Essential Oils for Weight Loss
Which Oils to Use for Weight Loss
My top 3 essential oils for weight loss are grapefruit, peppermint, and cinnamon. There is tons of research showing how eating grapefruit helps promote weight loss by helping with blood sugar, appetite, and the breakdown of fat. However, research on isolated nutrients from grapefruit having that same impact is mixed. Interestingly, grapefruit essential oil has been shown to impact the same mechanisms for weight loss as eating grapefruit (1). An interesting study done on peppermint oil showed that just smelling it curbed appetite and cravings (2)! My 3rd pick is cinnamon oil. There is quite a bit of research and historical use of cinnamon for stabilizing blood sugar (3). When blood sugar is stable you are less likely to have cravings and overeat. You are also not going to store as much fat. Insulin spikes impact the way you burn and store energy. If you want to keep it burning, keep that blood sugar stable!
Which oils should you purchase?
Most essential oils are not therapeutic grade. Those should not even be considered. Many of those have other chemicals in them and do not take the time and care to retain the potent phytochemicals found in quality oil.
What if the oil claims to be therapeutic grade? Unfortunately not all therapeutic grade oils are equal. Just like most industries there are some companies that go above and beyond to create the purest and highest potency oil and others that claim a superior product but do not deliver. Two companies that both have very high standards and rigorous testing of their products are DoTERRA and Young Living.
How to use oils for weight loss
One of my favorite ways of getting oils into my body is by rubbing them on my feet after my morning or evening shower. Different parts of the bottom of your feet correspond to different organ systems in the body. This is the basis for reflexology. Rubbing powerful therapeutic grade essential oils into your feet is a great way for these powerful oils to get to the whole body! Also, it is one of the least sensitive skin areas on the body. Some oils (like cinnamon) may need to be diluted if put on the skin. Those with very sensitive skin may need to dilute all oils. Olive oil or fractionated coconut oil is a great option for diluting your oils.
I also enjoy putting essential oils on my wrist instead of perfume. Just add a drop and rub wrists together.
Keep oils in your purse and take a whiff or use an oil diffuser in your home or office. They even sell diffusers for the car now!
There is a lot of debate on if essential oils should be taken internally, and if so, what circumstances and how it should be consumed. Many aroma therapist, nurses, and doctors that use essential oils disagree with this trend of using these oils internally on a regular basis. One of the reasons is that these oils are all very potent and it is possible to irritate the mouth, throat, and stomach. Also, they are so powerful that they are usually used internally (in capsules) for killing bacteria, yeast, and parasites.
What impact is it having on the microbiome (our good bacteria)? There does not seem to be research on this. However, the frequent use of essential oils in general seems to positively support the immune system. If it negatively impacted the gut flora (a theory due to its strong antibiotic like properties), it would not likely have such a long lasting positive impact on the immune system.
Still, it is very common to add therapeutic grade essential oils to water, yogurt, foods, or other beverages. Many people who try this don’t seem to have any adverse reactions and actually report positive effects on their immune system, digestive system, energy, and mood. I do this regularly and I love it! Pay attention to your body. If it is too strong for you do not take oils orally. If you tolerate oils well, the citrus oils and peppermint, while strong, pair the nicest with food and beverages. I add essential orange oil to my balsamic dressing, my plantain pancake recipe, and my roasted beets. All therapeutic grade citrus oils support the immune system and weight loss, but grapefruit seems to be the star citrus for weight loss.
These oils are strong so you only need a drop. You can have one drop in your water 3-4 x/day. Make sure your water is not in a plastic bottle. Use one of those glass bottles that are protected by silicon on the outside. If you have acid reflux I wouldn’t use the peppermint oil orally. Peppermint can actually exacerbate acid reflux in some individuals. Both Young Living and DoTERRA have their own oil blend that combines these or similar oils. DoTERRA makes a Slim & Sassy blend and Young Living makes the Slique Essence blend.
Effects of Peppermint Scent on Appetite Control and Caloric Intake. Alex Reed, Jude Almeida, Ben Wershing, and Bryan Raudenbush
Phytomedicine. 2007 Jan;14(1):15-22. Cinnamaldehyde--a potential antidiabetic agent.
Subash Babu P1, Prabuseenivasan S, Ignacimuthu S.