How do I Choose the Best Appetite Stimulant?

Bridget Wright

To choose the best appetite stimulant, determine what your specific medical or physical needs are so that you can find the appropriate solution. By accurately assessing your requirements for stimulating your appetite, you will be sure to give your body the proper attention that it needs in order to reach your appetite goals. There generally are three methods that you can use to stimulate your appetite — natural stimulants, chemical stimulants and lifestyle changes. The best solution for you might be a combination of methods.

Cranberry juice can stimulate the appetite.
Cranberry juice can stimulate the appetite.

Natural appetite stimulants can be ingested in various vitamins and pills. There are no synthetic materials in natural stimulants, so side effects or addictions are not likely to be a problem. Natural stimulants for your appetite also work slower than synthetic stimulants and might have to be taken more frequently in order to be effective. They also are easier on the body’s digestive system and won’t cause common physical reactions such as an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Hops are often included in appetite stimulants.
Hops are often included in appetite stimulants.

Most natural remedies used as appetite stimulants include items such as organic vitamins, teas, liquids or powdered minerals. There are several natural herbal enhancements that can assist with a loss of appetite. These herbs are also safe stimulants for most people. Doctors might prescribe or recommend some types of chemical stimulants for a patient, but natural substances can be found more frequently at organic food stores. You often can choose the best one by trying several and seeing which one works best for you.

Natural appetite stimulants may be taken in pill form.
Natural appetite stimulants may be taken in pill form.

Among the herbs that can be made into a tea and consumed to stimulate your appetite are dandelion, watercress, ginseng and goldenseal. Ground ivy, hops, horseradish, peppermint, parsley and many other herbs can be used for the same purpose. Drinking cranberry juice also is an effective appetite stimulant for some people, and it is safe for children. You can also use aromatherapy oils such as grapefruit, rosewood, frankincense and tarragon.

Powdered minerals may be used as an appetite stimulant.
Powdered minerals may be used as an appetite stimulant.

Sometimes, a loss of appetite can be caused by a thiamine deficiency, which is very common but would need to be diagnosed by a doctor for a treatment plan. Usually, a thiamine supplement works well stimulate appetite, especially if it’s taken along with vitamin A, zinc, niacin, biotin and a B-complex vitamin. Chemical stimulants also are available by prescription, and some can be purchased over the counter.

Lifestyle changes are another method that you can use as an appetite stimulant. Some habits that affect appetite include getting regular exercise; eating smaller meals; eating healthier food, eliminating or reducing sugar, fats and salts; drinking sufficient water; getting adequate sleep and avoid harmful substances such as tobacco and alcohol. As you introduce lifestyle changes into your daily and regular routine, you will help your body develop a natural desire for food.

It's advisable to determine the cause of one's loss of appetite before determining an appropriate appetite stimulant.
It's advisable to determine the cause of one's loss of appetite before determining an appropriate appetite stimulant.

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Discussion Comments


@clintflint - Yeah, in a world where many people are looking for appetite suppressants we sometimes overlook the fact that there is the other side of the coin, where people are just not eating as much as they should.

This can be a long term problem, but if your appetite suddenly drops for no reason, I would definitely go and get a doctor's opinion about it, since that can be a major symptom of quite a few different conditions.


@bythewell - One of the suggestions I was going to make was, instead of using appetite stimulant medication people might try to unbalance their insulin levels, which can bring on hunger. I've heard that it's one of the ways that doctors once used to get anorexic patients to eat.

But on second thoughts, I don't think the average person without insulin resistance could actually achieve this. And insulin resistance is the first step towards diabetes, so it's not really something you want to aspire to.

Having a low appetite can be a real problem for some people though. They can end up without enough nutrients and fiber in their diet, simply because they aren't eating a wide enough variety of foods.


Exercise is a big factor in this. I've got two friends who have trouble eating enough and they have both told me that they find exercise better than any kind of appetite stimulant drugs. Especially cardio that gets the heart rate up for a sustained amount of time.

The interesting thing is that I find the opposite. If I go for a run in the morning, I tend to eat less during the day, but I think that's because it burns off excess blood sugar and levels out my insulin levels.

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