Each person is unique, even when they came to this world from the same womb. And if you’re a mother who has more than one mischief-machine running around the house, you probably know too that their eating habits could sometimes be on the opposite ends of the spectrum. One could be so picky he’d rather starve than eat what you served in front of him, another might like eating so much he’d snatch food right out of another child’s plate—even when he’s just finished his own generous serving.
It can be tough having to balance that out. Meanwhile, if you’re one of those families who also have elderly folks staying with them, you might find too that it can be difficult to get them to eat when they should.
Other situations where an appetite controller might prove useful is when someone is taking medication that affects their appetite—some drugs could cause you to lose interest in eating while others could induce obesity. For those recovering from an illness, eating more is imperative if they’re to get back on their feet faster. For those whose medications are making their metabolism go out of whack, giving a hard blow to their self-esteem in the process, helping them fight the obesity-causing side effects might be paramount to keeping their mental health in tip-top shape as well.
The reasons for wanting to regulate appetites don’t always have to be dire, either. When you feel like you’re getting on in pounds, for instance, and need to lose some weight, you’ll want something to help you suppress unavoidable hunger pangs and cravings. On the other hand, if you notice your appetite’s been declining lately and you need a boost to get your health back on track, an appetite stimulant would be just the thing.
- Essential Oils for Appetite Regulation
- Spearmint Essential Oil
- Bergamot Essential Oil
- Tangerine Essential Oil
- Grapefruit Essential Oil
- Citronella Essential Oil
- Lime Essential Oil
- How to Use Essential Oils to Regulate Appetite
So with all these said, what do you do? Where can you get the magic wand that might help you control the eating habits of the people you love, not to mention your own? While there’s no magical cure out there for anything, we could always rely on nature and science to help us out.
There’s an essential oil for everything, as they say, and that also holds true for both appetite stimulation and appetite suppression.
Allow us to introduce you to Aroma Foundry’s six most effective appetite-regulating essential oils. It really is difficult to force yourself or others to control eating habits. Our bodies could really be stubborn at times. With the help of these essential oils, you could have an all-natural and scientifically-proven solution to taming your appetite. You can finally be able to fit into your favorite jeans again or stop appearing to be in baggy clothes all the time. Just imagine that. Order our Appetite Regulation Essential Oil Pack today!
We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands:
Essential Oils for Appetite Regulation
1. Spearmint Essential Oil
Spearmint has a long history that goes even farther back than the time of the Ancient Greeks. Its use as both a restorative and as an aid in digestion have been well-documented, and these beneficial effects have not been dulled by the centuries. Spearmint and its essential oil can be just as useful today to help with not only improving digestion but also with stimulating the appetite.
As an aperient, it helps “open the bowels” which could then lead to the production of more gastric juices. And we all know how when strong hunger strikes, anything can look good and taste better than it actually does. This is especially ideal for picky eaters or for people in general who need help recognizing their stomach is empty and needs replenishing. Just make sure not to load children up with sugary snacks before meal times, then use a drop or two of spearmint essential oil on a cotton ball and place it where the particular child can get a good whiff.
You can also just place a drop on that child’s clothes to keep the scent away from other children who do not need their appetites stimulated any further. But note that in some cases, spearmint might work as an appetite suppressant for the first several minutes, so it could prove best for such a situation if you do this ahead of mealtimes. If you’re using it on yourself or with the elderly, you could also simply do it in the ways mentioned above.
Note that it is not necessary to ingest it with your food or drink. While some therapeutic grade essential oils may safely be taken internally in small doses, it is not recommended, especially as you can get the same effects just as easily through the inhalation and topical application routes. Also, stimulant-types like spearmint essential oil should not be used before bedtime, especially for kids.
The advantage of using spearmint as opposed to a stronger, more popular menthol-smelling oil like peppermint is that children and older folks alike can tolerate it much better. It doesn’t need to be diluted that much in order to render it safe for sensitive skin, and while its camphor scent is not so strong that it’s overpowering, the benefits are largely the same as with other mints. That said, it’s still recommended to use this oil in spare amounts. When applying it to the skin, make sure it is properly diluted with a carrier agent like olive oil.
Learn more about spearmint essential oil.
2. Bergamot Essential Oil
Also a well-known aid for digestion, bergamot essential oil can be classified not so much as an appetite stimulant but more of an appetite regulator. How is that different? If you’ve done some research on appetite stimulants before this, you’ve probably seen how there are contradictory claims about bergamot’s uses when it comes to appetite. While some sources say it can help address loss of appetite, some also say that it can be useful for weight loss. Well, which is it?
The answer is, it depends. See, bergamot essential oil is just like other essential oils in that it has a great number of properties, and each of these properties has more than one use. Among other things, bergamot is known for its remarkably quick uplifting effect on the mood. So if, for example, emotional disturbances are causing someone to overeat and gain weight as a direct result, bergamot can help control that overeating urge by first addressing the emotional issue. By alleviating the root cause of the weight-gain problem and eliminating the need to use food as a source of relief, bergamot essential oil could in theory help induce weight loss.
As for its reputation for whetting the appetite, bergamot is like most other citruses in that it can also stimulate the digestive system when its scent is inhaled. Its bright and refreshing fragrance is also ideal for children who might not appreciate the scent of spearmint, however mild it may be. Use it the same way as directed above whether it’s for the elderly, a patient, or for yourself.
If being used for your particular situation, there are other ways you could reap its benefits, including rubbing one or two well-diluted drops on your stomach before or after eating, as the case calls for it. If used before eating, it could either stimulate your digestive juices in preparation for receiving food. It could also adjust your mood such that when you start eating, you’d ingest only enough calories and not too much. If used afterward, it could greatly aid in your digestion, facilitating smoother metabolism while also giving certain fat-burning benefits.
Please note that citrus essential oils produced through the cold pressing method are more highly concentrated, acidic, and potent than other oils produced through the standard steam distillation method. These citrus essential oils can be photosensitive or phototoxic, meaning that among other things, exposure to sunlight can cause them to have a chemical reaction.
If you’re applying cold-pressed citrus to your skin, make sure you’ve diluted it more than you would other types of essential oils. For instance, the standard dilution is usually one drop of essential oil per one teaspoon of carrier. For some citruses, it’s less than a drop of essential oil for one tablespoon of carrier. And after it’s already on your skin, it is imperative that you refrain from going out in the sun for at least twelve hours to avoid burns or pigmentation.
Learn more about bergamot essential oil.
3. Tangerine Essential Oil
Similar to bergamot, tangerine essential oil could be a fantastic substitute for spearmint in order to stimulate the appetite and get your picky eater(s) to dig in. Its sweet, flowery, and citrusy scent has been known to be a hit with young children, and it’s also one of those essential oils that is safer than most for them to use regularly.
Like the other essential oils on this list, the effect you could get from it can vary depending on how it’s being used and by whom. Exposure to its scent lasting for a few minutes can activate the gastric juices in the stomach, kicking it into high gear to prepare for receiving food. The stomach would demand to be filled, so the brain and the possessor of that brain would be compelled to fulfill that demand. Meanwhile, if your child is one of those prone to throwing tantrums, the scent of this orange subspecies could also serve to calm frayed nerves and facilitate a more civilized meal time.
A longer and more regular exposure to tangerine essential oil’s scent, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect. Similar to bergamot, lemon, and grapefruit, tangerine can also act as an appetite suppressant in order to promote weight loss. Proponents recommend blending a drop or two of such citruses, along with a carrier agent and other essential oils like spearmint, and either encapsulating them or adding the blend to water to be drank. As we’ll also cover in the Precautions section, such practices can be extremely dangerous and should only be done under the recommendation and direct supervision of a qualified professional.
For instance, since oils by nature are not soluble in water, they would not mix well with fluids and would simply rise and gather at the top. If you’re not careful and drink from the mixture without shaking it thoroughly, the pure undiluted essential oils would make contact with your lips and mouth, possibly causing burns and other adverse reaction to the delicate tissues. If you used a plastic container, these acidic essential oils could easily corrode the material, and what you end up drinking may also contain these harmful particles.
A safer way to enjoy tangerine essential oil’s potential weight loss benefits would be through diffusion for up to an hour, through stomach massage similar to what’s described under bergamot essential oil, or through direct inhalation through the bottle or through a DIY inhaler every two hours.
Learn more about tangerine essential oil.
4. Grapefruit Essential Oil
This essential oil probably doesn’t need much introduction, especially in relation to its appetite-controlling properties. The star of a diet fad that had been named after it, grapefruit has been clinically proven time and time again to be effective in helping facilitate weight loss. Unlike other essential oils on this list, grapefruit’s effects on the appetite seem to only go one way—i.e., suppression. As such, it is more ideal for your not-so-picky eater or for older children who are beginning to discover stress and/or emotional eating. It need not be said that it’s ideal for adults too if they wish to shed a few pounds.
There are multiple studies that show just how grapefruit and its essential oil operates to suppress hunger and cravings and to eventually help with losing weight. Among other things, inhaling its scent or absorbing its chemicals through the skin would disallow the production of gastric juices while also activating the part of the brain that’s in charge of signaling if the stomach has had its fill. In conjunction, it would also aid in digestion, facilitating a faster and more efficient metabolism and helping burn fats as it goes.
Add a few drops to a cotton ball and place it near your child, or simply scent your child’s clothes with it. As with the other essential oils, however, be careful that it doesn’t get to your child’s skin if the oil is undiluted as it may cause irritation. If it’s properly diluted, you may also try rubbing the oil directly to pulse points as well as in the tummy or the soles of the feet. Be careful not to apply it anywhere that’s exposed because the oil may have a reaction if the child goes out in the sun.
If it proves applicable to your family’s situation, choose to simply diffuse a couple of drops of grapefruit essential oil before or during meal times as this is the safer option, but please note that it is not recommended to go beyond an hour at a time when diffusing any type of oil.
Learn more about grapefruit essential oil.
5. Citronella Essential Oil
It may come as a surprise to most, but essential oil from citronella is yet another one shown by research to help suppress appetite and therefore induce weight loss. Citronella’s scent is most famous for its powerful ability to drive away harmful insects, specifically, disease-carrying mosquitoes. However, while this particular scent is definitely beneficial, it is not the most pleasing for some humans either. It can be tempting to think, therefore, that its appetite-suppressing quality might simply be a result of its heavy fragrance driving away people’s desire to eat. We don’t know yet if this might be true or not, but it does work, and that’s what’s important here.
In the study mentioned, two groups of rats were equally administered with a high-fat diet. One of the groups was then subjected to the scent of citronella essential oil and other isolated chemicals that can be found in it. The two rat groups were still served the same amount of the high-fat diet, but there was a significant decline in the food intake of those made to inhale citronella. This led to a lesser overall weight in that group at the end of that experiment compared with the control group, proving that there is indeed something about citronella, and in particular, its primary component beta-citronellol, that could effectively suppress appetite and facilitate weight loss.
If you or your kids do end up trying if it could affect you the same way, only to find that the scent is too unpalatable for you, there’s no need to worry. Citronella blends quite well with other essential oils, and blending doesn’t take anything away from it since the beneficial chemicals are contained in the microdroplets that compose its fragrance—these would simply be masked by the others, but they would still be present. As a bonus, if you blend citronella with other essential oils that have similar appetite-controlling properties, you could potentially double or triple their overall efficacy.
Learn more about citronella essential oil.
6. Lime Essential Oil
There are other essential oils that are deserving to be mentioned when it comes to their appetite-controlling properties—top among these being lavender essential oil and peppermint essential oil. But these oils are household names. There’s a good chance that they’re already a mainstay in many medicine cabinets or boudoirs not just in the United States but also around the world. Therefore, for this last spot in our picks for the top six essential oils that could regulate appetite, we chose to mention lime.
But we swear it’s not just for kicks. Being yet another citrus, lime shares the dual quality of being both an appetite stimulant and an appetite suppressant. As a stimulant, it works in the same refreshing way as the other citruses—enticing the senses, inducing the release of gastric juices in the stomach, and aiding in a more efficient digestion. Among other things, this effect has been found to be especially beneficial for patients undergoing recovery from wasting illnesses.
What’s really significant about lime essential oil, however, is how potent it can be when used to help reduce medication-induced obesity. There’s a dizzying number of both over-the-counter and prescription medicines nowadays, and an alarming majority of these have unpleasant side effects. Chemical antidepressants, in particular, have been known to cause excessive weight gain, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how this could backfire. When you’re already depressed, losing control over your appetite and, by extension, your body, can only worsen the condition. What do you do then? Take more medication?
In a study conducted in 2010, it was discovered that lime essential oil has a vast potential in suppressing hunger pangs and cravings in rat subjects that have also been made to take an antihistamine drug, one with an obesity-inducing side effect. The results clearly showed that when taken on its own, lime essential oil reduces both the body weight and the food intake at each meal. And when it was administered at the same time as the drug, lime essential oil also proved to be effective in stopping the subjects from gaining more weight even as it reduced the existing extra body mass.
Of course, more research is needed in this regard, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying to find out if it could work the same way for their particular situation.
Learn more about lime essential oil.
You can see a whole range of pure and all-natural essential oils from this collection.
Please consult with a qualified professional before using essential oils on very young children, the elderly, and people with medical conditions. As was previously stated, while some essential oils may be considered safe for ingestion in small amounts, it is not standard practice and should be avoided unless specifically directed and supervised by a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Taking essential oils orally may cause burns or other kinds of irritation to the mouth and throat linings, especially if the oils were not properly diluted.
As was mentioned before as well, please observe proper dilution of essential oils when they are to be applied topically. Before any extensive use, perform a patch test on a non-sensitive part of the skin to check for any allergic reactions. If irritation occurs, either increase the dilution or discontinue use. If cold-pressed citrus essential oil was applied topically and going outside cannot be avoided, please wear protective clothing that covers all the skin areas concerned.
If you are a breastfeeding mother, are pregnant, or are trying to conceive, please refrain from using essential oils unless otherwise stated by your health provider. Some essential oils have properties that could induce menstruation for non-pregnant women. While this effect might not be strong enough to cause a miscarriage in pregnant ones, exercising caution is strongly encouraged. There may also be other effects of some essential oils that might bring unwanted results, so please ensure that you do not have a condition which might be aggravated when exposed to them—an example would be epilepsy.
Please note that while some essential oils on this list are considered safe for children to use, not all of them are such. Keep them out of the reach of children. Accidental overexposure, even in adults, may cause effects that include nausea, headaches, and vomiting. Make sure to observe the recommended dosage for children, as well as the maximum recommended duration per session if the oils are to be diffused.
Avoid contact with mucous membranes, especially the eyes. In case of such contact, flush with water. However, if too much essential oil gets on the skin, water would only spread it around as oils are not water-soluble. Instead, use carrier agents like coconut or olive oil to simultaneously thin the essential oil out and eventually wash it away. Lastly, keep essential oils away from pets as some of them are known to be dangerous to animals.
How to Use Essential Oils to Regulate Appetite
We’ve covered the ways that the six essential oils listed here could be used to help regulate appetite in various situations. While they can prove effective when used on their own, it could make a world of difference if you mix and match them to fit your particular household circumstances. To that end, Aroma Foundry has packed all six in a convenient bundle. You won’t have to go out of your way to find each one and pay the full price. We’ve got your back for this.
When we listed the essential oils, we also mentioned the different ways they may be used. To summarize, these methods include:
- Adding one to two drops to a cotton ball and placing it near the target person during mealtimes. The drops may also be added to the person’s clothes, provided that proper dilution and great care are observed.
- Diluting drops of essential oils in the corresponding amount of a carrier agent and rubbing the resulting mixture over the stomach before or after meals. This blend may also be applied in small amounts to the pulse points and/or the soles of the feet. If you plan to make a large amount of diluted blend for future use, be sure to store it in a bottle like those found here to ensure they wouldn’t degrade or otherwise become compromised.
- Placing several drops in your diffuser and running it for up to an hour, either before or during meals. The number of drops required per session would depend on the type of oil you used. Despite being both cold-pressed citruses, for instance, grapefruit and lime essential oils would require different dosages. Lime is the more potent and would require fewer drops per use.
- Adding drops to veggie capsules to be taken orally, or else mixing with a fluid that you’re to drink. While this is, in fact, being done by some people, it is not recommended for beginners, especially without consulting with a qualified aromatherapy practitioner first.
- Blending several essential oils according to their benefits and putting the personal concoction to the uses stated above. Always eat healthy!
There are different strokes for different folks, and even with an activity as commonplace as eating, this is also true. If you’re a mother of children whose appetites run the gamut from “I don’t want that either” to “give me everything,” managing each meal time must be something that’s always harder than it has to be. Compound that with other possible situations that would require you to closely watch another person’s food intake—not to mention your own—and you might start wondering if there wasn’t a way we could all just run on IV drips. Or photosynthesize—that could work in your favor too.
We’re sure science is working on that as we speak, but for now, what we do have on our hands is nature’s solution to seemingly every problem imaginable, including managing appetite. Whether you need it stimulated or suppressed, there’s an essential oil or three out there that might do the trick of regulating any person’s eating habits, and Aroma Foundry has gathered six of them in a pack that can be delivered straight to your doorstep—no hassle, no bustle. Exactly the way you need at least some things to be.
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- "Best 12 Essential Oils to Lose Weight, Stop Cravings, and More!" NaturalON - Natural Health News and Discoveries. May 19, 2015. https://naturalon.com/best-12-essential-oils-to-lose-weight-stop-cravings-and-more/view-all/.
- Penny Keay Created October 6, 2009 Published October 6, 2009 Updated March 23, 2015; Feb 18, 2017. Essential Oils That Help Stimulate Appetite. http://birchhillhappenings.com/stimulateappetite.htm.
- "Picky Eater? Try Spearmint Extract." The Healthy Home Economist. January 25, 2018. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/spearmint-extract-for-picky-eaters/.
- Pittman & Davis Team. "Health Benefits of Tangerine Essential Oil." – Pittman & Davis Blog. May 17, 2016. https://blog.pittmandavis.com/health-benefits-of-tangerine-essential-oil/.
- Shen, J., A. Niijima, M. Tanida, Y. Horii, K. Maeda, and K. Nagai. "Olfactory Stimulation with Scent of Grapefruit Oil Affects Autonomic Nerves, Lipolysis and Appetite in Rats." Neuroscience Letters. June 03, 2005. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15862904.
- Watanabe, E., K. Kuchta, M. Kimura, H. W. Rauwald, T. Kamei, and J. Imanishi. "Effects of Bergamot ( Citrus Bergamia (Risso) Wright & Arn.) Essential Oil Aromatherapy on Mood States, Parasympathetic Nervous System Activity, and Salivary Cortisol Levels in 41 Healthy Females." Forschende Komplementarmedizin (2006). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25824404.