Oct 15 2012

Science, Scents and Shapes

Many people are familiar with aromatherapy’s mood-enhancing effects, but studies show that it is also an effective healing modality for numerous conditionsbut what about weight loss?

Alan Hirsch, MD heads up The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, which evaluates and treats disorders that are smell and taste-related. As a board-certified neurologist as well as a psychiatrist, his research focuses on how taste and smell affect human behavior. Hirsch discovered that scent can be used to help curb food cravings and that inhaling an aroma throughout the day inhibits the desire to eat.

Dr. Oz, in his book YOU on a Diet cites these studies which show that the scents of peppermint and grapefruit have shown to be effective in calming down cravings.

Cravings can show up even when you’re not especially hungry, because they can be triggered when stress or fatigue lead to low blood sugar or low seratonin. A subconscious signal from the brain can drive you to reach for food (usually a carb) to restore these levels.

Unfortunately, quite often the first thing reached for is processed junk food. Essential oils work by directly affecting the brain’s satiety center, which is found in the hypothalamus.   Studies show that using essential oil prior to eating a meal can make you feel full more quickly, so you can eat less and still feel satisfied.

Several oils have been cited for weight issues, including:

  • Agrimony- inhibits eating triggered by frustration
  • Bergamot- stimulates the endocrine system, alleviates stress
  • Grapefruit- supresses appetite
  • Orange- emotional support
  • Pink Yarrow- for emotion-induced overeating
  • Peppermint- aids digestion
  • Snapdragon- overcome oral fixations masking unexpressed anger
  • Tangerine- diuretic that calms nervous system
  • Ylang Ylang- clarifying and calming

Recently I have formulated a new spray which has a citrus base with mint. Clients report that it does help with cravings, plus it’s energizing, so if you’re one of those who experience that 3 pm slump (you know- the one where you really, really want that candy bar!) you’ll be especially pleased with it. It’s simple to use- just shake and spray it on the upper chest area. Your body heat helps bring the essential oils scent upwards to the nose.

I found this formula effective the first night I whipped up a batch. I remembered at midnight that I completely forgot to have dinner! The spray is super affordable at $7.50 per bottle, and there’s a money back guarantee. I’ll have some at the Holistic Health and Healing Expo this weekend. Hope to see you there!