Appetite Stimulants

Common Types of Appetite Stimulants

Appetite stimulants can be just the thing to combat the potentially devastating effects of appetite loss. For years there has been a certain amount of hype in the media—and society as a whole—surrounding weight loss, however there is very little concentration on loss of appetite. There are quite a few causes behind this condition. Some of them, such as depression and stress, can cause a loss of appetite that can be difficult to resolve without the help of medicinal treatment.


Clinical depression is thought to be caused by chemical imbalances within the brain. It is not uncommon for this imbalance to affect the neurotransmitters responsible for triggering one’s sense of hunger. In this case, the best solution is often to prescribe an antidepressant medication to correct the imbalance, thus restoring one’s sense of hunger. Appetite loss resulting from excessive stress may also be treated using antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, however determining the cause of the stress and practicing stress-reducing techniques can combat the effects of stress, thus returning one’s appetite to a regular routine.

Treating Underlying Conditions

Appetite loss can also be associated with conditions which result in a hindrance of smell or taste. Sinus infections, nasal congestion, and infections within the airways are some good examples. In this case, one must discover the reason behind the condition and work towards treating the condition. It can take a while for one’s appetite to return completely, but if no difference is detected, then it may be necessary to see a doctor about other possible solutions.

One’s appetite may also take a dive as a result of pregnancy, gastroenteritis, and general stomach upset. Ginger, peppermint, cranberry juice, and ginseng tea are natural items traditionally used to ease the effects of gastroenteritis and upset stomach. Pregnancy often yields about six weeks of nausea and loss of appetite, which is believed to be a built-in security measure against eating foods that may harm the baby in the early stages of development. However if it seems to last for an extended period of time, one may try eating ginger cookies or plain saltine crackers to stabilize the stomach and encourage hunger to kick in. If weight loss ensues or if the appetite does not return, it may be necessary to ask one’s doctor about safe appetite stimulants to use during pregnancy.

Natural Appetite Stimulants

Certain natural items can oftentimes be just as effective as medicinal treatments when it comes to treating appetite loss. Hops, wheat or whole grain, alfalfa, vitamin D or B-12, and caraway are said to help spruce up one’s appetite. Sometimes all it takes is a little temptation of the senses. This can be done by taking typical food dishes and adding herbs or spices to them. The more engaging the aroma, the more likely one is to feel hungry. Some versatile and aromatic herbs include thyme, parsley, tarragon, cilantro, and rosemary, all of which can help to stimulate one’s nose and stomach. Garlic, lemon, and pepper also produce a hunger-inducing aroma while cooking.

While there are numerous physical conditions that can lead to one’s appetite decreasing, there is also the possibility of a psychological issue lying behind the symptom. If one is finding it difficult to defeat a mental block against hunger, there is a trick that might prove useful in bringing the hunger back. One should try to prepare their favorite foods and take in the aroma deeply as they cook (or before and while eating, if they are unable to prepare the food themselves). While eating, one should reflect upon their happiest memories and upon the things they like best. The idea is to attach a positive connection with food.

Again, there are many causes behind loss of appetite and finding the right appetite stimulants to treat this symptom is best if overseen by a doctor. If serious symptoms accompany loss of appetite, such as fainting spells, skin or tongue discoloration, chest pain, or muscle cramps, seek medical attention as soon as possible, as these could be signs of a very serious disorder.