The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It is responsible for many functions including metabolism, growth, and body temperature. The thyroid secretes hormones that are responsible for everything from hair growth and sleep patterns to proper digestion and cholesterol production. If you have thyroid problems, herbs can help!
Herbs that support thyroid health include oat straw, horsetail, raspberry leaf, blackberry leaf, alfalfa, burdock root, parsley, yarrow, ginger, echinacea, licorice, evening primrose oil, nettle, and ginseng. Herbs especially suited for underactive thyroid include hawthorn and bladderwrack. Herbs especially suited for overactive thyroid include lemon balm, motherwort, mullein, and bugleweed.
Try to exercise at least thirty minutes every day. Swimming is the perfect exercise for anyone with aching joints. Running may work for others. Walking is also a good choice. Just a fifteen minute walk every day can make a world of difference in thyroid health. Try different types of exercise including weight lifting which is good for everyone, not just people with thyroid conditions. Variety is better than sticking to one routine so no matter what you do, get up and move!
When something goes wrong with the thyroid, symptoms can include fatigue, depression, sensitivity to cold, heart palpitations, development of a goiter, weight gain, weight loss, insomnia, thinning hair, thinning eyebrows, changes in heart rate, vision problems, brittle nails, itchy skin, headaches, low blood pressure, hoarseness, constipation, and diarrhea. If thyroid problems are suspected, a blood test can determine if the thyroid gland is producing too many or too few hormones.
Diagnoses include hyperthyroidism which means the thyroid is producing too many hormones and hypothyroidism which means the thyroid is not producing enough hormones. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism usually require that prescription medicines be taken for the rest of one’s life. Other diseases of the thyroid include goiter, Hashimoto's disease, and Grave’s Disease.
To keep the thyroid healthy, a nutritious diet is very important. Iodine, magnesium, and other minerals are necessary for thyroid health. Make sure to eat leafy greens, nuts, seeds, apricots, broccoli, cauliflower, sea vegetables, and seafood regularly. Black walnuts are especially good for the thyroid. Avoid peanuts, soy beans, caffeine, white bread, processed foods, fried foods, sugar, and alcoholic beverages.
Gently massaging the neck can also help improve thyroid health. Use a massage oil blend of grape seed oil, St. John’s wort oil, and geranium essential oil for best results.
The Chinese believe that thyroid problems stem for emotional upsets like anger and sorrow. Their traditional herbalists use many different herbs including oyster shell, turtle shell, gardenia, and peony root to treat the thyroid. Acupuncture therapy is also used for thyroid problems.
* Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedies especially if taking prescription medications, pregnant, nursing, or under the age of eighteen.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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