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Anorexia nervosa is the obsession of being thin to the extent that it becomes dangerous to the health. It most frequently is seen in teenage girls, though it also appears in boys, as well as adult men and women. People with the disease are terrified of gaining weight. Even though they may be little more than a skeleton, they see themselves as fat. Some think it also is a way of controlling one's life.


Some symptoms you may notice in a person with anorexia is an unusual thinness, they use extreme measures to lose weight like throwing up meals they just ate, taking pills to urinate or have bowel movements, diet pills, over exercising, and not eating. They may have a distorted body image. They may think they are fat when in fact they are very thin, they may wear baggy clothes to hide their appearance, they may fear gaining weight or be obsessed with weighing themselves throughout the day. They may act differently, like talking about weight or food constantly, they may not eat in front of others, they may be moody or depressed, and they may not socialize with others.

Medical symptoms of anorexia include a weight loss of 15% or greater below their expected body weight; an inappropriate use of enemas, laxatives or diuretics; hidden self-imposed food intake restrictions; an absence of menstruation; skeletal muscle atrophy; loss of fatty tissue; low blood pressure; cavities in the teeth caused by self-induced vomiting; blotchy or yellow skin; depression; and denial that they have an eating disorder.


The underlying cause of anorexia is unknown, but there are several things that seem to contribute to the disease. It may be somewhat genetic or hormonal. There are certainly some cultural causes as well, since some cultures, like in the United States, women define themselves by beauty, and currently society equates thinness with beauty. Some contribution to this disease may come from feelings of self worth, as well as stress or life changes. It may also contribute to the disorder if a family member also suffers from a similar eating disorder.


People suffering from this extreme eating disorder need to be treated as soon as possible. In extreme cases anorexics have starved themselves to death. Medical and psychological treatment is important in anorexia recovery.

Herbal Treatments

Herbal remedies for anorexia centres on stimulating the appetite. Refer also to our article entitled loss of appetite.

Internal Applications

Aromatherapy for Anorexia

Commonly used essential oils to stimulate the appetite include:

These can be blended to use in massage, bath, burner or compress. Suggested blends include:

Anorexia Herbal Remedies Top