Anorexia, medically known as anorexia nervosa, is an eating disorder that causes severe weight loss in a person. In most cases, a person suffering from anorexia has abnormally intense fear of weight gain even when they are already overweight.
Anorexia is often diagnosed in adolescent women. However, there are recorded cases of children as young as 7 and adults as old as 81 being diagnosed with anorexia.
In order to lose weight and maintain their very low weight, anorexics consume very little calories, they exercise excessively, and/or they follow abnormal eating habits. They sometimes use laxatives, diuretics, or induce vomit in order to expunge food they have eaten.
The exact cause of anorexia is unknown. However, factors such as genetics, hormones, and social attitudes may play a role.
Other factors that increase the likelihood of having anorexia include;
- being overly conscious of your weight and shape
- developing eating problems during childhood or early adolescence
- having a negative self-image
- having obsessive-compulsive disorder
Some symptoms of anorexia include; low body weight, brittle nails, pale skin, insomnia, fatigue, depression, constipation, dry skin, low blood pressure, irregular menstrual cycle, dry mouth, thinning of bones, confused or slow thinking, as well as withdrawal from social activities.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with anorexia;
- Endeavor to attend your group therapy regularly.
- Parents could also improve the self-image of their children through compliments and positive criticisms.
- Start your meals with a soup as they are great appetizers. Fruits and vegetables can also serve as effective appetizers.
- Parents should educate their children on how to lead active and healthy lives.
- Try to follow your meal plans even if you feel uncomfortable about them.
- Endeavor to drink an adequate amount of water daily. However, avoid filling up with water only.
- Opt for spicy foods to help improve your appetite.
- While recovering from anorexia, family and other social support is crucial.
- Do not miss your breakfast and eat several small meals throughout the day.
Professional diagnosis and treatment are required for proper treatment of anorexia. However, certain lifestyle changes and home remedies can also help.
Below are various home remedies for anorexia;
1. Green Tea
The first item that makes it to this list of home remedies and natural treatments for anorexia is green tea. While you are aware of the slimming benefits of this tea variety, what you don’t know is that it is essentially a digestive stimulant, which contributes to improved digestive tract functioning. Drinking green tea 2-3 times every day would build your appetite as well as lower stress, lethargy, and anxiety.
2. Soaked Almonds
Almonds boost brain activity and general health. Almonds can also provide effective assistance in dealing with numerous kinds of mental distress while improving concentration power. Soak a few almonds (handful) overnight and take them the next morning after peeling off their skin.
3. Juniper Berry – Wine
Being rich in zinc, juniper berries can easily stimulate gastric juice production in the body. For this remedy, grind juniper berries (50g, dried) along with white wine (1 liter). Allow this mixture to rest for 2 weeks. Then drink this mixture (1 glass) just prior to your meals. Your appetite will improve and so will your digestive system functioning.
4. Raw Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain lycopene and acids that improve gastric juice secretion in the stomach, thereby inducing increased hunger. Consuming raw tomatoes on a regular basis would effectively help treat anorexia.
5. Condurango Decoction
This herb consists of unique components that assist with stimulation of stomach juices and salivation. Additionally, it contributes to regaining lowered cravings, which can effectively help you gain back the nutrition you lost due to anorexia. For this remedy, mix crushed condurango (1.5g) with cold water (1 cup) and let the mixture to boil. Next, strain the mixture after it has cooled down. Then, gradually sip this decoction.
6. Carrot Juice
The juice extracted from fresh carrots can prove useful in promoting gastric juice secretion as well as improvement of the digestive system. Carrot juice can also effectively cleanse your digestive tract while flushing out toxins from it. Anorexia symptoms can be treated by drinking a mixture of warm water and carrot juice.
7. Watercress Sprigs
Watercress contains nutritional components that assist with the production of gastric juices, thereby improving the digestive system functioning. A good way to consume watercress to enhance appetite is by throwing in some sprigs of this vegetable into your salad and consuming it (salad) 10 minutes before any meal.
Garlic effectively cleanses the digestive system and boosts hunger pangs. Garlic can also assist with gastric juice production as well as help remove toxins from the body’s digestive system. Consume 3-4 garlic cloves every day – raw, or crushed in soup, or even boiled garlic (in water).
9. Chamomile Tea
This medicinal plant has the potential to soothe nerves, which helps in lowering your anxiety and stress levels. You also get to stay energized and hydrated with chamomile in your system. Consider drinking chamomile tea 1-2 times every day to treat anorexia symptoms.
10. Fennel Seeds
Use fennel seeds to boost your appetite as well as improve your digestive system. All you have to do is infuse fennel seeds (20g) in warm water (1 glass) and soak them for 30 minutes. Then, strain out the seeds and drink the solution both prior to and post meals. Results are effective if you consume the drink 2 times a day.
Get your system cleansed with fresh lemon juice. Squeeze out the juice of 1 whole lemon and add lukewarm water to it. Next, add salt (1 pinch) and stir the mixture. Drink this juice every morning to cleanse the system. Lemon juice would also help in restoring the body’s optimal conditions.
Boost your digestion with apples. Eating 1 apple every day would stimulate the pepsin (enzyme that digests protein) levels in the stomach. You could also take an apple with honey-sweetened milk.
This home remedy has been around for ages. As an effective treatment for anorexia, it involves adding asafetida (1 pinch) with pure ghee (1 spoon) and consuming the mixture.
14. Honey With Black Pepper
Prepare a paste of honey and black peppercorns (5 peppercorns) and consume this mixture (1 spoon) every morning on empty stomach. This would improve your hunger cravings.
15. Parsley Drink
You can use parsley for promoting hunger as well as to decrease flatulence. Pluck fresh leaves of parsley and then steep these leaves in water (warm). After 30 minutes, strain out the leaves, and drink the solution half hour prior to consuming meals. However, high parsley consumption can lead to stomach upset, so be careful with the amount of parsley you use.
Anorexia patients are often recommended to consume ginger as it effectively helps boost hunger. To stimulate your appetite, take a small piece of ginger and add rock salt. Consume on a regular basis.
Gastric juice secretion is enhanced greatly with cinnamon in your system. Stir powdered cinnamon (1 tsp) in water (1 liter), and consume this solution (2 glasses) at least 30 minutes prior to meals. Your hunger cravings would be boosted.
Centaury makes it to these natural treatments for anorexia list because of its appetite stimulant properties. Centaury contributes to enhanced gastric juice secretion, which improves digestion. Consider taking centaury tincture or tea for regaining lost appetite or treating liver problems. However, pregnant women should opt out of consuming this herb.
19. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm works as a natural mind-relaxant and nerve tonic. It helps in easing stress, lowering anxiety as well as improving appetite. Lemon balm can also help you get a good night’s rest. Add lemon balm (dried, 1 tsp) to hot water (1 cup) and allow it to steep for 5 or 10 minutes. Drinking 1 cup of this solution every day for 2 weeks will show effective results. However, overdose can lead to high anxiety levels.
20. Orange Juice
Consuming orange juice (fresh, if possible) every 2 hours all through the day for 2-3 days will help rejuvenate the digestive system. However, do not consume any other thing in between. Primarily, this is a therapy that ensures cleansing of the system.
21. Fenugreek Seeds
Being rich in healthy fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, fenugreek seeds can efficiently improve gastric juice secretion and hemoglobin level in the body. Take some fenugreek seeds and soak them in boiled water until the water becomes cool. Strain this solution to remove the seeds, and then drink the solution every day for 2-3 weeks.
22. Body Massage
Opting for massage therapy, 2 times every week, would help in treating symptoms of anorexia. Massage would reduce stress levels while increasing serotonin and dopamine (hormones that make you feel good) levels. Make sure the massage covers your neck, shoulders, feet (soles of the feet) and back portions. You could opt for a masseuse with proper training and qualification.
23. Sour Grape Juice
Sour grape juice would help boost the digestive health as well as improve appetite. Consume the juice on a regular basis for 3 weeks (minimum) to get the best results.
24. Coriander Seeds
Severe anorexia can be treated effectively with coriander seeds. Add a few coriander seeds to warm water and let them infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the seeds away, and then drink the solution prior to consuming meals to regain appetite.
Due to the fact that anorexia is essentially a psychological disorder, opting for meditation can prove helpful in treating this disorder. Your soul and mind would be completely relaxed with meditation. You can stand, lie down or sit in a position for focusing on your breathing process. Meditation would help you alleviate stress and negative thoughts.
26. Warm Water
Water can help cleanse the digestive system, which would ensure a better appetite for fighting anorexia. Consuming warm water could act as the first step towards treating anorexia.
Gentian plant’s roots can also be used for anorexia treatment. You can find it in tablet and tincture forms. The gentian root contains secoiridoids that enhances gastric juice, saliva, and bile secretion- all of which improve digestion. However, if you have stomach ulcer/ inflammation, skip this remedy.
28. Mint Juice
Consume mint juice (2 spoonfuls) every morning for boosting your appetite. Changes in your hunger cravings would be evident when you take this natural appetizer for a number of days.
Yoga, similar to meditation, contributes to alleviating stress and emotional conflicts. It also effectively treats anorexia. But that does not mean that all yoga positions can assist with anorexia treatment. Consult a professional yoga instructor to understand what positions can help in treating this eating disorder.
Take some pieces of pineapple for your breakfast regularly to enhance your food craving, on a consistent level, all through the day.
Tarragon can hugely benefit anorexia patients as it induces gastric juice secretion as well as promotes metabolic processes in the body. It is also effective for insomnia and enhancing blood circulation. To improve appetite use dried tarragon in soups and salads.
Both acupuncture and acupressure ensure better well-being through overall body relaxation. Certain points throughout your body can be pressed to treat various disorders. However, visit only trained practitioners if you want to resort to acupuncture and acupressure techniques.
This herb’s root contains dietary fiber that regulates the gastrointestinal tract’s functioning. Burdock is available in tablet form, and it works to accelerate gastric juice secretion as well as for enhancing appetite. Pregnant women should avoid using burdock root.
You can also use lime for inducing and subsiding the effects of nausea and lethargy. To boiling water, add lime juice (2 tsp) along with 2-3 cloves. Allow the mixture to return to room temperature, and drink the solution once every day for 1 week. This remedy would surely improve your hunger cravings.
35. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort can treat depression and anxiety. St. John’s Wort is available in tincture form, which you can take 3 times every day for treating this psychological disorder. However, while consuming this herb, do not consume any other antidepressant.
Use this herb to make the most of its antidepressant properties as well as its efficiency to lower mucous membrane irritability. Oatstraw is also effective for nervous fatigue and physical stress. Oatstraw also contains components such as vitamin B complex, silica, vitamin A, saponins, calcium, etc. for boosting metabolism in the body.
One of the reasons for anorexia may include chemical imbalance within the brain. Rosemary herb can nourish brain cells effectively and also reduce chemical imbalance within the brain. Therefore, it can treat anorexia symptoms in a person. For this remedy, add a few rosemary leaves in water (1 cup) and boil the mixture. Steep and then strain the leaves. Once the solution is cooled, drink it 2-3 times every day.
This digestive stimulant can enhance appetite as it works to increase gastric acids and saliva. Consume horehound herb (A tsp) every day for treating anorexia and improving digestion.
Alfalfa has been used effectively in treating stomach disorders for centuries. This herb assists in regaining lost appetite. Alfalfa tincture can be used for treating anorexia as it is useful for mental and physical fatigue. Consume alfalfa (100mg) every day for effective results. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
This antidepressant cleanses the digestive tract’s mucous membranes. It also helps boost appetite to normalcy as it inhibits harmful bacteria in your digestive area. Consume the extract of licorice root for best results. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement. If you are a high blood pressure patient, then it is best to avoid this remedy.
Known as a digestive stimulant, goldenseal ensures improved appetite. It also contains components that fight off fungi and bacteria. Goldenseal supplements are available in your local grocery or natural health store. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
Anorexia patients often have lower immunity in comparison to individuals suffering from other medical conditions. Basil works to enhance the immune system’s functioning while improving appetite. In boiling water (1 cup), add basil leaves (4-5) and brew this mixture for some time. Strain this tea and drink it every day to treat anorexia.
43. Blessed Thistle
Niacin, present in blessed thistle, makes it a bitter tonic (digestive). Blessed thistle promotes bile and gastric juice secretion. Blessed thistle also stimulates appetite while aiding in digestion. Take the tincture form of this herb for anorexia. However, it is best for pregnant women to avoid this remedy.
Numerous digestive system related issues can be readily treated with dandelion. It helps to improve appetite and alleviates this eating disorder. Dandelion extracts should be consumed every day until the anorexia symptoms are gone. You could also take dandelion tea daily.
45. Fresh Soup
Anorexia patients would highly benefit from consuming fresh soup. Try preparing fresh chicken or vegetable soup (mildly spiced) to boost your appetite levels. Consuming fresh soup would also enrich the body with necessary nutrients.
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