As mentioned in this February 2013 post, my sugar cravings — usually in the form of a particular ratio of chocolate, fat, and sugar, but occasionally reaching batshit levels where I’ll eat a pint of ice cream while standing in front of the fridge — have been extremely resistant to my nutritional-therapy tinkering. 5-HTP worked like a miracle for a week, then gave me splitting headaches and insomnia, and vitamin B6 got my cravings down from insanely bad to the usual infuriatingly bad, and that’s about the extent of my success.
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. 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.
As it turns out, I already had all of the recommended oils at home. 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.
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.
I now wonder if the chocolate aspect of the cravings is my body’s request for anti-oxidants to deal with decades of exposure to enviromental toxins — pesticides from farmland in our backyard, chlorine from competitive swimming as a child, chemical dumping in our neighborhood, multiple moldy domiciles and workplaces, and at least one and possibly three homes with lead plumbing. For now, I have decided not to worry about it. The sugar aspect of the cravings is more annoying, but seems to be gradually decreasing with the increased salt intake. Hopefully my adrenals, presumably trashed after all that inflammatory stress, will get back on board eventually.