The EclecticPhysician

The Eclectic Physician
Q&A Archive
By Dr. Beth Burch

Herbs that can increase my appetite.

Q.

I have a problem with lack of appetite. I only eat usually once a day. Are there any herbs that can increase my appetite?

A lack of appetite could indicate a more generalized health problem like a chronic infection, depression, or as a medication side effect. Your doctor can look for these types of problems.

A.

Sometimes decreased appetite can be helped by taking a good vitamin mineral supplement. Various bitter herbs can help to stimulate both appetite and digestion. Gentian root or blessed thistle are both excellent bitters that help with increasing appetite. For best effect, bitters should be used in a liquid extract or tea form, in order to taste the bitterness which elicits the secretion of saliva and digestive juices.

Poor liver function may contribute to poor appetite. Herbs like milk thistle, burdock and dandelion help to promote good liver function.

Exercise is a great way to increase appetite, make sure you are doing something physical at least 4 days a week. Stress and anxiety can decrease appetite- utilize stress management techniques like meditation, counseling or massage along with reducing the stress in your life.

Finally, make an effort to eat something at least three times a day. I have found that not eating itself can decrease appetite in some people. Likewise, eating more regularly can stimulate appetite in these same people. Try to plan to have your favorite healthy foods at the times of day when you are least hungry. If you find you can't eat a whole meal, at least have a substantial healthy snack or make yourself a good 'smoothy' with fruit and protein powder.

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* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate. It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

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