WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT'S CAUSING IT? WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Are you prone to a problem with 'Strong hunger'?
Both physical and emotional imbalances can masquerade as feelings of strong hunger, so there is no easy answer in Ayurveda. The most common causes for an excess appetite include a thick kapha blood, fiery pitta-type metabolism, malabsorption, and trauma (Vata).
High MetabolismMetabolic hyperactivity can burn up nutrients and cause ravenous hunger. The teenage athlete who comes home from practice and eats everything in the fridge is a good example of such an appetite, typical of high pitta. Cooling the blood through foods that depress metabolic activity and avoiding midday sun and heat can be helpful strategies in quieting a high metabolism.
Vagus NerveAn under or overstimulated vagus nerve may be the cause of your hunger. Rubbing behind the ears and deep belly breathing stimulate this nerve and can relax feelings of ravenous hunger.
MalabsorptionA Vata person with poor digestion may become ravenous when they are unable to absorb adequate nutrients from their food. The signs of poor absorption include gas, loose stools, or large bulky stools. This type of hunger is associated with weight loss. Read more about malabsorption on our page and listen to our talk on malabsorption for more healing remedies.
Parasites & CandidaParasites love sugary food and stimulate cravings for sweets. They simply cannot survive for long periods of time without access to easily digestible sugary foods, which can cause sudden hunger for sweet, simple sugars.
Poor CirculationIn a Kapha person, strong food cravings may come from "sweet" thick blood blocking circulation to the extremities and skin. When the circulation to the periphery is blocked, blood circulates strongly in the core, causing a person to feel overheated in the chest but cool in the extremities. When the chest overheats, so does digestion, and the person becomes extremely hungry. Addressing this underlying circulation imbalance will often ease uncomfortable hunger.
Low EnergyMany people associate low energy with hunger. True, sometimes fatigue is the direct result of malnourishment. In todays morning world, however, exhaustion is far more likely a symptom of exhausted adrenals. Reaching for food or something sweet every time you feel like you need an energy boost cannot replenish your adrenal energy.
Sometimes, fatigue is a sign of poor circulation. Sweet, rich, thick Kapha blood which circulates poorly and depresses metabolism, and making you feel sad, tired, and low energy.
Emotional Eating and Anxiety
Stress, anxiety, past trauma, and other insecurities can make you eat. Food is comforting. It brings your racing mind back to earth. A better strategy when you are feeling stressed or anxious is to drink a warm cup of herbal tea, which is grounding and soothes the emotional appetite. If hunger persists, eating something light and nourishing might do the trick.
Burning pain above the belly button in the epigastric area can be mistaken for hunger, especially because eating usually relieves the pain temporarily. A fiery pitta person becomes ravenous when stress causes hyperacidity and excess bile, which quickly digests the food.
Frequent consumption of simple carbs and sugars causes blood sugar instability, which leads to strong sugar cravings. Ayurveda helps you balance blood sugar and find energy stability without frequent snacking.
ARE YOU NEW TO AYURVEDA?Are you wondering what Ayurveda is and how to use it for 'Strong hunger' and health in general? LEARN MORE
DIET REMEDIES FOR 'STRONG HUNGER'
PRODUCT REMEDIES FOR 'STRONG HUNGER'
FIND MORE DIGESTION RELATED PRODUCTSSee our herbs & products in these categories. Or, click here for general Digestion Tips.
DISCLAIMER: The pathogenesis of each person's condition is unique, and so the diet must be fit to the individual and the unique root causes of the condition in your body.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA HEAL 'STRONG HUNGER'?
AVOID DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS THAT AGGRAVATE THESE EFFECTS
With Strong hunger, one or more of the following
and qualities may be aggravated.
If you have an imbalance of one of these doshas or qualities, Ayurveda recommends avoiding foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate that quality and/or dosha.
These imbalanced doshas and qualities may need to be brought back into balance before this condition can be healed.
Click on the quality to learn what foods and
lifestyle habits should be avoided.
Symptoms Tell A StoryThe first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms. Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances, showing you where your body is weak. Specifically, they reveal the doshas & qualities that may have become aggravated. If you notice a quality or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms, it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.
V = VATA, P = PITTA, K = KAPHA
To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.
FAVOR DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS WITH THESE MEDICINAL EFFECTSEverything you eat has an effect on your body, which Ayurveda categorizes in a simple and easy way, using gunas. Gunas are qualities (like cold and hot) that describe the effect a food or herb has on your body. Cooling foods like cucumber, decrease metabolism. Heating foods like chili pepper, stimulate your body and increase metabolism. For 'Strong hunger', you should select foods with the following qualities (gunas). Individual results will vary, based on your body type and the root cause of your imbalance.
Energy Vitality Strength:
STIMULATES-ENERGYThis category groups thyroid and adrenal stimulating herbs
Heart & Circulation:
VASODILATORA vasodilator is an herb that widens the blood vessels by the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, thereby increasing circulation systemically or to a local area.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORYReduces inflammation in the body. Different herbs and carriers target different body systems.
ANTIMICROBIALAn agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. Antimicrobial is an umbrella term that can be broken down into specific categories of target microorganism, such as anti-bacterials, fungals, and virals.
Mind, Stress & Sleep:
ANTIDEPRESSANTHerbs that lift feelings of depression, benefit the mind and improve mental function.
ANXIOLYTICHerbs that help people suffering from anxiety or panic. They promote a state of calm and often improve sleep. Most anxiolytic herbs are also nervines.
NERVINEHerbs that specifically go to the nervous system and brain. They can help with stress, memory, early alzheimer?s, even chronic pain.
SEDATIVESedative herbs create a sense of calm in the mind and body by specifically calming or quieting the nervous system. Excellent for anxiety, stress and chronic pain.
ADDRESS ISSUES IN STAGE OF DISEASE 2STRONG HUNGER IS IN STAGE OF DISEASE 2 - AFFECTING BLOOD & EMOTIONS
Affecting Blood: Initially, imbalances are localized, often in the digestive tract. As an imbalance grows, it starts to affect your body systemically, via the blood. If you have symptoms in this category it means that your imbalances are starting to spread, have entered the bloodstream, and are now systemic. Pay particular attention to the gunas, tastes, and doshas out of balance systemically, so you know how to strengthen your body as a whole, and reduce physical stress on your organs. At this stage of imbalance you will begin to experience generalized discomfort, imbalanced emotions, and may develop sensitivities to temperature. It may take several weeks of strict adherence to a specific remedial diet to clear blood level imbalances. Blood cleansing herbs may reduce symptoms. A several day cleanse may shorten the recovery time.
REDUCE THESE RELATED SYMPTOMS & HABITSThe following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Strong hunger'. See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type. Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR UNIQUE BODY?
What aggravates it? What heals it? Then get your Personal Ayurvedic Body Book! This book, written by founder and director of Joyful Belly, John Immel, is individually formatted for your unique body and will help you confidently choose food that restores your healthy glow to get you feeling like your best self. Just $19.99!
HOW AYURVEDA WORKSARE YOU WONDERING HOW AYURVEDA CAN HELP YOU?
WHY IS AYURVEDA THE RIGHT SOLUTION?Ayurveda strengthens the body, in addition to addressing the disorder. It take a holistic, systemic approach, instead of myopically focusing on the disorder in question. Ayurveda shows a person how to interpret signs and symptoms of imbalance, and how to address them using materials from home, so they can optimize their health on a continual basis. You can't take the doctor home with you, but you can take Ayurveda home with you. Ayurveda is the most advanced and easy to use home system for self healing with an exceptional focus on digestion.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?Ayurveda starts by identifying your body type, which identifies certain tendencies in your body to get sick (as well as identifying your strengths). It uses body type to determine the likely root causes of your disorders. Next, Ayurveda analyzes the nature of your disorder. It fits all your signs and symptoms into a pattern, expressed as a combination of gunas / qualities. For example, you may have a heat disorder, a cold disorder, or an oily disorder, etc. This simple categorical approach shows you how to correct systemic imbalances and strengthen your body as a whole.
On Joyful Belly, we've created an extensive categorization of food so you can easily match food to your imbalances (gunas). By eating an optimal diet that balances your gunas, your whole body is strengthened and the conditions that created the disorder are removed. Once the root causes of the disease are removed, the disease lessens in strength or disappears altogether. Additional remedies - such as herbs and lifestyle practices - focused on the specific disorder, can greatly enhance your healing.
Want to learn more about Ayurveda and its step-by-step approach to healing? Click below.LEARN MORE
GET STARTEDTo get started on your Ayurvedic journey, we first recommend that your find your body type by taking our free quiz. In Ayurveda, every solution is based on your unique body type, so by taking this quiz, you’ll get the best results.
5 WAYS TO HEAL YOUR BODY
WITH AYURVEDA - FREE REPORT!
New to Ayurveda? Not sure how Ayurveda can help you? This free report shows you 5 simple ways you can heal your body with Ayurveda. It shows you simple, practical ways manage your health.
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Comments & Personal ExperiencesHow does 'strong hunger' affect your quality of life? What aggravates it? What has helped you? Is there something you'd like to know about 'strong hunger'?
What if one is experiencing hunger without sweet cravings? I've found that lately I've been having this with an ironic aversion to food at the same time. Is this Pitta pushing Kapha?