Loss of appetite in a person, especially children, can be a dangerous condition as it signals to some serious forthcoming diseases. Also there are a number of reasons like cancer and chemotherapy, emotional distress, prolonged illness, intake of some medicines, bad eating habits, where loss of appetite is common.

It poses a serious threat to growing children who need to have a good appetite for their proper mental and physical development. Loss of appetite is a vital problem as it may hinder the proper functioning of your immune system and starving your body of the necessary nutrients and vitamins. Herbal remedies, being natural and safe, can be of great help to these patients.

Set your goals
To control the situation of rapid weight loss, you have to aim on some points.

• The cause has to be treated first and a professional help may be required.

• Encourage to have a good eating habit. Continuous munching and nibbling between meals can hamper your appetite. Try to eat meals with family members. It will help a child distract his attention from food and the child will eat more. Also meals should be served in a relaxed and nice atmosphere.
• Encourage alternative ways to increase appetite like covering up the smell and taste of the food which are disliked. Usage of spices like basil, oregano, curry, mint enhances the flavor of the food.

• A light exercise or a brisk walking in fresh air is to be encouraged to stimulate the appetite.

• Fresh and raw fruits contain a lot of fruit acids which stimulate appetite. Also more calorie and protein enriched food are to be included in the daily menu.

Plants that stimulate appetite

• Ginger root is an effective herbal remedy for loss of appetite. It cures indigestion, nausea, constipation, and morning sickness during pregnancy. Chew bits of ginger sprinkled with a little amount of rock salt and lime juice before meals. This will stimulate your gastric fire. Also tea prepared with ginger, chamomile and brahmi (Bacopa) is a good appetizer.

• Angelica root (Angelica archangelica) has been used as an effective herbal remedy for loss of appetite. It improves the flow of bile and cures indigestion. Daily intake of one teaspoon of the root in the form of tea gives good result.

• Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is an important appetite stimulant used in various herbal remedies traditionally in Indian and Chinese medicines. It helps in restoration of the minerals and vitamins that the body has lost. Powder of alfalfa can be mixed with soups and juices.

• Powdered root of Horseradish in the dose of ½ to 1 teaspoonful three times daily will stimulate appetite by secreting gastric juices.

• Chamomile tea is a good appetite stimulant. Boil one teaspoon of fresh chamomile in one cup of water. Strain the liquid after five minutes and the tea is prepared.

• Aloe Vera, also known as the miracle plant of nature, promotes appetite by curing bowel disorders, healing the gastric mucosa and neutralizing the excess gastric acids.

• Other herbs which are effective in loss of appetite are Gentian (Gentiana lutea), Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), and Centaury (Centaurium erythraea).