Herbs for Thyroid

Millions of Americans are affected with thyroid disease each year.

Two of the most common disorders of the thyroid are hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid is under-active and is unable to produce enough hormones, and hyperthyroidism, which is an overactive thyroid gland.

With hypothyroidism, the sufferer easily gains weight and finds it almost impossible to lose. Hypothyroidism also can lead to thinning nails, hair loss, infertility, heart problems, and joint pain. Those with hyperthyroidism often experience rapid weight loss and find it hard to put the weight back on.

They also will often suffer from anxiety and insomnia, and have a rapid pulse rate of more than 100 beats per minute. Sometimes with hypothyroidism, the thyroid will become enlarged and will appear as a large swelling at the base of the neck. Hyperthyroidism is sometimes referred to as Graves disease, but Graves disease is actually just one of the many disorders brought on by hyperthyroidism.

While there are traditional medical treatments for both of these common thyroid problems, many people are turning to herbal thyroid treatments.

Herbs for Hypothyroidism

The following herbs are used to treat hypothyroidism, as they have been found to stimulate the thyroid gland, helping it produce more hormones.

Ashwagandha Root – Sometimes referred to as Indian Ginseng, Ashwagandha root has been found to stimulate the thyroid gland when taken in doses to 500 – 1000 mg. daily.
Bladderwack – Also known as kelp, contains iodine to stimulate the thyroid. Take ¼ tsp. bladderwack tincture twice daily.
Sage – The popular herb is helpful in stimulating the thyroid. Use this herb liberally when preparing meals, or take a supplement of 60 mg. daily.
Milk Thistle – Milk thistle improves the liver’s ability to convert the thyroid hormone to a more active form. For best results, take milk thistle capsules three times daily, with meals.
Makandai – Also known as Coleus forskohlii, it was used by Native Americans as an herbal remedy for the thyroid. Studies have found makandai supports thyroid hormone secretions.
Avena sativa – More commonly known as green oats, it has been used as a folk remedy and also by herbalists as a remedy for an under-active thyroid. Green oats are high in both fiber and protein, two things those with hypothyroidism are lacking. Green oats are also good for the hair and nails, which are often weak and thinning in a person who has hypothyroidism.
Evening Primrose – Evening Primrose is used to treat hair loss. It provides essential fatty acids to keep hair from thinning and actually has even been found to help hair regrow. Primrose oil also is a good remedy for thin, brittle nails.

Spirulina – Spirulina is edible algae that contains high levels of iodine, amino acids, vitamin B and beta carotene. Spirulina stimulates the immune system, which is often weakened by hypothyroidism, and also supports weight loss efforts.

Herbs for Hyperthyroidism

Try the following herbs for treatment of hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid gland.

Lemon Balm – Lemon balm is commonly used as a treatment for hyperthyroidism and can be used as an extract and drank in tea several times daily.
Lycopus europea – Also known as bugleweed, this herb reduces hormone production of the thyroid. Use the tincture as instructed by the manufacturer. Combine with lemon balm to achieve maximum effectiveness.
Motherwort – Mortherwort was used by the Romans and Greeks in ancient times to alleviate heart palpitations and depression, two common symptoms of those with hyperthyroidism. Recently, its use was approved as a treatment for overactive thyroid by Commission E, the herbal regulating body in Germany.
Self-heal – Self-heal, or prunella vulgaris, has been found to suppress the production of hormones by the thyroid.
Sea Greens – Sea greens are rich in vitamins, minerals and potassium and help to purify blood cells. Sea greens also aid in digestion and restore nutritional balance to combat hyperthyroidism.
Peruvian Maca – This herbal treatment should be used with sea greens for maximum effectiveness.

Summary

While herbal treatments for thyroid problems are the answer for many who suffer from thyroid disease, remember to consult your doctor, especially if you are taking fertility drugs or birth control pills. Also, remember to use herbal remedies in recommended doses, as large does may cause unwanted side effects.

References

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