Seasonal Addictions

The season from Halloween through New Year’s Eve seems to be an addictive time of year. We first start with a sugar high from nibbling the left over Halloween candy, which when it’s gone usually leaves us in a sugar slump and depression, making us want more candy for that high again. Fall football games and tailgate parties bring an excess of alcohol and junk food, weakening our resistance and making us want more of the addictive junk food to feel good again. Then we roll into Thanksgiving with that holiday’s overload of food and drink; followed by Christmas parties, Christmas meals, and special holiday goodies. This is then topped off by the excesses of New Year’s Eve. By January 2nd most of us are so sugared out, we fall into a winter depression where all we do is crave comfort foods to keep us warm and content through the cold winter months. Here we generally gravitate towards refined carbohydrates full of sugar for our depression/comfort foods. Caffeine is another addiction that tends to be abused around the holidays – all those late night parties with too much alcohol and sugar leaving us tired and hung over the next morning – what better than lots of strong coffee to perk us up… And so we swing our blood sugar from high to low and back again.

Our bodies become dependent on sugars, caffeine and the refined carbohydrates to keep a false level of energy running our metabolism. We begin to rely on these simple carbohydrates and crave them, especially when we try to introduce more complex carbos and protein into our diets. It feels almost like our bodies are self-sabotaging, needing the very foods that eventually cause the depression and tiredness that we are using the sugars to avert. We become both physiologically and psychologically dependent on sugar (and/or alcohol) highs to feel good, to boost morale, to feel more confident, or conversely to drown our sorrows. It can seem like an endless vicious circle…

Of course essential oils will be not be the “be all and end all” of sugar addictions. Alleviating sugar addiction would require a change of diet (junk foods, refined flours, hidden sugars, and sodas would have to be avoided and more whole foods added), with the addition of more exercise and drinking more water. But essential oils can help with the psycho-emotional nature of seasonal addictions as well as some of the physical toxicity. These oils can be diffused in an aroma lamp, steam inhaled, added to the bath water, or massaged into the skin with a carrier oil.


Oils that help detoxify the body after sugar excesses are:

  • helichrysum,
  • juniper,
  • lemon,
  • garlic,
  • clary sage and
  • fennel oils.

Appetite suppressants that help after over-indulgence are:

  • bergamot,
  • juniper,
  • lavender and
  • celery seed oils.

Oils that relieve bloating and nausea are:

  • cardamom
  • cinnamon,
  • ginger,
  • chamomile and
  • peppermint oils.

Hangovers, fatigue and headaches can be relieved with one or a combination of:

  • eucalyptus,
  • fennel,
  • lavender,
  • marjoram,
  • peppermint,
  • rosemary,
  • ginger and
  • lemon oils.

Depression and emotional slumps when coming down from a sugar high can be turned around with the aid of a combination including:

  • bergamot,
  • clary sage,
  • geranium,
  • jasmine,
  • melissa,
  • lavender,
  • neroli,
  • rose,
  • sandalwood and
  • ylang-ylang.

Oils that help alleviate stress and tension (associated with seasonal functions that lead to over-indulging) are:

  • chamomile,
  • geranium,
  • lavender,
  • peppermint,
  • sandalwood and
  • patchouli.

Essential oils can help with sugar excessing, but they really are at their most supportive when the body is healthy and balanced. So maybe this year, instead of having another piece of pumpkin pie, or another beer, why not light the aroma lamp and drop some essential oils in, then sit back and enjoy a much better and more healthy ‘high’.