Loss of appetite is often temporary and reversible. It is frequently associated with psychological causes like anxiety, stress, and depression.
Many medical issues can also lead to a poor appetite, including viral or bacterial infections, hypothyroidism, chronic liver disease, hepatitis, kidney failure, heart failure, dementia, and others. Some medications can contribute to this problem, too.
There are many home remedies to help stimulate a poor appetite and make eating a meal enjoyable again. However, persistent loss of appetite, particularly when resulting in rapid or significant weight loss, may need to be evaluated by a doctor for proper treatment.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to stimulate a poor appetite.
1. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, can help increase a diminished appetite caused by gastrointestinal issues. It works as a tonic in the GI system, improving the functioning of the digestive tract and detoxifying the liver. When combined with honey, it also reduces nausea and vomiting.
Moreover, being rich in vitamin C, it boosts the immune system and facilitates mineral absorption, both of which are important if nutritional deficiencies have resulted from lack of proper nourishment.
- Mix two teaspoons each of Indian gooseberry juice, lemon juice and honey in a cup of water. Drink it daily in the morning on an empty stomach, at least for three to four months.
- If using Indian gooseberry powder, put one tablespoon in a cup of water and let it sit overnight. In the morning, add two teaspoons of lemon juice and a dash of ground black pepper to it. Drink it regularly on an empty stomach for a few months.
- You can also take this tangy and refreshing fruit in the form of pickle.
Ginger is excellent for relieving indigestion and stimulating appetite. In addition, ginger is great for alleviating stomach aches.
- Take one-quarter to one-half teaspoon of finely chopped ginger and add a pinch of rock salt (also known as sendha namak) to it. Consume it half an hour prior to meals every day for eight to 10 days.
- Make ginger tea by chopping an inch of dried ginger into small pieces and boiling them in two cups of water. Mix in some milk and sugar to suit your taste. You can drink this a few times a day.
3. Black Pepper
Black pepper is often used as an Ayurvedic remedy to improve digestion, increase appetite, and treat gastrointestinal problems. It also relieves stomach and intestinal gas.
Basically, black pepper stimulates the taste buds, which in turn increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thereby improving digestion. Furthermore, it contains a compound called piperine that aids absorption of nutrients including selenium, beta-carotene and vitamin B.
- Combine one tablespoon of jaggery powder and one-half teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- Consume it on a regular basis for a few days.
Do not use this black pepper remedy if you have stomach ulcers or have had abdominal surgery.
Cardamom, or choti elaichi, works as a warming digestive tonic. It is good for relieving indigestion, flatulence and acidity, and improving appetite by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices. To derive its benefits, simply add ground cardamom seeds or cardamom pods to your regular tea.
5. Carom Seeds
Carom seeds, also known as ajwain, are good for the digestive system. They help increase appetite and treat problems like indigestion and flatulence by improving the secretion of digestive acids and enzymes.
- You can simply chew one-half teaspoon of carom seeds half an hour before meals.
- Alternatively, put three tablespoons of carom seeds in some lemon juice. Keep it in a dry, dark place until the mixture dries completely. Then, mix in a little black salt. Take one teaspoon of this mixture along with warm water, twice daily for a few days.
6. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root is known to promote digestion and regulate appetite. It also helps treat liver and gallbladder problems. It works as a mild diuretic as well.
- Prepare dandelion root tea by boiling powdered dandelion root in a cup of water for about five minutes. You can also add a cinnamon stick.
- Strain the tea. You may sweeten it with honey if you like before drinking it.
You can purchase dandelion root from a health food store. If you have dandelions growing in your yard, you can separate the roots from the foliage, clean and chop them into small pieces, and bake them in the oven at 250 degrees for two hours.
Before using this herb, consult your doctor to determine the right dose and be sure it will not interact with any medications you may be taking.
Garlic is considered an effective home remedy for treating loss of appetite as it stimulates the digestive system.
- Boil three to four garlic cloves in a cup of water.
- Strain the solution and squeeze the juice from half a lemon into it.
- Drink this twice daily until you see improvement
Coriander juice is beneficial for improving your appetite as it aids in the secretion of gastric juices. It is also good for relieving indigestion, gas, nausea, colitis and other such ailments.
- Extract the juice from coriander leaves.
- Drink one to two tablespoons of the juice daily till the appetite increases. You can also add a little lemon juice and a pinch of salt to it.
Tamarind helps improve appetite and has carminative and laxative effects. However, avoid the variety of tamarind known as Malabar, which tends to suppress appetite.
- Add sugar, a little pepper, cinnamon and cloves to tamarind pulp that has been softened in water.
- Drink this on a regular basis until the condition improves.
Alfalfa works as a great appetite stimulant and natural blood and liver cleanser. Being a diuretic, it is also good for those dealing with kidney problems. Alfalfa is excellent for overall health, being rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, folic acid, and other nutrients.
- Drink alfalfa tea, prepared by steeping one teaspoon of dried alfalfa leaves in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- You can also include alfalfa seeds and sprouts in your meals.
- Alternatively, you can take one to two ml of alfalfa tincture (about one-quarter teaspoon or so), three times daily. Continue until you see improvement.
Do not consume large doses of this herb, though. It is best to consult your doctor before using this herb as a remedy because it is not suitable for those suffering from autoimmune disease, gout, and certain other conditions.
Besides these home remedies, some simple yet effective measures can help improve your appetite like eating small but frequent meals, opting for your favorite foods and engaging in moderate physical exercise. If the problem persists, consult your doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.