Thyroid is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland located in our throat. It controls a multitude of processes from cellular metabolism to regulation of cardiac activity. Since thyroid hormone controls metabolism in each cell of your body, its effects are felt on all organs and bodily systems. Malfunction in thyroid can cause fatigue, mental issues, irregular menstruation in women, loss of appetite, weight gain, etc. In this blogs we look at the causes of thyroid dysfunction and herbs to support your thyroid.
How does Thyroid function go Wrong?
Thyroid malfunction can be caused by nutrient deficiency, unhealthy lifestyle or genetic mutations. Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s Syndrome and Graves’ Disease attack your thyroid gland , and are leading causes of either sluggish thyroid function or hyperactivity of the gland. According to American Thyroid Association, almost 60% of those with thyroid disorder are unaware of it. Many times fatigue, weight gain and mental fog pass of as a result of poor lifestyle choices and are not detected as symptoms of thyroid malfunction.
The truth is that low energy and poor immunity are not our default mode and should be treated with care. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, get your blood tested for TSH, free T3 , free T4 and thyroid antibodies and consult with your doctor.
How to Support Thyroid Function
Thyroid function is a long chain of events that starts from your hypothalamus and pituitary gland in brain and ends in each cell of your body. The whole process rests on feedback mechanism and subtle balances and checks in your body. Hypothalamus, your master gland, reads information in your body to direct pituitary gland to produce TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. From then on proper functioning of thyroid requires many nutrients such as selenium, magnesium, B12, Zinc, iodine. Uptake of T4 in your cells is also regulated by stress hormones and genetic mutations.
Herbs to Support Thyroid Function
As you can see proper functioning of thyroid is dependent on many nutrients and delicate balances in the body. Herbs rich in required nutrients and with regulating functions are hence great for your thyroid. Here are some herbs that have been used in ancient medicinal practices and studied for thyroid support in modern science too.
Ashwagandha is extract from roots or berries of Withania Somnifera or Indian Ginseng. It is an adaptogenic herb meaning that it helps body to adapt to stress and external environmental factors. It has a stabilizing effect on adrenal system as well as thyroid. A 2017 study published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine concluded that doses of Ashwagandha improved TSH and T4 levels in 50 participants suffering from thyroid disorder. It is also used in adrenal fatigue diagnosis.
Potent antioxidants in Ashwagandha help thyroid to produce right amount of hormones. Its anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting properties help fight thyroid autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s and Graves’.
Also known as Eleuthero, Siberian Ginsing is also a adaptogenic herb and a mild stimulant. It is known to help people suffering from Hypothyroidism. Like Ashwagandha , it helps the body to adapt to stress and boost thyroid function.
Ginger has many healing properties and is commonly used in throughout Asia in cooking. It is anti inflammatory, boosts digestion and fights nausea and upset tummy. It is also an excellent source of zinc, potassium and magnesium which are all critical for thyroid function. Ginger tea is a great way to support your thyroid as well as digestive system.
Nettle tea has good amount of iodine which makes it great for thyroid. In fact, it is the perfect thyroid tonic containing B6, calcium, iron , magnesium and iodine. It is known to help both hypo and hyper-thyroidism.
Echinacea is known for improving immunity but few know that it also supports thyroid function to. Because thyroid autoimmune conditions are related to immune system, Echinacea’s immune regulating effect works well for thyroid too.
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