The thyroid is an endocrine gland that controls thyroid hormone production. When irregularities develop in the thyroid, it can cause a hormone imbalance that may impact the body. No herbs can replace thyroid hormones, but some may support thyroid function.
Thyroid conditions affect around
The thyroid is an endocrine gland that sits in the neck. It produces hormones that
The thyroid produces hormones responsible for regulating the body’s functions. However, thyroid conditions are one of the
Thyroid disorders can cause
Many different thyroid conditions may develop,
- hyperthyroidism, where thyroid hormone secretion is too high
- hypothyroidism, where thyroid hormone secretion is too low
- goiter, due to thyroid gland enlargement
- thyroid cancer
Including certain herbs in a person’s diet may help support thyroid function.
Herbs that may improve thyroid health include the following:
Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, is a herb that can offer different benefits. The herb has
- hematopoietic, meaning it may support stem cell function
Research from 2019 shows that using a methanolic extract, such as ashwagandha, supports thyroid function by reducing oxidative stress and improving thyroid hormones. However, potential side effects can include an upset stomach, diarrhea, and drowsiness.
Using ginger supplements may
If individuals take larger doses, ginger can have potential side effects, including mouth and throat irritation, digestive discomfort, heartburn, and diarrhea.
Doctors and healthcare professionals do not yet know enough about ginger in therapeutic doses. Due to this, pregnant people and those who are breastfeeding should avoid ginger supplements and discuss any intended use with their doctor.
Traditional Algerian medicine
Research suggests that the herb benefits overactive and underactive thyroids and is effective in treating thyroid cysts due to its phytochemical content.
However, there is currently little research into this area, so the dangers and side effects are unknown.
Black cumin, or Nigella sativa, is another herb that traditional
Black cumin is likely safe when taken in small doses for a short time. However, some people report allergic skin rashes, and those taking blood-thinning medications should avoid black cumin altogether.
Bunium incrassatum is a medicinal herb that may
Further studies will confirm the benefits in humans, but the herb has antioxidant properties and contains phytochemicals that can protect cells.
Without proper preparation, this herb may cause gastrointestinal conditions.
Saussurea costus is a form of thistle that people in Saudi Arabia use
Experts know little about the side effects, drug interactions, or the effects of S. costus on those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Some people also report allergic reactions, including contact dermatitis.
In traditional medicine, agarwood, or Aquilaria malaccensis, may play a role in helping thyroid cancer. This is because agarwood contains antioxidants that are detrimental to several cancer cell lines.
Bugleweed, Lycopus spp., may have
A 2021 review of herbs for thyroid function states that Bugleweed has the most potential as it seems to enhance the body’s ability to effectively use iodine.
Herbs to avoid
While some herbs may benefit thyroid health, others can worsen thyroid conditions.
Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, is another herb that can
- unexplained weight change
- change to heart rate
- heat or cold intolerance
- constipation or diarrhea
- dry hair or skin
If a person considers herbal treatment for thyroid health, it is important to discuss this with a doctor first. While herbs are natural, they can have specific properties that act medicinally or could interact with other medications.
If an individual experiences unusual symptoms after taking herbs to support thyroid function, they should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
The thyroid is a small endocrine gland that releases hormones important for the body’s function. Without treatment, thyroid disorders can severely impact a person’s quality of life.
Some traditional medicines use herbs to support thyroid health. These include herbs that can benefit both an under- and overactive thyroid. However, more scientific research is needed to confirm the benefits of herbs for thyroid conditions.
Individuals should always contact a doctor or healthcare professional if they experience symptoms relating to thyroid conditions or before starting a herbal treatment plan.