6 Best Essential Oils for Appetite Control and Weight Loss (Updated April 2020)

There’s an essential oil for everything, as they say, which means there are essential oils for appetite stimulation and appetite suppression. Many of us need to control our appetite for one reason or another, in one way or another. Some need to curb their food intake, while others might need to increase it.

Many situations and health conditions can affect a person's appetite. At times, it's imperative to control or increase food intake to improve one's health. There are many ways to do so, but essential oils can prove to not only be effective, but capable of addressing other issues you might have as well.

Aroma Foundry offers six highly effective essential oils for appetite management and control. With the help of these essential oils, you could have an all-natural and scientifically-proven solution to taming your appetite.

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands:

Essential Oils for Appetite Regulation

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 control the weight gain 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.

Here now are our recommended essential oils that are known to have properties that can help regulate our appetites. Find out the science behind their abilities and the ways to effectively use them.


1. Spearmint Essential Oil

spearmint essential oilSpearmint has a long history that goes even farther back than the time of the Ancient Greeks.

Spearmint essential oil in modern times is useful in helping improve not just digestion, but appetite stimulation as well. Over the centuries, the use of the spearmint plant as both a restorative and as an aid in digestion has been well-documented, and these beneficial effects have not been dulled by the passage of time. 

The Science of Spearmint Essential Oil

As an aperient, spearmint helps “open the bowels,” so to speak. This can then lead to the production of more gastric juices. This is especially ideal for picky eaters or for people who need help recognizing that their stomach is empty and needs replenishing.

Spearmint essential oil lists the compounds carvone, limonene, and 1,8-cineole among its major constituents. Because of the presence of these compounds and more, spearmint is versatile and useful in many ways. It works particularly well in appetite stimulation.

Note, however, that in some cases, spearmint might work as an appetite suppressant for the first several minutes. If so, it's best to use spearmint essential oil some time before mealtimes.

Using Spearmint Essential Oil

It's important to remember that essential oils generally should not be ingested. While taking the proper precautions, you can safely enjoy the benefits of spearmint essential oil through inhalation and topical application routes.

Additionally, spearmint essential oil should not be used close to bedtime, since it also works as a stimulant.

The advantage of using spearmint as opposed to stronger, more popular menthol-smelling oils 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 overpowering.

However, 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. Also, avoid using it on children younger than 7 years of age.

These essential oils blend well with spearmint essential oil:

  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Patchouli
  • Lime
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass

Learn more about spearmint essential oil benefits.


2. Bergamot Essential Oil

bergamot essential oilBergamot essential oil is highly effective and versatile.

Bergamot essential oil can be classified not so much as an appetite stimulant but more of an appetite regulator. While some sources say bergamot can help address loss of appetite, some also say that it can be useful for weight loss. These claims are contradictory, but the way bergamot oil works is not as straightforward as the other oils on this list.

The Science of Bergamot Essential Oil

Like other essential oils, bergamot is full of properties and is therefore versatile. It's capable of regulating and soothing emotions, which can in turn be helpful to those who are prone to emotional eating.

If emotional eating causes you to overeat and gain weight as a direct result, bergamot can help control that urge by helping manage the emotional issues first. By alleviating the root cause of the weight gain and eliminating the need to use food as a source of relief, bergamot essential oil can 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 anyone who might not appreciate the scent of spearmint, however mild it may be. 

Using Bergamot Essential Oil

If used before eating, bergamot essential oil can stimulate your digestive juices in preparation for receiving food. It can also help adjust your mood and emotional state to prevent you from overeating. If used after eating, it can 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.

Cold-pressed citrus essential oils need to be diluted before topical application. For best results, the recommendation is to dilute less than a drop of essential oil in one tablespoon of carrier. It is imperative that you refrain from going out in the sun for at least twelve hours after application to avoid burns or pigmentation.

Bergamot essential oil blends well with these essential oils:

  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedarwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Patchouli
  • Grapefruit
  • Tea tree

Learn more about bergamot essential oil benefits.


3. Tangerine Essential Oil

tangerine essential oilTangerine is a sweet-tasting fruit, but its essential oil offers more benefits.

Tangerine essential oil can stimulate the appetite and get picky eaters to dig in. Its sweet, flowery, and citrusy scent is easy enough to appreciate, but it has so much more to offer.

The Science of Tangerine Essential Oil

Exposure to the scent of tangerine essential oil lasting a few minutes can activate the gastric juices in the stomach, kicking it into high gear to prepare for receiving food. You will then feel compelled to eat.

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.

Additionally, tangerine can also help with digestive issues, as well as constipation and flatulence. This essential oil can thus be effective in helping the whole digestive process along, which can improve your health in general. 

Tangerine essential oil is also full of beneficial compounds, including:

  • a-Pinene
  • Carvone
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • Geraniol

Using Tangerine Essential Oil

If you plan on topically applying tangerine essential oil, there are a few things that you'll need to remember. Essential oils should always be diluted before application, and you can do so with the use of carrier oils like coconut oil or almond oil. It's easier to dilute essential oils in carrier oils, because they'll bind together more easily.

It's also possible to dilute essential oils in water or water-based liquids, but you'll have to make sure to add another ingredient that can bind these substances together.

A safe way to enjoy tangerine essential oil’s potential weight loss benefits would be through diffusion for up to an hour or through a stomach massage.

Here are some essential oils that blend well with tangerine essential oil:

  • Bergamot
  • Lemon
  • Spearmint

Learn more about tangerine essential oil benefits.


4. Grapefruit Essential Oil

grapefruit essential oilGrapefruit is so called because the fruit grows in bunches, much like grapes.

Grapefruit 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. Grapefruit oil is particularly effective at appetite 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.

The Science of Essential Oil

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, grapefruit can also aid in digestion, facilitating a faster and more efficient metabolism and helping burn fat as it goes.

Grapefruit essential oil is also made up of various beneficial compounds, such as limonene and a-pinene. These two compounds and more make grapefruit essential oil capable of helping manage acne and oily skin, preventing the build-up of toxins, and preventing water retention.

Grapefruit essential oil

Using Grapefruit Essential Oil

If it’s properly diluted, you can try rubbing the oil directly onto pulse points as well as in the tummy or the soles of the feet. Be careful with topical application, since citrus oils like grapefruit can cause photosensitivity.

You can also choose to simply diffuse a couple of drops of grapefruit essential oil before or during meal times as this is the safer option. However, it's important to note that it is not recommended to go beyond an hour at a time when diffusing any type of oil.

These essential oils blend well with grapefruit essential oil:

  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Cedarwood
  • Patchouli
  • Lime
  • Bergamot
  • Tea tree
  • Ylang ylang

Learn more about grapefruit essential oil benefits.


5. Citronella Essential Oil

citronella essential oilCitronella offers a variety of benefits that can improve your health in many ways.

Citronella essential oil  has been proven to be capable of driving away harmful insects, specifically disease-carrying mosquitoes. However, among its various benefits and advantages, citronella oil can also help suppress appetite and therefore help with weight loss.

The Science of Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella essential oil is yet another oil shown by research to be able to help suppress appetite and therefore induce weight loss.

In a study, 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.

Using Citronella Essential Oil

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 microdroplets from other oils, 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.

These are the essential oils that can blend well with citronella:

  • Lemon
  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree

Learn more about citronella essential oil benefits.


6. Lime Essential Oil

lime essential oilWith its refreshing aroma, lime is both satisfying and effective.

Lime essential oil, being yet another citrus, 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. As a suppressant, lime can help control cravings and hunger pangs caused by medical treatment or medication.

The Science of Lime Essential Oil

Among other things,lime essential oil 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. Some antidepressant medications, for example, have been known to cause excessive weight gain. 

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 during each meal.

When lime essential oil was administered at the same time as the drug, it 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.

Using Lime Essential Oil

There are many effective ways you can use lime essential oil, but perhaps the easiest is to diffuse it. You can diffuse it on its own, but you can also blend it with other essential oils.

The essential oils below can blend well with lime essential oil:

  • Patchouli
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Spearmint
  • Ylang ylang
  • Bergamot

Learn more about lime essential oil benefits.


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, especially if you have health conditions or if you are pregnant, taking medication, or elderly.

Do not ingest essential oils. Taking essential oils orally may cause burns or other kinds of irritation to the mouth and throat linings.

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 a cold-pressed citrus essential oil was applied topically and going outside into the sunlight 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 green-lit by your health provider. Some essential oils have properties that can 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, such as epilepsy, that essential oil exposure can aggravate.

Also, please note that it's best to avoid using essential oils on children under the age of 7. Keep them out of the reach of children. Accidental overexposure, even in adults, may cause effects that include nausea, headaches, and vomiting.

Some essential oils, particularly tea tree essential oil, can be harmful to domestic pets like dogs or cats.

Avoid contact with areas close to mucous membranes, especially the eyes. In case of such contact, flush with water. However, if too much essential oil gets on the skin, water will 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.

A number of essential oils are effective both as appetite stimulants and suppressants. Photo Source: Pixabay

How to Use Essential Oils for Appetite Regulation

We’ve covered the ways that the six essential oils listed here can 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 needs and 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. 

When we listed the essential oils, we also mentioned the different ways they may be used. To summarize, these methods include:

    1. 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 suitable glass essential oil bottle to protect the oils against degradation.
    2. 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. 
    3. Blending essential oils together according to their benefits and/or aromas.



Essential oils have a lot to offer, and this includes helping you manage your appetite and food intake. This can, in turn, help you manage your weight and gain or shed a few pounds as necessary. The use of essential oils can be helpful and beneficial especially in cases where medical conditions, medications, or recovery from surgery has affected a person's appetite.

Whether you need your appetite 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 essential oils for weight loss, weight gain, and appetite regulation in a pack that can be delivered straight to your doorstep—no hassle, no bustle.




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  8. "Picky Eater? Try Spearmint Extract." The Healthy Home Economist. January 25, 2018. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/spearmint-extract-for-picky-eaters/.
  9. 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/.
  10. 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.
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  1. Background
  2. Essential Oils for Appetite Regulation
    1. Spearmint
    2. Bergamot
    3. Tangerine
    4. Grapefruit
    5. Citronella
    6. Lime
  3. Precautions
  4. How to Use Essential Oils to Regulate Appetite
  5. Summary
  6. References