Thyroid problems are becoming rather common these days. Allopathic medicine is only able to provide symptomatic relief meaning you’re pretty much going to be taking those drugs for life. Some doctors immediately suggest surgery for many of these patients (especially in the case of Thyroiditis), which is extremely foolish in my opinion.
Ayurvedic Medicine, however, has a better and more effective solution.
Firstly, understand that Hypothyroidism is a disease that slows down the metabolism.
Basically, the thyroid starts functioning less effectively, thus producing less of the thyroid hormone known as Thyroxine. In order to compensate for this, the pituitary gland starts producing an excess amount of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in order to trigger the Thyroid gland into producing more of the thyroid hormone. This is why when testing for Hypothyroidism, a TSH test is done.
Raised TSH levels indicate Hypothyroidism.
In secondary & tertiary types, TSH is abnormally low.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Slow speech & Pulse
- Slow movements
- Muscle aches
- Muscle cramps
- Hair loss
- Weight gain (Sometimes severe)
- Intolerance to cold
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Difficulty concentrating
- Enlargement of the thyroid (Goiter) may also be present.
It also affects multiple other bodily systems including the neurological, hematological, circulatory, etc. Thus making the patient more prone to developing depression, psychosis, anemia, atherosclerosis, vitiligo, infertility, and several other conditions.
Clinically proven to improve thyroid function, by normalizing thyroid indices and TSH levels (see study). In Ayurvedic Medicine, Ashwagandha has been used to effectively treat metabolic disorders, wasting disorders as well as many endocrine and neurological conditions. The thing about this herb is if you use it for too long, it can actually cause symptoms of Hyperthyroidism which is the complete opposite of Hypothyroidism.
So be careful when using Ashwagandha, and make sure you do not consume it for more than 3-4 months.
2. Nigella Sativa (Black Seed)
Black seed’s medicinal usage goes back several centuries in various parts of the middle east and southeast Asia. It is a very popular for its weight loss benefits as well as its anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and cardioprotective properties. When it comes to thyroid health, Black Seed has been found to significantly boost thyroid function as well as reduce anti-TPO antibodies which are seen in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (see study).
Black Seed can be used by consuming the actual seeds, powder, or oil.
3. Ayurvedic Traditional Treatment
In Ayurvedic medicine, the most commonly used herb for boosting the thyroid is Kanchnar (Bauhinia Variegata). This herb is traditionally used for treating glandular swelling including Goiter, Lymphadenopathy, impaired endocrine function, and Cancer. Kanchnar is known for being anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, hemostatic, stimulant and anthelmintic. It is the primary choice of most Ayurvedic doctors in the case of Hypothyroidism and Thyroiditis and is also effective in treating Goiters. Kanchnar contains “Kaempferol”, a polyphenolic molecule which increases thyroid hormone activation. It is also rich in Lupeol, Stigmasterol and Quercetin, all of which significantly reduce inflammation and promote metabolic function. Here is a case study of Kanchnar Guggulu and another Ayurvedic formula known as Varunadi Kashaya for Hypothyroidism:
Kanchnar can be bought at natural health stores as part of a formula known as “Kanchnar Guggulu“, which is considered to be a potent thyroid booster, however, this must only be used with proper supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor.
There are literally 30-40 Ayurvedic formulations that can be used to effectively heal patients of Hypothyroidism. Talk to an Ayurvedic doctor about which one is good for you.
Following a relatively healthy diet, rich in healthy fats, unrefined carbs, and protein is beneficial. More importantly, certain minerals are absolutely essential in improving thyroid function:
This is needed to produce Thyroxine (T4) as well as convert it to T3. It is also found to reduce anti-TPO antibodies in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
– Brazil Nuts are the best source. 2-4 a day should be enough. Salmon and tuna are the next best options.
2. Vitamin E
This makes an enzyme called “deiodinase” which converts the T4 into T3.
– Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, & Salmon are best for Vitamin E
A key component is producing both T4 and T3
– Seafood, Eggs, and Parsley are great sources. You can also take a Kelp or Nettle supplement.
This mineral causes TRH (Thyroid Releasing Hormone) to be secreted from the Hypothalamus. TRH causes the pituitary to release TSH.
– Oysters are the best source. Pumpkin Seeds, Salmon and Garlic are next in line.
In addition to this, B-vitamins play a huge role as well and must be consumed daily. A multi-vitamin can help, however, i recommend getting all your vitamins from actual foods. Grass-fed meats, Organic Eggs and Wild-caught Salmon can aid in this.
Avoid goitrogenic foods like:
- Raw Cruciferous veggies (Cabbage, Cauliflower, etc)
- Strawberries, etc.
Although they may seem like healthy foods, they actually make it difficult for your thyroid to function properly. (I recommend avoiding soy regardless of your condition). Do not consume these at all when suffering from a thyroid condition as they may worsen the condition.
Limit junk food, processed foods, alcohol, sugar and too much red meat. For best results, avoid them completely.
While this condition can be managed with herbs and diet alone, certain exercises can help too. Metabolism boosting exercises like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Weight lifting, Yoga, Pilates, and Yogic Breathing exercises (Pranayama) are all be beneficial in stimulating the metabolism with some exercises directly acting on the thyroid gland, such as “Ujjayi Pranayam”.
In fact, there have been clinical studies done on Yoga breathing exercises. Ujjayi Pranayama specifically has been found to be highly beneficial for reducing body weight and increasing T3 levels in patients with hypothyroidism (see study).
I will be posting a video of this breathing exercise shortly so you can learn to do it correctly. I recommend doing this breathing exercise daily for at least 10-15 minutes. Keep in mind that it may reduce blood pressure.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
For more information contact me at email@example.com
To schedule a consultation with me, Click Here.
by Dr. Nishal R.