Aromatherapists use essential oils for a variety of therapeutic effects. Aromatherapy uses small amounts of oils for massage, bathing, inhalation, evaporation over a heat source, compresses or by spraying a diluted solution on clothing or living areas. The International Federation of Aromatherapists do not endorse consumption or internal use of essential oils. Follow all directions included with your essential oils or contact a certified practitioner. Also, be aware that the Food and Drug Administration has not verified the effectiveness of many essential oils for weight loss.
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In "Illustrated Elements of Aromatherapy," aromatherapist Clare Walters from the Art of Health and Yoga Center in London highlights the digestive and diuretic properties of grapefruit oil. Its effects include the ability to relieve fluid retention and help dissolve fat. A massage therapist might massage a blend of massage oil containing grapefruit onto fatty areas of a client's body to help reduce cellulite. You may find that smelling grapefruit essential oil also helps you feel more energized, less hungry and happier.
Peppermint oil may help you feel fuller. According to Dr. Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago, peppermint affects the part of the brain that deals with satiety, or feeling full. Hirsch recommends inhaling the aroma of peppermint throughout the day before each meal to curb appetite.
Although bergamot essential oil does not directly curb appetite, it may have soothing effects on the mind, including relieving stress and creating a sense of well-being. Hirsch suggests combining bergamot with lavender, which also has calming properties. Because many people eat more when they feel stressed, smelling bergamot may create a sense of calm that keeps them from eating when they are not truly hungry.
Tangerine essential oil is another citrus-based oil that may help with weight loss. Practitioners may use the oil to tone skin, helping to diminish the appearance of cellulite, stretch marks or scars, according to aromatherapist Clare Walters. Tangerine is also supposed to help regulate metabolism, create feelings of happiness and reduce anxiety. Take caution not to go out in the sun after applying tangerine. Tangerine essential oil is often combined with bergamot or lavender. Note that mandarin essential oil has the same benefits.
Rose geranium is supposed to be a powerful essential oil with mood lifting qualities. Clare Walter suggests that its properties may help diminish cellulite, reduce the effects of edema or fluid retention and positively balance hormones. Rose geranium has other possible properties, including working as a skin care agent, anti-fungal, anti-parasite and toxin flusher. This essential oil gets a GRAS rating from the FDA, which means that it is generally recognized as safe.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- "Illustrated Elements of Aromatherapy"; Clare Walters; 1998
- International Federation of Aromatherapists: What are Essential Oils?
- Raw Foods Witch: How to Use Essential Oils
- International Federation of Aromatherapists: Find an Aromatherapist