Herbs and Foods for Hypothyroidism
In this article we are going to discuss the natural foods and herbs available to help resolve the symptoms and difficulties arising from Hypothyroidism.
As with all disease’s, there does have to be a complementary program of several therapies, along with the foods, herbs or supplemental medication to control your syndrome.
Herbs to Help Hypothyroidism
- Ashwaganda, which was mentioned in my past article, is an adaptogenic herb, so is good for anyone with auto-immune conditions. It helps the body cope with stress and assists immune system. This can be taken as a tea, capsule or even used as broth for soup.
- Bladderwrack a great herb for HypoT specifically, its use can help restore the health of your thyroid gland. Dr. Janet Lang, of Restorative Endocrinology, calls it “liquid magic”. When combined with Ashwaganda it stimulates production of thyroid hormone. Do not take with Hyperthyroidism or if you have allergic reactions to Iodine (there are small amounts of iodine in this herb).
- Eleuthero, or Siberian Ginseng is good for both, Hashimoto or Graves’ disease. This herb does not directly affect the thyroid but helps the HPA axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal gland complex). It eases you during stressful situations and provides immune support. Is sold as tea, extract or in capsules.
- Echinacea is very popular, and is responsible for enhancing the immune system. So as with other health problems, it restores health to the Thyroid gland. Echinacea also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral capabilities. Prefer extracts or teas to capsules forms.
- Bacopa is an herb from India, very useful for sluggish thyroid. It facilitates by regulating and stimulating T4 hormone concentration. Best taken in capsule form.
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza), is an herb that is high in gamma linoleic acid (GLA). This herb maintains thyroid balance and energy. GLA compound arrests growth of invasive tumor growth or cancer. Take as a tea or capsule. If you have high blood pressure, do not consume large amounts of licorice.
- Ginger is one of the best herbs for inflammation control and it’s very tasty. You can use it in so many ways, in dressings, teas, or in smoothies! It is high in minerals including zinc, potassium, magnesium; these are important for thyroid health.
- Nettle(stinging nettle), a perfect tonic for the thyroid gland, it balances out either type of issue. Nettle resists and reverses iodine deficiency. Great as a tea.
- Coleus used in India, helps with heart muscles and is a high antioxidant. Do not use with high blood pressure or if on blood thinners.
- Ganoderma, commonly none as the Reishi mushroom, is helpful by inhibiting growth of cancer cells. People with thyroid issues find it helps increase energy and decrease fatigue.
Look at merryherb.com for herb info.
Foods to Resolve Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Cruciferous veggies, there are many differing opinions on this food, but the good anti-cancer and anti-oxidants could cancel out the negative. Cooking gets rid of the compound, glucosinolate, which inhibits iodine uptake and lowers thyroid hormone. You can still use them by steaming or roasting or in soups. These include your broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts and cabbage.
- Add chlorophyll or blend up some fresh greens and herbs, since they help boost energy and remove heavy metals. Heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury usually inhibit thyroid function.
- Maca assists the pituitary and the hypothalamus glands to produce more thyroxin hormone. Also, Maca has a lot of zinc, B vitamins and iron for better thyroid function. Drink as a tea, add to smoothie, or add to baked recipes.
- Wild Fish and seafood is high in Omega 3, essential fatty acids like EPA/DHA, needed for hormone balance and thyroid function.
- Nuts, especially Brazil, walnut and almond are also high in Omega 3, vitamins and minerals
- Whole grains will help the constipation common in Hypothyroidism, you need to add fiber from the good grains. Use 100% stoneground whole wheat, brown rice, oats or quinoa to increase fiber.
- Iodine foods, this is another controversial item, some think it is best to stay off any extra iodine. Others feel those with hypothyroid issues may need more iodine. This could depend on where you live, more than 50% of all countries use iodized salt, but it appears that not everyone is absorbing what they need. Seaweed, fish, dairy, eggs are high in iodine.
- Essential fatty acids from Coconut oil help to regulate the metabolism and increase brain function. Coconut also nourishes the digestive system and keeps blood sugar stable.
Food to Avoid When You Have Hypothyroidism
- Gluten, it can initiate formation of thyroid antibodies. Avoid especially with Hashimoto’s since it is an auto immune disease.
- Soy protein isolate are not recommended, studies are still ongoing due to its compound, flavonoid which is beneficial. There are strong studies demonstrating anti-thyroid effects of soy products.
- Do avoid dairy products for at least 3 months, until your hormone is more regulated. You can add in some later in small amounts. This is optional, it is due to the higher level of iodine.
- Eliminate more goitrogenic foods like millet, soy products and raw cruciferous veggies.
There are other foods and products that can interfere with thyroid hormone like caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, some if these we have discussed in past articles.
Some of these above and cruciferous veggies, also interfere with the function of thyroid medications. Do not partake of these before or immediately after taking your medication.
Restoring your health following natural thyroid protocols does carry some risk. It’s best to not self-treat; it is wise to consult with a natural endocrine doctor or practioner.