A face sniffs from a vial.


Stopping sugar cravings with essential oils

chocolate cravings

(Updated April 2023.) As mentioned in this February 2013 post, my sugar cravings have been extremely resistant to my nutritional-therapy tinkering.

Usually they occurred in the form of a particular ratio of chocolate, fat, and sugar, but occasionally reached batshit levels where I’d eat a pint of ice cream while standing in front of the fridge.

Crushed hopes with 5-HTP and B6

For years, the extent of my success was with two supplements. 5-HTP worked like a miracle for a week, then gave me splitting headaches and insomnia. Vitamin B6 got my cravings down from insanely bad to the usual infuriatingly bad.

A mini-book with some science behind it

Out of curiosity more than hope, I clicked on a Kindle link to Break Sugar Cravings or Addiction, Feel Full, Lose Weight: An Astonishing Essential Oil Method by Kathy Heshelow. In the old days, the print version would have been called a pamphlet. The book took me all of 20 minutes to read, since I skipped the majority of the scientific study references. They seemed reliable and competently chosen and I will not go over them here. Basically the program is a rotation of a selection of essential oils, sniffed three times in each nostril, as many times a day as you can remember at first, and then tapering off as the effect sets in. I started with grapefruit and peppermint.

Sniffing ten times a day

As it turns out, I already had all of the recommended oils at home, because I was for a while a heavy atomizer user. I sniffed about ten times that day. The next day, my sugar jonesing had decreased by about 75% and continued to do so over the next few days, even after I tapered off a bit.

I was then faced with the realization that the dark chocolate filled a lot of calories which I then had to fill with normal food, and at the time I was still reacting to a lot of food with nausea and breathing problems. A few days later, my sleep, which back then was affected by everything, got even worse, so I stopped the experiment.

Second attempt a year later

A year later, many of the food reactions had resolved after increasing my salt intake to a degree that Americans are taught is suicidal, and my sleep had become much more reliable, so I tried the essential oils again. Once again, after one day the cravings were considerably reduced. I didn’t even think about thinking about chocolate. And once again, after several more days the sleep issues returned.

An initial theory about antioxidants

At the time I wondered if the chocolate aspect of the cravings is my body’s request for antioxidants to deal with decades of exposure to enviromental toxins — pesticides from neighboring farms, chlorine from swimming pools, chemical dumping in our neighborhood, moldy domiciles and workplaces, and possibly three homes with lead pipes.

However, several years later I got chocolate out of my diet almost effortlessly by simply switching to non-chocolate sources of sugar. The sugar craving then improved in a major way over the next six months, but I still have a ginger ale and butterscotch morsel habit that is somewhat undignified.


This content was first published in April 2018 and updated in April 2023.

Marjorie smiling, wearing an orange shirt.

Marjorie R.

Marjorie is the creator of AvoidingRx.com, a record of her and her guest authors’ experiences with non-prescription health solutions. She is a third-generation nutritional-therapy self-experimenter.

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