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10 Herbs That Benefit the Thyroid Gland

 The function of the thyroid gland is often overlooked. Although small, this endocrine gland, situated just below the neck, plays a vital role in regulating the body's metabolic processes. Consequently, a dysfunctional thyroid disrupts and affects how other organs in the body function.


Thyroid conditions are generally diagnosed as follows: an overactive thyroid (otherwise known as hyperthyroidism), an under-active thyroid (or hypothyroidism), and an enlarged thyroid, characterized by the presence of nodules. The symptoms of a dysfunctional thyroid (such as weight gain or loss, chronic fatigue, depression, dry skin and constipation) generally overlap with one another so prior to embarking on any form of treatment - be it herbal or medicinal, correct diagnosis is essential.

When seeking herbal remedies, most herbs work to provide appropriate thyroid support, acting preventatively and facilitating the healing process. Here are 10 herbs that are thought to be beneficial for the thyroid:

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informative purposes only. Always seek advice from a medical professional and professional herbalist.


1. Licorice

Licorice helps maintain balance among different glands in the body and is often the preferred choice among thyroid patients who suffer from fatigue, as it helps improve their energy levels. In 2011, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology in Texas found that a major component in licorice, triterpenoid glycyrrhetinic acid, inhibited the growth of highly invasive thyroid cancer cells.  
2. Flaxseed

src: wikipedia.org, Sanjay Acharya

Flaxseed is a good source of essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to be good for thyroid health. A study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center found that consuming foods rich in Omega-3 can help boost the production of thyroid hormones, reducing one's susceptibility to hypothyroidism.

3. Lemon Balm
This wonderful herb is considered to be beneficial for the thyroid glands. In fact, research shows that this herb helps normalize the activities of an overactive thyroid, reducing the production of thyroid hormones, easing the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism.
4. Echinacea
This popular herb, used to boost the immune system, is considered to be beneficial among those suffering from hyperthyroidism. In fact, it is often the go-to herb for well-known herbalist Kerry Bone, who has seen positive effects among those of his patients with autoimmune conditions who were prescribed echinacea root.
5. Bugle

src: wikipedia.org, EnLorax          

A 2013 study assessed the effects and safety of bugle extract in tablet or liquid form on 403 patients who were diagnosed with mild hyperthyroidism. The researchers found significant improvements among individuals who were given the tablet. Furthermore, improvements were reported without any major side effects.

6. Ashwagandha

src: wikipedia.org, Wowbobwow12

Packed with antioxidant properties, this herb is popularly believed to have a direct effect on the thyroid by producing just the right amount of hormones. Ashwagandha also helps the body fight stress by improving the immune system. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Black Walnut

src: wikipedia.org, Wowbobwow12

Black walnut is one of the richest sources of iodine, making it ideal for maintaining good thyroid health, because iodine has been shown to play a significant role in thyroid gland function.

8. Bacopa

src: wikipedia.org, Forest & Kim Starr

Studies conducted on the herb have found that bacopa is able to stimulate the thyroid, enabling it to effectively fight hypothyroidism. It has been found to regulate thyroid hormone concentrations by as much as 41% without any unpleasant reactions.

9. Eleuthero, Siberian Ginseng

src: wikipedia.org, Stanislav Doronenko

Eleuthero is considered to be a wonder herb for people suffering from a thyroid dysfunction, namely hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Studies have found that this potent herb assists and promotes the normal functioning of the thymus and the adrenal glands.

10. Bladderwrack

src: wikipedia.org, Stemonitis

Though this algae or seaweed works well on patients with hypothyroidism, bladderwrack is considered to be an essential herb for many health conditions. The herb contains high levels of natural iodine, which has been found to stimulate the thyroid gland. It also contains substances that help restore the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, reducing the size of thyroid goiters. Furthermore, bladderwrack is thought to play a role in stimulating increased production of thyroid hormones, preventing the development of thyroid diseases. Despite being a well-known herb to treat thyroid malfunctions, little is known about how this herb actually works.


Cover image by depositphotos.com

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