When you lose your appetite, you don’t feel like eating anything, not even your favorite food. It can happen due to varied biological, environmental and psychological factors. This lack of desire to eat is known as poor appetite or loss of appetite. Medically, we call this ‘anorexia’. This condition can be temporary as well as long term.
In today’s world, people are vulnerable to digestive disorders because of their inactive lifestyle, stress, medical conditions, aging, eating, smoking and drinking habits. Poor appetite also occurs due to the imbalance of digestive enzymes which help in digesting foods and destroying micro-organisms and toxic substances in the body.
A poor appetite means your digestive system is not in your favor and you have to focus on getting your digestion strong. If you're relaxed and enjoy your meals, you will have optimum production of gastric juices but when you are stressed, your food will not get digested properly. So, stress also is a contributing factor in the loss of appetite.
We all know there are variety of medicines available to cure loss of appetite, but it's best to try natural home remedies as they're simple to use and free from side effects.
Let’s get to know some home remedies that can increase your appetite.
1. Indian gooseberry or Amla helps in increasing appetite while improving the function of the digestive tract and blood circulatory system. It also helps in the absorption of nutrients, boosts immunity, and removes toxic substance from the body.
How to use - Take 2 cups of water in a pan, add 2-3 tsp. of Indian gooseberry or amla juice, 1-2 tsp. of lemon juice, and 1 tsp. honey. Mix well and drink. It is best to have in an empty stomach every morning.
2. Ginger tea - The bioactive compound present in ginger is gingerol. Its antioxidant properties prevent indigestion and stimulate appetite. Use ginger according to taste. Crushed ginger gives strong punchy flavor and ginger slices provide lighter taste.
How to use - Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Add roughly cut slices of ginger or crushed ginger and boil it for 2-3 minutes. Now in a serving cup, pour 1-2 tsp. of honey and sieve boiled ginger water into the cup. You can also add some lemon juice in it if you wish to. Mix well and serve.
Take ½ to 1 teaspoon of ginger juice with a pinch of salt. Consume it one hour before every meal for a week. Everybody responds differently, so always watch the action of remedy for 2-3 days before regularizing anything.
3. Black pepper is often used for improving digestion and enhancing appetite. Most of the digestive problems occur due to the absence of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Black pepper aids in stimulating the taste buds which increase the secretion of acid in the stomach that improves digestion.
How to use - Take ½ tsp. of ground black pepper powder with 1 tbsp. of jaggery powder. Mix well and use this powder during daytime for a few days. Adjust the quantity of black pepper as per the acceptance of your body.
4. Carom seeds are well known for improving all types of digestive issues. These seeds help in boosting digestion and appetite.
How to use - Simply chew ½ tsp. of carom seeds and have hot water after that. You can also boil ½ tsp. of carom seeds in 1 cup water, sieve in a cup and drink as tea half an hour before any meal.
5. Fennel seeds are one of the perfect solutions to improve your digestion and appetite. The taste, flavor, and aroma of fennel seeds are attractive and easy to have at any time throughout the day.
How to use - Simply chew fennel seeds as mouth freshener or soak fennel seeds in a cup of water for few hours, drink water, and chew seeds directly.
6. Coriander leaves and lemon are believed to work as a natural appetite booster. The taste is also great.
How to use - Dilute 2 tbsp. of coriander juice and 1-2 tsp. of lemon juice in a cup of water. Mix well and drink daily. Add salt and mint juice if desired.
7. Cardamom helps in the production of gastric juices which help in stimulating appetite and treating gastro-intestinal problems including vomiting, nausea, indigestion, acidity, and stomach cramps.
How to use - Cardamom is a multi-purpose spice which can be used in a variety of ways such as in rice, sweets, and beverages. Cardamon can be chewed any time.
Common risk factors for loss of appetite
Many times, when there is some underlying medical condition, the appetite is poor and even home remedies don’t seem to help much. Below are a few conditions which might trigger anorexia or loss of appetite.
- Depression or anxiety
- Microbial infections
- Hormonal imbalance and low self-esteem especially during puberty
- Digestive disorders
- Chronic liver diseases
- Metabolic syndromes
- Hyperthyroidisms (Underactive thyroid)
Other possible causes can be chemotherapy, brain damage, chronic gastro, and inflammatory diseases.
Symptoms of loss of appetite:
- Severe weight loss / Underweight
- Felling of dizziness and fatigue
- Extreme hair loss or thinning of hair
- Irregular menstruation
- Loss of taste and constant feeling of fullness
- Dehydration, constipation, acidity, and abdominal pain
Do not ignore the symptoms and seek medical help.
Note - People suffering from chronic conditions and pregnant women should avoid any home remedy without consulting a qualified health care provider.