Appetite, or desire to eat food, can bring a lot of the problems. First that comes to mind, is off the scale appetite, connected to overeating, obesity and all kinds of related problems. Manufacturers of appetite-reducing supplements are making a fortune thanks to abnormally increased appetite of entire nations.
Then, there are people who lack appetite, or those who loose it because of some illness. Lack of nutrients available to the organism caused by loss of appetite also leads to all kinds of health disorders.
There are substances that can boost or reduce your appetite, depending on what you need.
There are times when it is a good idea to stimulate your appetite, such as while recuperating from some illness, or while fighting something as serious as cancer.
Capsicum, widely known as the red, hot, cayenne pepper, both stimulates appetite and increases effectiveness of other nutrients that you consume along. The bad part is that it is burning hot *cough* all the way, which may be too much for some people, and that it may not go along with some drugs such as blood thinners.
Ginger boosts appetite and soothes upset stomach and also interacts with blood thinners.Catnip both stimulates the appetite and calms nerves and should not be used together with drugs that cause drowsiness.
Peppermint has various purposes and is beneficial to more than just lost appetite, but its properties go along with a number of unwanted interactions with various drugs.
Most people whose appetite needs to be kept in check have used herbs such as acai berry and hoodia, or have been told that caffeine reduces appetite.
Caffeine reduces appetite, boosts metabolism, stimulates brain, so problem solved, right? Well, it also worsens problems that plague people with heart diseases, such as chest pain. It also raises blood pressure. Taking caffeine as a dietary supplement along with beverages such as tea and coffee, which already contain lots of caffeine may really launch your pressure in the red. Caffeine also worsens mental disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
Acai berry, although rightfully regarded as excellent and beneficial food, still has to prove that it has to do anything with appetite control.
On the other hand, hoodia has nothing to prove, as it comes with a long pedigree - hunters and gatherers used this plant for centuries in order to suppress hunger. There are two problems with it. Firstly, it also suppresses thirst and you must force yourself to drink water as dehydrating is a very bad idea, and there are products on the market that claim to contain hoodia, but there is no hoodia to be found in them, so watch what you buy.