You may have heard about essential oils for relaxation, skin care and pain relief, but did you know that you can use essential oils for weight loss too? No, essential oils aren’t some magical potion that will make you drop 30 pounds in 30 days, but by ingesting, diffusing or applying essential oils topically, you can promote weight loss by giving your body what it needs to burn fat, stay active and reduce cravings.
Here are five essential oils that, along with a healthy, nutrient-rich diet and daily physical activity, will give you that extra boost that you need to lose weight fast.
1. Peppermint Oil
Not only does peppermint oil boost energy levels – which allows you to maximize your workouts – but it can also help soothe sore muscles, minimize recovery time and help you get back to working out sooner. Research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that ingesting peppermint oil with water enhanced exercise performance in male athletes by relaxing the bronchial smooth muscles and increasing the ventilation and brain oxygen concentrations. In other words, the concoction made it easier to power through intense exercise without getting out of breath.
Additionally, peppermint is a natural energizer that reduces fatigue and improves focus, so you can keep your eyes on your weight-loss goal. It also reduces hunger cravings and can help you to feel full faster.
Peppermint oil has a cooling sensation when you use it topically, so just rubbing one to two drops into your temples and behind your neck can give you the energy and pain relief you need. You can also diffuse peppermint oil for a quick energy boost; Add five to 10 drops to bathwater to soothe achy muscles; add one to two drops to a glass of water; or even mix in a couple drops with your toothpaste before brushing.
2. Lemon Oil
Research shows that breathing in the scent of lemon essential oil improves the neurological activity that promotes the breakdown of body fat. Lemon oil actually has both stimulating and calming properties, and it promotes a positive mood, which can be extremely helpful when you are working to reach your weight-loss goals. It also enhances the body’s detoxification capabilities and supports healthy digestion – an all-important factor when you’re trying to lose weight.
Try adding two to three drops of lemon oil to water, salad dressing or a smoothie, or you can diffuse it at home or at work. If you are feeling groggy during the day, inhale lemon oil directly from the bottle for a quick pick-me-up.
Grapefruit essential oil helps to activate enzymes in the body that work to break down body fat. Grapefruit benefits weight loss because it contains compounds like D-limonene, which helps to support your metabolism and cleanse your lymphatic glands so they can carry nutrients between the tissues and the bloodstream. Studies also show that using grapefruit oil affects autonomic nerves, which regulate important body functions like heart rate and digestion, and reduce appetite and body weight.
To use grapefruit oil for weight loss, add two to three drops to a glass of water, diffuse it in your home or office, or massage two to three drops onto your chest and wrists when a craving strikes.
One of the most important benefits of ginger essential oil is its ability to support digestion and the absorption of nutrients. By improving the absorption of the vitamins and minerals that you’re consuming, ginger oil is supporting the body’s cellular energy and, in effect, promoting weight loss. A key compound in ginger oil, called gingerol, also effectively reduces inflammation in the body and possesses antioxidant activity. This process naturally reduces pain and swelling, which helps keep you active and burning more calories.
Add one to two drops of ginger essential oil to tea or a green smoothie for the best results. You can also diffuse ginger at home or work, inhale the oil directly from the bottle or apply two to three drops topically to the stomach area after eating.
Cinnamon oil helps to balance blood sugar levels, thereby aiding weight loss and reducing sugar cravings. When your blood sugar levels are unstable, you may find yourself overeating and gaining weight. Plus, when your energy levels are low, it’s difficult to exercise and burn calories. Using cinnamon oil will help reverse these issues that are standing in your way and, as an added bonus, cinnamon oil serves as a cardioprotective agent that reduces the risk of heart disease and inflammation. You can use cinnamon oil internally by adding one to two drops to a smoothie or tea. You can also diffuse cinnamon oil at home or inhale the oil directly from the bottle.
Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food as medicine. He operates one of the world’s largest natural health websites at www.DrAxe.com.