Essential oils have been used safely for thousands of years to enhance wellness and prevent illness. In one of our first blog posts, we explored the difference between essential oils used in aromatherapy and edible essential oils designed to be safely consumed. Today, we begin a 3-part series of blogs exploring edible essential oils for appetite suppression and how they can be used to support healthy eating habits and weight loss.
In this article, we will address the following topics:
- Which powerful essential oils curb appetite?
Which Powerful Essential Oils Curb Appetite?
Many adults are frustrated when their bodies crave unhealthy foods. Without being appropriately addressed, cravings can bring on binge eating, which has a range of negative health implications. Cravings can be triggered by a variety of factors, including stress, lack of sleep, mood, and hormonal changes such as menopause or andropause.
People who seek a natural way to suppress an overactive appetite may benefit from essential oils. Research demonstrates that essential oils interact with our biochemistry on a cellular level. This occurs through naturally occurring molecules found in plants, such as terpenes, which are present in essential oils. Alongside other functions, terpenes give plants their scent and are therefore responsible for the aroma of essential oils. Many terpenes are adaptogenic, meaning they have the power to help our bodies respond to environmental stressors and triggers. These may be toxins in our environment, or potentially harmful physiological responses within our own body; such as the impulse to eat as a means to self-soothe. As aromas are known to stimulate the hypothalamus, an area of the brain implicated in satiety, or the feeling of fulness, essential oils may provide a natural means to suppress or stimulate appetite, where appropriate. In this way, essential oils may support appetite suppression and ultimately weight loss through their effect on satiety, cravings, and the body’s stress-response; as well as their effect on sleep, mood, and the metabolism.
Many people are surprised to discover the relationship between mood, sleep, appetite, and weight loss. We usually crave ice cream or chocolate, or reach for junk food, when we’re seeking comfort, whether that’s after something major like a break up, or as common as a stressful day at work. Low energy states, emotionally and physically, leave us most susceptible to craving and consuming unhealthy foods. It’s because of this that sleep and mood are so much a part of our relationship to food and weight loss. Essential oils can therefore support weight loss through a variety of mechanisms, not only through their effect on appetite, but also through their effects on mood and sleep.
Let’s now turn to the most powerful essential oils for appetite suppression and weight loss, through their effects on cravings, satiety, sleep, the stress-response, mood, and metabolism:
- Fennel Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Rosemary Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
Fennel Essential Oil
Fennel essential oil works in several different ways to suppress appetite. Fennel seeds contain the hormone melatonin, which helps in regulating the sleep cycle. Proper sleep, of appropriate length and at the right time of day (overnight), downregulates the hunger hormone ghrelin. By supporting a healthy sleep cycle, fennel essential oil may therefore suppress appetite and reduce late night food cravings, which are associated with weight gain. Fennel also contains aromatic terpenes fennel anethole, fenchone, limonene, a-pinene, and estragole. A few animal studies have shown that the aroma of fennel essential oil improves digestion whilst encouraging lower calorie consumption; ensuring that more nutrients are absorbed from the food that is consumed. By promoting better digestion and nutrient uptake, fennel essential oil may therefore reduce food cravings and excessive eating. In this way, fennel essential oil may facilitate appetite suppression and weight loss through improved sleep and digestion.
Reduce+ Jupiter™ , an essential oil blend specifically formulated to support weight loss, contains fennel oil to help reduce late night food cravings, and encourage lower calorie consumption.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is arguably the most powerful essential oil for appetite suppression. Research has shown that peppermint essential oil impacts the part of the hypothalamus responsible for the feeling of satiety (feeling full), encouraging the release of hormones, such as leptin, which help you to lose your appetite. At the same time, the hypothalamus inhibits the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin, as discussed above. A literature review of peppermint oil, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research in 2006, showed a growing body of research about the essential oil and its effects on the gastrointestinal system, including on IBS. In 2007, one study found the scent of peppermint to have such a powerful effect on appetite that participants consumed 2,800 calories less than usual. The researchers further found that peppermint essential oil prevented participants from stress-eating through anxiety reduction and increased focus. Moreover, peppermint contains menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate. Menthol, a naturally occurring alcohol, affects how food smells and tastes and can therefore act on appetite and be used to reduce food cravings. By helping us feel full, focused, and calm, peppermint essential oil is a powerful partner for anyone seeking to control food cravings, reduce appetite, and lose excess weight.
Reduce+ Jupiter™ , an essential oil blend specifically formulated to regain appetite control, contains peppermint oil to help promote the feeling of satiety and reduce stress eating.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary is a well-known herb used in Mediterranean, Indian, and Anglo-Saxon cooking. Rosemary essential oil contains high levels of the terpenes a-pinene, 1,8-cineole, borneol, linalool, verbenone, camphene, and b-pinene, which can relieve stress and anxiety, act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and aid memory and focus. When the body is under stress or anxiety, it releases the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone causes you to crave sugar and carbohydrates and is therefore related to weight gain. Acting as adaptogens, the terpenes contained in rosemary help to control the release of cortisol and can therefore assist in weight loss. Remember, adaptogens help the body respond to stressors and return to balance (homeostasis). Adaptogens found in rosemary essential oil support a fundamental biochemical process called methylation, which is responsible for regulating many important activities in the body including neurotransmitter production, energy production, and fat metabolism. It is also involved in keeping the liver healthy and the body free of toxins. In this way, rosemary essential oil is well placed to support individuals in weight loss through its potential to reduce stress-eating and increase energy levels and fat metabolism.
Reduce+ Jupiter™ , an essential oil blend specifically formulated to reduce cravings, contains rosemary oil to help reduce stress-eating and improve fat metabolism.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil packs a powerful punch to fat cells through two key terpenes, limonene and citral, which also assist in lowering blood sugar levels. Citral has been found to reduce lipid (fat) accumulation and reverse the effects of diet-induced obesity, while limonene has been found to lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride fat levels in the liver. Citral has also been shown to boost the body’s metabolism, which in makes burning fat easier and more efficient. In order to lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we consume. A person with a faster metabolism will achieve this more easily than someone who does not, because their body burns more calories, when exercising and at rest, than someone with a slower metabolism. Limonene has also been shown to possess anti-anxiety properties, which may reduce associated stress-eating behaviours. In this way, lemon essential oil may support weight loss by decreasing the amount of fat stored in the body and increasing the amount of fat we burn by boosting our metabolism; while at the same time alleviating anxiety associated with stress-eating.
Reduce+ Jupiter™ , an essential oil blend specifically formulated to regain appetite control, contains lemon oil to help lower blood sugar and boost metabolism.
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As you can see from our in-depth exploration of fennel, peppermint, rosemary, and lemon essential oils, essential oils assist appetite suppression and weight loss in a number of key ways. These include:
- Supporting a healthy sleep cycle, which eliminates late night food cravings and snacking.
- Improving digestion and nutrient absorption, so that we get more out of the food we consume and don’t crave and eat more than we really need.
- Helping our body release hormones that suppress appetite, such as leptin, and reduce hormones that stimulate it, such as cortisol and ghrelin.
- Creating a sense of calm and focus, so that we don’t feel compelled to stress-eat.
- Increasing our energy levels and fat metabolism.
Through their effects on sleep, satiety, the stress-response, cravings, our mood, and metabolism, these powerful essential oils are well placed to support appetite suppression and weight loss as part of a balanced lifestyle including healthy eating and exercise.
How to Choose Between Diffused, Topical, and Edible Essential Oils?
So, what is the best way to include essential oils as part of a healthy lifestyle?
Until recently, there really were only two options: diffuse them into the air, for you to breath in; or apply them topically to your skin, for you to absorb. With the creation of Cephyra® Activated Oils™, you can now consume high quality essential oils safely, with our edible essential oils specifically formulated for ingestion. So, what’s the difference?
Diffusing Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils requires the use of a diffuser, a small appliance that turns essential oils into a scented vapor for you to inhale. If you’ve ever visited a spa or yoga studio, it’s likely that you have come across essential oils being used in this way. Diffusing essential oils emphasises their fragrance and affects the body through the olfactory nerve, which is responsible for our sense of smell. The scent molecules of the essential oils are carried through the air as a vapor, which, once inhaled, stimulate the olfactory nerve. According to Johns Hopkins University, these scent molecules then go onto affect the brain and broader nervous system, in particular the amygdala, a part of the brain principally involved in the ‘fight or flight’ response. For this reason, diffused essential oils may be particularly useful for promoting relaxation and calm, due to their quick uptake by the brain after simply breathing them in. They may also accompany and enhance breathing exercises used to promote greater calm and relaxation. However, using a diffuser is not without its limitations. Johns Hopkins University warns that diffusion in a common space, such as a living room or workplace, may adversely affect people for whom the aromatherapy was not intended. For example, diffused peppermint essential oil intended for an adult, but inhaled by an infant, may cause the child to become agitated. Additionally, an adult with a faster than average heartbeat may react negatively to peppermint. For these reasons, it’s best not to diffuse essential oils in a common space.
Topical Essential Oils
Topical essential oils are those that are applied topically to the skin. If you’ve ever seen a massage therapist, you’re likely to have experienced essential oils being used in this way. Indeed, topical applications of essential oils can help relieve muscle tension, joint pain, and inflammation in the body. In particular, bergamot, cinnamon, ginger, lavender, rosemary, and peppermint are noted as some of the most promising essential oils for the relief of knee and joint pain. Massages with ginger essential oil, for example, have been found to provide relief from knee pain and stiffness one month after treatment; while massages with lavender essential oil have been found to ease musculoskeletal pain and knee pain associated with osteoarthritis. Topical essential oils work by being absorbed by the skin, from where they are taken up by the bloodstream. The natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the essential oils are then able to work their magic from within the body. To not cause irritation to the skin, however, essential oils must be diluted by a carrier oil before being topically applied to the body. This is because essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that are too strong to apply to the body on their own. Combining 10-15 drops of pure essential oil with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil, such as coconut, avocado, or jojoba oil, will prevent any stinging, itching, or redness from occurring, while also helping the skin to absorb the essential oils more easily. Even after diluting, however, people with eczema may still react badly to topically applied essential oils.
Edible Essential Oils
Cephyra® Activated Oils™ differ from traditional essential oils requiring diffusion or dilution, as discussed above, because they have been specifically designed for oral consumption. These edible essential oils are food grade products, made using certified Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) to ensure their fitness for consumption. Carefully blended with our carrier oil of choice, macadamia oil, our edible essential oils require no further preparation at home and can be enjoyed on their own or in combination with other foods and beverages. Experience the benefits of aromatherapy, traditionally associated with diffused essential oils, by simply placing a few drops of Cephyra® Activated Oils™ in a freshly brewed cup of tea. Inhale their exquisite aroma before savoring their rare taste, an indulgence unafforded by any other kind of essential oil, with traditional essential oils for diffusion and topical application unsafe to consume orally. Go one step deeper than topical essential oils by experiencing the magic of edible essential oils from the inside-out. Perfectly placed to support you in your weight loss journey, Cephyra® Reduce+ Jupiter™ contains the four most powerful essential oils for appetite suppression, fennel, peppermint, rosemary, and lemon, perfectly blended with the finest quality macadamia oil, prepared to the highest standards of food safety. Get the most out of this edible essential oil by adding Reduce+ Jupiter™ to a plant powered smoothie in between meals as part of a healthy eating and exercise program. Cephyra® Activated Oils™ are a convenient and safe addition to any wellness routine, however, if you take prescription medication, please seek approval from your health care provider beforehand.
Each method of consumption, whether diffused, topically applied, or ingested, has its strengths and weaknesses. Diffused essential oils are great for a quick fix, due to their fast uptake by the nervous system after breathing them in. They’re best to only use in private, however, so that others aren’t unwittingly exposed to their effects. Topical essential oils are great for physical ailments, such as achy muscles and joints, however, they must be diluted first so as not to irritate the skin. Edible essential oils provide an immersive sensory experience that goes beyond what other essential oils offer, working their magic from the inside-out. However, as the only edible essential oil brand, Cephyra® Activated Oils™ are the only means for consumers to experience essential oils in this exceptional way.
Note: regardless of essential oil type, those with allergies to particular plants should avoid using essential oils derived from those plants. For example, do not use lavender essential oil in any form if you are allergic to lavender.