Treating Thyroid Problems With Ayurvedic Medicines and Treatments
Did you know that you can cure thyroid with the 5000-year-old ancient Indian medical practice known as Ayurveda? This time and tested treatment work by not just eliminating the symptoms of thyroid, but by strengthening the patient’s overall health. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland, situated in the front of your neck. The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones. These hormones directly affect your metabolism rate as how slow or fast your liver, muscles, heart, brain and other parts of your body work. But sometimes the thyroid glands make too much thyroid hormones, it is known as hyperthyroidism and sometimes the thyroid glands don’t make enough thyroid hormones, it is known as hypothyroidism. Before we move on to Ayurvedic medicine for thyroid and various treatments, let’s understand more about the types of thyroid.
Hypothyroidism- Symptoms, treatment, and medicines
According to Ayurveda, the main cause of this dysfunction is Kapha and Pitta Doshas. The symptoms of this disease include- a slow pulse, dry skin, sensitivity to cold, constipation, depressed muscular activity, hoarseness of voice, recurrent infections, and sluggishness of bodily functions.
Kaanchanaara Guggulu and Punarnawaadi Guggulu are Ayurvedic medicines that are used for the treatment of this type of thyroid. If you have a mild case, a 30 ml decoction with Kaanchanaaraor Punarvana plant’s bark twice a day on an empty stomach would prove effective. Foods that have a high content of iodine like fish, shellfish, asparagus, potatoes, white onion, etc. are recommended. Foods that slow down the functioning of thyroids like sweet potatoes, spinach, cabbage, mustard greens, and cauliflower should be avoided.
Hyperthyroidism- Symptoms, treatment, and medicines
According to Ayurveda, the main cause of this dysfunction is Vata and Pitta Doshas. Some of the symptoms of overactive thyroid gland include rapid heart rate, frequent bowel movements, palpitation, excessive fatigue, shallow respiration, and menstrual disturbance. A goiter may also be present. You need to intake food that naturally suppresses the thyroid gland. Foods like cauliflower, radishes, mustard greens, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and turnips naturally decrease the secretion of thyroxin. Foods that trigger the hormone-like sea foods, red meat, alcohol, dairy products, and iodized salts must be avoided.
Fresh fruits, including banana, melons and dry fruits can abate the Vata and Pitta. To treat goiter, you can make a paste of Dandelion leaves, clarified butter and lukewarm butter. The paste should be applied to the affected area of the neck. Leave it for 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Repeat this daily for 2 weeks to get effective results.
Ayurvedic medicines for Thyroid and various Treatments
- Head Massage
People suffering from Hypothyroidism, tend to develop gout. This dysfunction in our body causes the production of uric acid and brings pain in the joints and even arthritis. For the treatment of gout, the Ricinus Communis Linn or the root of Eranda is used to make Amrutadi Taila, an herbal remedy. The oil is used orally and for external application.
- Nasya Therapy
Nasya Therapy or Nasya Karma can be used to treat the thyroid dysfunction. It involves the use of medicated oils and powders into your nasal passage. This treatment is a part of the five-pronged Panchakarma treatment. It is an Ayurvedic therapy used to detox, build immunity, and restore balance. Neti pot is used in this procedure, it is a special vessel that pours the medicated oils inside your nostrils whilst tilting your head at an angle. This allows the oil to move in from one nostril and come out from the other nostril. Young children, elderly, pregnant women, and people suffering from fever, inflammation, and diarrhea are not suitable for this treatment.
- Dough Basti treatment
Dough Basti is a container that is made from the urad dal (black bean) that holds warm herbal oil over the thyroid or adrenal glands. It not only tackles the problems of the thyroid, but also improves the blocked throat chakra. Depending on your body constitution and the particular problem with the thyroid, different oils and herbs are used as prescribed by the specialist.
- Foot Massage
There are points on your feet that directly correspond with the throat chakra or the Vishuddhi chakra. Massage those points on your feet for about 2.5 minutes to manage thyroid dysfunction. The points are located at the inner edge of the ball of your feet. A semi-circular movement should be used during the massage.
- Dhara and Shirodhara
Dhara treatment of the Vishuddhi chakra is the treatment in which a stream of medicated oils is poured on the affected area using a Dhara pot. In Shirodhara, a warm liquid is poured in a continuous thin stream over the forehead. It helps in the proper functioning of the psychological processes, immune system and the nervous system of the body. This results in changes in the level of thyroid-releasing hormones in the body. It also improves the symptoms that occur with the abnormal levels of the hormones.
- Foods to avoid
Ayurveda considers the enlarged thyroid as an imbalance of Kapha (water) and Meda (fat). If you have hypothyroidism, you need to limit the quantities of certain foods in your diets including sweet potatoes, broccoli, pearl millet, lima beans, maize, cauliflower, soy, and cabbage. If you have hyperthyroidism, you need to avoid foods such as hydrogenated vegetable oil, red meat, added sugars, enriched milk, caffeine and iodine rich foods etc.
- Ayurvedic medicine for Thyroid
The most effective herb to treat thyroid is purple mountain ebony, also known as Bauhinia variegata in Ayurveda. Some of the other herbs are punarnava, Kanchanar Guggulu, gokshura, shilajita, googol, Brahmi, and jatamansi.
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Home remedies for thyroid
No matter what type of thyroid you have, here are some kitchen ingredients and Ayurvedic medicines that you can use to treat thyroid imbalance-
- Minerals- Increase your consumption of minerals such as manganese, calcium, zinc and copper. It makes sure that the metabolic reactions in your body are working properly. Black walnut is a good source of minerals like manganese and iodine.
- Keep stress at bay- The risk of thyroid increases if you take too much stress. So, do regular yoga, walk and exercises to keep your mind off stress.
- No to high-calorie foods- Avoid consuming greasy foods, white flour products, cakes, biscuits, and sweets etc.
- Agnus Castus- Include Agnus Castus in your diet, an herb known to support the pituitary gland and thus supporting the health of your thyroid.
- Keep your system clean- Drink lots of fresh water and juices to eliminate toxins from your body that may have accumulated in your body over time.
- Eat lots of iodine- Increase the consumption of iodine in your diets such as strawberries, garlic, cabbage, tomatoes, whole rice, oats, onion, and asparagus.
There is no special diet plan as such to manage thyroid, but having a well-balanced diet can help you feel better and ward off this problem. Besides these Ayurvedic medicine for thyroid and various treatments, there are some complementary methods as well that can help control thyroid such as yoga, acupuncture, and meditation etc.