Health Topics

How Aromatherapy may Help Relieve Anorexia

anorexic woman looking in mirror

Health Description

Anorexia (anorexia nervosa) is a mental condition and eating disorder wherein the person becomes obsessed with their weight. This happens most often in teenage and young adult  females although there are instances of males and older adults also suffering. The technical definition includes being consistently 15% under the normal body weight for the height, a fear of being overweight, an unusual preoccupation with body shape and with a female missing three consecutive regular menstrual cycles.




Symptoms of anorexia include some of the following:

  • Unable to maintain weight above 15% below normal
  • Thinking they look “fat” even in their underweight condition
  • Odd eating habits
    • Not eating in front of others
    • Cutting food in small pieces or other rituals with meals
    • Fixing fancy meals for others but not eating themselves
  • Using bathroom immediately after meals
  • Using or abusing laxatives and diuretics
  • Diet pills even though underweight
  • Excessive or compulsive exercising

As a result of the weight loss other symptoms or problems can occur. Heart problems, pulse rate, blood pressure, nutritional deficiency diseases such as bone loss or weakness and loss of mental acuity can all occur. There is also a high risk of suicide. The literature is clear to point out that anorexia is primarily a mental illness and the weight loss and other resulting conditions are important but secondary to the primary problem.

Suggested Protocols

Please note: The information provided below is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have used essential oils and has NOT been scientifically verified with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns please seek professional medical attention.

Essential Oils to Use:

Oils & Blends: Grapefruit

Also consider: Bergamot, Coriander, Fennel, Ginger, Lemon, Oregano, Roman Chamomile, Vitamins

Suggested protocols:

Note that the oils shown above are primarily related to the eating disorder and how to encourage appetite. As many writers note the mental condition is probably of higher importance than the eating disorder and helping the person achieve emotional/mental balance will then lead to much more success using the oils that will help appetite. Seeking professional psychiatric help and coupling that with supporting essential oils may well be the best course of action. Some authors suggest using oils to help basic emotional concerns such as the following:

Soothing and calming: Lavender, a Calming Blend, Ylang Ylang

Emotionally calming that are also appetite inducing: Bergamot, an Invigorating Blend

Self esteem and self worth: a Grounding Blend, a Joyful Blend

Accepting sexuality: Rose

Inhalation through diffusing or topical application is suggested as well as warm baths with the appropriate oils.

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