Apart from bestowing the world with the gifts of chess, zero, trigonometric functions, and yoga, India has also blessed the globe with the oldest holistic healing system of Ayurveda – roughly translating to “The Science of Life”. Health trends that are being promoted by Instagrammers from the West today like intermittent fasting, herbal teas, detox drinks, and syrup for loss of appetite have their very roots ingrained in the age-old textbooks of Ayurveda. 

The tenet of Ayurveda

At the very heart of this system of medicine lies the concept of “PanchaMahabhuta”, signifying the five constituent elements of the universe – Vayu (Air), Jala (Water), Aakash (Space or ether), Prithvi (Earth), and Teja (Fire). Ayurveda opines that these 5 elements contribute in varying proportions to form three functional principles of the human body – the “tridoshas”. This includes “Vatadosha” which is the force of motion, “Pitta dosha” is the biological energy of metabolism, and “Kapha Dosha” which governs the structure and fluid balance in the body. The secret to a healthy body according to Ayurveda lies in the art of balancing the “tridoshas”. 

Ayurveda’s take on the loss of appetite

In medical terms, loss of appetite or taste is referred to as anorexia. Individuals who are victims of this condition completely lose their interest in food and develop unhealthy dietary habits. Ayurveda on the other hand looks at the loss of appetite with the lens of Anorexia Nervosa which sees a psychological aspect like fear or anxiety or stress stemming from food which discourages an individual to develop a healthy dietary habit.

According to Ayurveda, loss of appetite is a condition that results from low “jatharagni” (digestive fire). Impaired Vata and pitta doshas can lead to depleted digestion strength, bloating, and build-up of toxins in the guise of “ama” or mucus resulting in “aruchi” or anorexia.

Types of Aruchi in Ayurveda 

  • VatajaAruchi: It is characterized by an astringent taste in the mouth leading to loss of appetite.
  • PittajaAruchi: It is characterized by a bitter taste in the mouth making food items taste bitter which results in anorexia.
  • KaphajaAruchi: It is characterized by a sweet taste in the mouth.
  • SannipatajaAruchi: It causes a plethora of abnormal tastes in the mouth and the individual is recommended to stay in very clean and tidy surroundings.
  • TrigundoshicAruchi: When the loss of appetite is caused by all three doshas in conjunction then it is known as TrigundoshicAruchi.
  • AgantujaAruchi: The anorexia cause due to psychological stressors like fear, anxiety, and daily stress is termed as aguntujaaruchi.

Key Ayurvedic herbs that help with loss of appetite 

In the complex journey of understanding the many reasons that fuel anorexia, one that stood out happens to be an unhealthy liver. Ayurveda understood the importance of the liver – termed as “Yakna” or “Takima in the ancient texts – in the process of metabolism way before modern science could. Thus, it came up with a plethora of herbs and concoctions that nourished and protected the liver which automatically treated anorexia from the very root. Modern science eventually found out that bile, secreted from the liver, is vital for digestion and the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. So, let’s discuss some of the herbs that are considered to be gems by Ayurveda for the treatment of anorexia by improving liver health.  

  • Bhumyaamla: This widely available tropical plant bears tiny green berries and has antimicrobial, laxative, Hepatoprotective, Carminative, and most importantly Stomachic which means it can aid in promoting digestion and improving appetite. It can regulate the secretion of gastric juices which can not only improve digestion but also treat gastric ulcers and protect the intestinal lining. 
  • Kasni: Also known as chicory, it is an excellent hepatoprotective which means it protects the liver against toxins and ensures its good health. Thereby, irradiating any loss of appetite stemming from liver disorders.  
  • Bhringraja: Bringraja is known as EcliptaAlba scientifically and is known for drastically improving appetite by acting on the stomach and liver. The medicinal properties of this spade-shaped herb are very effective against several ailments like nausea, bloating, constipation, loose motions, heartburn, acid reflux, and many more which in turn improves the health of the digestive tract leading to better absorption of nutrients. 
  • Daruharidra: often referred to as Indian Barberry or Tree turmeric, Daruharidra, has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Daruharidrais believed to be beneficial in the management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease even by modern science. 
  • Guduchi: This climbing shrub is highly valued in the world of Ayurveda because of its many medicinal properties against a variety of ailments, one of which happens to be loss of appetite. It works at the very root of the problem by treating digestive ailments such as hyperacidity, colitis, appetite loss, abdominal pain, and also ailments of the liver like hepatitis.
  • Haritaki: In Ayurveda, this dried fruit is considered magic packed wonder drug that balances out all the three doshas and does wonders to pacify aggravated Vata dosha which causes anorexia as we discussed earlier. It is also believed to fuel the digestive fire so it can burn with more vigor and bring rapid improvements in one’s poor eating habits.
  • Kutki: Hailing from the Himalayan foothills of Asia this bitter-tasting perennial herb is known for balancing pitta which resultantly regulates bile secretion. It could help those aiming to gain weight by improving their appetite. It is a laxative that can help with bowel movements so one can say a forever goodbye to constipation.
  • Patha: According to Vedic literature this climbing shrub is not only a celebrated brain tonic but also an appetizer, digestive, laxative, astringent, and anthelmintic. All of these properties together make this a great solution for curbing the loss of appetite.
  • Sauf: Chewing a few seeds of fennel after a hearty meal is a common practice in India and for good reasons. The volatile oils present in these tiny magical seeds aid in relieving bloating and constipation while also helping the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract relax. Besides that, it is packed with nutrients and fibres that can help someone with eating disorders.
  • Trivrit: It is an aromatic perennial creeper which is known to balance pitta and kapha doshas. It is a great purifier and cleanser which aids in bowel movement and also the protection of the liver from toxins. It is also anthelmintic so it helps in the eradication of worms from the digestive tract.
  • It is essential to note that these potent herbs need to be used in a way where all of them are in balanced proportions. So, we suggest getting a bottle of best syrup for loss of appetite, like LIV13 ayurvedic syrup, which has all these herbs to help you in your journey back to good health and do so without any negative side effects. 

Ayurvedic loss of appetite treatment syrups available at your nearest chemist. Remember, ayurvedic syrup meant for your liver, and loss of appetite will also work on your overall health and well-being.   

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