There is alot of writing and advice about over-eating and excessive appetite and how to lower or suppress appetite. But there are many people who do not have a healthy appetite at all. They frequently have no desire for food, and when they do eat, they can lose their appetite while eating or be so quickly satiated that they eat too little.
A healthy appetite and a desire for healthy food is a marker of good health and a healthy constitution. A healthy appetite leads to the intake of good and nourishing food and the body produces 'appetite' in order to ensure its own health and vitality. It is well-known that people who are ill often will not wish to eat and that those convalescing from illness are weak and lack the relish for food. Often the first sign of illness before the onset of other symptoms, is the loss of appetite. Also, the persistence of a near-non-existent appetite is an indication that all is not well.
When raising children, many parents are baffled as to how to tempt their picky, fussy eater to eat. Never mind eat well. Although it is quite natural for a toddler's appetite to vary from one day to the next as well as their interest in different types of food (fruit one day, protein the next), a child should have a healthy appetite (based on what is normal for him or her) in order to maintain health and resistance to infection.
Other signs which indicate a poor appetite and need to be addressed:
- low body temperature, feeling cold
- pale face with dark circles under the eyes
- constipation, irregular bowel movements
- lack of energy
- cannot 'relish' or 'enjoy' food no matter what it is
- frequent illness
Here are two valuable helps to stimulate and restore appetite:
- The homeopathic remedy Silica. You can try giving one or two doses of this remedy. This remedy not only stimulates appetite but addresses problems with assimilation and absorption of nutrients, lack of energy, severe or chronic constipation and anaemia. This remedy is often prescribed for children as it helps deal with adverse effects, toxicity and immune system damage from vaccination. A gentle reminder: the reason I often mention other symptoms together with the main ailment being discussed, is that homeopathy tends to be effective only when treating the whole picture and the 'match' is on every level. Other indications for this remedy when using it to treat poor appetite are : adenoid problems, frequent ear infections: glue-ear, frequent colds, sinus problems, asthma, tendency to have low physical stamina and be easily worn out, thin and delicate body, worms, fainting. Children who need this will be the type of child who does not like their food to be 'mixed up'. They will want to eat one food at a time on their plate, and will never 'mush' it all together. Some adults or children who need this remedy may become quite thin and have no appetite at all.
- Alfalfa. Alfalfa seeds can be sprinkled into smoothies, added to cereals or yoghurt. Or it can be used in the form of a herbal tincture and several drops taken 2 x daily in a little water. Alfalfa is a great appetite stimulant. It works very well to restore a healthy appetite and is often prescribed by practitioners to people with more severe, chronic illness such as people who have lost all appetite after chemotherapy, people suffering with anorexia whose physical appetite has been eroded through psychological distress..etc.
By the way, both of the above can be used for animals and pets as well! In all the small things lie the greatest. A healthy appetite is the foundation of a healthy interest in and healthy living of life!