4 Herbs To Support Hypothyroidism
Thyroid issues are increasing at a fast pace, particularly within western society. It appears to be multifactorial in its pathogenesis, thus, it is important to be reviewing the person holistically to understand WHY the auto-immune condition has synthesized. By treating the person and thoroughly investigating HOW their journey brought them to ill-health, we turn the tides in their lives. Herbal medicine can significantly improve thyroid homeostasis and increase overall health and vitality. In combination, these herbs have shown to work synergistically.
Bacopa monnieri aka Brahmi has been used traditionally in India for over 3000 years for nervine tonic, neurotonic, cardiotonic, sedative, nootropic, anxiolytic and thyroid stimulant actions (KUMAR, 2016). In animal studies, Bacopa appears to stimulate T4 synthesis but not T3 synthesis, determining its effect as only stimulatory for T4 and not for the T4 to T3 conversion (Deepali, 2016).
Bladderwrack Fucus vesiculosus aka kelp, is a genus of brown algae particularly cultivated from the Pacific Ocean (Stansbury, 2012). This seaweed is high in iodine, providing a nutritive source of iodine to depleted individuals (Stansbury, 2012). Investigative pathology should be completed prior to utilising this herb to avoid further thyroid imbalances or shifts towards hyperthyroidism due to excessive iodine intakes (Ulbricht, 2013). Bladderwrack has shown to inhibit thyroid tumour growth and induce apoptosis through enhanced expression of Bax and decreased the expression of Bcl-2 in the FTC133 human thyroid cells (Hong‑Yan, 2017).
Blue flag (Iris versicolor) has been used for centuries in the Native American cultures as an endocrine tonic used for autoimmune diseases, in particularly for goitrogens and enlarged thyroids (Friedman, 2013). Iris has been found to detoxify the thyroid gland and gently stimulate the thymus, further research is yet to be determined for its mechanism of action (Stansbury, 2012).
Withania somnifera displays thyroid stimulating effects through increasing both T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) serum concentrations dependent upon the individual. Another study reviewed that it only increased T4 serum (Ahlawat, 2012) the herb increased hepatic glucose-6-phosphatatase activity and peroxidative protecting effects (Sharad, 2015). Withania doesn’t interact with the enzyme iodothyronine5'-mono-deiodinase utilised for T4 to T3 conversion, it’s mechanism of action is to be determined for thyroid stimulatory effects (Gannon, 2014).
A 2012 study, confirmed Blue Flag root (Iris), Guggul Myrhh Gum; (Commiphora), and Bladderwrack, Nettle leaf (Urtica), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Triphala, and Bacopa provide synergistic mechanisms of action to support general thyroid functionality and nourishment (Stansbury, 2012). The study also indicated nutritional interventions with L-tyrosine, diiodotyrosine, magnesium, selenium and iron (if anaemic) are shown to be highly therapeutic for hypothyroidism (Stansbury, 2012).
Please see below images reviewing the synergistic relationships between the nutrients and herbs.
[Image of] Synergistic herbal formula and nutrients mechanism of action in peripheral tissue (Stansbury, 2012).
[Image of] Synergistic herbal formula and nutrients mechanism of action in thyroid tissue (Stansbury, 2012).
It is important to note if you are taking medications that you consult with a qualified practitioner to ensure there are no contraindications. The thyroid gland and how it functions is in conjunction with many biological processes occurring within your body. It is vital to understand that if you are having issues with your thyroid that you have a comprehensive evaluation to investigate your body holistically. If you would like to organize a free 15-minute chat or consultation click here.
Author: Renee Grandi
Clinical Nutritionist, Naturopath, and Metaphysician
Founder of Earth Goddess Natural Health
Adv. Dip (Nutrition), Adv. Dip. (Naturopathy), BHSc. (Naturopathy)
Ahlawat, P. K. (2012). Therapeutic benefits of Withania somnifera: An Exhaustive Review. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES , 1(2), 491-496.
Deepali, M. K. (2016). The Molecular Links of Re-Emerging Therapy: A Review of Evidence of Brahmi (Bacopa monniera). Frontiers in Pharmacology , 7, 44.
Friedman, M. (2013). Thyroid Autoimmune Disease. Journal of Restorative Medicine, 2(1), 70-81.
Gannon, J. M. (2014). Subtle changes in thyroid indices during a placebo-controlled study of an extract of Withania somnifera in persons with bipolar disorder. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 5(4), 241–245.
Hong‑Yan, S. L.‑Z.‑C.‑D.‑J. (2017). Antitumor activity of fucoidan in anaplastic thyroid cancer via apoptosis and anti-angiogenesis. Molecular Medicine Reports, 15(5), 2620-2624.
KUMAR, P. J. (2016). PHARMACOGNOSTIC AND PHARMACOLOGICAL ASPECT OF BACOPA MONNIERI: A REVIEW. Innovare Journal of Ayruvedic Sciences, 4(3), 295-301.
Sharad, P. a. (2015). Diagnosis and management of primary hypothyroidism in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Traditional Indian Medicine (Ayurveda). International Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism , 1(1), 009-012.
Stansbury, J. S. (2012). Promoting Healthy Thyroid Function with Iodine, Bladderwrack, Guggul and Iris. Journal of Restorative Medicine, 1(1), 83-90.
Stansbury, J. S. (2012). Promoting Healthy Thyroid Function with Iodine, Bladderwrack, Guggul and Iris. . Journal of Restorative Medicine, 1(1), 83–90. .
Ulbricht, C. B. (2013). Seaweed, Kelp, Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus): An Evidence-Based Systematic Review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. . Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 19(4), 217–230.