Curbing your appetite — the opposite effects of too many spices

I once read a book about the therapeutic effects of the food in TCM. The author mentioned that for some spices, when taken too much, could lead to the opposite effects. Take nutmeg as an example. It can boost our appetite. However, when taken too much, it can curb our appetite.

I tried to relate what the book said about the application of essential oils. Essential oils are potent and packed with life force. A few drops may be able to achieve the result of curbing the appetite.

To test my theory, I became the first experimental subject. I first made an inhaler mainly with spice oils to see if inhaling it would lead to the curbing of my appetite. The ingredients were as follows:

1 drop of Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

1 drop of Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllata)

1 drop of Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum Verum)

7 drops of Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

5 drops of Laurel Leaf (Laurus nobilis)

Rationale: Nutmeg is a digestive aid which can stimulate the stomach and digestion. Clove bud is digestive oil which can also aid digestion. Cinnamon is warm and spicy. I chose its leaf instead of its bark because I could inhale the oil from the leaf. Since all these three oils could irritate the mucous membrane, only 3 drops in total were used   In addition, milder and more nourishing oils were combined to soothe and ease the harshness. Nutmeg, Clove Bud, and Cinnamon leaf were all digestive oils to aid digestion. But when they were combined, they could curb the appetite.

Frankincense is healing oil which can calm the respiratory issues such as asthma. As it is calming, soothing, and moisturizing, it can counter the harshness and irritating effects of the spice oil. Laurel Leaf, on the other hand, can move stuck energy in the body. If the spice oil combination gets stuck and becomes too heavy, Laurel leaf is a good choice to solve this dilemma.

Application: One hour before the meal, I started to inhale it every 15 minutes. When I had the meal, the stomach was actually quite full. Even when I took the meal, the portion was reduced.

My friend who wanted to lose weight asked me for help. I introduced this method to her. Since she had to work in the office, using the inhaler is a better way to help her eat less. She obtained the same results as mine – fuller stomach, and less portion of food.

It is strange that when spice oils are combined together, those digestive aids become appetite inhibitors. In fact, 3 drops of them are enough to achieve the desired result. Moisturizing, nourishing, and soothing oils are used to ease the harshness and irritation of the oils to the mucous membrane and respiratory system.


The therapeutic properties are from Aromahead Institute’s Online Classes

Battaglia, S. (2003). The complete guide to aromatherapy. Australia: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy.

「廚房裡的中醫師」,李思儀 著,商周出版

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