Aromatherapy can be a great ally in treating certain addictions. Which essential oils should be used to stop smoking? How to curb snacking with essential oils? How to use essential oils to reduce alcohol consumption?  

How can essential oils help treat addictions?

Alcohol, tobacco, bulimia... Aromatherapy, that is to say the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, can be an interesting tool in case of addiction during withdrawal and to control impulses. How do essential oils treat addictions? Which ones to use? 

How to effectively fight against addictions with essential oils?

Essential oils can have several benefits when you want to get rid of certain addictions. Here is a selection from our experts of the different essential oils that help to fulfill certain feelings.

Essential oils short-circuit the craving

Some essential oils (cinnamon, black pepper ...) act as a lure: "They distract the brain, saturate the mucous membranes of the nose or lungs," says Dr. Sophie Rasson, psychiatrist addictologist. This helps to focus attention on something else or to feel satisfied. Others, such as hemlock or myrrh, promote letting go (thanks to molecules that bind to opioid receptors): we are less obsessed with food, cigarettes, alcohol ...  

Essential oils reduce stress

Chamomile, marjoram, mandarin or petit grain act on the nervous system and calm the anxiety that pushes you to open the cupboard or to light a cigarette. They also help to fight against the depression which can accompany the withdrawal, in olfaction (2 to 3 drops of the one of your choice, diluted in a vegetable oil, on a handkerchief or on the wrists) or in massage on the solar plexus (same dilution), up to 6 to 8 times a day All these EO are not recommended during the first trimester, and during the whole pregnancy for the EO of marjoram.

Essential oils replace the gesture

The fact of breathing several times a day an essential oil on a handkerchief or an inhaler stick becomes a new ritual, to replace the cigarette break or to occupy oneself if one feels like nibbling. This serves as a "crutch" in the early days, so you don't find yourself doing nothing when the urge arises. "At the same time, there is a gradual dishabituation because the gesture is not quite the same, "says Laurent Briquet, psychologist. 

Essential oils strengthen the will

"The essential oil of frankincense helps to take a step back, that of noble laurel to face the tests and to give courage, while the EO of cypress and sage help to hold its line of conduct, to better resist the desire to take out a cigarette or to fill his empty glass in the restaurant ", details the psychiatrist. As a background treatment, whatever the addiction: 1 drop of the EO of your choice, diluted in a little vegetable oil, smelled on a handkerchief, several times a day. 

Which essential oils to stop smoking?

The EO of black pepper, thanks to its slightly irritating side, gives the feeling that we are smoking, both in the brain and in the lungs. "Studies clearly show that it decreases the desire for a ciga- rette," notes Dr. Rasson.

The EO of Scots pine, Eucalyptus globulus
or field mint offer a fresh puff on inhalation that mimics the sensation in the throat and lungs of cigarette smoke. The use of these two oils is very interesting if you smoke mentholated cigarettes. They also cleanse the bronchi.

How to use essential oils to help stop smoking?

It is advisable to apply 3 drops of black pepper EO + 2 drops of Eucalyptus globulus + 2 drops of field mint, placed directly on a wick of inhaler stick. You can also dilute them in 10 ml of apricot kernel vegetable oil and put 1 drop of the mixture on the tip of the tongue each time the urge to smoke arises. No limit, even if you are a heavy smoker

Which essential oils to slow down the nibbling ?

The EO of cinnamon of Ceylon or clove saturate the sense of smell, with an effect cut hunger: without smell, we lose a big part of the taste and we stop eating because we do not feel the expected pleasure.

Grapefruit EO releases limonenes that help focus attention on something other than the desire to eat. "Its inhalation works well on sweet impulses, especially if it is associated simultaneously with an activity that occupies the mind: reading, television ... ", says Laurent Briquet.

The EO of geranium of Egypt, rich in geraniol, and the EO of cinnamon which contains eugenol are hypoglycemic: these molecules regulate the sugar level in blood. The use of these oils is interesting if the food compulsions are linked to glycemia peaks.

How to use essential oils to curb food addictions?

In case of sugar cravings: It is advisable to apply 3 drops of grapefruit EO on a tissue, which is inhaled slowly and deeply when the craving occurs. If inhalations are not enough, you can swallow 1 drop of geranium EO diluted in a little vegetable oil such as sunflower or hazelnut, twice a day. On medical advice if you are diabetic.

Against salty snacking: It is recommended to apply 4 drops of Ceylon cinnamon EO + 4 drops of clove EO + 10 drops of petit grain bigarade EO + 10 drops of tangerine zest EO on an inhaler stick, that you will place at the edge of your nostrils to breathe it in when the urge to snack arises or if you have already attacked the packet of chips. Up to 3 times a day 

Which essential oils to reduce its alcohol consumption

The EO of angelica, which has a strong anxiolytic effect, in particular thanks to its terpenes, helps to take a step back and to feel better: "One seeks less the disinhibiting effect of alcohol in evening", indicates Laurent Briquet.

The EO of juniper
plays a role of olfactory lure if one consumes white spirits.

How to use essential oils to help alcohol withdrawal?

One breathes 1 drop of angelica EO diluted on a handkerchief or on the wrists. Plus possibly 1 drop of juniper EO + 1 drop of hemlock EO to let go, in honey or a vegetable oil. Mix and swallow before going out in the evening, at the restaurant... These EOs are not recommended for pregnant women, and angelica if you are taking anticoagulants.

Moreover, consulting a specialist (nutritionist, tobacco specialist, addictologist...) always offers an additional chance to get rid of your addiction. Seeing a psychiatrist or a psychologist is useful in case of strong anxiety or if the addiction is repeated in the family history. Aromatherapy is an effective complement to all these follow-ups.