better. Aches and strained muscles may prevent you from keeping up with your workout routine, but lemon oil has yet another viable function as a pain reliever.
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- WONDERFUL MINT SCENT FOR AROMATHERAPY IN LARGEST BOTTLE AVAILABLE. Diffuser Ready. Use it as a Cooling and Revitalizing...
- TREMENDOUS HEALTH BENEFITS. Perfect for Digestion Problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diarrhea, Constipation,...
Fresh, minty, and intense, peppermint oil contains menthol which has a calming and cooling effect. Containing up to 70% menthol, peppermint has been used medicinally for centuries to treat indigestion. It's an effective muscle relaxer, and when used with caraway oil, peppermint essential oil eases the muscles of the stomach, reduce bloating, and improves the flow of bile, which allows food to pass through the body faster.
In an experiment pitting peppermint oil against ylang-ylang, researchers discovered that volunteers who inhaled the peppermint aroma were more alert, had improved memory function, and were calmer in mood. Peppermint oil is also a natural appetite suppressant. In a 2008 study titled Effects of Peppermint Scent on Appetite Control and Caloric Intake, participants who inhaled peppermint oil every two hours reported lower hunger levels and consumed “significantly fewer” calories.
- 100% PURE FENNEL (SWEET) ESSENTIAL OIL: Steam distilled from the seeds of the Fennel plant to produce a high-quality...
- RELIEVE MENSTRUAL DISCOMFORT: Mix 2 drops of Fennel with 2 drops of Carrot Seed with a Tablespoon of your favorite Plant...
- EASE YOUR WORRIES: Diffuse two drops of both Fennel (Sweet) and Rosemary in your favorite aromatherapy diffuser,...
Earthy and sweet, fennel essential oil is steam distilled from fennel seeds. Fennel is a source of melatonin, the hormone that naturally regulates circadian rhythms by signaling to the brain daily wake-sleep cycles, and is one of the best essential oils for weight loss for this reason. In addition to a more restful sleep, scientists have also found melatonin to reduce weight gain by creating more “beige fat” - which burns off as energy - rather than “white fat” - which the body stores for energy.
In the middle ages, people ate fennel seeds to suppress the appetite on fasting days. This idea has garnered scientific support through a study on fennel oil aromatherapy performed on rats. Over the course of eight weeks, the animals inhaled fennel oil twice a day for 10 minutes; this resulted in fewer calories consumed and a faster rate of food digestion.
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- THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES - While It is most well known for its mental uplifting, and purifying properties, Sandalwood oil...
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If you are an emotional eater and eat when you're stressed out, sandalwood essential oil is one of the best essential oils for weight loss because it can help suppress feelings of negativity and bring a sense of calm. It has a wonderful woody scent, and has a natural therapeutic effect on the limbic system of the brain (the area of the brain that controls primal emotions like pleasure and anger and drives power, hunger and more). By balancing your emotions, you'll stop turning to food to feel good, and better help support your weight loss goals.
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Different oils work in various ways to combat weight loss. Some prevent fat accumulation, some help digestion, others help suppress appetite and more. A primary contributor to obesity today is depression and anxiety. In fact according to the National Centre for Eating Disorders, "feelings such as anger, guilt, sadness and anxiety can often trigger episodes of overeating."
Research suggests that lavender essential oil is one of the best essential oils for weight loss as it might help calm stress and anxiety and suppress the triggers that cause emotional eating. Lavender can also lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone that makes your body hold on to excess fat, making it harder for you to lose weight.
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With its refreshing minty scent, eucalyptus oil is great for invigorating the senses, reducing stress, boosting energy and alleviating mental fatigue. But can eucalyptus oil help weight loss?
Eucalyptus oil helps alleviate stress and anxiety which are directly connected to overeating and weight gain. When you feel stressed, the strong aroma of eucalyptus oil can instantly help relax and invigorate so you aren't tempted to run to food for instant fulfillment.
We hope this article has helped you better understand these ten excellent essential oils for weight loss, and that you can enjoy the many benefits these essential oils offer beyond just helping with weight loss. Pick out your favorite from our list and head over to Amazon to purchase it for yourself so you can care for your body the way it deserves to be treated. Or, you can always try your hand at aromatherapy and blend a few of your favorite scented oils to find your perfect mixture of aromas. What are you waiting for?