Essential Oils and Me: Curtailing the Cravings

Hopping Hare essential oil candles

I have long been fascinated by the power of essential oils. Not just that they can evoke emotional responses, but physical ones too.

Take lavender for example. The smell of lavender relaxes virtually everyone, animals included. It also promotes good sleep and in some, a better quality of sleep with periods of very deep restful slumber. Just from its smell. Sniffing peppermint oil can make you feel less tired, and breathing in eucalyptus can work as a great decongestant. Taking in the smell of rosemary can boost your memory as well as aiding your concentration (according to a study undertaken at Northumbria University). Of course there are many more oils, and many more benefits. I have been trying one of these out.

Now, I’m not one to encourage weight loss in others, I am a big believer that we should embrace our amazing bodies whatever shape and size they come in. That aside, I have been trying to lose weight since the birth of my third child and I’ve been struggling. I’ve tried as many plans as I can, but nothing seems to work. Either I don’t lose weight, or I feel nauseous or dizzy. I’ve even tried a combination of things but no. The weight stays stubbornly on.

So I finally decided to keep a food diary. A proper one that I actually filled in. I wanted to take a closer look at what I was eating and when. I hoped that this might shed some light on anything else that I could try.

I found that my low points when it came to food and energy were firstly around the afternoon school run then secondly directly after the boys went to bed. The first is nearly always resolved with a cup of tea and a quick burst of something, honestly anything, that might give me energy. It doesn’t normally make any difference to my fatigue, but the craving is there even if the desired outcome is not. The second time, after bedtime, is normally quite late, and I find myself eating a main meal at 8.30 or even 9 o’clock which does my digestive system no favours.

The second issue is one that can be dealt with pretty swiftly, I can simply eat with the boys. The first though, that’s a little more tricky. Having CFS I find the latter parts of the day are hard anyway, quite aside from trying to look after three tired children and making sure that they have a decent meal on the table. Cooking is absolutely exhausting for me. Just standing to stir a pot, moving food around the kitchen, chopping, preparing, sliding trays of food in and out of the oven, it can all be quite difficult. This is where the danger of snacking comes in. For me. Not for the children. Picture my head hidden deep in the cupboard pretending to look for chopped tomatoes but chomping on anything else that is immediately available.

I realised that I needed to reprogram myself. That I needed to move away from the cravings that aren’t actually resulting in any sort of success to my afternoon energy slump, to move my brain away from the expectation that falling in through the door after the school run equals a snack. I don’t have an issue with this at the weekends, so I know that it is possible!

This is where essential oils and smell come in. Did you know that smelling chocolate can lead you feel hungry, even if you are not? And did you know that smelling something sweet like vanilla can reprogram your cravings so that the association with food is not as strong and you can keep on track with healthy eating? There’s a really interesting study on this that took place in St George’s Hospital, London, if you want more specific scientific information.

The lovely Claire at Hopping Hare Candles was on hand to help me see if I could find my way through the mid-afternoon slump and stick to healthy food only. Not binge eating in a useless (in my case) attempt to retain some level of the energy required to see me through to the end of the day. All through the power of smell. I’ve introduced you to Claire before, so you will know that her candles are filled with proper, therapeutic grade essential oils. Plus I already know that I love them, so this seemed like a great place to start.

Claire sent me two candles – Soft Vanilla and Vintage Fizz. Both are sweet. Both have a lovely scent. Both make me feel relaxed and, perhaps, both are able to keep me in a state of not eating. I can’t honestly say that all of my desires for post school run food have disappeared yet, but they’re certainly less strong and overwhelming when the candles are burning. It’s as though I’m getting my sweet kick from them so when I feel as though I should be eating, reaching for an apple becomes much more appealing than it used to do. I think that I might need to try them for longer but I am feeling a difference, which is all part of the process. Nothing about weight loss is a quick overnight fix after all.

Healthy snacks

So my conclusion? I am confident that these candles will greatly assist my weight loss and healthy eating goals. I am also confident that scents work. That proper essential oils (or CO2 extracts in the case of vanilla) work. I believe that you can overcome cravings, amongst other things, through the use of scent alone. What’s more though, in the case of my weight loss journey, they don’t make me grumpy – bonus!

N.B. I was very kindly gifted these Hopping Hare Candles to assist with my experiment. Please see my disclosure page for more information.


Finding your way to a healthier you


27th June 2018


I don’t disagree that essential oils are great and can help. Even medications have plant extracts in, clove for tooth ache. Menthol in cold remedies and Pepppermint for headaches. But -and I don’t mean to be a killjoy here- the placebo effect can also be a big thing too. Lavender helps me sleep and there are physical benefits to essential oils. But I wonder when people use rescue remedies or when you burn candles for cravings if you are not taking in account that if you expect a reaction from things you brain can actually give you one.
I am intrigued if essential oils can help with cravings, they can probably help with the emotional or mental aspect of cravings but maybe having a drink of water or a healthy snack might also be an idea. I’m definitely not discounting things. I just like the weigh up the possibilties. Best of luck with your weight loss journey, for me the hardest thing has been keeping it off and I willpower

Thanks for your comment. I totally agree about the potential of there being a placebo effect. Even if the scent just works as a reminder or to relax though then the benefit is still there, and I do love the gentle scent of a decent candle in my home!

I must admit I don’t like the smell of lavender. I didn’t know that about chocolate though. Good luck with your weight loss and I hope these lovely scents work for you #blogstravaganza

I must admit, come 3pm I’m always ready for a sugar boost. I really try hard not to give in, but sometimes I lose will power! These scents sounds lovely and I can really see how the sweet aroma would help get through the worst of the cravings. Definitely something I should try out! #Blogstravaganza xxx

They do work! I can’t say that I’m completely resisting sweet treats but, you know, I’m trying, and these are helping 🙂 xx

I love candles too but my favorite smell isn’t a candle at all. In a small pot, fill halfway with water, add 1 vanilla bean pod (cut), a few slices of lemon, and a few rosemary sprigs. Simmer on very low heat and in minutes you’re house will smell lovely. It’s the “Williams-Sonoma” scent. #Blogstravaganza

That sounds like a lovely combination, I bet it smells very fresh!

I love natural remedies. I am very sensitive to smell and so is one of my sons. We love essential oils and scented candles

It’s amazing what an impact they can have isn’t it?

Essential oils are amazing, I sometimes struggle with getting to sleep, a few drops of lavender oil usually does the trick, also attaching a bunch of lavender to the outside of the rabbit hutch helps to keep the flies at bay#[email protected]_karendennis

Oh, that’s a good tip for keeping flies away. They’re such a nuisance for pets at this time of year.

Comments are closed.