How to Stimulate the Appetite
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: LaLa
Posted on: January 12, 2002

I have a question about my daughter. She is underweight. It’s not too bad. The doctor says she is fine, but you can see her spine and ribs. My daughter eats sometimes. I would like to know if there are any herbs that she would like that would build her appetite.

I encourage you to visit an experienced natural practitioner, such as a well trained herbalist or naturopath, to assess your daughter’s health and diet.

To avoid deficiencies that can cause serious health problems, it is important that your daughter gets proper nutrition. If she is not eating regular, nutritious meals, she could be deficient in vitamins and minerals needed for health. Encourage only whole foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, nuts and seeds and protein in the form of a little chicken or fish. Avoid sweetened, refined, fried and processed foods, which are of little or no nutritional value.

Paul Pitchford, in "Healing with Whole Foods" (published by North Atlantic Books) cites a study that shows fish and spirulina as helpful in cases of extreme malnutrition, helping to stimulate the appetite more quickly than any other remedy that the researcher had found. Spirulina is available as a supplement in health food stores.

Bitter herbs are helpful in stimulating the appetite. Depending on your daughter’s age and willingness to participate, you may be able to encourage her to take a tea of Ginger, Peppermint and German Chamomile. Bitter herbs must be tasted to get their medicinal value in stimulating the appetite, so a pill or capsule form is not beneficial.

Exercise helps to stimulate the appetite.

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