Herbs to Improve Appetite
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: October 9, 1999

Are there any herbs that are helpful in increasing the appetite in order to help gain weight (a substitute for the prescription drug Marinol )?

Marinol is usually used to prevent nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy or to increase appetite in anorexia that may accompany HIV infection.

Herbs that can be used for these purposes include:

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Peppermint calm the digestive and nervous systems and improve appetite. They can be taken as teas.

Black Horehound (Ballota nigra) prevents nausea and vomiting. It is best taken as an alcoholic tincture, but may be taken as a tea.

Teas of Lemon Balm and Ginger help to calm the digestive system.

Bitter herbs stimulate the digestive process and are usually helpful in improving appetite. They must be taken as teas or tinctures, not capsules, because the stimulation of appetite and the digestive juices begins with the bitter taste in the mouth. Bitter herbs include Dandelion, which may be taken as the coffee substitute "dandelion coffee", Chamomile, Burdock (Arctium lappa) and Sage (Salvia officinalis).

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