14. Herbal Remedies For Anorexia Nervosa



Anorexia nervosa refers to an acute eating disorder wherein the person has a severe, overwhelming fear of gaining weight. Patients suffering from anorexia nervosa have a distorted image of themselves, causing them to believe that they are extremely overweight even when they are actually very thin.

Some of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa are tremendous weight loss because of self-imposed dieting, obsessive physical exercising, extreame anemia, fragile nails and hair, dry skin, constipation, hypothermia etc, depression, irritability, insomnia, low sex desire, reluctance to eat in public, loss of menstrual periods for more time.

However many herbs can be used to treat this problem. These herbs can help to increase the appetite and bring about weight gain. These herbal remedies are best for aiding digestion and stimulating the appetite. In this article, we will discuss some of the best herbal remedies for anorexia nervosa. Do consult a qualified medical health care professional before taking any of these herbal remedies.


14. Herbal Remedies For Anorexia Nervosa

1. Horehound

Horehound is considered as a bitter herb which means that it is rich in key ingredients and chemical compounds known to improve digestion and stimulate appetite. Bitter herbs such as Horehound increase gastric acids and saliva, making them effective for stimulating appetite in anorexic men and women. About three fourths of a teaspoon of this herb can be taken daily to counter the effects of anorexia nervosa. This herb is also a good cough suppressant.

2. Basil

Basil leaves are extremely useful in treating cases of anorexia nervosa. These leaves are beneficial in increasing the appetite of the patient. Apart from this, basil leaves are also effective in strengthening the immune system of the patient. This property of basil is of great importance as the patient is kept safe from infections and other ailments.

When a person suffers from anorexia, their body becomes weak and very prone to contracting infections and sicknesses. In such cases, basil leaves are able to keep them free from ailments. These leaves can be taken in the form of a tea that can be prepared by adding four to five basil leaves to a cupful of boiling water. Allow this tea to brew for a few minutes after which you are to strain and consume it. Drinking this tea on a regular basis will bring about a great deal of improvement in the condition of the patient.

3. Licorice
Licorice, supposedly a root of Glycyrrhiza glabra tree having sweet flavor is hugely used in healing anorexia nervosa. The extracts of the root can be used in various ways. Licorice has an antidepressant effect. It heals mucous membranes of the digestive path. As the digestive area is free from bacterial attack, the appetite becomes normal and the craving for food in increased. Though Licorice is not suitable for those who have high pressure as it might cause peripheral fluid retention, this herb is profoundly found in the native of southern Europe and in some parts of Asia. 

4. Ginger

Raw ginger has been recommended in the treatment of anorexia, by many health experts. The main reason for this is due to the fact that ginger helps to increase the appetite of the patient. Along with doing that, ginger also strengthens the digestive system of the patient. This helps the food to be digested better. One can make use of ginger by grinding a piece of it to a smooth paste. Add a teaspoonful of lemon juice to this ginger paste and mix it well. If you have black pepper powder, you could add a pinch of that to the ginger paste. This paste has to be ingested once every morning, till the symptoms of anorexia persist. 

5. Gentian

Gentiana Lutea is the Latin name of this herb. It has yellow flowers. This herb is native to Europe. Gentian rhizomes or roots are used as a bitter tonic to cure appetite problems and ease digestive problems in those who have anorexia. Gentian also contains active ingredients such as amarogentin, which aid digestion. This herb can be taken in the form of tincture or tablets. You can also take this herb as a tea for good outcomes.

The key substances present in Gentian include bitter chemicals called secoiridoids that enhance appetite. They do this by ensuring the secretion of gastric juices, bile, saliva and gastric acids.

6. Goldenseal

Goldenseal, scientifically known as Hydrastis Canadensis, is a perennial herb available in the northeastern part of the USA and southeastern Canada. The dried root of this herb is used in making medicine. Goldenseal has isoquinoline alkaloids in it like hydrastinine, berberine, hydrastine, berberastine, tetrahydroberberastine, canalidine and hydrastinine. These factores are even effect against bacteria and fungi. Goldenseal is vastly used in anorexia nervosa as this is considered to be the digestive stimulant. It helps your appetite to grow and have normal food that is required for your body. 

7. Blessed Thistle

Blessed thistle has been used in Europe as a folk medicine for helping digestion. This herb is also used in Essiac herbal therapy systems for treating cancer. This is a spiny herb native to the Mediterranean region. It has yellow flowers. The seeds and upper parts of Blessed Thistle are rich in a bitter glycoside known as cnicin.

Due to this, Blessed Thistle is a bitter digestive tonic. Herbalists suggest the tea or tincture of this herb for appetite loss experienced during anorexia nervosa. Like other bitter herbs Blessed Thistle enhances the secretion of bile and certain gastric juices. This helps to  stimulate the appetite and aid digestion. This herb must not be used by those pregnant.. Blessed Thistle is known botanically as Cnicus Benedictus.

8. Oatstraw
Oatstraw is one of the most popular herbs that help in curing anorexia nervosa. This herb can be taken as tea and it acts as antidepressant, nerve tonic, helps in reducing irritation of mucous membranes. It takes time to prevent the disease if you regularly Oatstraw, but it gives over lasting effect. This herb contains high level of calcium and magnesium.

You can have this for physical stress and nervous fatigue as well. Oatsraw strengthens daily appetite. The factors in Oatstraw like silicia, B-complex vitamins, calcium, saponins, flavones and Vitamin A help to cure anorexia nervosa by increasing internal heat and strengthening metabolism and blood circulation.

9. Rosemary

The leaves of this plant are very beneficial in cases of anorexia nervosa. Rosemary also nourishes the brain and this property makes it highly valued in the treatment of anorexia. Anorexia is very often caused by a disproportion of chemicals that are present in the human brain. In this situation, rosemary helps to bring about a balance in these chemicals. This causes an improvement in the condition of the patient. Rosemary can be consumed in the form of a tea that can be prepared by boiling a few rosemary leaves in a cupful of boiling water. Strain this tea and consume it. Rosemary tea must be consumed atleast twice or thrice each day.

10. Condurango

Scientifically known as Marsdenia condurango, Condurango is a rare bark from South American plant that belongs to the milkweed family. This herb contains a special substance that helps to stimulate the salivation and also stomach juices. This herb is used in various forms which help you to have it easily and it works as a stimulant for reduced cravings for food or lack of nutritional requirement to body.

11. Centaury
The herbaceous plant has small lavender blooms and is found everywhere across the globe. Centaury has been given the botanical name Centaurium Erythraea. It is related to herbs such as Gentian. Do not use this herb if you are pregnant.

The aerial parts of this herb are made into bitter tonic to stimulate many gastric juices in the stomach.  Tea can be made from the leaves of this herb for curing the liver problems and appetite loss experienced by persons suffering from anorexia nervosa. You can also take this herb in tincture form.

12. Dandelion

This herb is highly valued by many of those who study natural medicine. This is due to the fact that dandelion helps to treat many ailments concerning the functioning of the digestive system. When used in the treatment of anorexia nervosa, this herb helps to cause an increase in the appetite of the patient. This helps them to consume adequate amounts of food. Apart from doing this, dandelion also acts on the digestive system of the patient and helps the body to digest the food better. The extracts of this herb are readily available in a liquid form and must be consumed on a regular basis in order to experience relief. Make sure to consume these extracts till the symptoms of anorexia nervosa persist.

13. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is largely found worldwide as semi-arid corp. It is hugely used in various dishes and it can be taken in various ways. This nutritive and digestive tonic is used for the lack of appetite, dyspepsia, gastritis, colic flatulence, digestive abnormality, poor nutrition and acute anorexia nervosa. 

14. Burdock

This herb is part of the aster family and is very beneficial in treating many ailments. When used in the treatment of anorexia, burdock helps to accelerate the production of juices in the digestive system. These juices are of vital importance in the process of digestion. As the digestion improves, the appetite of the patient also shows signs of improvement. This forces the patient to consume food in sufficient amounts.

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