Appetite and hunger are often confused by people. Hunger is the biological response of the body telling you that it needs food when there isn’t enough for its proper function. Appetite, on the other hand, is the body’s desire to consume more food. The body might feel hungry but have no appetite for food, and vice versa.
Appetite is a very important biological mechanism that drives the body to consume food to meet its energy and nutritional needs. But people can lose appetite due to various reasons, which can cause severe symptoms like illness, extreme fatigue, weight loss, rapid heart rate, etc.
Let us look at the different factors that can affect appetite in people and how potent herbs like Vijaya can help stimulate it.
Factors Affecting Appetite
Many factors affect one’s appetite, such as
- Smelling or seeing the foods one likes,
- Dietary habits (people often feel a rise in appetite when they start a new diet),
- Stress, and grief (some people tend to eat more to cope with such feelings, while others do the opposite),
- Conditions like anxiety and depression too can increase or decrease a person’s appetite,
- Binge eating disorder can cause people to eat excessively even when their bodies don’t need food, and
- Pregnancy (the growing fetus demanding more nourishment can increase cravings among pregnant women).
Medical Conditions That Influence Appetite
Numerous medical factors can cause loss of appetite. It usually happens due to digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, allergies, food poisoning, etc. Long-term medical conditions can decrease a person’s appetite, including
These conditions can sometimes lead to a complete loss of appetite rather than a partial one. It can be either due to the condition itself or the side effects of the treatment procedures/medications. They include antidepressants, antibiotics, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.
The Effects of Vijaya on Appetite: What the Studies Say
Vijaya is a very potent and important Ayurvedic herb. It has a very long history of being used by Ayurvedic doctors for numerous purposes, be it relieving pain or alleviating chronic illnesses. One of the major health benefits of this herb is its stimulation of appetite. It achieves this by directly acting upon the body’s ECS (the Endocannabinoid System).
As early as 300 BCE, people knew that this herb could boost appetite, especially increase their desire for savory and sweet foods. Over the years, medical experts and Ayurvedic doctors have conducted numerous studies and research to explore this herb’s action along with the ECS on one’s appetite. Here are some of them:
ECS regulates the motivation and liking for food.
A study conducted in the Netherlands revealed that the ECS plays an important role in regulating appetite and food intake. It stimulates the motivation to consume more food and the liking for certain foods. It achieves this by modifying the pleasant or unpleasant sensations in the brain one gets after eating specific foods.
Activated cannabinoid receptors influence digestive enzymes and metabolism.
Another US study found that activating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain stimulates food intake, influences eating behaviors, and controls nutrient metabolism.
The study further showed that the ECS even impacts the metabolic enzymes in the digestive muscles and organs. These enzymes are responsible for breaking down the food nutrients, digesting them, and maintaining digestive balance.
Vijaya intensifies food cravings and perceptions.
A UK study showed that Vijaya and its derived cannabis-based medicines intensify strong cravings for food and increase the sensory perceptions, such as the taste.
Vijaya influences the brain cells responsible for appetite.
The Washington State University researched to understand Vijaya’s appetite-stimulating action. The researchers monitored the behavior of rats on being exposed to Vijaya. They found that the herb stimulated hunger even when they had recently eaten.
Furthermore, the herb also modified the genetic activity and function of the brain cells that respond to the ghrelin hormone! It is the hormone that makes people feel hungry. That is why the herb effectively induces appetite among patients with chronic illnesses to speed up their recovery.
How exactly does Vijaya stimulate appetite?
The ECS, or the Endocannabinoid System, is a crucial biological system in the body. It controls many of the body’s key functions, like immunity, homeostasis, metabolism, digestion, mental health, etc.
One of its key actions is the regulation of appetite. The ECS’s cannabinoid receptors are present in numerous body tissues that trigger appetite. They help with proper food intake and enhance eating pleasure.
When people consume cannabis-based medicines, their chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, go into these tissues and activate the ECS’s cannabinoid receptors. These activated receptors then decrease the levels of appetite-suppressing PYY (peptide tyrosine) hormones.
When the stomach is empty, it releases a chemical substance called the ghrelin hormone, which notifies the brain to look for food and causes the sensation of hunger. Vijaya triggers ghrelin production to induce appetite. It also activates the ‘mTOR pathway’ in the body, a protein that regulates metabolism, liver function, and digestive balance.
Besides that, by activating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, Vijaya helps boost the production of the feel-good hormone dopamine. This causes people to get more pleasure from eating and increase their cravings for food items.
Cannabis-based medicines activate the ECS’s cannabinoid receptors in the gut and calm the digestive tract. Vijaya further calms the nervous system and relieves conditions like nausea and vomiting. Because of this direct influence on the gut, Vijaya helps alleviate numerous digestive health conditions in people, like IBS, IBD, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
This is immensely helpful for people suffering from chronic health issues and undergoing complicated treatment procedures. Because when the patients are less nauseated, and their digestive systems are relaxed, they can eat more.
To know more about leveraging Vijaya to stimulate appetite and improve your health, contact Hempstreet and get the best online Ayurvedic consultation for yourself!