Losing too much weight; Cachexia

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Losing too much weight, described as cachexia when it happens to a marked degree, can be a source of much anxiety to those who suffer from it as well as those who care for them. In any case, whatever the cause, it is instinctively understood by everyone that a loss of weight is a worrying sign and there is often a marked sense of increased vulnerability that comes with it.
Rapid weight loss, as happens in diseases that cause wasting, is of great concern and must be given urgent medical attention.

Much of what's written in this article is entirely suitable for a person to work through themselves but, especially if things are quite bad but not urgent, or you just know that you need further help, then there may be a great deal of benefit to you to go to whatever lengths necessary to find a good herbalist or truly holistic practitioner to guide you on to a safe and strong treatment program. There's a short write-up to suggest how you might go about finding such a person here

Activate the appetite

Most people with weight loss problems just try to eat more and end up struggling with the fact that if you eat more than you want without much appetite, then you end up feeling uncomfortably bloated and can lose your appetite even more for the next meal.

The first step in remedying weight loss is to re-activate the appetite and one of the best of all ways to help achieve that is by using the herb Gentian.

Gentian can be phenomenal at bringing back a healthy appetite. It does this by stimulating 'bitter receptors' in the digestive tract that react to its presence by producing far greater amounts of the digestive juices that are essential to good digestion and that make you feel like eating in the first place!

You can immediately appreciate how much Gentian stimulates the flow of digestive juices by taking even just a few drops of of its tincture and holding them in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. From that moment on you, until you eat, you will produce significantly more saliva that you do usually.

Exactly the same thing is happening further down your digestive tract. Gentian is ‘priming the fire of digestion' by activating your digestive organs and causing you to make more of the enzymes that will soon be in contact with the food you are going to eat.

Only small amounts of the Gentian are necessary to get these effects but you do have to taste it and to let the sensation of it penetrate in order for it to work.

I encourage people to experience the full intensity of Gentian as best as they can and the less they dilute the tincture with water the stronger it will taste.

Once people have had Gentian a few times they always find it gets easier to take. Not because it gets any less bitter, in fact as people get used to taking Gentian they tend to dilute it less so it actually tastes stronger! What happens is an extraordinary change in consciousness whereby the instinctive repulsion to bitterness is gradually replaced by a deeper experience of what is actually happening within...

As food is digested better and the liver, stomach and pancreas all start to function better the brain starts to get a clear message -- 'this stuff helps!'

Gentian has been seen to improve a failing appetite with loss of weight time and again. Read more details including some further instructions on how to use it here

Gentiana lutea (Gentian)


Support the liver

The liver takes a pounding in the modern world and supporting the liver can be as important to weight loss as ‘activating the appetite’. Amongst the myriad jobs of the liver is the vital task of making the proteins that provide the building blocks of tissues everywhere in our bodies.

Nature has great medicines to support and strengthen the liver. One that I rate especially highly is St Mary's thistle and if someone was in serious trouble from weight loss and their liver was involved in it then this would be the herb I would likely go to first. I have tremendous respect for the power of this plant and for its potential to do us great good if used wisely. You can read more about it here

St Mary's is fantastic at supporting and healing the liver but if a person is suffering from liver congestion and toxicity then, as well as St Mary's I would use Celandine. There is no stronger remedy to cleanse the liver and I've personally seen Celandine change the lives of many hundreds of people over the years, more here

If the patient was not robust enough to handle the potency of Celandine, then I would likely look for help from a gentler liver cleansing tonic that is well known all over the world -- Dandelion. You can read more about it here

There is some further discussion on this subject in an article on liver health found here

Chelidonium majus (Celandine)


Build up the diet

When I am treating a patient who needs to regain their strength and their weight then, as well as using a treatment plan of herbs that contain things like Gentian & St Mary's thistle, I always emphasise the importance of having slow cooked meat and vegetables as the basis of the main meal of each day's diet.

The process of slowly cooking food makes it a great deal easier to digest. Most people who are losing weight and have lost their appetite instinctively know this, and are drawn to things like soup as a result. However, they are often leaving out the protein, in the form of meat, because they think it will give them indigestion. It won't so long as it is very well cooked and that means slowly cooked!

Believe it or not, the best type of meat to gain strength and condition on are the cheaper cuts of meat; those that still have plenty of fat, gristle, cartilage etc. attached. This is the kind of meat that needs to be cooked in a slow cooker, a casserole, or a soup, along with whatever vegetables, herbs and spices etc. that are favoured.

So long as the person has activated their appetite and they are getting whatever level of liver support is necessary, such food will slowly but surely build back the lost weight and strength.

For a more general discussion on some key points about nutrition read here.

Please understand that I cannot personally advise you without seeing you in my clinic.
This living 'book' is my labour of love so, wherever you are, I wish you peace & good health!



© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd