When it comes to losing weight, most people try to find the right diet and exercise program to burn calories. Some doctors and alternative medicine practitioners also tout the power of aromatherapy to help individuals with their weight loss goals. They believe that certain fragrances and scents decrease an individual’s appetite, preventing him from overeating and triggering a loss in weight. Most weight loss aromatherapy programs rely on a standard group of fragrances that have proven to be effective in controlling appetite.
Peppermint is probably the best known scent to decrease appetite. It promotes a feeling of fullness, which lessens the chance that individuals will overeat, and also helps cut back on cravings for sweets. Sniffing peppermint oil 10 to 15 minutes before eating should help curb your appetite during a meal. You can also add a few drops of the oil to your water so you continue to smell it throughout the meal, increasing the chance that you eat fewer calories.
Grapefruit has long been associated with weight loss, and there is a fad diet based on eating a piece of the fruit before every meal to promote more efficient fat-burning. While those claims are dubious, grapefruit is commonly used in weight control aromatherapy because its crisp, bright fragrance helps lessen cravings for sweets. Pink grapefruit essential oil is particularly helpful in lessening appetite. Grapefruit essential oil may be rubbed between your hands, so when you cup them together you can slowly inhale the scent. It is also easy to adjust the intensity of the aroma by moving your hands closer or further away from your face. For best results, sniff grapefruit oil at least five minutes before eating. It is also helps to drink a glass of water after inhaling the oil because the water increases the feeling of fullness.
Many aromatherapists believe that the scent of lemon speeds up the metabolism and provides fuel to fat-burning cells in the body. It is also believed to affect the appetite. According to Therapeutic Reiki, a website that focuses on alternative medicine, a study was conducted on the effect of lemon aroma on the brain and evidence was gathered that it stimulates the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls rational, left brain thought. This helps prevent emotional eating and binges by allowing individuals to realize when their appetite has been satisfied.
Fennel and Patchouli
Many aromatherapists utilize fennel and patchouli essential oils to help curb the appetite. According to the West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy, the use of fennel as a appetite suppressant may be traced back to ancient Greece. Patchouli has been used in aromatherapy for years to treat various conditions, such as anxiety or rage issues, and a noted side effect has been its ability to decrease appetite. Used in conjunction, fennel and patchouli may provide more effective appetite control benefits. Some aromatherapists recommend inhaling the scents at multiple times throughout the day instead of only before meals because it will help the effect last longer.
Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.