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 permanent 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.
– Slow speech & Pulse
– 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.
1. Guggul (Commiphora Mukul)
This herb, when combined with the right supportive ingredients is clinical proven to be effecting in treating a wide range of diseases including Osteo-arthritis, Hyperlipidemia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sciatica, etc (1-4). It is also known to boost thyroid function and is supported by emerging research and doctors world wide including Dr. Richard B. Kreider (author of “Exercise and Sport Nutrition”).
Dr. Kreider stated that guggulsterones (an ingredient in Guggul) have the ability to increase the output of the thyroid gland and stimulate the conversion of T4 (Thyroxine) hormone into T3 (which is more active)(5).
2. Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)
Clinically proven to improve thyroid function, by normalizing thyroid indices and TSH levels (6). 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.
3. Kanchnar (Bauhinia Variegata)
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.
Other effective herbs include:
1. Shilajit (Mineral Pitch)
2. Triphala (Embellica Officinalis, Terminalia Chebula, Terminalia Bellerica)
3. Trikatu (Long Pepper, Black Pepper, Ginger)
4. Coleus Foreskohlii
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.
– Brazil Nuts are the best source. 2-4 a day should be
enough. Salmon and tuna are the next best options.
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. Pomegranate, Eggs and Avocado can aid in this.
Another important thing to mention is coconut oil. I know it might sound a little unusual or unlikely, but do the research yourself and you’ll see the benefits of coconut oil for Hypothyroidism. Cooking with it, or consuming it on its own is very effective in boosting the Thyroid gland and restoring normal function. It’s also used for a wide range of problems including premature aging, candida. supporting healthy periodontal tissue, improving cognitive function, controlling dandruff, and has even proven effective in treating Alzheimer’s Disease according to recent research (7). In some cases, coconut oil alone is enough to solve thyroid trouble.
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.
Also try your best to avoid toothpaste containing fluoride. Use a fluoride-free toothpaste or a herbal toothpaste instead.
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 “Kapalbhati Pranayam”.
You can do these about 3 times a week, and make sure to get adequate rest.
5. Exercise & Sport Nutrition: Principles, Promises, Science, & Recommendations; Richard B. Kreider ,et al.; 2009
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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by Dr. Nishal R.
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